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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am looking at buying a grapple and leaning toward going with an MTL grapple.
Plan to use it on my cab 3s or a future 2038R that we have in the works .

Either the RK5 $1269.00 Free shipping
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or

this X series 72" $1799.00 Free shipping
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Anyone have any first hand owner experience with MTL products.
Are they good quality, the adds say made in the USA. They look pretty stout in the pictures.
I would love to here from someone that has one.

Thank you
 

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All I can say is they look heavy!

But without a link or any information there is no way to tell just how heavy.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
No weight listed - wonder why....

Skid Steer Attachment

FCC hydraulic connectors.

These are made for skid steers.

There are so many grapples out there that have been proven by our members here - why go looking for something else - especially if you can't attach it or lift it?
The spec info is not all that accurate. you can see in the pics it is made for john Deere loader attachment. They also make it the otherway for skid steer attachment as well.
I think they have a generic spec they list with the adds.
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From what I could tell the weight is 550-590lbs.

The weight ??? was a good point, the X series is to heavy for my 3 series, I saw a notation that it was designed for60hp tractors and up, it weighs in at 900 lbs.
so that one is off the table for me.

They have smaller ones as well that are lighter weight.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
This one is a 50" wide single Ram weighs in at 370lbs. $890.00 free shipping.

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Should I watch the weight more and stay with a narrower single ram or go with a wider double ram setup regardless of the weight disadvantage?
 

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What are you wanting to use the grapple for? Moving brush piles? Uprooting trees? Holding trees while you're bucking them?

I'd think first about the use and then decide if the "root style" or "clam shell style" is better than one with the wider bottom bed. Once you decide your style, then I'd shop for weight and quality. There's a lot of grapples out there that were designed for CUTs vs. being designed for a skidsteer. The ones you're looking at seemed to have been first designed for skid steer use and then they welded on JDQA attach points. Hence the weight.

When I was first looking at grapples, I was looking for the heaviest duty thing I could find. Then I started learning about FEL attachment weights. :laugh: You and I have roughly the same capacity tractors. Our loaders supposedly can lift approximately 1150 pounds. If you look at the difference between 550 pounds and 209 pounds, that's 341 pounds. If my public school math skills are correct, that's approximately a 30% reduction in lift capacity just due to the weight difference! Not a big deal if you're moving brush piles. But it's a huge deal if you're holding a large log to buck it. Also a huge deal if you're trying to uproot saplings, brush, etc.

Just my $.02. I'm by no means an expert on any of this stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
MTL has a huge assortment of models. The single ram 50" model weighs in at 370 pounds. Still offers some lower support to help cradle the brush.
The one linked above that weighs 209lbs is also much narrower at 55"s and has a single ram, but does not appear to have much of any lower cradle to support the brush or other materials and cost more then double the 50" MTL that is similar in size, though still 160lbs heavier.

Mostly I will be moving brush piles and some logs or occasionally some rocks or other debris, but mostly brush including some small brush.
 

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I have the RK5. It's heavy. I would not buy it again for my size tractor. The 50" single lid is probably a better fit for anything with a limited lift capacity. I don't have my tires loaded or wheel weights so I had to add 1200 lbs of rear ballast to lift the full capacity of my tractor with the RK5.

That said is seems to be built plenty strong. They delivered the unit promptly but I had to buy different fittings to connect to my tractor setup. Partly my fault as I didn't know exactly what to tell them to put on it. I did specify the poppet type with the nipple and they sent it with the ball type which is not always interchangeable. Either way it came with 1/2" quick disconnects and I needed 3/8".

I'm not crazy about the way they make the JD quick connect but it matches up and works. I filed some 1" washers and pounded them on the bottom pins to take some of the slop out of the fit. They also have 1/2" holes in the pins so I use 1/2" trailer hitch pins in them instead of the typical 7/16" hitch pins.






Anything you get from them will be a good value over all the other brands I've priced.

I still have enough capacity to pick up stumps and debris with the RK5 so I will get some use out of it. It doesn't slide under stuff as well as I'd like. I generally have to roll it forward and come down on what I plan to pick up, close the clamps, then roll it back flat.





 

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Discussion Starter #12
s-l1600.jpg

I appreciate all the advise. I am thinking some great points were made about the weight of these things.

I am now really leaning toward this MTL single ram 50" model for $890.00 free shipping.

It's weight is much lighter and has the cradle or bottom section that I was wanting to be able to cradle the loads.

I think there are some other models that are wider, do you guys think 50" wide is enough for large frame 2 and cab 3 tractors?
38hp and 39hp rated.
 

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Most of the grapple discussions I have read indicate a narrow grapple is as good and in some cases better than a wider one. My experience has been limited to the 60" RK5.

In my opinion the RK5 would be well or better suited for a 50 HP tractor with a 2500 lb loader lift capacity.

I may resell my RK5 and buy the 50" one of these days. I put it on CL for a while but had a high degree of flakes inquire so I gave up.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I went ahead and ordered the 50" MTL for 890.00 bucks free shipping. I figured it was worth giving it a try.

Now I need to sort out rather to get an Artillian setup for the grapple or have the dealer add the 3rd hydraulic service. Price seems to be about the same either way.
The 3rd service would be on the back and I would have to route some hose extension up front. Still need some advise on how best to route those hoses if I go with the 3rd hydraulic service. I already have the 3rd service setup on both the cab 3 series tractors. But I am thinking the open station 2038R is where we will likely be using this grapple the most.
Since the open station 2 can get back into tighter spaces with far less height restrictions. I was thinking any of the other rear attachments that have hydraulic needs this 3rd service setup would be more beneficial overall.
 

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I bought this JD grapple last year when it came out and have been very pleased with it. With the 1025R that I have weight was a big consideration. As you can see it can handle good size loads such as this maple section. grapple.jpg Sorry about the side ways image it's not like that in my folder.
 

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I went ahead and ordered the 50" MTL for 890.00 bucks free shipping. I figured it was worth giving it a try.

Now I need to sort out rather to get an Artillian setup for the grapple or have the dealer add the 3rd hydraulic service. Price seems to be about the same either way.
The 3rd service would be on the back and I would have to route some hose extension up front. Still need some advise on how best to route those hoses if I go with the 3rd hydraulic service. I already have the 3rd service setup on both the cab 3 series tractors. But I am thinking the open station 2038R is where we will likely be using this grapple the most.
Since the open station 2 can get back into tighter spaces with far less height restrictions. I was thinking any of the other rear attachments that have hydraulic needs this 3rd service setup would be more beneficial overall.
Let us know how you like it after you get some time with it.

Here is a thread I did on the diverter valve install on my 4310. It may give you some ideas. Kenny D says it's ugly but it has served me well. The only change I've made since the install was to buy some shorter hoses for the grapple connection. The hoses that came on the grapple were extra long.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks, I went ahead and went with the JD 3rd svs kit since its installed price was same as the Artillian diverter kit, the only big difference was the extra $500.00 to have the dealer rout some hoses and create a remote mounting station on the loader. Still I can see the rear svs coming in handy with other attachments.

I should be trying this thing out on the new 2038R here in the next two weeks once everything is delivered and setup.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Update: Grapple arrived this morning.
Still wating on the 2038 to be delivered.
 

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Thanks, I went ahead and went with the JD 3rd svs kit since its installed price was same as the Artillian diverter kit, the only big difference was the extra $500.00 to have the dealer rout some hoses and create a remote mounting station on the loader. Still I can see the rear svs coming in handy with other attachments.

I should be trying this thing out on the new 2038R here in the next two weeks once everything is delivered and setup.
So your not going to play with it on the other tractor till the 2038R gets there?

Man that is some patience I don't have.

Not sure how the dealer is doing the lines to the front but I would suggest including QD's in the lines where the loader connections are. It will be easier to remove the loader that way.

I got my lines and front connection from KennyD and he thinks of those little details.

I think the true 3rd function is the better choice, especially since the cost is roughly the same.

Looks like a good unit. I like the one you got over the bigger one you were considering. The sides are more open on this one and that will allow it to grab more brush.

An earlier post mentioned that they couldn't slide the grapple under the pile. I usually don't try doing that. If the pile is not too wide I come almost straight down on it and I can crush down and grab a pretty good sized pile that way. If the pile is wider, I go in at a 45 degree angle and then dump the grapple as I go forward, crushing the pile under the grapple.

Looking forward to seeing it in use.
 

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