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Which grapple and fork solution should I go with?

  • Artillian forks, but Precision Manufacturing Mini 322 grapple

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Hello all, first time posting here. Glad to be here though.

I just picked up a 1025R for my own property. I have 10 acres, about 8 of that is hard wood and 2 of it is cleared or my home/driveway. I've identified a series of implements I just have to get, and the grapple is coming up.

First off, I'm heavily considering the Artillian because I also need forks. I've already found things that I could have used forks for, so I want those. The question is, should I just go all Artillian? Fork frame, forks, receiver hitch, grapple-rake-grapple? Or should I get a set of dedicated forks and then pick up the Precision Manufacturing Mini 322 double grapple. Or, does somebody out there have a better/alternate option?

It will primarily be for my own home and family/friends. I have hundreds of trees and limbs that are down that I would like to clear and dozens of dead trees I plan on cutting down and turning into firewood. Point is, I can see the grapple being used year after year. Same with the forks though. Part of me thinks the Artillian system is great because it all works together, the other part of me thinks dedicated implements/attachments for dedicated jobs.

I'm open to all sorts of ideas/comments/questions. I've watched about every video on youtube so I have a good idea of what they are capable of, just like to get peoples opinions whether you've used them or not, all welcome

Thanks all! Again, great to be here.

P.S. I'm expecting a son soon and my 4 year old daughter told my wife, without my influence (really), that we should name him John Deere Lucas <lastname>. Thoughts on that? ;)
 

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Ok, I'll bite.

There is nothing mini about a grapple. Any grapple with mini in the description is not worth it.

Storage space? Lots of it - get separate toys attachments. If space is a premium, pay the Artillian premium.

1 Series - lift capacity is a premium. rake, grapple, rake. I'm still using mine on a 3 series. For the big stuff, a grapple section only will move a big chunk of firewood.

Every now and then I take off the grapple and put on the forks.

Lots of things have changed since I made my purchase. Storage space has quadrupled. Tractor size has doubled or tripled. My Artillian Frame, Forks & Grapple are still getting it done.
 

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I don’t own a grapple, yet. I do own an Artillian pallet fork frame, front hoe, and a 3pt adaptor plate. I may someday get a grapple and am leaning toward a Frontier AVF?20. I like Artillian stuff, don’t get me wrong. One weekend I was digging and prying and ripping stuff out at my place and the neighbors and doing other chores. I switched between bucket, forks, and front hoe many many times. Eventually I realized that if I added a grapple to that mix that it might be a PITA constantly switching between the forks and the grapple. Being a man who enjoys convenience I don’t think that adding an Artillian grapple to my much loved Artillian pallet fork frame is best for me. Hence, when I go that way I’ll be looking for a stand alone grapple. I’ve got over 3000 sq ft of shed space so storage is not an issue.
 
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You could get AV20F grapple and a set of forks from the dealer cheaper than getting all the grapple pieces from artillian.
I like that you can just use to loader to pick/drop a dedicated piece of equipment. With artillian, you have to manhandle the forks off and attach the grapple pieces yourself and vice versa. Some may like it that way but its not for me.
 

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You could get AV20F grapple and a set of forks from the dealer cheaper than getting all the grapple pieces from artillian.
I like that you can just use to loader to pick/drop a dedicated piece of equipment. With artillian, you have to manhandle the forks off and attach the grapple pieces yourself and vice versa. Some may like it that way but its not for me.
agree with this. artillian products are nice but you pay a pretty penny for them and still need to ‘build’ the attachment on the pallet frame forks which to me defeats the purpose of having the JDQA. you can get the AV20F and pallet forks way cheaper than artillian.
 

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I have Artillian forks, but would buy a John Deere grapple if I needed one. Not too much to pick up living on the prairie.

rob
 

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You could get AV20F grapple and a set of forks from the dealer cheaper than getting all the grapple pieces from artillian.
I like that you can just use to loader to pick/drop a dedicated piece of equipment. With artillian, you have to manhandle the forks off and attach the grapple pieces yourself and vice versa. Some may like it that way but its not for me.
Yes, there is less expensive as well as multiple manufacturers options available out there........ today.

It wasn't that long ago that there were not very many pallet fork options for the SCUT size tractors/loaders and you could only dream of putting a grapple on one.

Someone broke that ground, designed and marketed a set of forks specifically for the SCUT sized tractors.

Today there are lots of great options for SCUT's, both pallet forks and grapples.


If you are going to switch back and forth with any frequency, dedicated implements are hard to beat for the ease of use.

For a long time my forks sat in the corner and got used once or twice a year. That is starting to change. I've got the barn cleaned out and most of my firewood is stacked on pallets. Last winter it was pretty handy to just bring up a pallet to the garage and set it down.

When I purchased my Artillian forks, and later the grapple sections it was the best choice for my needs, lift capacity and storage space. Much like JD equipment itself, it was well designed and built with quality, and it commanded a good price.

I can see getting a dedicated fork frame at some point in the near future.
 

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I don't have any experience with alternatives, but I'm very pleased with the Frontier AV20F and 3rd SCV on my 1025R. And to pile on the others above, just picked up AP10F forks.
 
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You could get AV20F grapple and a set of forks from the dealer cheaper than getting all the grapple pieces from artillian.
I like that you can just use to loader to pick/drop a dedicated piece of equipment. With artillian, you have to manhandle the forks off and attach the grapple pieces yourself and vice versa. Some may like it that way but its not for me.
This right here.

The AV20F is designed for use with the 1 series, and combined with the JD 3rd SCV it's the optimal solution for a grapple. There are others, but like has been said above, you pay a premium for the name or kit as it may be. I use my AV20F a lot and it always works like new. I also think it's made of cryptonite, because you can't break it, and I've tried.
 

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The JD AV20F root grapple really surprised me with how handy it is. I have a 4in1 bucket that I thought was the greatest thing going until I got the grapple. The 4in1 has its uses but as a grapple type implement for picking up irregular shaped things or tapered logs it doesn't work so great. I also have the standard materials bucket and a set of forks, so I change often because it is quick and easy to do. I went with Titan forks because I wanted the built in trailer hitch receiver, otherwise I would have bought the Frontier forks from my JD dealer.

I vote for separate dedicated implements that are ready to work when you are.

My shed space is very limited so I cobbled together a shelf unit to hold whatever two of the three buckets I am not using. The forks store under the small pallet with a frame built on it holding a diesel barrel and the pump/filter/hose which I set in my truck to go fill it. Don't make fun of my work here - I used the lumber I had laying around and did it quick. Lumber costs as much as John Deere stuff these days.

784394


P.S. - I think your daughter is trying to make sure she has something to tease her little brother about so she maintains her seniority rights. All the girls I have raised seem to think that way, all the time. Congratulations for what sounds like a beautiful family!
 

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I have looked at a ton of grapples on the net. The one I would buy is the JD Frontier model. I just like the way it is put together.

Another would be the Everything Attachments EA Wicked Root Grapple for Compact Tractors with the reinforced lower times.

rob
 

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Count me in the crowd where Id get separate attachments vs Artillians interchangeable setup, because I did.
I got the unpopular Titan forks, and AV20F grapple. Id have gotten the Frontier forks, but the ones at the time the dealer told me about didnt lock in a track along the bottom side.
My forks were used for moving brush/logs before the grapple. They worked well, but the time savings for me when cutting down a tree is immense with the grapple.
That brings up a somewhat interesting (to me) observation about the Artillian system. Yep, you can use one frame for everything, which is great, but it takes time and effort to switch to the grapple from forks, or vice versa. If you have a project that allows time for such things, Id argue a guy could get by with just the forks and take a bit longer to move what needs moved vs switching over and then moving stuff.
Pallet fork storage is pretty easy, as they slide under many things to be out of the way.
Mine currently sit under my backhoe dolly, and under my 6' scaffold where my grapple sits. The storage footprint in my shop is actually less than if I had a grapple and forks sitting on the floor with the backhoe, as I did for a while before I bough the scaffold.

If youve got the money, and have fully researched the change over in parts from one setup to another with the Artillian, go for it.
For me, I would have wanted an extra frame for the forks, which makes the multiple configuration setup useless, so I opted to save money and put it towards other things...like the Artillian 3rd function kit.

I will add that while Ive seen the Artillian grapple used to do all sorts of things, and seen how tough it is, the AV20F is as well. Ive put mine through all sorts of stuff over the last year and couldnt be happier. Ive moved large rocks, concrete chunks, brick, and of course logs and brush, and its always done the job.
Im sure most grapple owners of all brands would tell you the same though, as there are many really good ones out there.
 

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Artillian is top quality I'm sure but putting the attachment together doesn't work for me. I also already had a lot of stuff before they became well known. I'm not spending the money to start over.

I know it's not acceptable here but I'm happy with my Titan products. Fit was fine, durability hasn't been an issue, and I'm pleased I don't have too much money tied up in things only used a few times a year. I have their grapple, forks, and a couple hitches.

I also have a set of Farm Star (Worksaver) forks that I bent but it was a leverage problem that bent them so I'm not knocking their quality.
 

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Ok, I'll bite.

There is nothing mini about a grapple. Any grapple with mini in the description is not worth it.
Whoa! I can’t agree there! You have actually used a first generation ‘Mini322’. It is mini compared to the rest of the Precision Mfg grapple line.

The 2nd generation that I just got has a much wider opening. I call it the ‘Big Mouth’ grapple.

Tim
 

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My only concern about the AV20F is that I have seen more than one bent up. They can’t handle the abuse that the Artillian or Precision Mfg can handle.

I’m sure if you are careful, you’ll be fine. For some reason, when I get started with a grapple. I feel a bit like John Wayne!! Careful isn’t the first thought in my mind!

Tim
 

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My only concern about the AV20F is that I have seen more than one bent up. They can’t handle the abuse that the Artillian or Precision Mfg can handle.

I’m sure if you are careful, you’ll be fine. For some reason, when I get started with a grapple. I feel a bit like John Wayne!! Careful isn’t the first thought in my mind!

Tim
I'm not exactly sure what it would take to bend one, but I am anything but careful with mine, and have yet to do any damage to it.
I had seen reports of early ones having issues, but nothing lately.
Ive actually maxed mine out lift capacity wise, picking up with just one end of the grapple lid and nothing is out of place. Ive also used it pulling, pushing, and twisting on stumps, with the same result. No damage.
Picking up logs by the end so large that I cant lift them more than about a foot off the ground to transport several hundred yards through the woods. Again, no damage.
And yeah, I should probably just drag them, but since I had to place them for cutting, this was easier.
I even push with the lid open, and nothing...so again, while I realize that there were early reports of issues, Ive had zero, and I dont recall any recent issues either.
Now, are they as tough overall?
I couldnt say, although I can say they are plenty tough enough, and anything extra is just taking away from lift capacity in steel weight.
All that said, I might not use mine as much as others, as for the main work it gets, I only average 6-7 80-100' trees a year here, (although last year was quite a bit of smaller 60-70' trees along with the big ones, and this year looks to break that too, since Ive already cleared 4 80-90' 36" diameter trees), and a few smaller ones, plus a few on my neighbors property, and regular cleanup here and there.
 
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Swapping the grapple sections for the forks isn't that bad. I bolted the rake beds to the grapple section. There are 1/2" holes in the sections to do this with. Not sure it that is what Chris intended, but they are there.

I unhook from the FEL, remove the keys that hold the grapple pieces to the frame, slide the frame out and set it back on the FEL. Set the forks on the frame and off I go.

I wouldn't want to do this a couple times a day, but it isn't that bad the few times I do it.

I figure that by having a dedicated mower (ZTR) I am time ahead on a summers average not having to drop the loader and install a mower deck.
 
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My only concern about the AV20F is that I have seen more than one bent up. They can’t handle the abuse that the Artillian or Precision Mfg can handle.

I’m sure if you are careful, you’ll be fine. For some reason, when I get started with a grapple. I feel a bit like John Wayne!! Careful isn’t the first thought in my mind!

Tim

I recall reading about some bending problems with the first rendition of the AV20F root grapple. Something about the clamp lid pivoting too far back maybe, but it has been corrected on the current model. I have abused mine pretty good and it doesn't mind a bit.

I looked up the Mini 322 and it is pretty cool, but its capacity, while great for its weight, would never be realized on a 120R loader. Even the clamp force and lift ability of the Frontier grapple are beyond the limits of the loader so what you would be getting for double the cost won't do you much good anyway. The cylinder and hose protection on the Mini 322 is a big plus over the AV20F and the two clamps are nice.

Two other pluses for the Frontier grapple are the price ($1230 for mine) and the fact that is is the right color! The Titan forks and frame cost me $499 delivered to my driveway. I don't know what the Artillian setup would cost for the works, but I doubt it is under $2k.

Whatever you get, it will work for you and be at least up to whatever task the tractor can handle so don't fret over it too much.
 

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What do people think about getting the Artillian frame, forks, and grapple (just the clamp section of the grapple, using the forks in place of the rake sections) to start with and adding the rake sections later if needed?

Edit: I have the frontier ap10f forks and really like them so I'm not trying to push my preferences, for whatever that means.
 
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