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Discussion Starter #1
Yes another grapple thread

I have been looking at a grapple for some time. In the last several months I decided that I needed to stop looking at grapples and make a decision as to which one to buy. There are many opinions as to the type (shape) grapple that is best and the answer is always: That which is best for the purpose for which you will be using the grapple.

There is often a discussion as to weight and how much you lose if you purchase a well built robust attachment. I saw one discussion where the manufacturer was bragging how they reduced the weight by reducing the tine thickness to 1/4 inch. What is often missed is that the spec for FEL lift is frequently quoted at the pivot point. Most buckets have center of mass well forward of the pivot point and a well designed grapple (IMO) will normally have the center of mass closer to the pivot point and thus even if it is heavier than your bucket you may not give up any lift and may actually gain lift capability. I narrowed my search down pretty quick to two grapples brands, Anbo built by Anbo Manufacturing and the Bo-Dozer built by Borgford Manufacturing. Anbo makes several styles and Borgford makes one basic style in different widths. Since I have been using a heavy duty bucket with trash forks (see picture) my center of mass is well forward of the pivot point and my grapple weight is actually a little less than my bucket and forks with the Bo-Dozer grapple I ordered.

I decided on a 66" Bo-Dozer grapple. It gives coverage for what I need.

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To say that I am very satisfied with the purchase would be an understatement. It is a very nice, well built and well designed piece of equipment. If I had known just how well designed and thought out, there would not have been even a competition between this and the Anbo grapple which I seriously considered. Not that Anbo is a bad unit but this one is just that much better. While I knew that the hydraulic cylinders were protected by their placement from debris damage I had no idea that the hydraulic lines were so well protected. I tried to take pictures of it but fear I did not do it justice. The lines exit the cylinder and within about 10 inches of hose, are inside a square steel tube that prevents damage short of complete grapple destruction. Even the small amount of hose is very well protected tucked inside the frame.


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Grapple with hose connections disappearing into the frame tube

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Attempt to show actuator hoses connection to internal frame plumbing

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Picture of JIC hydraulic connections exiting the frame where the pigtail is connected

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After mounted and pigtail connected


The outer tines are 1 inch thick and the inner tines are 3/4 inch thick and are spaced 5.75 inches apart. Look at the length of the tine before the reinforcement bar (which restricts the raking efficiency) but is required much further out for structural reasons on many designs. What a unit.

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I chose to go with FF QD for this attachment. (Stucchi Series"A" premier) I have been wanting to switch for years and this was an opportunity that impacted no other system. Cost was much less than the last time I looked and I found a supplier, Wojanis Supply Company in PA, that I would give a great recommendation for anyone interested.


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View to show coverage with tires at intermediate width spread.


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Note the near full closed position allows the grapple to close more than most designs thus allowing less room for stuff to fall out.

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Gratuitous pretty picture

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View forward with low restriction to visibility

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View forward with low restriction to visibility


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Measuring tape is at 48". Shows the open mouth size and demonstrates the ability to vertically pick up without scooping the ground if desired.


Ran into limit on pictures so will jump to new post.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Continued

In other posts folks have discussed problems with FEL mounts bending and/or needing reinforcement to supplement the structure.

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This is picture of JD heavy duty bucket mount with reinforcement

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These are of the mount used on this grapple. Part is a JD part and is superior to what JD uses themselves on their own HD bucket. Look at the structure and thickness of the design. A one piece machined part that is then welded to the frame.
Seeing this up close and looking at it there is no comparison as to which is better.

What I wish I had done different after delivery.

I committed the sin of: I want to get this up and running.

I did not go over it and check each and every hydraulic fitting for tightness. Yes I should not have to but stuff happens in the manufacturing/transport process and I should have checked. Two of the JIC fittings on the hydraulic cylinders; A port on one and B port on the other were only finger tight. You can guess what happened when I put hydraulic pressure on it. I had a 10 ft spray of fluid. Very impressive and a mess to clean up. Do not ever get hit by high pressure fluid of any kind let alone hydraulic fluid!!!!!

Overall impression.

I LOVE this grapple. It is everything I had hoped and probably more. The design is well thought out and is built very tough. It looks tough and it is. Not counting the mounting frame, the grapple itself is made with Weldox which is structurally much tougher with more ability to flex if abuse is encountered than T-1 and is so far superior to an A-36 steel grapple that no comparisons can be made.

If you are looking at grapples take a look at the Bo-Dozer grapple. Obviously with my size tractor it handles a bigger unit that the smaller tractors can, but they come in narrower widths as well. Put this company on your list of places to look when considering a grapple.
 
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Congrats on a very nice grapple.
 

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Looks good:thumbup1gif: I've been waiting for your review, and I plan on ordering one just like it (except SSQA) in the next couple of days.
:dance:
 

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Your grapple looks like a fine piece of equipment!
 

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Very nice.

Is there access to the hydraulic line inside the frame? Is it a steel line or a hose? I'm just wondering how you would get to it if it ever started leaking.
 

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Great review Steve! :good2:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Is there access to the hydraulic line inside the frame? Is it a steel line or a hose? I'm just wondering how you would get to it if it ever started leaking.
Great question. After I became totally paranoid about what else might be loose, as far as the fittings, I started taking it apart to check every one of the fittings. (A hydraulic spray like I witnessed does that you know.)
Hopefully the pictures with added text is large enough that you can read it but there are plates on each end of the tube that can be removed to access the interior of the tube. Inside there is Parker Hydraulic Hose 451TC Hydraulic -Tough Cover SAE 100R17 (2 wire) with JIC steel fittings that run in from each of the cylinders to the central JIC pigtail fittings.

Drawing IMG_2015.jpg

See end plates added text could be larger

Drawing IMG_2005.jpg

That tube is not only a main frame member but houses internal hydraulic lines described above
 

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Very informative, thanks. Did some searching and found a thread on another forum about the Anbo grapple bending.....and then they gave the guy crap about warranty. Sounds like they don't back their product. Anyway, Does one buy direct from the factory?? Their website Home doesn't show any dealer contacts. Could we ask how much yours was? I am considering one for a 1026R, probably the 48" so I need to know where to start looking.
Thanks!
 

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Very informative, thanks. Did some searching and found a thread on another forum about the Anbo grapple bending.....and then they gave the guy crap about warranty. Sounds like they don't back their product. Anyway, Does one buy direct from the factory?? Their website Home doesn't show any dealer contacts. Could we ask how much yours was? I am considering one for a 1026R, probably the 48" so I need to know where to start looking.
Thanks!
If you do the "Contact Us" thing, Dale (the owner) will call you back. I'm guessing the 48 inch is somewhere around 350-400 lbs, just to give you a guess. The 60 inch is 530 lbs and the 66 inch is estimated( by Dale) at 600 pounds.

I don't think it would be easy to bend the Weldox steel that Dale uses. When I worked for a truck manufacturer, they switched to Weldox from T1 for garbage truck packer bodies. Pretty amazing stuff...it has the yeild strength properties of rubber.:thumbup1gif:
 
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