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Author Topic: Three point hitch log skidding grapple  (Read 9015 times)

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Online logman81

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Three point hitch log skidding grapple
« on: February 10, 2011, 02:06:02 pm »
I'm thinking about looking into getting a three point hitch skidding grapple. I currently have a Fransgard winch it works grate for thinning wood lots. I thinking that the grapple will be easier to use as I would not have to set chokers on the logs and would save me from having to get on and of the tractor so much. Do the grapples work good for thinning wood lots? Would I be able to get more production out of the tractor? I interested in the uniforest scorpion 1800 grapple it looks like a very well made unit and easy to use. Just looking for input on what you all think or if you have experience with one.     
Precision Firewood & Logging

Offline g_man

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Re: Three point hitch log skidding grapple
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2011, 03:49:32 pm »
They look like nice units but I could not use one in my woods. There are very few trees that I can back right up to with a tractor because of the rough terrain. Maybe it would work if I was working with someone else who was felling and winching to the road where the grapple could get it  to skid out. Try getting some logs without using your winch cable and see how it works out.

Offline lumberjack48

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Re: Three point hitch log skidding grapple
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2011, 04:10:22 pm »
I took a look at it on google, looks like a pretty slick little grapple. Logging bigger timber and picking up logs it would be easier and faster then climbing off and on the tractor.
No , they don't work good for thinning, all-tho on some thinning you do have room to get around with out skinning up other trees.
More production would depend on how far your skidding, on a long pull you want to pull as many trees, you can every turn.
You need good ground, fairly flat, ect, you'd still have your cable for rougher going ect,[ ether- or ]
On a short skid this would be fast, grab-an-go-an-drop, and deck after pulling 6 to 10 trees. You should have 3 to 4 landings, that way you can pull 60 to 80 trees before sawing up.

Depends on the cost to.
It would be nice to have dry gloves
Easy for your wife to use
Third generation logger, owner operator, 30 yrs felling experience with pole skidder. I got my neck broke back in 89, left me a quad. The wife kept the job going up to 96.

Offline Stephen Alford

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Re: Three point hitch log skidding grapple
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2011, 06:25:08 pm »
 Hey logman 81, are you thinking of a bypass grapple and hauling tree length or will you be trying to carry product from the stump to the landing ?  Got some pics in the gallery of the one I have been using for 20 years.
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Offline Maine372

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Re: Three point hitch log skidding grapple
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2011, 07:53:47 pm »
when i was logging with a tractor had a couple lots where i was pulling lots of big wood. either one tree to a hitch or actually merchandizing the tree where it falls and pulling it in two hitches.

i wanted a grapple for the same reasons you listed, less on and off, and saving time. i never got the money together and i realized somthing. most of the wood that would have been grab one and go was to big for a grapple that my tractor would support. so i would still need the winch so i could use a long chain to get around it.

i still wanted one. wouldnt be to hard to keep on the landing with the tractor and swap out as needed. remember you will need a hydraulic circuit for it, my tractor didnt have one and that was another hangup.

good luck with your decision, and remember pics are required.

Offline bill m

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Re: Three point hitch log skidding grapple
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2011, 08:13:38 pm »
I have a grapple  ( made by Iron & Oak ) for my tractor and it works great for smaller trees and lot clearing. Sometimes I use it for bunching logs to the skid trail and then pick them up with my trailer. The biggest drawback with it is the amount of weight it will pick up. The grapple can handle the weight but being so far behind the ends of the lift arms it greatly reduces the amount you can lift. My grapple opening is 52 inches and will grab some big logs just can't pick them up :(

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Offline Ed_K

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Re: Three point hitch log skidding grapple
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2011, 08:39:32 pm »
I have often thought of mounting one onto the winch.Using a hydrolic piston to move it up down as needed.That was till i read Bill's latest comment   :( .
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Online logman81

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Re: Three point hitch log skidding grapple
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2011, 09:42:00 pm »
I think it might work good for the lot that I'm on now. The wood is small 8'' to 12'' mostly with flat ground with good straight trails. It would make the wife more productive with the machine and yes it would keep your hands dry. :) I hate getting my gloves soaked and having to work like that all day even with extra pairs of gloves you just bring home more wet gloves. :( My tractor is fairly strong for it's size built very heavy about 8,000 without winch so I think the weight of the grapple would not effect it much. I've also been granted to cut the whole lot witch is a total of 75 acres so it would definitely pay for it self. The wood lot is dense about fifteen to twenty cord to the acre. I will try to get the logs out without winching and see how well it works tomorrow and will take some new pics of the layout. Thanks again for your help. ;D
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Offline woodmills1

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Re: Three point hitch log skidding grapple
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2011, 05:22:02 pm »
send me a PM one of my tree guys has one he bought      too large for his smaller Kubota
James Mills    Lovely wife   collect old tools  vaccuming fool  36 bd ft per hour
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Offline Ed_K

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Re: Three point hitch log skidding grapple
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2011, 05:39:51 pm »
Logman, I carry a pair of rubber gloves from Gemplers that way I keep my warm gloves dry ;).
Ed K

Online logman81

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Re: Three point hitch log skidding grapple
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2011, 06:42:58 pm »
I like the set up you got there bill m. I didn't know Iron $ oak made one with a winch on it. How much weight can you lift with it? What is required for hydraulic hook up? Thanks for the great tip Ed K I'll have to get some. I'm still thinking about getting one but not sure it would be that much better than what I already have.
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Offline bill m

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Re: Three point hitch log skidding grapple
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2011, 08:22:04 pm »
Iron & Oak does not offer a winch - I installed it myself.  To operate the grapple you only need one set of remotes. The amount of weight you can lift is determined be what the 3 pt. hitch on your tractor can lift. Being that the grapple is so far behind the ends of the lift arms it reduces the amount you can lift. I can pick up about 200 bd. ft. of pine. The higher you can get it the better. It pulls easier and puts more weight on the rear wheels. On the bigger stuff it works better if you grab them by the small end. On firewood size trees ( under 12 inches dbh ) you can grab 3 at a time, just have to make they stay tight in the grapple. If you have to back up with with something in the grapple and the log is at an angle be careful you will bend your lift arms. If you do not have a long skid it is faster than a winch.
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Offline g_man

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Re: Three point hitch log skidding grapple
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2011, 06:10:15 am »
I have a grapple  ( made by Iron & Oak ) for my tractor and it works great for smaller trees and lot clearing. Sometimes I use it for bunching logs to the skid trail and then pick them up with my trailer. The biggest drawback with it is the amount of weight it will pick up. The grapple can handle the weight but being so far behind the ends of the lift arms it greatly reduces the amount you can lift. My grapple opening is 52 inches and will grab some big logs just can't pick them up :(

(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

Bill how do you power and control that winch. What is it ? Nice set up !

Offline Doc Hickory

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Re: Three point hitch log skidding grapple
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2011, 08:51:26 am »
I see Wallenstein makes a nice 3 point grapple also, has bypass tines to grip stuff as small as 3". I've also encountered a 3 point grapple that swivels like a backhoe..can't remember who makes it right now-that one requires 2 sets of remotes, one for the grapple, one for the swing. Long live the internet!
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Online logman81

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Re: Three point hitch log skidding grapple
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2011, 08:55:36 am »
Thanks bill m for the info, you did a nice job putting that winch on there. :) Do the grapples come with their own hydraulic control valve? I have a backhoe that runs off the tractor hydraulics there is one line that comes out of the pump (high pressure) and one that dumps back into the hydraulic tank of the tractor. Would I be able to run a grapple off this system?
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Online logman81

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Re: Three point hitch log skidding grapple
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2011, 09:01:53 am »
I have seen the wallenstein grapples they look ok. Don't think their as well built as the uniforest grapples they seem to be built very rugged. I'm thinking about getting one to use for short skids and cleaning up slash on my jobs!
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Offline bill m

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Re: Three point hitch log skidding grapple
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2011, 06:28:18 pm »
Logman81, The grapple does not come with a control valve.
g_man, The winch is a hydraulic Ramsey rph8000.

I modified a 2 speed rear shifter to operate the free wheel so I did not have to get on and off the tractor
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Offline treefarmer87

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Re: Three point hitch log skidding grapple
« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2011, 06:59:38 pm »
that is one neat tractor setup you have bill m :)
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Offline g_man

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Re: Three point hitch log skidding grapple
« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2011, 08:13:10 pm »
Thanks bill, Good picture too. I like it.

Online logman81

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Re: Three point hitch log skidding grapple
« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2011, 09:21:30 pm »
Well I've decided to stick with the winch for now kind of hard to beat for thinning and doing selective cutting. I'm going to hold off and look for a old small skidder of Iron mule instead of the grapple.
Precision Firewood & Logging