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Tractor grapple - Printable Version

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Tractor grapple - Pete O - 02-08-2021

I've had plans to put a grapple on the front-end-loader on my tractor and with a row of cypress trees to remove, it came to the top of the project list. There are very few options for grapples available here and I couldn't find anything suitable for much less than $6k which is ridiculous. I explored different design options and decided on a 'root rake' style with a single full-width lid. I made some pencil drawings and Steve G very kindly converted them to CAD files- he must have put in a heap of time on this with several design tweaks and I'm very indebted to him. I sent the files to a laser cutter and picked up a pile of profiles in 10mm and 6mm 350 grade steel a few days later.
[attachment=16842]

Working with laser-cut profiles is a new experience for me and it looks like a professional build before I've even started.
[attachment=16843]

Kind of feels like I've been given a major head start and it's up to me to not stuff it up. Going to make a start on the fabrication today.


RE: Tractor grapple - Pete O - 02-09-2021

Day one progress; didn't get much of a run at it due to other stuff happening but got the bottom frame tacked up. Hoping for a better run tomorrow.
[attachment=16844]


RE: Tractor grapple - rleete - 02-09-2021

Looks like good progress to me.


RE: Tractor grapple - TomG - 02-09-2021

Looking good, Pete. Thumbsup 

I've had a lot of parts laser cut over the years (none that thick though) and the quality always amazes me.


Tom


RE: Tractor grapple - Pete O - 02-18-2021

A bit of progress...
spent some time on the lathe to produce the barrels and bushes for the hinges
[attachment=16848]
then spent most of today welding them in and tacking up the lid.
[attachment=16849]
[attachment=16850]
I need to do some blacksmithing to make the quick-attach hooks so I can hang it on the tractor, it's heavy and awkward to move around now. I have a negative clearance problem  to resolve with the rams, probably going to have to take some material off the yokes on the rams but the thing is so damn awkward to handle with the lid wanting to fall either open or closed every time I move it!


RE: Tractor grapple - Pete O - 02-25-2021

Made a little progress on the beast...some work on the lathe to make the greaseable pins for the lid hinges and rams, removed some material from one side of each of the upper yokes on the rams which solved the clearance problem, made the ram lower brackets and tacked them in place. Also forged some hooks for the quick-attach so I could hang it on the tractor; not happy with how the hooks came out (I'm blaming my lack of proper blacksmithing equipment) but they will do until I convert to a Euro-hitch.
[attachment=16858]

Lots and lots of welding to do- the bottom section is almost welded up but the lid is just tacked together and I haven't even started on the gussets. Probably going to have to get the hose guy to come to me, although the pocket is still reeling from the hoses on the loader.


RE: Tractor grapple - TomG - 02-25-2021

Why does the theme from Jurassic Park keep playing in my head. Big Grin 

Tom


RE: Tractor grapple - Highpower - 02-26-2021

Got Ballast?   Big Grin

[attachment=16859]


RE: Tractor grapple - Pete O - 02-26-2021

(02-26-2021, 04:23 PM)Highpower Wrote: Got Ballast?   Big Grin

Yep, the back tyres are full and there's an auxilliary hydraulic power unit hanging off the 3pl. I don't expect it will take much wood to use up the lifting capacity of the loader with this thing on, but it's main purpose is cleaning up bundles of dropped / lopped branches rather than big logs. Maybe I'll be able to convince my wife we need to get a bigger tractor!


RE: Tractor grapple - Highpower - 02-26-2021

(02-26-2021, 06:14 PM)Pete O Wrote: Maybe I'll be able to convince my wife we need to get a bigger tractor!

That's the spirit! Rotfl