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Skid steer loaders and their many attachments allow an incredible level of efficiency and precision on the job site. For example, you can use a bucket attachment to transport objects, but adding a grapple attachment to your skid steer makes it easy to carry awkward, oddly-shaped materials, such as concrete piles, logs, and rocks.
Grapple attachments are popular choices in a variety of applications, including agriculture, construction, landscaping, and logging.
Thanks to their unique design, skid steer grapple attachments work with most types of materials. Details vary, but their basic construction breaks into two main parts: the lower half works like a scoop while the upper half's larger tines grip and lift.
Use a grapple attachment to scoop up loose materials, such as dirt and sand, as well as large or awkwardly shaped materials, such as boulders, railroad ties, and logs. Applications include agriculture and farming, landscaping, building and road construction, recycling, and logging.
Whereas moving large items with a bucket attachment carries the risk of tipping and materials spillage, grapple attachments are perfectly suited to these loads. The result is greater control, which increases productivity, decreasing the time needed to complete the job.
No matter what type of attachment you need, choosing a product that matches both your needs and your skid steer's capabilities is vital.
Although the basic design is the same, there are style and type variations. For example, grapples designed specifically for logging applications differ from those meant for moving large rocks. Therefore, one of the first questions to answer is: What do you plan to use the grapple for?
In addition, you need to look at the capabilities of your skid steer and compare them to the specs on the attachment. Make sure the brands are compatible, as well. You may prefer a universal attachment in the event you buy a new loader.
Numerous variables affect grapple attachment pricing, including whether it has an open bottom or a solid bottom.
Also called a skeleton bottom, open bottom grapples sift dirt and other debris, allowing them to fall through the tines. They're popular for moving rock, roots, and brush. Some open grapples have a cross member, also known as a front comb, that increases strength. Skeleton bottom grapples without the cross member have an easier time penetrating material. The right choice for you depends on what you need the attachment to do.
Pricing varies widely according to manufacturer, vendor, capabilities, and more, but you can expect to spend anywhere between $850 and $7,000.
- MTL HD 78" Twin Cylinder skid steer root grapple, double 3/8" steel serrated teeth, twin hydraulic cylinders 2" x 8", ½" Parker hydraulic flat-faced couplers, price range: $850 to $900
- Tomahawk 66" two-cylinder skid steer brush grapple, 3/8" all-steel construction, dual top clamps, dual cylinder covers, price range: $850 to $1,100
- Bradco 84" Extreme Duty rake/root grapple, H&L-230 style teeth, upper push-bar, rake heel attachment, weld-on D-ring, price range: $5,500 to $6,000
- Spartan Equipment 84"skid steer grapple rake attachment, T-1 steel tines with 49" opening, weld-on D-ring, replaceable pin-on H&L-230 style teeth, two 3,000-pound cylinders, price range: $6,000 to $6,500
Solid bottom grapples allow complete material removal, making them a popular choice for scrap yard and recycling applications. As with open bottom attachments, pricing depends on a variety of factors, including capabilities, manufacturer, and vendor. On average, though, you pay between $800 and $4,000 for a solid bottom grapple.
- MTL Skid Steer 48" XL bucket grapple attachment, ASV RC30 style Quick Attach Plate, AR hardened cutting edges, hydraulic cylinder 2" x 8", price range: $850 to $900
- MTL Extreme Extra HD 72" rock bucket grapple, 20T Pengo style pin on replaceable teeth, extra heavy duty tongs, AR400 hardened cutting edge, price range:$1,550 to $1,700
- Blue Diamond 84" Severe-Duty grapple bucket skid steer attachment, ¾" top tines, heavily reinforced top clamps, 1.25 diameter pivot pins, 2 heavy gauge cross members, solid plate protects the bottom of the cylinder, price range: $3,500 to $4,000
No matter which type of grapple attachment you choose, make sure that pricing includes accessories necessary for operation. These include couplers, cylinders, fittings, and hoses. Not all manufacturers include these items, either as part of the grapple or part of the price. It's important to know exactly what the price includes to make an accurate comparison.
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