Hauptmann states that the grapple

To increase your forest management tasks, Use the hydraulic grapple rake, a versatile new loader/tractor/skid steer attachment, which has a combination of strength, control and flexibility.Too many forest management tasks are still done the old fashion way, from logging and national part conservation to property habitat and fire protection. Even when equipment is used to pick up, move, or stack trees, logs, brush or other fire hazards with shovel, chainsaw, and backbreaking sweat, there are drawbacks whenever these tasks require control and efficiency.Traditional bucket attachments,seem to have trouble holding unwieldy loads, scoop up excess dirt, and are largely ineffective at tasks requiring fine control such as raking limbs or debris. To solve this, those responsible for managing private and public forestland are using a versatile new attachment -the hydraulic grapple rake – to their loaders, skid steers, and tractors.

This new attachment is more efficient than manual labor and more adaptable than the bucket. The grapple rake, which hydraulically opens, closes, and moves its jaws of spaced metal tines, is becoming essential. It can dig out roots and stumps, remove trees, logs and brush or surface rake limbs and debris without removing the much needed topsoil, or piling up unnecessary dirt. The grapple rake can securely pick up, move,and stack logs, trees, or irregular loads up to several thousand pounds. It can rake, lift, drag, or haul loads within inches of desired forest habitat without disturbing it. With intertwined teeth, it can even make large piles and pick them up from the front or lift them from the top. This is especially helpful when loading debris piles onto trailers or guarding piles for burn disposal .On his 70-acre property in Steamboat, Colorado. Bob Chapman was faced with the task of removing over 300 trees due to beetle kill. Because of the enormity of the task, a commercial timber company was hired to do the work.”I wondered how they were going to clean up the huge mess without destroying habitat for the living trees and adjoining grassland. I was so impressed with the way a skid steer mounted grapple rake navigated living trees while removing huge loads of debris that I talked the timber company into letting me operate it for a few days.” Chapman said “It looked like a war zone, with logs, branches, and stumps everywhere.”Anbo Manufacturing makes the hydraulic grapple rake that the timber company used.

Anbo is a Colville, Washington based company which specializes in high quality designed products for tractors, skid steers, and loaders. The grapple rake can operate like a bucket, by it’s ability to be raised and lowered, and rolled forward and backward, but, it has a third hydraulic function which is to open and close its jaws.With the ongoing beetle kill and the ever ending fire prevention tasks, Bob Chapman decided that he wanted a grapple rake for his own multi-terrain loader. Anbo Manufacturing was contacted and built the rake to fit his loader. A six-foot grapple rake with 6-inch tine spacing was decided upon. This would allow the dirt to sift through the rake’s tines, but not brush and debris.Before to remove debris, Chapman used a 4WD tractor with bucket attachment He didn’t like the results. “Because the bucket lacked finesse, it left holes and skinned spots that removed topsoil and made it difficult for decorative grassland to grow back.” Chapman liked the results of the grapple rake, he continued, “Since the grapple rake just scrapes debris off the top and can back rake with accuracy, the grass grew back beautifully in one season.”Now Chapman put the hydraulic grapple rake to good use on a five acre, Nederland, Colorado property for fire mitigation. Before when Chapman tried to remove flammable juniper ground spread still trying to preserve the delicate aspen. He found that the juniper grew among rocky outcroppings making the task very difficult.

With this difficult task in front of Chapman he said. “I’d hired a crew to remove the juniper, but it was basically pickax, shovel, sweat and cuss.” Chapman continued, “you couldn’t put a chainsaw to it because it grew among rocks and dirt. The needles went right through leather gloves. After two weeks of backbreaking labor, when they’d cleaned up less than 1/10 an acre, the finally quit.”On his own now, Chapman used the grapple rake. He adds, “using the grapple rake, I was able to pull up the juniper by the roots so it wouldn’t grow back — right from its rocky outcroppings.” “My loader has a push force of about 6,000 lbs, and several times stalled it pushing on big rocks, but the grapple rake was fine. It’s strong enough to handle whatever you throw at it.”As AnBo uses a special type of steel that has twice the yield strength (resistance to bending) and a much higher Brinnell hardness rating (resistance to wear) than T1 steel, it satisfied his need for strength. The added strength preserves more lift and payload capacity than similar products, and makes the grapple rake light enough for mini or compact skid steers or tractors.With the grapple rake, Chapman single-handedly cleared a defensible space around his property. “I ended up taking out 215 cubic yards of slash and debris, and loaded it onto trailers in about 100 hours,” he says. “It’s great at back-raking, grabbing, stacking, piling, whatever you need. Not only did I save over $10,000 in labor, but also lowered my insurance from $23,000 to $4,000 annually. I don’t know how I’d have done the job any other way.”With thousands of trees toppled when Hurricane Katrina hit on Tom Hauptmann’s property about 60 miles from New Orleans, it took him and his wife three days to make it to their mailbox from their driveway. Cutting and moving downed trees. While others were dragging trees with a tractor and chain, Hauptmann used a front-end loader with a 4-way clamshell bucket to accomplish the task. The inefficiency still frustrated him.Hauptmann explains, “I could pick up logs, but it was always dicey.” He continues, “because the clamshell bucket had no teeth or curvature, I could pinch the logs but not really grip them. The load would slip out when it go imbalance, so it was slow going and I had to be careful. Air Shower Manufacturers
When a load slipped, it not only took extra time to pick it up, but also to clean up the debris left behind.”While trying to dispose of the debris with burning, Hauptmann was dissatisfied with the buckets inability to rake leaves, and other debris with out scooping up dirt. Causing the piles to burn slowly, incompletely, or with too much smoke.Discouraged Hauptmann turns to AnBo for their 6-foot hydraulic grapple rake with 6-inch tine spacing.”The grapple rake is strong enough to pick up anything your machine is capable of,” says Hauptmann. “My limit is blowing out the tires on my front end loader.” Hauptmann’s grapple rake was strong enough to pick up and carry 40-foot sections of tree up to 18-inches in diameter, which he estimates weighed up to 4,000 lbs. This, he found, was much faster and easier than cutting logs into smaller sections, then dragging or carrying them separately.Because his control and grip are better with the grapple rake, he’s now more efficiently cleaning up and managing his property.

He’s using it to pick up trees, logs, limbs, brush and debris, and even uses it to dig up stumps and roots.”Unlike bucket jaws that essentially pinch, the grapple rake wraps around a load,” explains Hauptmann. “Its teeth and curvature are better for grabbing and grasping. It operates like a hand and gives much better control and holding power. You can grab so much more with the grapple rake.”Accidently Hauptmann built a burn pile of trees and logs for disposal under a power line. learning about the grapple rake’s efficient capacity.Knowing he had to move the pile, Hauptmann says, “With the bucket, such a job would’ve taken me 20 loads to finish.” But, “With the AnBo grapple rake, it took me five loads to move the entire pile. It made a two-hour project into a 20-minute one.”What can be done for “nuisance trees and brush?”

Hauptmann states that the grapple rake is useful for quickly removing these that tend to have shallow roots. “I simply put the teeth down and rip out the roots and all so they don’t grow back.” To gather limbs, He simply slides the grapple rakes teeth along the ground until his load is big enough to move to the debris pile. Adding, “I could never do that with a bucket because things would slip and go every which way.”I can pick up and replace items in the burn pile, shift ashes, whatever necessary to kep it buring properly.” This is how Hauptmann finds the grapple rake’s flexibility by placing and shifting objects in the burn pile for a cleaner, less smoky and more complete burn.Whether for logging, national park conservation, fire prevention or forest management, the grapple rake is making traditionally, tedious clean-up tasks faster, safer, and easier with its unique combination of strength, control, and flexibility. Those responsible for such work are finding that substituting its technology for costly, time-consuming labor is a good investment that continues to pay back, year after year.

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