How to become a pro

Jehinten

Well-Known Member
#1
I just received my branch manager grapple today and need any and all tips at how to look like a pro from the get go. The goal here is for my wife's opinion to go from :endesacuerdo: to :chica: after hearing that I bought another piece of equipment right before the holidays. I ran it for about an hour this evening before it got dark and felt that I could handle it pretty well mostly because of tips and tricks that I've read on this site. In most of those threads there are comments such as needing a thread dedicated to BMG tricks so I decided to start this thread. Videos of these techniques would be great.
 

Jem4417

Well-Known Member
#2
Make two medium piles instead of one giant one. When you make a huge pile you’ll end up dropping a few and then you’ll have to come back for what feels like no reason. Making two makes them easier to manage, maneuver and stage in the chipper
 
#3
When feeding brush or long logs into the chipper in a tight space place them as far as you can in the bay, drop the load gently, articulate the grapple toward the end of the load out of the bay, pick up again and feed into the feed wheels. This will help you not to have to move the machine again. Also, sometimes it is more efficient to drop the load in the bay and hand feed the chipper.
 

Jehinten

Well-Known Member
#7
I was doing that earlier, it does make a big difference in the stability of the machine vs lifting length ways. My hour earlier consisted of separating logs from future firewood and junk wood.
 

southsoundtree

Well-Known Member
#8
If you're going to hand feed a squeezed pile, "drizzle" it into the tray, or put it in the tray, then lift and drop the top half, to break the pile apart.


Arbor trolley and mini move big logs.

Skid logs and rollers move Max weight.

There is 1 way to grab the bottom of the spiked heel plate that doesn't interfere with the loader arms and the curl/uncurl. If you lift and curl just so, you can grab it right. Makes pushing with the spikes better in some situations.

"Face the flag".

Don't disconnect the hydraulics with a log in the grapple.


"Travel position"-- Grapple closed,
Uncurled, loader arms up. Almost can't bang the grapple.



Be careful when running ropes off the bollard around the spikes and bolts.

I carry lots of plywood on the loader arms and bollard cleat.

When carrying in the grapple, a garbage can is able to be hung on the cleat with a rope handle.
 
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Jehinten

Well-Known Member
#11
If you're going to hand feed a squeezed pile, "drizzle" it into the tray, or put it in the tray, then lift and drop the top half, to break the pile apart.



"Face the flag".
breaking the pile up is smart.

I assume the "face the flag" refers to not continuously rotating the grapple or letting it get twisted more than 180° around? I was noticing that I didn't see any clear indicators as to which side should be forward when the grapple is perpendicular to the machine (logs or brush inline with the machine) just a sticker on one side alerting you of pinch hazards.
 

Jehinten

Well-Known Member
#12
Cracking open the grapples just a little bit when pulling a log (or pile of brush) around an object is a huge help. Timing is key
Is this to help the brush/logs rotate around the obstacle easier? As of right now I wouldn't trust myself opening the grapple near a structure as too many times it has shot open as fast as possible. With this being the first time I have used the auxiliary hydraulics, there is a bit of a learning curve to being smooth at it.

Once I get smoother at it, I'll give that a try
 

chiselbit

Well-Known Member
#13
It doesn’t take much, just open enough for the load to rotate inside the grapples. It’s helpful when feeding the chipper too. Whenever you see the grapples getting in a bind and pulling at a weird angle, crack open a tiny bit and it will swing right into place. Kinda hard to explain but once you try it you’ll see what I’m trying to say.
 

chiselbit

Well-Known Member
#14
With my 254t giant I can telescope out, then close and curl back and use the heel as a somewhat inefficient brush rake to push limbs into a pile and then grab with the grapples. I’ve been thinking of modifying the heel to make it more efficient, getting rid of the arc would make it better at raking not sure if it would become less effective at heeling logs though.
 

Mowerr

Active Member
#16
I just received my branch manager grapple today and need any and all tips at how to look like a pro from the get go. The goal here is for my wife's opinion to go from :endesacuerdo: to :chica: after hearing that I bought another piece of equipment right before the holidays. I ran it for about an hour this evening before it got dark and felt that I could handle it pretty well mostly because of tips and tricks that I've read on this site. In most of those threads there are comments such as needing a thread dedicated to BMG tricks so I decided to start this thread. Videos of these techniques would be great.
Those things are awesome and the easiest machine I've ever run. Just put some time on it and you'll be fine. If anything just be care full on hills and with loads that could cause it to tip over ...take your time, be safe and smart because repairs are expensive. I bet your wife could even run that thing
 

rope-a-dope

Well-Known Member
#17
Always point the load uphill. An if you have too back uphill to lift something out of a hole, you can push down with the arms and grapple to get a little more traction.
 

Jehinten

Well-Known Member
#18
Those things are awesome and the easiest machine I've ever run. Just put some time on it and you'll be fine. If anything just be care full on hills and with loads that could cause it to tip over ...take your time, be safe and smart because repairs are expensive. I bet your wife could even run that thing
I find the s600 very easy to run, even though this one has the bank of levers vs the joystick that the newer vermeers have. But there's definitely an adjustment period to getting used to using the aux. lever as well. But as you said, it'll come with time
 

southsoundtree

Well-Known Member
#19
You can plant both tines a bit, and twist the machine. Twist left, the left tine stays planted... With a bit of forward motion, you can put the right tine over the log.





If you get the grapple oriented front to back (90* from normal dangling position) and curl, you can carefully manipulate the machine over a log.
You don't Always need to push the grapple tines against your load. Most times it's ok, though.
 

Jehinten

Well-Known Member
#20
So a couple of things I found after putting a few hours on it yesterday. These may be standard for some of you guys, but being new to the grapple it took me a little bit to figure these out.

When grabbing a couple of logs, lift it a little bit and then squeeze the grapple again. As you lift the logs tend to move a little and create space in the tongs.

When reaching down to grab a log I was really digging into the dirt on almost every log due to a lack of visibility due to the attachment plate. If I lift the arms and curl the grapple down visibility is much better allowing me to run the grapple without destroying the turf. Once the grapple has ahold of the material I can the lower the arms and curl the bucket to a more stable position.
 
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