Grapple: "log" or "brush" style?

ATH

Well-Known Member
Location
Ohio
I used to use the excuse "I don't have any room"...well, that excuse is running out as the shop is about done. Now I don't have any money, but starting to think about what is next. A mini is near the top (plenty of threads about those...I'm leaning Bobcat MT100 because of the local dealer; Vermeer also has a local dealership, but that is all for another thread).

We don't do many removals - much more pruning (will also be used for planting...). Knowing that, should I be thinking a BMG grapple (or the Top Notch, or Bobcat's Log grapple...) or a brush grapple/root grapple?

If we did removals and needed to move logs, it seems the BMG-type is the clear way to go. I do understand they are also good for brush...but are they better than the other?
 

evo

Well-Known Member
Location
My Island, WA
I don’t regret my BMG but I am not in love either. My understanding is that the bmg is better for brush, compared the the Vermeer style.
I found that the steel quality is pretty darn soft with the bmg. I managed to twist the ‘top tube”.
I use it for moving logs more than I thought I would. I long for a grapple where I can reach out and pick something in a vertical orientation. The more I use my mini the more things I think of to use it for.
I have no other first hand point of reference, and I’m not familiar with the other versions you listed
 
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ATH

Well-Known Member
Location
Ohio
something like this is the other kind I'm comparing it to:

113301_01.jpg
 

Reach

Well-Known Member
Location
Atglen, PA
I think the BMG will be your best choice; we’ve used both, and started with a regular brush grapple so I have a lot of time running one, but it’s not nearly as productive as the BMG. The catch is, the BMG is harder to master, so you probably won’t like it when you first try it out, but once you figure out how to get that “annoying swinging thing” out front to go the way you want it to, you’ll find it to be far faster and easier to use than a brush grapple.
 

Serf Life

Well-Known Member
Location
Maine Island
Bmg is great and has more uses than the grapple bucket (receiver for moving trailers, bollard, pusher etc). Money making and back saving for your setup sounds like an auger attachment too. An owner of a large company said they “plant a good-sized” tree in 15min.
 

Serf Life

Well-Known Member
Location
Maine Island
And forks, you’ll have this badass shop with things to move because you can; load gear, spray tanks, trees etc. One can get away with forks moving brush and short logs and have more lift capacity than a grapple, slower and more work but if removals are not your thing then it would save over 2k. Gotta have forks.
 

DSW

New Member
Location
Midwest
something like this is the other kind I'm comparing it to:

113301_01.jpg


That's similar to what I've ran and they are excellent at moving logs but I wasn't super impressed with brush handling.

A BMG would have to handle brush better in my mind but I've never ran one.
 

evo

Well-Known Member
Location
My Island, WA
I haven’t used a brush rake style bucket/grapple ever, but have some excavator and loader experience with bigger machines.
This style certainly has their uses BUT for most arboriculture application it is pretty useless. You do get quite a bit more capacity as the load is closer to the machine and better balanced.
The bmg/Vermeer pincher style is more applicable to typical tree work. It does take more skill/learning curve
 
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Al_trees

Member
Location
Connecticut
I have a root grapple type which I used to love. Fed the chipper with it and moved logs. Bought a bmg a couple years ago and haven't used the fixed tine grapple since. The bmg style is way better hands down. The only drawback is you can't just shove a load of small stuff through the chipper like with the root grapple style.
 

ATH

Well-Known Member
Location
Ohio
thanks all!

I did ask this question before doing my taxes...soooooo, maybe that purchase is a little further out on the horizon that I was thinking. Not that I was going to buy one next week.

nonetheless, good to know BMG-style it will be. (and forks...that was already part of the plan)
 

evo

Well-Known Member
Location
My Island, WA
thanks all!

I did ask this question before doing my taxes...soooooo, maybe that purchase is a little further out on the horizon that I was thinking. Not that I was going to buy one next week.

nonetheless, good to know BMG-style it will be. (and forks...that was already part of the plan)
And to add for what it’s worth, I’ve read a BMG for mostly brush/all around material, and Vermeer for wood and logs. BUTTT Vermeer has a “locking” pin which holds the grapple in a fixed position as wanted/needed. This allows it to reach out into the horizontal position and pick materials in the vertical orientation. However the locking pins are known to shear as the load is prevented from ‘weather veining’. This is specifically what makes a dangle style grapple so versatile in arboriculture vs clamshell or ‘root rake/grapple bucket/thumb bucket’ as the material is fixed at 90deg to the travel direction.
While I’m very happy with my BMG the steel used seems very soft even more than “mild steel”. Also I do really wish I could fix the grapple in order to reach and grab vertical pieces.
 

Jehinten

Well-Known Member
Location
Evansville
While I’m very happy with my BMG the steel used seems very soft even more than “mild steel”.
I'd agree with this. My BMG has some scars where the metal is gouged and rolled over from being soft. Occasionally I clean these up with the angle grinder to prevent sharp burrs. So far on my grapple there's not been any actual damage apart from the opening at the bottom where the rake and towing adapter insert. Between the edges of that tube rolling in and the towing adapter being egg shaped, I can barely get my adapter in there now.


The rake and scoops are 100% worth it, I use my rake more often than the scoops. The bollard is great too and gets used for lowering more often than any other lowering device. The only feature that I rarely use is the scabbard, unless you position the arms and tilt just right and drive very slowly, the grapple will hit the chains on the saw. The longer the bar, the easier to hit.
 

flushcut

Well-Known Member
Location
Delavan, WI
And to add for what it’s worth, I’ve read a BMG for mostly brush/all around material, and Vermeer for wood and logs. BUTTT Vermeer has a “locking” pin which holds the grapple in a fixed position as wanted/needed. This allows it to reach out into the horizontal position and pick materials in the vertical orientation. However the locking pins are known to shear as the load is prevented from ‘weather veining’. This is specifically what makes a dangle style grapple so versatile in arboriculture vs clamshell or ‘root rake/grapple bucket/thumb bucket’ as the material is fixed at 90deg to the travel direction.
While I’m very happy with my BMG the steel used seems very soft even more than “mild steel”. Also I do really wish I could fix the grapple in order to reach and grab vertical pieces.
To add to this: with practice with a BMG you can also grab a vertical stem.
 

Z'sTrees

Well-Known Member
Location
NW NC
I've used both extensively and would say bmg without a doubt. There's a learning curve to it but once you figure out all the tricks it's incredible what you can do with even a smaller mini skid. Now I just gotta pull the trigger on one of the rakes
 

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