First use report: Grapple from Innovative Tractor Attachments - MyTractorForum.com - The Friendliest Tractor Forum and Best Place for Tractor Information
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post #1 of 27 Old 03-22-2016, 07:28 AM Thread Starter
GSM
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First use report: Grapple from Innovative Tractor Attachments

OK, I got my grapple from Marcus at Innovative Tractor Attachments and wanted to post some feedback and video from my first use.

The Grapple attaches to just about any Deere Quickhitch. You need the angling cylinder to be re-positioned for the clamping jaw and if you don't have one you'll obviously need to pick one up somewhere. It came via FedEx Ground so shipping wasn't bad.

This thing is very solidly built from heavy steel and I'd say is easily as strong or stronger than the Quickhitch itself. Assembly was about 10 minutes and consisted of attaching one bracket to the Quickhitch and fastening with a large bolt.

My main interest was in picking up and moving logs and brush from tree work. My back can't take lifting 200-300lb logs around any longer and while my FEL with a chain and hook worked, it was pretty slow. So for $569 I decided to give this a try.

Quick Summary: it works great. Easily lifts a couple hundred pounds and pickup of logs and limbs was quick and easy without ever leaving the seat.

So I put together 3 minutes of video showing it in action - sorry I couldn't embed here. Always seems to be fussy for some reason:

https://youtu.be/QpR6GRXeaq4

Glenn

Deere 1025R, 160, Sabre 14.5
120R Loader
260B BH
47 Snowthrower
Innovative Tractor Attachments Grapple
Clamp-on Toothbar and Forks
4P Cart
46" Blade
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post #2 of 27 Old 03-22-2016, 09:52 AM
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Re: First use report: Grapple from Innovative Tractor Attachments

I purchased one, also. I haven't had the opportunity to take it for a test drive as of yet. I just removed the cab & snow thrower yesterday.......which means there'll be a blizzard here by the end of the week.

Murphy, of Murphy's Law fame, rides shotgun on my shoulder so he doesn't miss an opportunity to complicate my life.
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post #3 of 27 Old 03-22-2016, 10:08 AM Thread Starter
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Re: First use report: Grapple from Innovative Tractor Attachments

I know what you mean about Murphy. I took a chance too as we got 4 inches last evening. But I figured I could get the snowthrower back on pretty quickly if necessary.

Glenn

Deere 1025R, 160, Sabre 14.5
120R Loader
260B BH
47 Snowthrower
Innovative Tractor Attachments Grapple
Clamp-on Toothbar and Forks
4P Cart
46" Blade
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post #4 of 27 Old 03-22-2016, 11:48 AM
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Re: First use report: Grapple from Innovative Tractor Attachments

Very cool. How does the angle cylinder get purposed to operate the jaw? Unless I'm just not reading it right. I've always wondered what other uses could be had for the front quick hitch.
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post #5 of 27 Old 03-22-2016, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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Re: First use report: Grapple from Innovative Tractor Attachments

There's an on axis heavy steel plate that ships with the grapple that fastens through the center pivot hole. One end of the angle cylinder fits onto that plate and the other attaches to the upper grapple arm. You re-use the angle cylinder mounting hardware.

I'll get a close-up picture of that setup this evening to post.

Glenn

Deere 1025R, 160, Sabre 14.5
120R Loader
260B BH
47 Snowthrower
Innovative Tractor Attachments Grapple
Clamp-on Toothbar and Forks
4P Cart
46" Blade
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post #6 of 27 Old 03-22-2016, 01:29 PM
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Re: First use report: Grapple from Innovative Tractor Attachments

Quote:
Originally Posted by GSM View Post
There's an on axis heavy steel plate that ships with the grapple that fastens through the center pivot hole. One end of the angle cylinder fits onto that plate and the other attaches to the upper grapple arm. You re-use the angle cylinder mounting hardware.

I'll get a close-up picture of that setup this evening to post.
Cool. I'd love to see some pictures of it. I guess that plate prevents the pivot from moving side to side as well. How hard is it to remove the cylinder?
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post #7 of 27 Old 03-22-2016, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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Re: First use report: Grapple from Innovative Tractor Attachments

Quote:
Originally Posted by csmitty View Post
Cool. I'd love to see some pictures of it. I guess that plate prevents the pivot from moving side to side as well. How hard is it to remove the cylinder?
Nothing to it. Maybe 10 minutes to switch it over?

Glenn

Deere 1025R, 160, Sabre 14.5
120R Loader
260B BH
47 Snowthrower
Innovative Tractor Attachments Grapple
Clamp-on Toothbar and Forks
4P Cart
46" Blade
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post #8 of 27 Old 03-22-2016, 06:42 PM
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Re: First use report: Grapple from Innovative Tractor Attachments

I have one too, got it about 6 weeks ago. Due to switching back and forth for snow plow duty, I have plenty practice installing and uninstalling. It is easy, as mentioned, and on the second and subsequent times, it is literally 10 minutes. You could probably do it faster, but I like to stow my plow safely, put my tools away, and check the hydro fluid.

Nice video, better edited than all of mine posted in other threads.


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post #9 of 27 Old 03-22-2016, 07:07 PM
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Re: First use report: Grapple from Innovative Tractor Attachments

It came with a number of different hitch pins and a large carriage bolt w/nut & split washer. While the instructions that were emailed (attached) didn't detail how the hitch pins were to be utilized, I'm gathering the larger one was an alternative to the carriage bolt and the smaller one was to keep the bottom cylinder attaching bracket from spinning on the carriage bolt axis.

I wasn't keen on the larger hitchpin in place of the carriage bolt as this would allow the lower cylinder mounting bracket to work back and forth on top of the Quick Hitch, creating wear points. So I utilize the carriage bolt. I also utilized the normal Quick Hitch pivot lock pin to secure the back of the lower cylinder mounting bracket to keep it from spinning on the carriage bolt axis. Mine has a small attaching chain to keep it from becoming lost and I didn't want to take it off, but yet it needs a storage point. It was long enough to do the job. The back hole of the lower cylinder mounting bracket lines up with the pivot pin storage hole, so there are no holes to drill.

If you're going to move the angling cylinder back and forth, I'd suggest you get some 1/2 x 2-1/4" clevis pins and appropriate sized hitch pin clips to simplify it. The Quick Hitch utilizes a cotter pin and that is what is supplied with the grapple.

Moving the angling cylinder back and forth between the Quick Hitch and the grapple is a bit of a pain, in my opinion. So I acquired another angling cylinder kit that is permanently installed on the grapple.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Quick Hitch Grapple Installation Guide.pdf (703.7 KB, 462 views)
File Type: pdf Quick Hitch Grapple Operators Manual.pdf (833.1 KB, 514 views)
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post #10 of 27 Old 03-22-2016, 07:21 PM
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Re: First use report: Grapple from Innovative Tractor Attachments

Very cool!


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post #11 of 27 Old 03-22-2016, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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Re: First use report: Grapple from Innovative Tractor Attachments

Here's a closeup of the lower mounting setup for the angling cylinder. Like a few others, my preference was for using the large carriage bolt in place of the usual locking pin. I don't use a blade so I'll never need to remove it and I like that it's tighter - hopefully will help keep the pivot hole from elongating.
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Glenn

Deere 1025R, 160, Sabre 14.5
120R Loader
260B BH
47 Snowthrower
Innovative Tractor Attachments Grapple
Clamp-on Toothbar and Forks
4P Cart
46" Blade
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post #12 of 27 Old 03-22-2016, 10:12 PM
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Re: First use report: Grapple from Innovative Tractor Attachments

Quote:
Originally Posted by martincom View Post
It came with a number of different hitch pins and a large carriage bolt w/nut & split washer. While the instructions that were emailed (attached) didn't detail how the hitch pins were to be utilized, I'm gathering the larger one was an alternative to the carriage bolt and the smaller one was to keep the bottom cylinder attaching bracket from spinning on the carriage bolt axis.

I wasn't keen on the larger hitchpin in place of the carriage bolt as this would allow the lower cylinder mounting bracket to work back and forth on top of the Quick Hitch, creating wear points. So I utilize the carriage bolt. I also utilized the normal Quick Hitch pivot lock pin to secure the back of the lower cylinder mounting bracket to keep it from spinning on the carriage bolt axis. Mine has a small attaching chain to keep it from becoming lost and I didn't want to take it off, but yet it needs a storage point. It was long enough to do the job. The back hole of the lower cylinder mounting bracket lines up with the pivot pin storage hole, so there are no holes to drill.

If you're going to move the angling cylinder back and forth, I'd suggest you get some 1/2 x 2-1/4" clevis pins and appropriate sized hitch pin clips to simplify it. The Quick Hitch utilizes a cotter pin and that is what is supplied with the grapple.

Moving the angling cylinder back and forth between the Quick Hitch and the grapple is a bit of a pain, in my opinion. So I acquired another angling cylinder kit that is permanently installed on the grapple.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GSM View Post
Here's a closeup of the lower mounting setup for the angling cylinder. Like a few others, my preference was for using the large carriage bolt in place of the usual locking pin. I don't use a blade so I'll never need to remove it and I like that it's tighter - hopefully will help keep the pivot hole from elongating.
Thanks for posting these. Gives me a good idea of the mechanics involved. I didn't realize that hole was for locking the pivot. Learned something new. Thinking of what else could be done using the same idea.
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post #13 of 27 Old 03-22-2016, 10:44 PM
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Re: First use report: Grapple from Innovative Tractor Attachments

I just ordered my grapple yesterday from Marcus. Great customer service so far. Quick hitch and cylinder should be in at the dealer in a couple days too. Can't wait to hook it up for Easter Weekend!

2014 X739, 60" HC deck, 14 bushel bagger with Power Flow, 60" deck mulch kit, front quick hitch, Innovative Tractor grapple, 54" plow, rear weight bracket and 6 weights, 17P cart, Deck Dolly
1980s Ariens GT17/20 60" deck, 14 bushel GCS, 48" plow, 3PT hitch (sold 12/15)
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post #14 of 27 Old 03-22-2016, 10:49 PM
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Re: First use report: Grapple from Innovative Tractor Attachments

Boy Blackfin, your wife must really love you if you get to go play with the green machine on a holiday weekend! I'm green (JD green) with envy.
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post #15 of 27 Old 03-23-2016, 07:42 AM
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Re: First use report: Grapple from Innovative Tractor Attachments

As many of us have experienced, you got that look and attitude the day you brought the tractor home. The attitude faded pretty quickly as she carted all her gardening tools and a trailer full of compost to her garden project. When she saw the videos of the grapple on YouTube, I actually got the thumbs up for once

2014 X739, 60" HC deck, 14 bushel bagger with Power Flow, 60" deck mulch kit, front quick hitch, Innovative Tractor grapple, 54" plow, rear weight bracket and 6 weights, 17P cart, Deck Dolly
1980s Ariens GT17/20 60" deck, 14 bushel GCS, 48" plow, 3PT hitch (sold 12/15)
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