Choosing A Compact Tractor Grapple Thumbnail image

A grapple attachment can make your compact tractor an even more versatile workhorse. Grapples mount on the loader like other handy attachments such as buckets, bale spears, and pallet forks.

Grapples make it easy to move logs and brush. They’re great for clearing woody debris from your property and cleaning up after storms.

Resourceful property owners have moved plenty of brush and logs with loader buckets. Capacity is limited, however, and packing brush into a bucket requires serious manual labor. 

Pallet forks are great for scooping up piles of brush or logs—especially longer items that won’t fit inside a bucket. But the load can bounce around and fall off the forks if you’re not careful. If you already have a set of pallet forks, check out the Frontier PG11 or PG12 Pallet Fork Grapple attachment to help solve this problem when hauling brush and firewood, as well as lengths of pipe and other building materials.

Pallet Fork Grapples are just one of the options. A wide variety of grapples are available for compact tractors and larger tractors, so it’s easy to choose one to fit your needs. Depending on the design, you can also use grapples for stump removal, manure handling, and a host of other chores.

Grapples raise the bar in convenience by allowing you to grab a load and clamp down securely—only releasing the cargo when you want to dump it. You can also rake the ground to pick up partially buried items and remove light root systems. 

Following are a few additional types of grapples to consider.

Debris Grapple

A debris grapple like the Frontier AD11 Series Debris Grapple Bucket combines a rugged, bucket-like bottom with an upper clamping jaw. It’s great for clutching and carrying brush and other debris from landscaping projects and demolition sites. 

As a bonus, the AD11’s slim design offers excellent visibility yet is strong enough to grab large, heavy items. Powered by a pair of double-acting cylinders, it offers a 1,345 lb.-ft. clamp force to grab and move the most stubborn logs, stumps, and other debris. 

Choosing A Compact Tractor Grapple

Frontier offers Debris Grapple Buckets in a variety of sizes in the AD11 and AD12 lineups. Working widths range from 60 inches all the way up to 96 inches. Toothbar kits available for grapple buckets like Frontier’s AD12 Series models aid in breaking up the soil for better digging.

Root Grapple

Despite the name, this attachment works on more than roots. True, you can work the lower jaw under roots to wrestle small trees and brush from their moorings—then use the powerful upper jaw to clamp down and securely carry it with ease.

But root grapples also excel for removing rocks, logs, and other debris. Frontier AV20 Root Grapples are available for 100 through 700 Series John Deere loaders. They come in working widths from 53 to 77 inches. All feature heavy-duty construction, a fully enclosed mounting frame, and protected hydraulic hoses for added durability.

Choosing A Compact Tractor Grapple

Manure Fork With Grapple

A manure fork is ideal for livestock owners. The attachment’s sturdy, forward-facing tines make it easy to remove manure and straw or hay from pens, stalls, and barns. Just run the tines close to the ground or floor surface (or slightly penetrate the ground if outdoors) and scoop up whatever you want to haul away. No pitchfork or back-breaking effort required.

Add a grapple feature to a manure fork, and you can also clean up light brush and hay with ease. Frontier offers manure fork and grapple combos compatible with a variety of John Deere loaders, from 300 Series up to 700 Series. They come in 60-, 72-, 84- and 96-inch working widths.

Choosing A Compact Tractor Grapple

Added Considerations

When choosing a grapple, keep your tractor’s lift capacity in mind. Make sure the attachment weight doesn’t equal more than half of the lift capacity or you’ll cut into hauling power and performance. 

Also, make sure your tractor has the right ballast in the back to offset the expected weight on the loader. Your friends at Minnesota Equipment can help you with these and other considerations, to help you choose the right compact tractor grapple for all your needs.

They’ll also be happy to show you how easy John Deere’s quick-attachment systems make it to hook up or detach grapples, buckets, forks, and more.