Tractor Grapple

Tractor Grapple

Decisions on a tractor grapple. Do I need a grapple? Which one should I get? Bucket, Root, Rake, Rock etc. So many to choose from.

Why I need a grapple. Tractor grapples or skid steer grapples are just different animals compared to the typical front end loader bucket that you have on your machine.  Choosing grapples and deciding why you need a tractor grapple is important. Theses are things to consider before you make your purchase.

If you have ever cleared trees off your property or someone else’s land you will know gathering, sorting, and piling is a task not to be taken lightly. You maybe able to push a pile with your current bucket, but it is not easy. Sometimes the pile will snag on another root, tree, or stump shifting the entire operation the wrong way. With a tractor grapple you can pick up large piles or logs while they stick out each end which will not happen with a plain bucket.

The typical tractor or skid steer bucket is nice for digging and moving materials such as dirt. They are usually wide open on top and can hold a fair amount of material. It will not  hold brush, stumps, or grab debris like a wicked grapple. Buckets will sometimes hold things along with lots of unnecessary dirt. Grapples hold the brush and debris letting all the dirt slip through the tines.

Scrap grapples have a solid bottom. Rock grapples have their tines close together. Rake grapple really do not have a bottom. Root grapples we believe is the best of all worlds. Although it may not hold small rocks or just skid along the ground or hard surfaces with a flat bottom it can manage to do most of the grabbing and holding of debris as necessary.

Turning the compost

Turning the compost we think is important, but what maybe real important is how often. Some people turn theirs once a week and some dont turn theirs at all. We think at least once every two months. Sometimes we do it as often as every two weeks. As long as you monitor your compost you will know when or when not to turn. Also yes we are human and we forget and dont always turn ours when we should so dont feel bad if you miss a turning date.

It boils down to a few things.20140705_142046

  • How active. If it is active then we leave it till it starts to become inactive. It needs to do its thing so lets let it. Remember activity creates heat. Lots of activity makes lots of heat.
  • How hot. If it is HOT then we dont touch it. If we do anything we add water if it gets to extreme. When your pile gets active it will get hot and remember activity creates heat and you are on the right path, but you will need to monitor the heat. We use a compost thermometer.
  • How wet. Being in such a dry climate in south Texas it is very important to watch the moisture in the compost. We always add water when turning the compost. Sometimes we will add water even when not turning. Especially during our hot summer months. Remember the little active microbes in there are living and need water. We use a moisture meter also.
  • Oxygen. The little living microbes, worms, bugs, etc. need air like we do. So try to make sure you have something in your compost such as straw, cardboard, etc. to trap and hold oxygen in the compost pile.
  • Fertilizer. You dont need much if any fertilizer when composting. Also puts us in more of a natural gardening sense. If you do need some fertilizer or something in your soil you can add it to the compost and it will help your so20140705_142029il along with the compost.
  • Dont turn it!!! Sometimes people turn their compost to often and it never has the chance to get hot or active enough. If its hot then, then its active. If its active it will get hot. So if its hot and active dont touch it. You need to turn it when it begins to cool down and starts becoming less active.
  • Tools. Not so much about the compost, but makes doing it easier. Right tools and the job is easier. In this case you can see we use our tractor. It makes short work and since we always have very little time it really speeds up the process. Its like having a dozen people with shovels and wheel barrows.

 

There is a lot more to composting than just what we have mentioned here, but this is great basics to get you going. Below you can see the thermometer and moisture meter we use. Good Luck.