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Tech Review - Grapples


Amulet Manufacturing Company of Rathdrum, Idaho, is no stranger to the Northwest's forestry and logging industry. In its 28-year history of attachment design and building, many Amulet products have found their way into the forest.

The recent ups and downs of the timber and forestry industries have provided a new challenge to minimize costs while maximizing efficiency and equipment versatility. With this in mind, Amulet developed the G2 PowerClamp thumb. Of the thumb attachments the company has produced, the Amulet G2 PowerClamp progressive-link hydraulic thumb has had the greatest impact.

Designed for excavators from 30,000 to 100,000 pounds, the custom-configured G2 PowerClamp is ideal for use with a quick coupler and, on average, realizes a full 180 degrees of thumb rotation. With this impressive rotation, the G2 PowerClamp thumb can easily reach up a steep hill slope or down into a ravine to maneuver and remove, or place, even the most unwieldy boulders, logs, or stumps.

With its standard Amulet 24-month warranty and heavy-duty rating, the G2 PowerClamp progressive-link hydraulic thumb has proven to be just the ticket to maximize excavator efficiency, project after project.

Caterpillar Forest Products

The Cat GLL B-series grapples are built of high-strength steel and designed to perform in high-volume logging applications. They feature 360-degree continuous rotation and high torque hydraulic motors to deliver the power and control needed to keep the wood moving. Three models give the logger the choice of 52-, 55-, and 60-inch maximum openings. Interlocking legs close down to a minimum of five inches on all three models, allowing operators the ability to easily handle single, small stems.

The GLL B-series grapples feature cylinders with heavy-duty wall construction and built-in check valves for durability and maximum closing power. Heavy-duty slewing bearing and cross port relief protect the hydraulic system even under heavy loads. High strength steel and induction-hardened pins are used throughout the head frame and tongs with reinforcement in high stress areas. Replaceable Hardox strips are used on the tips of the tongs. All pin joints are sealed to keep dirt and debris out of the bearing area, significantly lengthening pin and bearing life. Bolt-on access panels protect hose connections and supply lines but allow easy servicing. All grease points, the motor, and other serviceable components are easily accessible. Service can be performed quickly from one position, minimizing downtime.



Danzco's grapples with pitch bar saws are ideal for shovel logging duty and are also capable of bucking slash, as well as topping, bucking long butts, and trimming large limbs.

Danzco offers a standard log loading grapple and a directional falling shovel logging version.

Its slash cutting grapple with disk saws is for production processing at the logging site and for clearing waste used for biofuel production. By cutting logging waste into approximately 5' lengths, the volume that can be loaded into a trailer is almost doubled.

All grapples are built to order and can be customized to fit your needs.

Gater Grapples

The Gater Saw Grapple enables your compact excavator, skid steer loader, or rubber tired backhoe, to not only clear woody debris but also fall and de-limb trees. Its synchronized dual clamp action and 360-degree continuous rotation allow you to pick up and saw as you go. The Gater Saw Grapple attachment comes in 2 sizes: 650 lbs (net weight) for 3.5 to 7.5 ton excavators; and 750 lbs (net weight) for 8.0 to 14.0 ton.

The Gater Saw is available on either of the Gater Grapples' current models: 560lbs (net weight) for 3.5 to 7.5 ton excavators; and 720 lbs (net weight) for 8.0 to 14.0 ton. All Gater Grapple models are made of T-100 steel. The Gater Saw comes attached to the Grapple of your choice, ready for use. The grapple also attaches to existing bucket linkage, maintaining full articulation. Each grapple with saw comes as a complete kit ready to install.

Adding the Gater Saw to a Gater Grapple makes your machine a perfect fit for tight access logging applications, landscaping, and debris management projects.


The new asymmetrical A-Grapple from Hultdins makes it easier to pick single logs and to organize the pile. It also simplifies work in hilly terrain and the picking of leaning logs. The company says that initial studies made by the Swedish research institute Skogforsk indicate that forwarder loading was 4-5% faster and unloading 7-8% faster with the A-Grapple compared with a standard grapple.

The arms of the A-Grapple improve the rolling-in of logs into the grapple. With conventional knives, there is always a risk that a piece of wood is clamped between the knives and obstructs the closing motion of the grapple. In contrast, the angled knives of the A-Grapple feed everything that the tips can grab into the grapple, and the rest is fed out. Therefore, nothing can get stuck between the grapple arms, and the closing motion of the grapple is uninterrupted.

The tips of the A-Grapple have minimal contact surface to the ground, so it brings much less dirt and sand with it than a normal grapple.

The A-grapple is also a very good slash grapple. Since the arms feed the slash either into- or out of the grapple, the branches are well aligned with every grab. Thus the density of the load is increased, and the slash piles become more organized.

Jewell Attachments

Jewell Attachments offers a full line of standard and shovel logging grapples, designed and manufactured for the harshest forestry applications.

Standard logging grapple sizes offered are 36", 42", 48", 52", and 58"; shovel logging sizes are offered in 52", 55", 63", 66", and 72" arm openings. Grapple arms are designed with mounting lugs for optional bolt-on, quick-change brush rake arms. They are standard on 51", 52", 55", 58", and 63", but others are available upon request.

All Jewell grapples are manufactured from durable high strength T-1 steel, with large diameter induction hardened alloy pins and bushings, heavy duty high pressure bolted head hydraulic cylinders with counter balance style load locks, purpose built high pressure swivel coupling, "Parker" rotation motor, "Rotek" brand slewing ring, and removable guarding for easy maintenance access.

Pierce Pacific

For more than 30 years, Pierce has been manufacturing hydraulic Forestry Grapples utilizing input from loggers. The Pierce twin cylinder Forestry Grapples feature powerful 360˚ continuous rotation and are multi-purpose for excellent versatility. They feature an optimum leg shape for big wood, tight grapple closure for superior small log control, load check valves to eliminate the risk of dropping your payload, and heavy duty legs that possess the optimum shape for shovel logging, loading, unloading, and sorting.

Recent design improvements include tighter manufacturing tolerances, twice the number of hydraulic swivel retaining bolts, and stronger access cover plates.

Pierce also offers power attachments. They feature powerful 360˚ continuous rotation and are multi-purpose for excellent versatility for machine sizes up to a 400-class machine.

Various tine/arm configurations include: clamshell buckets that allow for efficient road building and excavation; brush rake/grapples that make quick work of brush piling and feeding the chipper; and contractors' 3x3 grapple for precision handling of a multitude of materials.

The 'standard hydraulic core' with a single rotation motor, heavy duty 4" cylinders, an oversized main bearing, and strong, abrasive-resistant steel used throughout the structure complete the standard package.


PSM LLC originated in the Pacific North West, building attachments for the forestry industry. Over the last 26 years, its designs have developed into a complete line of timber handling attachments.

PSM's versatile Quick Coupled Excavator/Log Loader Packages with Grapple and Live Heel Racks are in the woods every day.

PSM Clamshells and box tine grapples make road building faster, easier, and safer. The success of a PSM clamshell and grapple revolves around the versatility the machine offers. 360° rotation is provided by a high torque hydraulic motor running in unison with a high pressure swivel union. Whether you are loading and unloading, cleaning up, placing rock, or doing light demolition work, your PSM clamshell or grapple will exceed all expectations.

The combination of progressive link thumbs and excavator rakes is finding more uses every day as the Biomass industry grows.

Rotobec Forestry Attachments

Rotobec offers a wide range of products to the Forestry industry, from standard Log grapples to Power Attachments and Butt'n Tops.

Rotobec log grapples are designed for high performance in intense and even extreme conditions while providing excellent productivity in handling logs and entire trees. They have also proven themselves to be a tough grapple, able to handle the rigors of shovel logging, with new oversized pins, sealed bushings, and RT series rotations.

The versatile line of power attachments is widely utilized in land clearing, site prep, and grinding applications. Rotobec's power attachment grapples are available in different jaw configurations including rake and bucket versions. They're built with high tensile strength steel with precision machining, and they have a long life with excellent durability.

Both styles of attachments will also accept the NEW Rotobec RCH750 saw. The RCH750 saw has a ¾" pitch chain and features a hydraulic saw bar return that is maintenance-free. Other features include automatic chain tensioning, a larger oil tank for chain lubrication, and a built-in feed cylinder. Rotobec uses Hultdins' drive components for proven reliability.


The Towtem™ Articulated Grapple System for excavators and backhoes offers the contractor versatility to perform multiple tasks with one attachment. The unique design combines the 360˚ rotation of a clamshell bucket with the articulation (wrist action) of the excavator bucket curl function. The system's capacity ranges from ¼ to 3 yards and features T1/Hardox™ 400 cutter blades.

The Towtem™ Grapple has been ahead of the trend in terms of "green" and "sustainable." When mounted on an excavator or backhoe, the amount of impact on the environment is minimized. The grapple can tuck, turn, and position materials with full control anywhere within the reach of the excavator. This feature is very effective in close quarter work, where accuracy is vital and space is limited.


Young LG series log grapples incorporate a reduced minimum opening for better control of small logs and are designed to withstand the most demanding shovel logging and log yard operations.

The LG series features, among other things, a 360-degree high torque power rotation with a built-in relief valve, a reduced minimum opening to close down on small diameter logs, no swivels on hydraulic hoses, and hydraulic cylinders sized to provide plenty of closing power. The load check valves reduce the risk of dropping a load due to a sudden loss of pressure, and a dual leg pin design makes for easier servicing.

Depending on the model, the maximum opening ranges from 52" to 60" and the minimum openings range from 3.5" to 6". Options include internal house routing and brush legs.

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