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1996 - Volume #20, Issue #3, Page #12
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Custom-Built Heavy Duty Grapple Forks

If the grapple forks on your front-end loader aren't built strong enough to handle big round bales, you'll want to take a close look at the heavy duty forks built by Carroll Mathews, Harrisburg, Neb.
"They're built stronger and cost less than factory-made forks," says Mathews. "Most of the ones I've built have been for farmers using grapple forks on Farmhand F-11 loaders, but I can make them to fit virtually any loader including DuAl, Deere, etc., and paint them any color. The problem with most grapple forks is that the teeth are built too light and bend easily. I sell my grapple forks for right at $1,200 which is about $400 to $500 less than new factory-built units. I've never had one break."
Mathews uses 4 by 6-in., 1/4-in. thick steel tubing to make the main part of the frame and 2 by 3-in. tubing to make the 4-ft. long upper section of the grapple which is fitted with 2-ft. long teeth. To make a hinge, Mathews simply slipped a piece of 4-in. dia. pipe over a 3 1/2-in. dia. pipe. A 4-in. dia., 16-in. long hydraulic cylinder controls the forks.
Mounting brackets are made from 6-in. wide, 12-in. long, 3/4-in. thick steel. "It isn't a quick-tach grapple fork, but you can hook about 10 minutes.
it up in only about 10 minutes," says Mathews.
He also builds heavy duty bale prongs designed to mount on either a loader bucket or 3-pt. hitch. The 3-pt. model can be equipped with a 2 5/16-in. dia. ball hitch, allowing you to pull a gooseneck trailer with your tractor. He uses 4 -in. sq., 1/4 in. thick steel tubing to make the frame.
The bale prongs sell for $300 to $325. Mathews also makes a double bale prong for loaders that allows you to pick up two round bales at a time or one big square bale.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Carroll Mathews, HC 55, Box 205, Harris-burg, Neb. 69345 (ph 308 436-4362).
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1996 - Volume #20, Issue #3