3 Questions to Ask Before Choosing A Loader Attachment

These three questions will help you match the type of work you’ll be doing to the attachment features you need to keep your operation running efficiently and profitably.

When you need a new attachment for your loader—whether replacing and upgrading an existing attachment or expanding your operations—many factors come into play. All too often we get a call and it goes like this: “I have XYZ loader and need a grapple, what do you have?” Knowing the loader is a good start, but to make your operation as profitable as possible, we also want to know the answers to the following questions:

1. What are you picking up?

Storm Debris/Brush: If you’ll be picking up storm debris, consider our HC20-TG line or the HC60-TG. Storm debris is often bulky and slippery, so a wide jaw and high clamping force is needed. A full wrap helps contain debris and protect the cylinders from damage.

Tree Service: If you are a tree service contractor, consider our log and pulp grapples. Tree service providers tend to handle a variety of materials, so we offer several types of log and pump grapples to choose from to help meet your operation’s specific needs. A bypass grapple gives a firm grip on a log, where a butt grapple can do a similar job but also pick debris and even wood chips. The bypass – European style grapple is a third popular choice for the tree service industry. Both butt and bypass grapples feature twin hydraulic cylinders for a high clamp force, where the European style bypass grapple is a fast-acting grapple that does a better job of “cradling” a load in its jaws.

Rail Ties: If you’ll be picking up loose rail ties, consider the BLT grapples in our HC20-BLT line. They feature fully reinforced jaws that are specifically designed to handle loose ties. Tine stiffeners reinforce the jaw and double the wear surface at the pivot points, while single side bump plates protect the cylinders while trapping the load. Finally, fully plated jaws make for a very rigid, long lasting grapple.

Railroad Track Maintenance: Meanwhile, for railroad track maintenance, our HC20-AHR line of bypass grapples are designed to stand up to the abuse of rail work. Many Class I railroads depend on the straight tine design, which helps pick ties from gondola cars. Both our HC20-AHR-3 and HC20-AHR-4 models are certified for use on CN rail lines.

Carcass Removal: For road or farm cleanup, consider a rendering grapple or 60 series trash grapple which will work well with smaller loaders and include fully wrapped jaws that help handle this unique commodity.

2. Will you be doing split duty work such as tree and landscape work, then disaster clean up when Mother Nature gets out of control?

If so, Heiden has you covered.  A Heiden exclusive, our 20 series and 60 series have jaws that interchange so you can switch between any jaw style within that series. For example, if your typical needs require the use of a bypass grapple, but Mother Nature has other plans and you need to pick up mountains of debris, by pulling four pins you can convert your bypass grapple into a wide trash grapple that will pick up a huge pile of debris in one bite.

3. If you have multiple trucks and operators, ask them for their input as well.

They run the equipment and are a valuable resource. An operator who has a voice in what he or she is operating will be more productive than one that has a shiny new grapple that does not fit the application.

By sharing the answers to these and perhaps more questions, (don’t worry, it’s not a test!) Heiden will supply you with the attachment that will best suit your unique needs.  Call 888.682.5779 today or find a dealer near you.