Hobby farms are an incredibly rewarding investment which provide both great satisfaction and a steady source of food. While they’re very hard work and can be difficult to start, a well-run hobby farm provides ample produce for a family, and a portion can be sold to help bring in money to keep the farm afloat.
Many hobby farmers are interested in tools that improve efficiency, protect biodiversity, and are easy to use, which is why a skid steer grapple is such an excellent choice for anyone who already owns a skid steer. As a machine, the skid steer itself is incredibly versatile, being used for any number of projects, and its usefulness only increases with a skid steer grapple attachment.
Skid steer grapples work much like a very large set of pincers, with three L-shaped segments which come together to create an enclosed box. The bottom segment is one row of narrow tines, while the top two segments have smaller teeth in a semicircle on the bottom edge. Together, these can grip onto and hold any number of materials, from compost and manure to brush and hay.
Not sold yet? Let’s look at the three main reasons why a skid steer grapple should be at the very top of your purchase list for hobby farm equipment.
Skid steer grapples greatly improve efficiency
A lot of hobby farm duties are repetitive, heavy-duty tasks, like dragging loads of compost from one area to the other; while important for the overall health of a farm, they can be tedious and take time away from higher-level projects, like calculating crop yields. A hobby farm works on a tight budget, and it needs to be as efficient as possible with as few product investments as possible.
That’s why the skid steer grapple is such a wonderful tool for a hobby farm: it’s multiuse and allows you to tackle a variety of chores much faster than you’d be able to by hand, or even with a dirt bucket attached to your skid steer. The grapples can snag and hold larger loads of feed or manure with less spillage, and they can yank on brush to get it out of the way. You won’t need to switch attachments between tasks, as the skid steer grapple can manage nearly anything that requires lifting and holding loads.
Skid steer grapples allow you to be more precise and intentional with your maneuvering, protecting the earth of your farm
Every good farmer knows that the earth is precious, and a farm operation should do its best to be careful with how much they disturb the soil. While the best way to do this is by using small tools like grelinettes and doing everything by hand, that’s just not feasible for the majority of people, especially if they want to produce enough to feed themselves and sell at a local market. Some delicacy must be sacrificed to improve efficiency, but that doesn’t mean you have to throw all caution to the winds.
Skid steers themselves are relatively lightweight compared to other farming equipment, and they’re highly maneuverable, allowing you to get into tight spaces and clear any brush. As an attachment to a skid steer, grapples also reduce disturbances to the soil while providing invaluable support. As they can be lowered and controlled more carefully than a dirt bucket, you don’t need to scrape off the whole layer of topsoil just to pick up some mulch, ensuring that your soil stays pristine.
Because they are easy to use, skid steer grapples prevent accidents and ensure safety
When we think of farm accidents, we usually imagine large-scale operations that span hundreds of acres, but accidents can happen anywhere. Most farm fatalities are related to transportation, whether that’s a crash or an overturned tractor. Skid steers themselves are safer than other large farm equipment and less likely to overturn, so using attachments for skid steers rather than buying other equipment automatically makes you safer.
In addition, skid steer grapples are incredibly easy to use: you just have to attach them to the front of your skid steer and you’re ready to go. If you’ve used any other attachment for your skid steer, you’re probably already qualified to attach and detach this incredibly useful tool. Since improper training on any equipment is often a major cause for accidents, simple to use tools that still pack a powerful punch are the best way to protect yourself while improving productivity.
Hobby farms are a wonderful way to get closer to the earth by tending to crops and raising animals, but they can also be expensive and difficult to start. That’s why it’s so important to be very intentional with your purchases and select equipment that is versatile, efficient, and safe. Skid steer grapples are an unstoppable combination of power, productivity, and ease of use, and so they should be your very first attachment purchase for your skid steer. Get back to doing what you love and shave hours off your manual labor by adding a skid steer to your garage.