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Root Grapple Vs. Root Rake

Perhaps you have just cleared an area of land to start landscaping, or you want to clear up general debris with efficiency but the bucket on your skid steer just isn’t fit for that purpose.

In this case, it may be worth exploring the vast attachments that are available on a skid steer. Most skid steer attachments have universal hookups that can be used on any make of skid steer.

If you have a particular application in mind then root rakes and root grapples often come in different dimensions and sizes to fit your specific needs.

Root rakes and grapples are extremely durable, especially if you do the right research, find the best products on the market and are prepared to pay for quality then these tools can be reliable for a lifetime.

Root Rake

 Root Rake Severe Duty by Blue Diamond Attachments 

Root Rake Grapple

Root Rake Grapple by McLaren Industries

Root Grapple

Heavy Duty Root Grapple Bucket by McLaren Industries

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Skid Steers Direct is run by experts who understand the problems of finding reliable gear for the blue-collar man and understand how the tools are used.

Read on to learn more about what a root rake and grapple is, how they are applied in different situations, and where to look for the best skid steer attachments on the market.

What Is A Root Rake?

root rake grapple open

A root rake is an attachment to a skid steer, it’s pronged teeth makes it the perfect tool for raking through material. The root rake is a heavy duty attachment that is perfect for forestry and land clearance.

After trees have been felled a root rake is the ideal tool to clear them up quickly so your work can continue.  The same raking function is applicable on loose dirt as well for general raking purposes.

The teeth are spaced 12” apart which allows dirt and soil to pass through while the rake picks up troublesome stones and pushes twigs and felled trees.

The holes between the teeth also allow for a clear view from the driver’s cab enabling safety as well as efficiency. A root rake essentially has the same function as the teeth on a bucket.

However, the mono functionality of the root rake allows weight to be replaced with maneuverability and speed.

Severe duty rake grapple infant of pile of roots

Blue Diamond root rake is the first stop if you’re interested in a quality root rake. The dimensions vary from 33” x 60” to 31.5” x 84”, and in relation its weight can go from 1025 lbs to 1215 lbs.

Your choice of weight and dimension will change by application. Reinforced tubing in the mainframe helps prevent damage and makes the root rake durable to all applications giving you the freedom to solve any landscaping issues.

What Is A Root Grapple?

root grapple closed

A root grapple is also another attachment for the ever-useful skid steer. A root grapple has a bottom jaw of flat teeth and an upper jaw of more pronged teeth.

The two jaws contract and retract to enable its user to be able to pick up and penetrate certain materials.

The flat bottom jaw of the root grapple allows for optimal stability and the upper jaw has the ability to puncture through an item providing further balance.

The root rake is the perfect tool for scooping up and carrying rocks, logs, bush, and more, with more stability than a bucket.

Root grapples are also useful for pulling things out of the ground such as trees and their roots. For example if you are excavating bamboo, the bamboo will splinter and seed itself in the soil.

Root Grapple on Cat Skid Steer playing in the mud

With a root grapple you can penetrate the ground and remove the tree with all its roots, removing it completely and leaving it clear for your next job.

The root grapples clamping power comes from hydraulic cylinders, hose springs prevent the cylinders from being damaged.

McLaren’s grapple bucket is one of the best root grapples on the market. Twin 2” x 8” hydraulic cylinders provide 3045 psi of clamping power.

The cylinders are equipped with a stopping mechanism which means that the jaws will never hyper extend or get stuck in position. The available sizes are 66”, 78”, and 84”.

A universal skid steer hookup means that the root grapple is ready to fit onto any skid steer and help you get the job done.


Whether you want to use a root rake or a root grapple depends on your application of the tool. The root rakes mono functionality shows that it was engineered with one purpose in mind.

This can be a huge advantage as it means that the product was engineered to optimise it for the one function of raking. This means a lot of unnecessary weight has been left behind so you can maneuver and be efficient in movement.

In comparison, the root grapple is a multi-purpose tool that has multiple applications. The handling and accuracy that is lost through increased weight is supplemented with the clamping power of the grapple bucket’s jaws.

The environment that you are working in can also be a factor when comparing the two tools.

If you intend to be lifting much heavier material such as felled fir trees, then you might want to use a root grapple as the jaw’s power can pick up heavier loads and transport them easily.

In comparison, if you are clearing dead trees that are much lighter than you may prefer the easier to steer root rake which will optimise your efficiency and speed when executing the task.

This can be the biggest thing to consider when choosing between these two attachments: what the application of the tool is, and deciding whether you desire a more maneuverable and efficient tool, or a tool that is engineered for power and stability.

Check out Skid Steers Direct for more products and more articles on all things skid steer related to help you be prepared for any situation in the labor world.

Written by Cohen Meyer
Cohen Meyer is a product researcher and content contributor for Skid Steers Direct. Cohen has spent over 12,000 hours operating skid steers, telehandlers, excavators and tractors. He is a former business owner, certified welder and a self proclaimed tech geek.

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