Before you even operate an orange peel grapple, you need to be sure you have the correct attachment for the job and your machine. The density of the material you handle will dictate the size of grapple you need, which in turn dictates the size of the machine you need to operate the grapple. Using the wrong size grapple on too big of a machine can potentially pull the grapple apart at the rotator.
Most damage occurs when an orange peel grapple is used for the incorrect application, like tapping. Tapping puts too much impact force on your grapple, potentially causing damage to the rotator and even the front structure of the machine. If you need to do this, use tapping blocks that are built to the correct size and weight, corresponding to the size class of the machine and orange peel grapple.
Casting materials can be dangerous and cause damage to your machine or attachment. But if you need to cast materials, use a front casting technique. Side casting is especially unsafe and twists the boom and stick of the machine, compromising the structural integrity of the machine and grapple.
Working on top of concrete surfaces can reduce tip life by up to 75%. If possible, always work from stock piles to try to limit the down pressure on your grapple.
If there is too much weight on one side of your grapple, it can twist the tines and accelerate wear on the bearings, ultimately causing damage to the tines and the grapple housing structure.
While side sweeping is common in most scrap yards, it is not recommended by Caterpillar. This technique can cause front structure failure, tear off connecting lines, damage rotor components and more.
When necessary, you should only carry materials over the front of your material handler, keeping the load close to the ground. Don’t swing the load over the side until the machine is stopped and the outriggers are down.