The grapple skidder snubber prevents the grapple swinging wildly and causing damage to the boom structure or grapple.
It acts as a brake and uses friction to control excessive grapple movement. They require regular maintenance and occasional adjustment to ensure optimal performance and service life. Two elements are needed to keep the snubber working properly; grease and proper adjustment.
Grease – Snubbers use friction to control movement, but need grease to prevent the friction from causing damage. Snubbers should be greased every eight hours. The grease should be allowed to purge (when you see the grease protruding from the component). If it does not purge then it could be that you are not using enough and you could have premature failure of components.
Adjustment – When properly adjusted, a snubber will stop the grapple within one full swing. The grapple will also hang at a five degree angle when the boom is lifted. Over-tightening of the snubber is common, with grapples often seen hanging at 25-30 degrees. This causes excessive friction as the components are forced together which forces the grease out and causes premature wearing. Over-tightening also causes the grapple to swing, which results in the forces being transferred to the boom, which can compromise the structural integrity of the boom.
To summarise, make sure your snubber is greased at least every eight hours and adjusted to allow the boom to hang at a five degree angle when the boom is lifted.
Source: Rick Routliffe in “Between the Branches” Mar 2010 – the official publication of Tigercat Industries. www.tigercat.com