How reliable are palfinger crane Electronics?

Gareth's Tree

Active Member
One of the things I like about my older crane is there are no electronics on it besides the remote control. For all you guys with the newer equipment have the electronics or the sensors been a headache? I like palfinger cranes but I'm concerned that all of the electronics and the sensors may be more hassle than I want to deal with especially here in Northeast Ohio where it is not always sunny and warm!
 

Steve Connally

Well-Known Member
The only issues I have is with a few plugs I have to keep a good glob of dielectric grease in. Occasional solar flare kills my remote but that's few and far between. I think based on the volume of military in my area sometimes they might be sending something out that interrupts the remote signal but it's really not an issue. I really haven't had any electronic issues. All my sequencing valves on the fly jib are pressure and hydraulic so I don't have any issues there.
 

JT31

New Member
To my knowledge they are plunger type valves I may be totally wrong.
Unless they have changed the sequence valves, they are pressure activated on the extend and when you retract the previous extension must come in contact with a plunger to open it and allow the next extension to retract. There are good an bad with that system. It allows the extensions to sequence correctly out and in but if a plunger fails you cannot retract in anymore. That being said I am not sure if those type of sequence valves have a high failure rate, I would assume they don't since they are still being used.
 

JT31

New Member
One of the things I like about my older crane is there are no electronics on it besides the remote control. For all you guys with the newer equipment have the electronics or the sensors been a headache? I like palfinger cranes but I'm concerned that all of the electronics and the sensors may be more hassle than I want to deal with especially here in Northeast Ohio where it is not always sunny and warm!
With all electronics there is always a risk of failure. With the technology today it is much less of an issue than it was 5-10 years ago, just don't get a pressure washer near it.
 

Steve Connally

Well-Known Member
Unless they have changed the sequence valves, they are pressure activated on the extend and when you retract the previous extension must come in contact with a plunger to open it and allow the next extension to retract. There are good an bad with that system. It allows the extensions to sequence correctly out and in but if a plunger fails you cannot retract in anymore. That being said I am not sure if those type of sequence valves have a high failure rate, I would assume they don't since they are still being used.
You are exactly correct. That's my set up
 
The sequence valves on Palfinger's k boom are manually operated no electronics are associated with those valves. I think what the original question was referring to was the crane's electronic system.

When we started selling Plafinger cranes in 2005 the biggest issue was with the Hectronic radio remote and the danfoss control modules that issue has been resolved.

They have since moved away from Hectronic radio remote controls and have upgraded to Scanreco. The issue with the Danfoss modules was resolved through Danfoss themselves. Palfinger still uses Danfoss with the Pal-50 system and they use Rexroth valves with the Pal-150. With any type of electronics we all experience failures from time to time. With tree work most of the failures we see are man made.. tree limbs and such making contact with wiring.

For those guys that own a Palfinger cranes you can down load a mobile app to your smart phone you can check error codes through this app it's the same app we dealers use.
 

Gareth's Tree

Active Member
I'm pretty sure they have the same sequence valves that we have on our effer's
I think the confusion may be that I was talking about the valves that switch between the grapple saw function and the jib, not the valves that extend and retract the booms. I think maybe there is some confusion. It may be on my end!
 
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Okay.. They are called change over valves. They switch the fly jib extension and up and down movements to operate the grapple saw. For the most part most crane manufactures uses the same type of valves.

We have been using these types of valves for operating a lot of jib tip functions for years.. augers, rotators, grapples, hyd pallet forks and for the most part they operate 95% of the time without and issues once in a while a coil or the valve stem will go bad. The issue guys were seeing with the grapple saws in my opinion where man made.

Some dealers including myself got caught up in the speed of the saw function this thing is not a laser it's a hydraulic chain saw it does not need to run at a hundred mile and hour. It needs torque and not so munch speed. When we changed the spool size to increase the flow in the extension function we started seeing the valve stick mainly because we where forcing to munch oil through those valves and creating excessive heat. I don't know what other dealers do we have learned to leave the spool as it was from Palfinger.

One thing that was discovered was if a slightly higher voltage was sent to those change over valves they operated munch crisper we also found that sending the higher voltage to entire crane made it more responsive. For us a step up transformer is standard issue. We have also learned that in some cases we need to add it's own 12 volt battery separate from the chassis batteries for engine start and stop and high idle functions.

The transmitter that Palfinger offers has some extra push buttons and toggle switch functions we have figures out how to utilize those functions to operate the grapple from rather than having a separate transmitter to operate the grapple saw.
 

Gareth's Tree

Active Member
What about outrigger sensors and load sensing electronics? It seems like if those things start being glitchy then your crane is down. Aren't there sensors for if the outriggers are properly deployed? And what angles are Crane and jib are at? And how far extended they are? And how much weight you are picking up? If any of these sensor stop working does the crane stop working?
 
The outrigger sensors you're talking about aren't on most of the small to med size cranes it's an option but in the tree care industry it should be a standard feature. I have been rethinking my opinion about this feature for the tree service. If this feature became standard it would make everything about using a knuckle boom even better. It would make you work smarter and it will be challenging but safer. This feature is called HPSC High Performance Stability Control.

Okay to answer your question about the HPSC sensors, yes it will shut you down if they become damaged or if the calibration does get out of wack. When this feature is installed properly it's one of the safest features Palfinger has to offer. The crane is load tested with the outriggers completely retracted then at 25% 50% 75% & 100%. It is a very time consuming process for the dealer to install. Once it's set up properly the outriggers can be mixed one side at 25% and the other side at 100% or whatever the case may be. This feature won't allow the operator to swing the crane into and unsafe (unstable) area. What you guys need to understand is that this is not new technology to us. We have been working with this feature for several years. It is new to most tree companies and we all know the stories that get spread around which are actually misconceptions. If the equipment is maintained and taken care of you will have very little trouble.

The angle sensors and pressure transducers are there for the crane's protection so that an untrained operator doesn't put the crane into a position it doesn't like. Once an operator understands and is familiar with what positions the crane works best in, it becomes second nature to you as an operator. Will it stop you yes, but 9 times out of 10 the crane will allow you to re-position yourself and continue to operate.

The load sensing you mentioned has been used on Knuckle booms for a very long time. Load sense is an on demand system. As you make the crane do more functions simultaneously the pump supplies more oil to the crane. Don't loose any sleep over this, it is very dependable.


The load weights are a thing everyone seams to struggle with. It is a little difficult to think about percentages and weight. What I do is make myself a cheat sheet using the load chart and convert the percentages into weights. I have tried a number of weight devises. Darn near all that you can buy for a knuckle are designed for a straight line pull and in cases where you can do that they are fairly accurate. The problem I have found when you try and use them along with the grapple saw you're no longer pulling in a straight line and the reading is not accurate. I haven't found a good solution yet other than the cheat sheet.

Palfinger is one of the best and one of the most dependable K booms on the market. The technology Palfinger puts into it's equipment and the training they offer us is second to none.
 

Steve Connally

Well-Known Member
The load pin I have for the Mecanil does some pretty good measurement. It's slightly jumpy but I have been using it and find it to be pretty accurate and helpful. I'm playing with the sensitivity and return of data rate and it seems to be getting more stable. It sure is a viable option but not the perfect fix. I would like the remotes with the screen and all the data.
 
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