Jumping on the KB train as well.

Nossliw

New Member
Hey all, I do not post much in here, however I have read through the better part of the section of this site and have found it to be incredibly useful.

I was hoping to get the opinion of a few on what you would do to make your unit better.

In short we are looking to purchase used or slowly build (have built) a used unit. I have visited Westminister Hydraulics site and Tiffin as it seems to be the only folks to talk to that have a clue about how to go about building or modifying a unit. I will be calling tomorrow to westminister for hopefully a bit of guidance and options. My location is out west, where I think or at least believe a lot of the trees out here do not reach great heights like they do out East. That being said the hardest part we are having is to properly size a unit in reach and tonnage.

Why are we looking to go this route - its simple and very similar to what others have voiced, minimize crew size, increase production, and in the long run open into other markets where a standard bucket/jib and or climbing rigging are not going to compete. We are not an enormous company, but continually grow, and as the owner, day in and day out employees are my biggest challenge. That being said I also need to justify the crane use and up front cost. Unfortunately the books do not allow for a new unit build. Yes our dream would be a sp100 with a 280 on the end.

That being said I have eyed quite a few used units, some are smaller, some are large tonnage but short reach. I do not fully understand between manufacture their relation of tonnage and reach, why run a shorter boom on greater tonnage, and run a longer boom on a short tonnage crane. For instantce specifically the HIAB 300s which seem to be fairly popular, 30 TM. In my opinion the tonnage seem low at a 30tm unit, but I guess we fall back on the idea is this big enough? the 300s obviously will need to be retrofitted with reels and a grapplesaw, but I guess the questions are for westminsiter hydro of what all goes into that outside of hydralics, grapple unit, and reels, and at what cost? With a fly jib and manual extension with a 160 on the end, we can take 6-800lbs at a 80' reach. Out west even in urban areas rarely do we need to make picks at that height. I can see where the additional extension would be a huge plus reaching over a house, but when comparing to a Palfinger unit sy a 4 series or even 6 series in cost, is it worth it? That's where I hope maybe some of you versed vets can chime in. I'd like to see used cost comparisons on a 80' vs 105/110' reach unit.

I feel like we know what we want and properly want to size the unit is all.

Lastly I know this may not come off so well to new builds or those of modern age, but I am old school on equipment. Simply put I do not favor electronics if not necessary, and the setbacks caused by downed equipment. I am not a fan of all the emissions crap as either. I'll take a mechanically controlled bandit drum or disk over a new tier 4 vermmer simply as we have tried the new age route and have not had the best of luck. When I say old school i do not mean old equipment, or junk. I simply am not a fan of equipment that is overbaringly electronically controlled. In other words, I'm worried about down time, and the ability to have electronics trouble shot and properly fixed out in CO, I don't want to ship the thing accross the country for a sensor troubleshooting.

I am not wholeheartedly against electronics, of course they have their purpose on a crane with outriggers and extensions, but I guess I am asking for help here as I need to know what is necessary and overkill. Fiber optic controller are nothingless as priceless:)

So baseline what we are looking for in a truck:

-80-85' reach crane/grapplesaw able to pick 1200-1400lbs at full extension
-105-110' reach crane similar pick weight if money allows
-Standard cab not a cabover
-I am not partial to a rear mount vs a cab mount and outside of addition reach or accesibility what does a rear mount gain you? All of our booms are rear mounts, and we actually prefer to keep our booms and chip trucks seperate unlike most who like the combination forestry units. A lot of the older cranes are cab mount. I guess if I could choose it would be rear
- I'd like a pusher or tag axle to allow for the truck to serve as a log/material transport as well. Nothing crazy in payload, but serve as a dual purpose for big wood, to throw a trunk or two on the truck. ( All hardwood we do keep and process in the off season)
- Mencanil unit, needs the tilt function, and option short to 25" bar - I guess what are the limitations of a 160/220/280 outside of weight?
- Emission, I live in an exempt county - I'd take an old kenworth with an N14 over any modern emission BS motor. we pushed over 1.1 mil miles out of our old N14 - I do not want to deal with it here. I am not a fan of Mercedes diesels in the US either. prefer to stick with a CAT, CUMMINS, DT, OR an old mechanical from international. It seems every used crane I have found to date is on a Mack, or crap sterling.
- Truck does not need to be new or fresh paint- I don't want it rusted out or poorly maintained but the budget doesn't allow to go pick one off the lot. Out of our 8 large company units, outside of belts, oil and filters we have little to no problems with any and most have more miles than a lot of companies put on multiple units combined.
- Truck does not need a monster motor either, I am not a flatlander nor do I drive fast, but it needs a bit of go for the hills in CO, but 525/2000 seems bit overatd in a unit like these I'd think?
- manual over auto preferred, would rather not have a 18 spd though :)

Anything against a standard cab tractor with the crane behind cab and still allowing for a fifth wheel or even tag pull trailer with no deckover on the tractor?

Please take all of the above as my limited knowledge on these units, my mind can be changed and figure it will be so drastically by the end of this road before pulling the trigger

Please let me know what else that is much more of a priority than the above questions. I am sure I have missed a lot. I did not want this post to get too length and feel its way beyond that.

I am looking forward to everyones feedback! Tell me I'm an idiot if any of the above is idiotic, but let me know what route to take instead.

Thank you for all your time. Reading about a lot of the new builds on here has been eye opening and sure makes me wish we could do the same.
 
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jonericchop

New Member
We bought a used PK33 on a small Mack cabover for the maneuverability in our tight urban environment. We've only had it a week but already I think it was the best choice for us to start. When we can go bigger we'll likely aim to keep the 33 and add a PK65 rear mount in the shortest cabover we can get...they are coming out with some great ways to make the smaller trucks take a larger crane via new stabilizer (KB for outriggers) setups. The long chassis that the larger cranes require doesn't seem worth it unless you go with something like the 88 or 110 so you have capacity for reaching from the street instead of backing it into place on the yard or driveway.

One word on the electronics...our PK33 has very minimal electronics but I'll say the few features on our crane I really like...the automated stability control really helps on the smaller cranes. We're new to Mek life and had a lot of great input from the same folks you've mention. We already can't imagine working without a Mek.
 

Nossliw

New Member
We bought a used PK33 on a small Mack cabover for the maneuverability in our tight urban environment. We've only had it a week but already I think it was the best choice for us to start. When we can go bigger we'll likely aim to keep the 33 and add a PK65 rear mount in the shortest cabover we can get...they are coming out with some great ways to make the smaller trucks take a larger crane via new stabilizer (KB for outriggers) setups. The long chassis that the larger cranes require doesn't seem worth it unless you go with something like the 88 or 110 so you have capacity for reaching from the street instead of backing it into place on the yard or driveway.

One word on the electronics...our PK33 has very minimal electronics but I'll say the few features on our crane I really like...the automated stability control really helps on the smaller cranes. We're new to Mek life and had a lot of great input from the same folks you've mention. We already can't imagine working without a Mek.
Really appreciate the input especially regarding the electronics. I' sure folks read this and thought he is a picky basturd. I guess I have seen some of the newer ones by PM and Fassi, and they are pretty much fully computer controlled, or at least at the trade shows that is what I thought the purpose was.

I will never forget a fellow showing up with a 70 ton stick terex, he was not the normal operator (not inexperieced, ran a 140 Lieb regurlarly, but it had so many overide safety controls he never even got the riggers down, and in turn cost us a gripload as well in time and money. I understand it was operator error to an extent, but I was a bit overwhelmed with ever sensor control he had to go through.

I have never owned Palfinger but it seems they own the US market, and from what i heard so far in the US lead in parts and repair.
 

climbhightree

Well-Known Member
Define computer/sensor controlled?

I could run my brand new crane via the hydraulic levers (under the turret) if I wanted to. But why wouldn't you want a remote? You can also override any "computer" shut down too. But once again why would I want to disable the safety factors? Even my 2003 kb was this way...so if you are looking at straight hydraulic I'd think you would have to go pretty old. Seat controls may all be hydraulic, not sure.

I've had zero electronic issues with my crane, but have had several hydraulic issues. Those hydraulic issues I had was a leaking valve between the hooklift and the crane (shared oil).

Sensors and information is good...helps to keep you from doing something stupid. Doesn't mean that you still can't though. IMG_20181124_111725.jpg

My own driveway, didn't put the outrigger pads down...wasnt thinking about how I was going to be playing with the crane. I just went for quick set up.
 

climbhightree

Well-Known Member
I have go agree on new trucks and emissions it a load of crap, especially for crane trucks. It has been a nightmare. But I have no old truck problems like Steve has had.

Lenght of boom. One always ends up wishing for more boom. A good horizontal capacity is also nice...for low angle distant picks.

For me I wanted a weight chart similar to my first kb...familar ground. So my completely collapsed and full extended weight capacity is pretty much the same as my old crane. New one just has 40' more of boom.
 

deevo

Well-Known Member
Define computer/sensor controlled?

I could run my brand new crane via the hydraulic levers (under the turret) if I wanted to. But why wouldn't you want a remote? You can also override any "computer" shut down too. But once again why would I want to disable the safety factors? Even my 2003 kb was this way...so if you are looking at straight hydraulic I'd think you would have to go pretty old. Seat controls may all be hydraulic, not sure.

I've had zero electronic issues with my crane, but have had several hydraulic issues. Those hydraulic issues I had was a leaking valve between the hooklift and the crane (shared oil).

Sensors and information is good...helps to keep you from doing something stupid. Doesn't mean that you still can't though. View attachment 56820

My own driveway, didn't put the outrigger pads down...wasnt thinking about how I was going to be playing with the crane. I just went for quick set up.
Well least you have some drainage on your driveway now ! Lol
 

craneguy1

Well-Known Member
Saw the pic early this morning, seriously had to take a double take, and still wondered "how did he squish a dog?! They don't move that fast!"
 

Nossliw

New Member
Define computer/sensor controlled?

I could run my brand new crane via the hydraulic levers (under the turret) if I wanted to. But why wouldn't you want a remote? You can also override any "computer" shut down too. But once again why would I want to disable the safety factors? Even my 2003 kb was this way...so if you are looking at straight hydraulic I'd think you would have to go pretty old. Seat controls may all be hydraulic, not sure.

I've had zero electronic issues with my crane, but have had several hydraulic issues. Those hydraulic issues I had was a leaking valve between the hooklift and the crane (shared oil).

Sensors and information is good...helps to keep you from doing something stupid. Doesn't mean that you still can't though. View attachment 56820

My own driveway, didn't put the outrigger pads down...wasnt thinking about how I was going to be playing with the crane. I just went for quick set up.

Sorry if I was confusing in my initial post. What I was eluding too was a few of the Fassi and SP units pretty much had a human to computer interface in the turret with a 15" monitor, and it was overwhelming how much was involved. Maybe it was only for the trade show? I simply don't want to buy a crane that is down all the time and only some fellow on the other side of the country can troubleshoot it.

I would fully expect potentiometer/sensors on your boom for section retraction, outriggers and so on. all of our material handlers have them.

I'd absolutely want a remote radio as well and would not plan on sitting underneath what so ever.

That is one impressive punch through!
 

climbhightree

Well-Known Member
Sorry if I was confusing in my initial post. What I was eluding too was a few of the Fassi and SP units pretty much had a human to computer interface in the turret with a 15" monitor, and it was overwhelming how much was involved. Maybe it was only for the trade show? I simply don't want to buy a crane that is down all the time and only some fellow on the other side of the country can troubleshoot it.

I would fully expect potentiometer/sensors on your boom for section retraction, outriggers and so on. all of our material handlers have them.

I'd absolutely want a remote radio as well and would not plan on sitting underneath what so ever.

That is one impressive punch through!
OK. Only the really big cranes come with the monitor and all the extra bells and whistles. My fassi F515 I had to specially request an upgrade to the remote with a color screen (and extra information on it). I had assumed that that would also give me the screen on the turret, but I was wrong. I had also assumed that it would come with the outrigger extension sensor (show how much capacity I am at on short set), but apparently this was an extra thing to on smaller cranes.

I think you have to go 700 or above to get everything...and I would think you could not get it too.
 

JT31

New Member
Most of the electronics now a days are very good, don't get me wrong you always have chance of a failing angle sensor, pressure transducer, etc. I work for Cranes and Equipment and the Copma 450 offers a traditional hydraulic overload system with computer monitoring. Also offers the full computer overload protection system is desired. There are several options out there on the market, knuckle boom brands, configurations, grapple saws, etc.

For the most part from what I have seen looking to mount the crane at the rear or behind cab goes hand in hand with your truck setup. The typical argument is if you mount at the rear and back into your job then your getting full potential reach of the crane. If you mount behind the cab and not concerned with payload you can do this with no pusher or tag axles and the truck can be short with 360 degree stability. Not having the have the pusher or tag axles will help keep your overall price of the package down.
039.JPG
This customer didn't plan on ever working over the front so they didn't want the front bumper stabilizer. After working with it they are thinking of adding it now so they can have 100% capacity over the front.
 

Nossliw

New Member
Well it’s been a bit since I have been on here but the ball is finally rolling.

I initially had Brad at Westminister put together a cost on there 72002e they had sitting their used. Spent a few weeks traveling around with work and trying to find a solid tri axle and 20k front deck over to install it on. Finding a used truck suitable proved to be a lot harder than I expected. Even a cab chassis. 2007 or later we had the 7600s with an ISM or a Pete or kenworth with a 3406/c15 combo. That was about it. A lot of the Mack granites were much newer.

We only found one that would work, but being a Midwest truck there wasn’t much left. Previous was a rigging haul truck for a crane company. Still chewing on the 7600s with an ism but not really sold on them yet.

So long story short, we stumbled across a nice t800 deckover with a 72002 already mounted and outfitted, needed provisions for a mecanil. 32k on a 525hp c15 cat and was immaculate... hard to pass up on the cost he was asking, originally a form truck. Deposit was paid and last weekend on Super Bowl night I was to pay for it in KC, welp the day before he sold it to his brother....

I guess the right things happen for the right reasons, because today we have a permagrin as owners of a lightly used PM100 that popped up locally as a stand alone unit. Less than 400 hours on it. Looks brand new. Currently sits on a 19 twin steer western star dd13, but was not part of the purchase. However it may be available now.

So next step is to continue the truck search, or sell our soul on the new truck....

I had spoke to Tiffin during this process, however was bummed if it’s not a pal finger they can’t touch it... or at least that’s my understanding.

Sounds like Bik is the only company with a mecanil on a PM to date?

Anyways, just happy the ball is rolling.

Logistically not sure if a used truck stripped clean then paid to fully setup to accept the newer crane is worth the difference in cost on the new truck. The unit requires an abnormal pto as well due to large pump size of the crane. Shipping a truck and crane separate, across the country to westminister, and shipping back is nearly 10 grand. Driving isn’t much better. As we were traveling around NY and surrounding states looking at trucks I couldn’t believe how at every toll booth or gas stop on the shoulder, I swear every rig was going through a roadside inspection. Felt bad for any driver who had to deal with that every 30-50 miles. You guys have it rough out east!

Just a lot to think on, but hey we are a third of the way there, I think! After this came about early last fall I didn’t think it would happen this quick.
 
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Nossliw

New Member
Most of the electronics now a days are very good, don't get me wrong you always have chance of a failing angle sensor, pressure transducer, etc. I work for Cranes and Equipment and the Copma 450 offers a traditional hydraulic overload system with computer monitoring. Also offers the full computer overload protection system is desired. There are several options out there on the market, knuckle boom brands, configurations, grapple saws, etc.

For the most part from what I have seen looking to mount the crane at the rear or behind cab goes hand in hand with your truck setup. The typical argument is if you mount at the rear and back into your job then your getting full potential reach of the crane. If you mount behind the cab and not concerned with payload you can do this with no pusher or tag axles and the truck can be short with 360 degree stability. Not having the have the pusher or tag axles will help keep your overall price of the package down.
View attachment 57194
This customer didn't plan on ever working over the front so they didn't want the front bumper stabilizer. After working with it they are thinking of adding it now so they can have 100% capacity over the front.
I really appreciate the insight. I learned a lot talking about stability with different outfitters. I guess the time it gets tricky is when the truck was designed to have a trailer on a short wheelbase with a cab mount, and no nose stabilizer working in front of your outriggers without the trailer counter weight is a problem.

Add a stabilizer if the front axle can take much more or counter weight the rear I guess?
 

JT31

New Member
I really appreciate the insight. I learned a lot talking about stability with different outfitters. I guess the time it gets tricky is when the truck was designed to have a trailer on a short wheelbase with a cab mount, and no nose stabilizer working in front of your outriggers without the trailer counter weight is a problem.

Add a stabilizer if the front axle can take much more or counter weight the rear I guess?
What the front bumper stabilizer is going to do for you is not allow the front suspension to compress. With this it is allowing you to get better stability as well as not put extra stress on your front suspension components, causing them to wear out prematurely.
 

JT31

New Member
Well it’s been a bit since I have been on here but the ball is finally rolling.

I initially had Brad at Westminister put together a cost on there 72002e they had sitting their used. Spent a few weeks traveling around with work and trying to find a solid tri axle and 20k front deck over to install it on. Finding a used truck suitable proved to be a lot harder than I expected. Even a cab chassis. 2007 or later we had the 7600s with an ISM or a Pete or kenworth with a 3406/c15 combo. That was about it. A lot of the Mack granites were much newer.

We only found one that would work, but being a Midwest truck there wasn’t much left. Previous was a rigging haul truck for a crane company. Still chewing on the 7600s with an ism but not really sold on them yet.

So long story short, we stumbled across a nice t800 deckover with a 72002 already mounted and outfitted, needed provisions for a mecanil. 32k on a 525hp c15 cat and was immaculate... hard to pass up on the cost he was asking, originally a form truck. Deposit was paid and last weekend on Super Bowl night I was to pay for it in KC, welp the day before he sold it to his brother....

I guess the right things happen for the right reasons, because today we have a permagrin as owners of a lightly used PM100 that popped up locally as a stand alone unit. Less than 400 hours on it. Looks brand new. Currently sits on a 19 twin steer western star dd13, but was not part of the purchase. However it may be available now.

So next step is to continue the truck search, or sell our soul on the new truck....

I had spoke to Tiffin during this process, however was bummed if it’s not a pal finger they can’t touch it... or at least that’s my understanding.

Sounds like Bik is the only company with a mecanil on a PM to date?

Anyways, just happy the ball is rolling.

Logistically not sure if a used truck stripped clean then paid to fully setup to accept the newer crane is worth the difference in cost on the new truck. The unit requires an abnormal pto as well due to large pump size of the crane. Shipping a truck and crane separate, across the country to westminister, and shipping back is nearly 10 grand. Driving isn’t much better. As we were traveling around NY and surrounding states looking at trucks I couldn’t believe how at every toll booth or gas stop on the shoulder, I swear every rig was going through a roadside inspection. Felt bad for any driver who had to deal with that every 30-50 miles. You guys have it rough out east!

Just a lot to think on, but hey we are a third of the way there, I think! After this came about early last fall I didn’t think it would happen this quick.
PM cranes was bought out by Manitex International a few years ago. Cranes and Equipment use to sell PM but has since backed of the product line and is only a parts and service place for PM, but is selling the Copma knuckleboom. BIK is possibly the only PM dealer that sells a lot of the PM product line. I know Manitex has setup several new dealers for the PM product, you would have to check the Manitex website to see who is a dealer now.

We have built grapple saw packages on used trucks and it seems to be a 50/50 with used trucks. We have had a few customers that everything has worked out and others have spent lots of money on the truck to keep it operational. So make sure to look over the truck closely. If you do buy a used truck I have always been told to watch out for model years 2008 & 2009 as these were the first 2 years of the new emission exhaust system. A truck salesman told me they had several issues with those years (sounded regardless of make/model).

If you are buying a crane that was not setup for grapple saw be careful on this as well. To make the Mecanil grapple saw work to its fullest potential, you will have to make some expensive modifications (hose reels, control valve block, electrical, etc.). If the crane isn't setup correctly you will have overheating issues as well as bad performance of the grapple saw. From my experience the best setup is using 5/8" hose for the grapple/saw with separate controls just for the grapple/saw.
 
So it was you that stole that crane... I wanted to buy it but they were holding it for you to look at.

If everything checks out... that's the best deal I have ever seen for a knuckleboom crane... congrats.


It will be close to impossible to find a used chassis for that boom.
 
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Gray squirrel

New Member
Well it’s been a bit since I have been on here but the ball is finally rolling.

I initially had Brad at Westminister put together a cost on there 72002e they had sitting their used. Spent a few weeks traveling around with work and trying to find a solid tri axle and 20k front deck over to install it on. Finding a used truck suitable proved to be a lot harder than I expected. Even a cab chassis. 2007 or later we had the 7600s with an ISM or a Pete or kenworth with a 3406/c15 combo. That was about it. A lot of the Mack granites were much newer.

We only found one that would work, but being a Midwest truck there wasn’t much left. Previous was a rigging haul truck for a crane company. Still chewing on the 7600s with an ism but not really sold on them yet.

So long story short, we stumbled across a nice t800 deckover with a 72002 already mounted and outfitted, needed provisions for a mecanil. 32k on a 525hp c15 cat and was immaculate... hard to pass up on the cost he was asking, originally a form truck. Deposit was paid and last weekend on Super Bowl night I was to pay for it in KC, welp the day before he sold it to his brother....

I guess the right things happen for the right reasons, because today we have a permagrin as owners of a lightly used PM100 that popped up locally as a stand alone unit. Less than 400 hours on it. Looks brand new. Currently sits on a 19 twin steer western star dd13, but was not part of the purchase. However it may be available now.

So next step is to continue the truck search, or sell our soul on the new truck....

I had spoke to Tiffin during this process, however was bummed if it’s not a pal finger they can’t touch it... or at least that’s my understanding.

Sounds like Bik is the only company with a mecanil on a PM to date?

Anyways, just happy the ball is rolling.

Logistically not sure if a used truck stripped clean then paid to fully setup to accept the newer crane is worth the difference in cost on the new truck. The unit requires an abnormal pto as well due to large pump size of the crane. Shipping a truck and crane separate, across the country to westminister, and shipping back is nearly 10 grand. Driving isn’t much better. As we were traveling around NY and surrounding states looking at trucks I couldn’t believe how at every toll booth or gas stop on the shoulder, I swear every rig was going through a roadside inspection. Felt bad for any driver who had to deal with that every 30-50 miles. You guys have it rough out east!

Just a lot to think on, but hey we are a third of the way there, I think! After this came about early last fall I didn’t think it would happen this quick.
Yes they can be real ball busters on the big trucks
 
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