Looking to buy my first knuckle boom crane with a grapplesaw.

tjr

New Member
Effer or Palfinger? Optimal size for Indiana? Mercantile or Grierkink grapplesaw? Cutting bar size? Dependability and do the job day and day out? Pros and Cons of each? Thanks!
 

Steve Connally

Well-Known Member
I'm thinking some of those questions you have to answer on your own. Evaluate the urban forrest. What boom length and capacity is rite for you. How are you using the saw? Just brush picks or trunk wood also. That determines bar length. Cant tell you about the other saw brands but I went with mecanil. I evaluated the load charts and expenses, proximity of service, and others experience to decide on palfinger. You've got to answer a lot of those questions yourself before anyone can give you feedback. What works for me won't work for you always. Do some research, narrow your information gathering and then return and I bet you'll get many of the answers cleared up from the guys on here.
 

tjr

New Member
I'm thinking some of those questions you have to answer on your own. Evaluate the urban forrest. What boom length and capacity is rite for you. How are you using the saw? Just brush picks or trunk wood also. That determines bar length. Cant tell you about the other saw brands but I went with mecanil. I evaluated the load charts and expenses, proximity of service, and others experience to decide on palfinger. You've got to answer a lot of those questions yourself before anyone can give you feedback. What works for me won't work for you always. Do some research, narrow your information gathering and then return and I bet you'll get many of the answers cleared up from the guys on here.
 

tjr

New Member
I’ve only seen treemek unit in action with mecanil saw. Altec has approached me with the other setup. Starting to here whispers of shock load problems with Palfinger not lasting more than 5 years. Service wise Altec has been great on all the aerial units I’ve purchased. My brother and I’ll be using as tree removal in the urban forestry. Rental of cranes for 17 years but with us getting older looking to make things easier for us. Crane company is looking to downsize and our main climber passed away last year which is changing our formula. The workforce hasn’t showed us anything so now we have to make an adjustment to the formula for our business going forward. 30 Ton we use a lot in the crane rental and 72 aerial arborist track unit for all our tree work. So, I think 100 ft to 110 ft. Saw cut 14 to 18. Service wise Altec is within hour away. Maybe a extra saw that cuts 25. Looking regular cab instead of cab over. Rear mount unit. Any critique from this information? Knuckleboom trader reached out to me. Talked with Palfinger in Ohio and Altec in Indianapolis.
 
Starting to here whispers of shock load problems with Palfinger not lasting more than 5 years.
Whoever is saying that is full of BS... any boom can fail if it's continually shock loaded or undersized for it's application. Unfortunately there's a lot of misinformation spread in order to get a sale.

What kind of budget do you have? From what I've seen with other people, whatever capacity knuckleboom you are thinking of now, go bigger.
 
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Steve Connally

Well-Known Member
I’ve only seen treemek unit in action with mecanil saw. Altec has approached me with the other setup. Starting to here whispers of shock load problems with Palfinger not lasting more than 5 years. Service wise Altec has been great on all the aerial units I’ve purchased. My brother and I’ll be using as tree removal in the urban forestry. Rental of cranes for 17 years but with us getting older looking to make things easier for us. Crane company is looking to downsize and our main climber passed away last year which is changing our formula. The workforce hasn’t showed us anything so now we have to make an adjustment to the formula for our business going forward. 30 Ton we use a lot in the crane rental and 72 aerial arborist track unit for all our tree work. So, I think 100 ft to 110 ft. Saw cut 14 to 18. Service wise Altec is within hour away. Maybe a extra saw that cuts 25. Looking regular cab instead of cab over. Rear mount unit. Any critique from this information? Knuckleboom trader reached out to me. Talked with Palfinger in Ohio and Altec in Indianapolis.
I'll reply in-depth tomorrow. I would ask you to reference the shock loading and failures after 5 years. I know of one cracked boom section but no pattern of 5 year failures.
 

Steve Connally

Well-Known Member
Nah never mind, I'll respond now. I agree with the above statement. Always go bigger. I got a 50 and some days I wish I had more. I went up a model from where I originally was shopping. Much better fit for me and my urban canopy. I have the 280 saw with both size bars. In hindsight I'd have gone with a smaller saw because most of my customers want to pic millwood to save on disposal. the 280 is overkill on the majority of my jobs. Just costs me some capacity but when I need it I need it. I don't know much about altec Lest I looked they were short booms and light load charts. Things may have changed from the first one they marketed. I'd say you are looking down the rite path and doing your homework. Seem to have a pretty good handle on it. I have a rear mount cab forward. Didn't want a cabover either. Too rough of a ride with a rear mount. I wanted a rear mount because of the locations I have to work.
 

tjr

New Member
So, Palfinger seems to be the favorite choice along with Mecanil saw. Did you visit any other knucklebooms or saws? If, so what made you go with your setup? I see more or going up on the 3000 to 40000 or 5000. Saws did you go 16, 18 or 25? You buy just one or two? You get an extra job in by having that unit or get done how much quicker? Same amount of guys or less? I see a lot of guys go with dumping debris into another big truck. Seems like that would limit of doing another job. Trying to get rid of all that debris is a challenge.
 

Steve Connally

Well-Known Member
Nah never mind, I'll respond now. I agree with the above statement. Always go bigger. I got a 50 and some days I wish I had more. I went up a model from where I originally was shopping. Much better fit for me and my urban canopy. I have the 280 saw with both size bars. In hindsight I'd have gone with a smaller saw because most of my customers want to pic millwood to save on disposal. the 280 is overkill on the majority of my jobs. Just costs me some capacity but when I need it I need it. I don't know much about altec Lest I looked they were short booms and light load charts. Things may have changed from the first one they marketed. I'd say you are looking down the rite path and doing your homework. Seem to have a pretty good handle on it. I have a rear mount cab forward. Didn't want a cabover either. Too rough of a ride with a rear mount. I wanted a rear mount because of the locations I have to work.
 

tjr

New Member
Nah never mind, I'll respond now. I agree with the above statement. Always go bigger. I got a 50 and some days I wish I had more. I went up a model from where I originally was shopping. Much better fit for me and my urban canopy. I have the 280 saw with both size bars. In hindsight I'd have gone with a smaller saw because most of my customers want to pic millwood to save on disposal. the 280 is overkill on the majority of my jobs. Just costs me some capacity but when I need it I need it. I don't know much about altec Lest I looked they were short booms and light load charts. Things may have changed from the first one they marketed. I'd say you are looking down the rite path and doing your homework. Seem to have a pretty good handle on it. I have a rear mount cab forward. Didn't want a cabover either. Too rough of a ride with a rear mount. I wanted a rear mount because of the locations I have to work.
 

Steve Connally

Well-Known Member
So, Palfinger seems to be the favorite choice along with Mecanil saw. Did you visit any other knucklebooms or saws? If, so what made you go with your setup? I see more or going up on the 3000 to 40000 or 5000. Saws did you go 16, 18 or 25? You buy just one or two? You get an extra job in by having that unit or get done how much quicker? Same amount of guys or less? I see a lot of guys go with dumping debris into another big truck. Seems like that would limit of doing another job. Trying to get rid of all that debris is a challenge.
I didn't visit other saws. I looked at Effer but stuck with pal finger A trusted recommendation from a good friend and conversations with the builder sold me. I have a 20" and a 25" bar. I only sub out to other tree services. I don't do my own work. Many of the guys I work with show up with 2 man crews when i'm there. It's all they need, all I need.
 

tjr

New Member
Difficulty on driveways or equally distributed on the weight? So you went 5000 model and abel to get 104 feet? What length of truck from front to back? How long you had yours?
 

tjr

New Member
Difficulty on driveways or equally distributed on the weight? So you went 5000 model and abel to get 104 feet? What
I didn't visit other saws. I looked at Effer but stuck with pal finger A trusted recommendation from a good friend and conversations with the builder sold me. I have a 20" and a 25" bar. I only sub out to other tree services. I don't do my own work. Many of the guys I work with show up with 2 man crews when i'm there. It's all they need, all I need.
I have subbed out from a guy but he books up quick. 2 month to 3 month turnaround. Length of truck from front to back? How long you had yours?
 

tjr

New Member
I didn't visit other saws. I looked at Effer but stuck with pal finger A trusted recommendation from a good friend and conversations with the builder sold me. I have a 20" and a 25" bar. I only sub out to other tree services. I don't do my own work. Many of the guys I work with show up with 2 man crews when i'm there. It's all they need, all I need.
I appreciate your time and information.
 

Steve Connally

Well-Known Member
Difficulty on driveways or equally distributed on the weight? So you went 5000 model and abel to get 104 feet? What length of truck from front to back? How long you had yours?
I'm closer to 110' vertical and 94' horizontal I went for a 50 for capacity and better for a 280 saw. I went with the truck set up because backing a conventional cab into tight spaces is the best way to maneuver. Truck is about 36' and I didn't want to loose any boom due to the truck body. I have a 54k curb weight. My pusher is to keep me federal bridge law compliant. I never use during set up since its on air bags as well as the suspension. I lift the pusher and drop the chassis air. I took deliver on March of this year. I haven't cracked a driveway that wasn't already cracked. I had a stabilizer crack a sidewalk though. Crappy masonry. If everything is poured to code I shouldn't have any issues anywhere. If in doubt i'll toss mats and bridge edges. Probably the 60 range would have been best for me. I have the height for everything I do. I've only encountered one tree I couldn't safely get the top but as my market has free log pick up from several companies I wish I had a little larger capacity at a farther radius. I usually come out fine on conifers but the Oaks have been weighing off the chart this year. Wet spring and summer. You'll find that's the benefit of the biggest load chart you can finance. I went for broke and went up as high as I could. Not really much I'd change with what I did. Couple very minor tweaks here and there. Now if money was no object Id have bought a new cab and chassis, stepped up in the 60's on the boom range and gotten the 160 and 280 saw. It's an amazing truck. You have many wins but there is also give and take. Understand your log picks at a far radius may not be what you are used to with a 30t stick. Good thing is a smaller truck, the ability to short jack and you can get closer.
 

climbhightree

Well-Known Member
Listen to Steve.

It is all about what you can afford and your application/area.

I chose standard cab with a cab mount, because I wanted a dump bed (actually a hooklift). I wanted the versatility of being more than just a crane truck.

Palfinger definitely has the niche, and started this movement...other companies are playing catch up (and not necessarily worse than palfinger at this point). I went with Fassi because I wanted a local crane shop...not one hours away. 20180828_122410.jpg
 
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