Request for advice on new bucket, Altec vs Versalift vs Terex. Gas vs Diesel

Cuinn

New Member
#1
We are going to buy a rear mount bucket truck soon. I wanted to get a nice used one, but I have not been able to find much. So we are looking at getting a new one.

The Altec 65' is the most expensive, and has the shortest side reach.

The cost on the Terex is very close to the Altec, just a little bit less, and it has a few more feet of side reach.

The Versalift units we are seeing are about $4-5k less than the Altec, and have 50' side reach, which is a few feet more than the Terex.

I don't know much about the difference between the performance of the units. I have ran different buckets years ago while working for other people, but they were all older units, and I don't recall specifically the differences in performance. I know that I liked the pistol grip a lot better than the levers.

Both our chip trucks and the pickup that hauls the stump grinder and the mini are diesel. And the motor on the mini is diesel. And our bigger chipper is diesel.

In the past I would not ever even consider a gas powered bucket truck. But now that all the horror stories are going around about the new trucks and the emission difficulties it seems like it might actually be an option. Before we got our used Brush Bandit 200 I was talking with Morbark about a new machine and they actually recommend a gas model, due to the problems with the new diesels. The last thing we need is to spend close to $150 k on a bucket and sales tax and then have the truck in the shop for extended periods getting warranty work, like I hear is happening a lot.

Advantage of the V-10 gas Ford are:
  1. Cost. $10k cheaper than the 6.7 diesel Ford. Even more savings when compared to International or Freightliner.
  2. Weight. The V-10 is the lightest 65' unit. This makes it easier to maneuver into place, which is the whole reason for getting a rear mount.
  3. None of the emission complications that come with the new diesels. I am told that the diesel will kick into regen mode while trimming, and that this will hurt performance and cause more problems to arise, meaning more money spent on maintenance and repairs.

Disadvantage of the gas compared to diesel.
  1. Only one chassis to choose from. I am only seeing Fords that come in gas.
  2. Longevity. Obviously diesels last longer.
  3. Fuel consumption. The big one.

Fuel consumption is something I could really use some advice on. I know that the gas will use more fuel. But I don't really know how much, especially when operating the bucket all day. I have what I think is good guess on the mpg, like about 5-7 mpg for the gas and 10-12 mpg for the diesel.

Can some of you give me your best estimate on how many gallons you think the V-10 gas will use vs the 6.7 diesel in 8 hours of operation, and the performance, longevity, and cost and frequency of maintenance between Altec ,Versalift , and Terex?

I greatly appreciate your time and help.
 

deevo

Well-Known Member
#2
We are going to buy a rear mount bucket truck soon. I wanted to get a nice used one, but I have not been able to find much. So we are looking at getting a new one.

The Altec 65' is the most expensive, and has the shortest side reach.

The cost on the Terex is very close to the Altec, just a little bit less, and it has a few more feet of side reach.

The Versalift units we are seeing are about $4-5k less than the Altec, and have 50' side reach, which is a few feet more than the Terex.

I don't know much about the difference between the performance of the units. I have ran different buckets years ago while working for other people, but they were all older units, and I don't recall specifically the differences in performance. I know that I liked the pistol grip a lot better than the levers.

Both our chip trucks and the pickup that hauls the stump grinder and the mini are diesel. And the motor on the mini is diesel. And our bigger chipper is diesel.

In the past I would not ever even consider a gas powered bucket truck. But now that all the horror stories are going around about the new trucks and the emission difficulties it seems like it might actually be an option. Before we got our used Brush Bandit 200 I was talking with Morbark about a new machine and they actually recommend a gas model, due to the problems with the new diesels. The last thing we need is to spend close to $150 k on a bucket and sales tax and then have the truck in the shop for extended periods getting warranty work, like I hear is happening a lot.

Advantage of the V-10 gas Ford are:
  1. Cost. $10k cheaper than the 6.7 diesel Ford. Even more savings when compared to International or Freightliner.
  2. Weight. The V-10 is the lightest 65' unit. This makes it easier to maneuver into place, which is the whole reason for getting a rear mount.
  3. None of the emission complications that come with the new diesels. I am told that the diesel will kick into regen mode while trimming, and that this will hurt performance and cause more problems to arise, meaning more money spent on maintenance and repairs.

Disadvantage of the gas compared to diesel.
  1. Only one chassis to choose from. I am only seeing Fords that come in gas.
  2. Longevity. Obviously diesels last longer.
  3. Fuel consumption. The big one.

Fuel consumption is something I could really use some advice on. I know that the gas will use more fuel. But I don't really know how much, especially when operating the bucket all day. I have what I think is good guess on the mpg, like about 5-7 mpg for the gas and 10-12 mpg for the diesel.

Can some of you give me your best estimate on how many gallons you think the V-10 gas will use vs the 6.7 diesel in 8 hours of operation, and the performance, longevity, and cost and frequency of maintenance between Altec ,Versalift , and Terex?

I greatly appreciate your time and help.
Altec, terex and versa lift are all great lifts, like you said the Altec costs a bit more then the other 2. The 6.7 diesel is a fantastic Diesel engine, fords done a good job on it unlike the 6.0 and 6.4 ventures with international. My f250's 6.7 is super strong and dependable. I wouldn't count it out. V-10's a guzzler no doubt! Heck my 5.4 tritons horrendous on gas I'd hate to fill and drive a V-10!
 

tc262

Well-Known Member
#3
The V10s in my F450 and 550’s averaged 5mpg pulling a 200 Bandit. I’d guess you’ll be doing 4 in a bucket truck.
Will you be running a pony motor for the lift hydros? It’s a lot harder on a gas motor to idle all day compared to a diesel.
 

craneguy1

Well-Known Member
#5
I cant imagine our v10 powering a bucket...a slug for sure...hope you got dlat land! Mpg on our f550 gas is 5.5 average pulling a stumper.
 

RoyalTree

Active Member
#6
Having a gas engine can be acceptable if you are not in hilly terrain or pulling something heavy. I would not dream of having a gas bucket without the pony motor. Our gas bucket burns several gallons per hours just idling on the pto for the bucket. The pony is probably just under one gallon per hour. You do the math. The initial cost of pony might make it smarter to go diesel.

I think our next one is going to be a Peterbilt with a Cummins and Allison automatic to match the grapple.
 
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limbcontrol

Active Member
#7
Haven't had any problems with new 2016 Freightliner M2's with Cummins. Just ordered another one at the end of December and it won't be finished up at the factory till March. I could have had one right away but custom orders take longer since these trucks being built are usually pre-built with a 24' body and a white cab. keep that in mind unless you want what is on a dealers lot already spec'd out.

I would not go with the Ford gas or diesel.
For your booms. Fly them all before buying and let your bucket operator choose
 

RoyalTree

Active Member
#8
One thing to keep in mind is where you will get dealer support for the chassis. Ford service for anything bigger than a f350 here is nonexistent.

I wonder if they can build one on the new Isuzu frr chassis. That would be awesome for access.
 

Jasonk

Active Member
#9
X2 on the Freightliner with cummins. We have a rear mount with elevator on order as well. Hoping to see it in March. A bucket is a significant investment so I really consider longevity and even resale when I make a purchase. Personally Im considering the gas option in a chipper but wouldn't in my buckets (thats just me). We have had good luck with Terex and didn't look at Altec because the elevator layout makes it vey difficult to transport mats. Good luck!
 

craneguy1

Well-Known Member
#11
Haven't had any problems with new 2016 Freightliner M2's with Cummins. Just ordered another one at the end of December and it won't be finished up at the factory till March. I could have had one right away but custom orders take longer since these trucks being built are usually pre-built with a 24' body and a white cab. keep that in mind unless you want what is on a dealers lot already spec'd out.

I would not go with the Ford gas or diesel.
For your booms. Fly them all before buying and let your bucket operator choose
I'm not happy with how our 08 ford with cummins is holding up on a chip truck...got a 98 bucket that is in better shape steel and paint wise than the chip truck (which was made in mexico btw...)
 
#12
Were pretty unhappy with terex at the moment. They are trying to refuse to take care of a recall boom cracking issue. On top of that, they wanted to look at the truck for us about this recall issue. We took the truck to them two hours away. They didn't perform any actual work on the truck but wanted $400 for them checking on the recall.
 
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