Opinions on a dinosaur

highclass

New Member
Location
florida
Fellas I have an opportunity to buy an old topkick with a hi ranger boom (rear mount) It's a little far away but It would cost me significantly less than what I have invested in my climbing stuff to buy it. (But to fix it up.... yeah) I kinda indirectly know the guy. ( the bad news is it needs air brake work / engine and cosmetics ) he says the boom works great but he cant show me cause the main engine? Red flag I know. I don't want to sound too interested so I haven't asked a lot but I can get this for a song and dance. Anyone out there familiar with working on one of these? Think it's a good buy? Walk or run away? I can count 4 jobs last month where having this would have cut labor and time in half and then some I could probably add a bunch of work really. Now I want it. I think it's worth dumping endless cash into. Gotta start somewhere right? Change my mind please. Here's a pic (haven't committed to seeing it in person yet) 610116925.jpg
 

Merle Nelson

Well-Known Member
Location
SF Bay Area, CA
If you want someone to help you change your mind it shouldn't be hard to find. I wouldn't buy it because I value my life. :)
I know there are tons of guys over in India that work on wiring to steal electricity even though it looks like a birds nest of unshielded death. They would go for it. :)

Plus your buying from a guy who stores his beer cans like I store cords of firewood. How was that maintained even when it was a clean piece of equipment?

Welcome to posting on TreeBuzz by the way. Not meaning to be hard on you.
 

Jehinten

Well-Known Member
Location
Evansville
First impression, I bought a Similar aged topkick/hi-ranger in a forestry package a few years ago. It was quite cheap and to be honest it is probably the reason I was able to make a profit my first couple of years as I'm not a great climber and I have no employees.

That being said it had several things go wrong over the course of 5 years and more than once I thought the truck was done for good just to pull out a miracle repair to get it back going again (like a $1,000 fix to rebuild a part that was going to cost $11,000 to replace). Between hydraulic leaks and carburetor issues it seems like as soon as you repair one another one pops up soon after.

The final straw for me was when I was dumping the chip box I had the boom in the air as you have too. The truck rocked to the side as it drove through a divet and the momentum of the boom swinging broke the rotation gearbox in several pieces causing the boom to rotate freely in any direction it wanted to. Had this happened with me in the air near electric wires I would not have been able to avoid them or rotate the bucket back out of the wires.

I still have this truck, but I have removed the boom and plan on having a mini skid platform in front of the chip box.
 
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Luzl78

Active Member
One of the best booms ever built. Simple to maintain. I’ve used non over center hi-rangers for 38 years. Also like the aerial lift of Connecticut booms with the 84” ca for maneuverin.
 

Reach

Well-Known Member
Location
Atglen, PA
I am of the strong opinion that my life is worth more than a $500 truck, and I will not leave the ground in something that looks like that. If you can’t work because you’re in the hospital because the truck dropped you from 40’, how much money are you actually earning?

If the boom inspection records are not reasonably complete, I would assume that all inspectable parts need replaced, especially anything fiberglass like the booms, as well as hoses, cylinders, and valves. If replacing all of those does not fit in your budget, leave it right where it sits.

My recommendation would be to leave it there and either finance a newer truck, or rent a lift while you save up for something better.
 

Luzl78

Active Member
I am of the strong opinion that my life is worth more than a $500 truck, and I will not leave the ground in something that looks like that. If you can’t work because you’re in the hospital because the truck dropped you from 40’, how much money are you actually earning?

If the boom inspection records are not reasonably complete, I would assume that all inspectable parts need replaced, especially anything fiberglass like the booms, as well as hoses, cylinders, and valves. If replacing all of those does not fit in your budget, leave it right where it sits.

My recommendation would be to leave it there and either finance a newer truck, or rent a lift while you save up for something better.
I agree. Must be maintained
 

Jonny

Well-Known Member
Location
Buffalo
I’d be scared to pay more than it’s worth in scrap metal. If it won’t run then the closest you’ll get to inspecting it is looking for wet spots and dry rot.
I’d love to see you score a deal and grow your business man, but there’s every reason to believe that truck will be like a hole that you just throw cash into with little return.
 

ATH

Well-Known Member
Location
Ohio
This would be your first bucket @highclass ?

Have you worked on them before?

2 ways to look at that:
*You will learn "sink or swim" style
*Lean to maintain something that doesn't need everything replaced right out of the gate.

I tend to think the second makes more sense, though I do like a new challenge! If I had that truck, I wouldn't know if "A" didn't work because it is just not working or if "A" was not working because "B" is the non-functional part...and on and on and on.

Of course, I don't know...what is that outfit in PA (?) that buys junk, paints them pretty and resells? Maybe we'd all be singing a different song if it came off a lot like that.

I'd want to see lots of records showing scheduled maintenance and inspections before even considering something that looks like that. If they have done the routine stuff, maybe. Maybe. But probably not. Just my opinion. I'd rather rent a lift periodically.
 

oldoakman

Well-Known Member
Location
Alorgia
I flew that type of a bucket in the late '70's through the '80's. Required rebuild maintenance was every 3 years if stored outside and every 5 years if stored inside. This was for a municipality and I had to beg and threaten union action to get the proper maintenance done. Doesn't look like this one has had any at all.
 

highclass

New Member
Location
florida
Thanks for the input fellas. The only reason I'm thinking about it other than price is it's near my parents who have a pole barn so I can fix it. Right down the street. Guy is 70 and retired so it just sits.
 

Tom Dunlap

Here from the beginning
Administrator
Lots of great advice

if the truck isn’t running it’s scrap. Pay an inspector to do a DOT on it. No weaseling or holding back. Brutal honesty. Maybe the same person can diagnose the air brakes etc.

do the same for the boom if the chassis is hopeful.

there have been lots of trips up n down on that basket. Not every operator knows, or cares, how to feather controls. They are the ones that slam on brakes and foot in the carb/fuel injectors. I wonder what all that slamming and torquing do to the joints of the boom. Youcan only bend paper clips so many times
 

highclass

New Member
Location
florida
I'm looking at alternatives. Lol. I'm sure it wont be going anywhere. Found an xt55 near me. Maybe check it out if I have some time. Thanks for the brutal honesty. Y'all probably saved me at least a headache.
 

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