right truck mounted crane

How to
choose the
The Canadian Building Supply Industry has always
been a world leader in the use of cranes for delivering
all types of materials from drywall to shingles to
consumer goods.
Many types and sizes of cranes have
been used over the years. The most
successful and versatile of these have
been articulated, or “knuckleboom”
cranes due to their high power to
weight ratio, small space claim on the
truck, ease of use, and secure control
of the load. The use of articulated
cranes in Canada goes back almost
sixty years and these cranes have
come to be relied on for their
dependability, safety and value.
Request Equipment Matching
Computer Services for accurately
analyzing the truck/crane or
truck/forklift relationship. This calculates
critical stability, front and rear axle
loading and determines the best
combination of crane or forklift model,
outrigger option and vehicle and
frame specifications. The bottom line?
You maximize safety, vehicle
performance, payload and
The current cranes used by the
Building Industry fall into three
categories: (1) large dedicated
wallboard cranes, (2) medium
dedicated wallboard cranes, and
(3) medium mixed use cranes.
*Fax back the attached form for your
weight distribution analysis.
1. Large & Dedicated
The commonly used larger cranes
dedicated to delivery of wallboard
and roofing materials give a 70
foot vertical height. They will
handle a full lift of wallboard to the
7th floor or reach onto the roof of
suburban housing from 50 feet
away. With this ability the boom
truck doesn’t need to be positioned
close to its job site and can often
be left on the street while still
delivering its loads where needed.
The accuracy of this crane is
complemented by a hand held
Radio Remote Control. The six
functions on the remote provide
smooth “feathering” of all the boom
functions and can be switched to
three different speeds. Without being
seated on the crane or tied to the
truck with a cable, the operator can
be in the safest and most productive
place on the job – even in the
building where he can help unload
the wallboard - turning a 3 man crew
into 2.
The standard wallboard fork is
rated for a 6,000 lb. load. Its ability
to tilt hydraulically means the
wallboard can be lifted flat from the
deck then tilted on edge for safe
movement and removal at the job.
This tilt feature can also
compensate for weight, so sheets
of drywall can be lifted level.
It is important such a long reach
crane have a boom with very
little flex. A rated capacity of
near 3000 lbs. at full horizontal
reach and over 7,500 lbs. at
full height is needed to be
able to pinpoint its loads with
accuracy into window openings
and onto rooftops.
Speed of movement is critical
when working to these heights
so the largest wallboard cranes
have high flow, load sensing
hydraulics and valving that lets
the operator get the most speed
and precision from each boom
function independent of another.
This long boom wallboard crane
is mounted at the rear of the truck
where its reach can be used to
best advantage after backing into
the job site. The rear crane position
is also suitable for unloading a pup
trailer. When travelling down the
road, the boom stows forward over
the deck with the fork supported in
a stoutly designed tray over the
cab. With the crane stowed over
the deck, the boom must provide a
tall loading space underneath with
nothing hanging into the load area.
The truck deck is normally
24 1/2’ long so lengths of 12 ft.
wallboard can be carried end to
end. Checkerplate steel decks are
equipped with tie down winches/
straps, a large tarp box, a 4 ft.
headboard with mesh window,
a pintle hook, a remote control
storage box and all necessary
lighting. The stability of the
complete package including
mounted truck crane and deck must be checked to
ensure safe lifting without tipping over. The 23’
hydraulic outriggers and torsion box design crane’s
built into the flat deck aid in providing a rigid platform.
The truck chassis needs to be well matched to the
crane for best performance. Besides having the
horsepower and gearing
to best suit the terrain,
loads, and towing, the
chassis needs to have a
large section modulus
frame and sufficient
axle capacities.
but in a shorter, lighter, less expensive package.
A common size crane has a boom length of 50 ft. to
access up to the sith floor often used for residential
deliveries. It will lift 3,000 lbs. at full reach and heavier
pallet loads off the truck deck. Like their longer
versions the best of the cranes in these sizes have
strong, rigid booms and
crane rotation systems
running in oil that allow
them to work at full power
on the uneven terrain of
construction sites.
Usually a 20,000 lb.
front axle and 46,000 lb.
rear tandem are
specified – legal road
axle ratings may vary in
different regions.
This full size dedicated
wallboard crane is a
substantial piece of
equipment requiring a
significant investment and it
needs to work hard all the
time. Operators will need
to be fully trained by the
crane supplier who should
be able to give a
professional government
approved training course
leading to the needed
certification which varies
by Province.
The resale/trade-in value of the truck crane should
be considered at the time of purchase. Reputable
crane suppliers should be able to provide a solid
history of the resale value of previous cranes sold in
your industry and make assurances that the crane
investment will hold its value.
Downtime for this
dedicated crane can
present a very real crisis in
the delivery stream. The
crane needs to be well
supported by a dealer
with extensive experience in servicing this specific type
of crane. Parts should also be available off the shelf to
support repairs beyond routine maintenance in case of
accident or the unexpected happens.
2. Medium & Dedicated
The medium family of dedicated wallboard cranes
offers all the same advantages as the largest booms
Radio Remote Controls
are increasing in popularity
on for these medium sized
wallboard cranes due to
their advantages in safety
and productivity but some
areas of Canada prefer
the top seat control with
the crane operator turning
with the mast of the crane
and operating joysticks
and pedals.
These cranes are fast
and efficient with high
capacity hydraulic systems
and hydraulic tilting pallet
forks. The sizes of the
booms on these medium
capacity cranes allows them
to be mounted directly
behind the truck cab but
most Canadian cranes are
mounted at the rear of the
truck behind the deck so
the boom reach is best
used. Shorter, 22 1/2 ft.
decks are often used for a
more manoeuvrable truck
but the full length 24 1/2 ft. decks can also be fitted.
To carry the most load the chassis are equipped with
20,000 lb. front rating and up to a 46,000 rear
tandem rating. The lighter weight of these shorter
reach cranes increase overall payload.
The medium sized 50 ft. wallboard crane is the most
popular size with the best combination of reach,
capacity and start up cost.
Most Building Supply stores that do wallboard,
shingle, or lumber deliveries are using a crane this size.
3A. Medium & Mixed
The Medium Sized Mixed Use crane category
encompasses a variety of crane sizes with boom
lengths from 26 to 46 ft. and ability to lift from 2 to
3 tons off the truck deck. These cranes are true
“knuckleboom” cranes that can be transported either
stretched over the deck with a hydraulic pallet fork
installed or folded in a compact package behind
the cab.
Mounting these cranes
directly behind the cab
allow the deck to be
loaded with overhanging
lengths of product or and
the truck can be backed
up to a loading dock. The
relatively straightforward
hydraulic systems used
on this size crane
means its maximum
operating speed is lower
than that the dedicated
wallboard cranes.
Versatility is the key for these size cranes. Building
Supply Companies that do mostly mixed use deliveries
without a predominance of wallboard should find the
cost and performance of these cranes attractive.
3B. Medium & Mixed
The smaller loader/ unloader cranes are generally
mounted behind the cab on single axle trucks for
smaller deliveries where the bundle needs only be lifted
from the deck onto the ground. Crane reaches are
usually 24 to 30 feet with capacities of one Ton at
these distances. The cranes are
generally equipped with a load
hook and lift by slinging the
load, although a simple nontilting pallet fork is often used.
This has been Canada’s
most popular size of crane
with thousands sold since the
knuckleboom crane was
introduced over 60 years ago.
The better cranes in this size
have all the features of their
larger brothers with individual
outrigger control levers,
hexagonal shaped booms,
and safety check valves on
all cylinders.
However, these cranes can
be equipped with the tilting
pallet fork for wallboard, and
This size boom is often used as the primary
Control levers with the same
are often equipped with
delivery truck by smaller consumer oriented
sequence on both sides of the
Building Supply outlets. Even with its lower cost,
Radio Remote Control or the
crane make operation simple
attention should be paid to reliability and
less costly Cable Remote
and a fully proportional Remote
Control. For this class of crane good service/parts support, as this crane
Control can be fitted, either
should last many years with its lighter usage.
the truck, chassis and deck
when the crane is purchased or
size is usually chosen based
later if the need arises.
on the loads to be delivered rather than the cranes The
Operator training must also not be neglected for
26’ lighter capacity version of these cranes can even be
this smaller truck as the reach and capacity of these
mounted on a single axle truck if the loads carried are not
cranes still require skill and attention to safety.
too great.
A well chosen crane matched with a well chosen
Operators of these medium sized cranes still need to
truck should be a profitable tool for your business for
be well trained and government certified in many
many years. Evaluating your delivery needs and
provinces. Resale value should especially be considered
working with a reputable crane supplier with
for these cranes. They will certainly outlast the truck and
knowledge and experience should provide you with
the better cranes of this type should hold their value as
the most productive, dependable, and cost effective
their versatility makes them suitable for many industries.
boom truck.
A supplier with a long history with these cranes should
give a reliable prediction of expected resale value, even
to the point of guaranteeing a future buyback value.
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Weight Distribution Analysis (Truck)
C u s t o m e r : _____________________________________________________________ D a t e : _____________________________________________________
C o n t a c t : ______________________________ P h o n e : ______________________________________ F a x : ______________________________________
H I A B C r a n e M o d e l : _________________________________
■ Rear
■ B ehind Cab
V e h i c l e M a k e a n d M o d e l : _______________________________________ B o d y T y p e : ____________________________________________
C a ll Atl as Pol ar t e ch. dept. for tra ctor c a lcul a tion
C a b to Axl e ( CA )
Gross Ve hi cl e W e igh t ( GVW )
W h e e l B a se of Ve hi cl e ( WB )
Gross Axl e W e igh t Fron t ( GAWF )
Ce nt erlin e of Re ar Axle to End of Fra me ( AF ) ____________________
Gross Axl e W e igh t R e a r ( GAWR )
B ody L e ngt h ( BL )
B ody W e igh t ( BW )
Ta nd e m Spre a d ( TS )
Fron t Axl e D e a d W e igh t ( FADW )
B ump er to Axl e ( BA )
R e a r Axl e D e a d W e igh t ( RADW )
Fu e l W e igh t
Cle arance for Exhaust, Transmission etc. ( XC) ____________________
Ou trigger Typ e
S e c tion Modulus
Aux. Ou triggers Typ e & L oc a tion
Yi e ld Stre ngt h
COMMENTS: ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
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