JLG to Discontinue Gradall Rear-Pivot Steer Telehandler Models
October 16, 2009
JLG to Discontinue Rear-Pivot Steer Telehandler Models
Rear pivot steer PR.pdf
McConnellsburg, Pa., October 16, 2009 – JLG Industries, Inc., an Oshkosh Corporation company [NYSE: OSK], announced today that it will discontinue the manufacturing of its four rear-pivot steer telehandler models. Beginning in 2010, the G6-42P, 534D9-45, 534D10-45 and 544D10-55 will no longer be part of the JLG branded family of telehandlers.
“The market for rear-pivot steer telehandler models has been in decline for the last several years. The decreased demand for these units, combined with the continuing burden placed on manufacturers to comply with increasingly stringent EPA engine standards, lead us to the decision to discontinue these four niche models,” said Brian Boeckman, JLG industries product parent for telehandlers. “Our customers can rest assured that JLG will continue to support machines in the field with the same level of parts and service available today for many years to come. JLG will focus its resources on developing and maintaining the products and services that bring the most value to our customers.”
JLG will continue to manufacture the JLG branded G5-18A, 619A, 723A, G6-42A, G9-43A, G10-43A, G10-55A and G12-55A. Programs will be put in place to provide customers with access to rebuild / reconditioned rear-pivot steer units long after the last new units are manufactured, as part of JLG Ground Support™, aftermarket support program.
Unlike the other eight models in the JLG branded family, rear-pivot telehandlers provide 90-degree rear-pivot steering with the two rear wheels. This feature differentiates these models from a market that is dominated by four-wheel steer models. The market for these niche models has been regionally focused and has continued to retract over the past several years.
For more information on JLG’s family of telescopic material handlers and aerial work platforms, please visit us on the web at www.jlg.com.
I think they will dump Lull transaction next if their new technology pans out. Womder if market share will decline on Lulls if it does?
Never saw any advantage to Skytrac machines except big market share. Why do they have big market share?
Last edited by Speedpup; 10-24-2009 at 09:00 AM.
Having worked in the Lull engineering dept I have a soft spot for them. I worked for Lull/Sky Trak before they were bought out by JLG. I haven't driven too many since ~2004 so my comments my be a little dated.
Lull's big area is the south east and with masons. Compared to Trak, Lull sold more to individuals (as opposed to rental houses). Lull's have 3 advantages.
1) resale is good, especially B/C series and older machines which were fairly durable (The 644D doesn't count ) We had an old roller boom machine at the closed down plant for a couple of months, not for sale mind you, and 3 different contractors drove in off the street and tried to buy it off of us.
2) horizontal positioning with transaction - This functionality can be replicated with a fancy valve and some sensors, but the average rental mechanic will not know how to fix it. JLG will almost certainly have teething problems. More to go wrong in the long haul.
3) extended reach with transaction - no valve can provide this. Though admittedly the capacity is diminished at full reach, some people find it very handy for placing trusses, etc.
Sky Trak's were big in the south west. They are generally considered to be the "Chevy" of telehandlers - upper-middle of the pack in durability, reliability, cost, etc. Not a lot of frills. Good bang for the buck with a reasonable resale. Sold well partially because they sold their soul to the rental houses to move units. Management tried to tell us it was better to sell more machines but make less profit Get our foot in the door and try to sell parts to make the money back.
I have to think that all three brands have their strong region and dealers. During the 99-04 period Lull sold almost as many machines as Trak. It costs money to keep all three sales organizations, but they will inevitably alienate some of the dealers and customers if they drop any one of the brands. They have already stared down this path by commonizing on the Trak quick attach design. If anything the JLG and Track machines are too much alike. I half expected by now that they would have merged the two product lines. They could continue to sell them as individual brands with JLG or Trak stickers (like many other companies) or try to roll the brands together.
A less likely path would be to commonize the booms (big $$ savings), make slightly different frames/cabs, but offer the Trak with a Cummins and the JLG with a Deere. This is unlikely as I think JLG has a deal with Deere, but it would keep the loyal customers happy while saving $$.
JLG - similar to Sky Trak
Pettibone - similar to Sky Trak, probably slightly lower grade (I think the older machines were better than Sky Trak but they have slipped over time)
Traverse - Pettibone with transaction, worked around Lull patent
CAT - designed for European and upscale buyers, like all CAT machines expensive to repair
Gehl (aka Mustang) - DL series: outdated design, heavy with lots of steel but not always in the right place, poor visibility
RS series: older design w/external boom hoses, low end cab, first got rear stability cylinder in '05.
(one big plus for some customers is the wireless boom operation from a basket)
Genie (formerly Baraga “Square Shooter” brand) - I operated a 2000 model and it had a very crude cab. Not impressed.
Xtreme Manufacturing - haven't seen these in person. I had heard that they were a rip off of the Trak design, but it sure doesn't look that way in the pictures. Overall looks OK, though I questions some small things.
Manitou - French, designed for European users which means mainly farmers and small municipalities. Nice/fancy cab, only a couple machines above 35ft.
Ingersol Rand (aka Case) - 2000 model had a very crude cab and frame, if I remember correctly is had remotely mounted counterbalance valves - which isn't a good design, I have to believe that the rear mounted slave cylinders get damaged a lot, at first glance not much has changed structurally from Hyster days.
Skyjack (formerly Carelift) - haven't had a chance to check them out.
Curious to see what others think, I'm sure you won't hold back!
I have some of the old Lull sales info. Let me know what models you are interested in and I'll scan them in if I have them. If you didn't know already he started out by making loader, sweeper and vertical mast attachments for ag tractors. His early forklifts were converted Oliver tractors, which he turned around. Lull introduced his telehandlers in '64.
Ah yes.....the 644D. I believe Lull made less than 200 of them. The story I got was that they were originally intended to be something like the new crop of machines with ~5,000 lbs capacity and 20-25ft reach. They were ahead of the time so marketing changed the product requirements from a 2 section boom with 5000 capacity to a 3 section boom with 6,000lbs capacity. As you can imagine they have almost no capacity at full reach and transacted, especially with a heavy 74" tilt carriage. The second problem was the gear boxes. The shafts were necked down to accept the universal joint yokes, which created a weak spot. At one time I saw a couple of pallets with busted 90° gear boxes. And the third problem, to a lesser degree, was the fuel tank-in-the-frame concept. If the tank was near empty and you drove up/down a slope the engine would such air. And during extended inactivity the inside of the tank will rust.
As far as Traverse goes, I don't know if they were ex-Lull, but I do know how they got around the Lull patent. The transaction patent specifically stated that the rollers were on a single plane, Traverse simply put the rollers on two planes and won the ensuing lawsuit.
"I was sad when Lull left their home in St. Paul. I thought of all the people that lost their jobs after many years. I even talked to a guy in the factory who would go cut Mrs Lull grass and take care of the house after R H Lull passed on."
Right before we closed the St.Paul plant for good Mr. "Shorty" Lull's daughter stopped by. She looked at an old picture with some of the employees and her dad, and she could still remember some of them. His original plant was much closer to down-town St.Paul, but it was too small. I think she said her dad took advantage of some type of WWII loan and opened up the plant I worked at, which was on Hwy 13 just outside of Eagan. We even ran across an old model he had made of a rig to tow the big Air Force bombers in the 60's, but obviously didn't get the contract.
"Why was it called Lull Engine Company?" I haven't heard of that name, but I will say that every time someone new owed the company the name was changed slightly for legal reasons. Here is the history, best I can find.
1956 or 1959:- Lull Manufacturing Co. founded by Legrand "Shorty" Lull
<1963-1973: The Lull Engineering Co, Inc
1973 - Mar1992: Lull Corporation (owned by Stamatakis Industries Inc., went bankrupt)
Mid 1992-Nov1993: Bought by Badger R. Bazen,
Nov1993: Lull Industries Inc
1993??: Lull International Inc.
1996: Harbour Group acquires, joins Sky Trak
1997, late: bought by OmniQuip
2003: JLG bought OmniQuip
2006, late - JLG bought by Oshkosh Truck
"When did Jeff Duab stop the parts drawings?" Name doesn't ring a bell.
Last edited by icestationzebra; 12-04-2009 at 05:05 PM.
Thanks for the info
What did you actually work on in your design capacity?
When they developed a new machine how long did it take them from design start to production?
I met Stamatakis and his son at a masonry show in TX they had a 1044B their.
I had a friend who was friends with Bazen.
I think my 7C is a backward tractor with the frame built around it.
How many 1044B were made? How many 844's were made?
I bought some of the old Lull ad from the 50's for loaders and sweepers.
Why did Traverse get killed after Pettibone bought it? Is that what happen?
How do they build a prototype?
sory for all the ?????????????? thanks!
I like the lifting machines brochures if you scan any
I liked the engine braking that the Gradalls had. The steering was something different to get used to. In the North Texas area it seemed like the Skytrak was the machine of choice with our rental customers. Had good reliability and seemed like a really tough machine. Gotta love the 644D. LOL. We had a couple of those and they all seemed to have their own little problems. JJ
Not sure if I would have liked engine braking because I throw it in neutral, coast in and start to lift. I guess good as you don't need to hit the brakes all the time. I heard rear steer tears up the ground more than 4 wheel steer?
Originally Posted by Hardline
If you want to see how a 844 looked like when they were sold in Sweden follw the linkhttp://galleri.blomgrensbygg.com/#4,2 It is a -89 844 and i still use it almost every week.
That is a wild Lull larger cab than my 844. Looks like the frame sits higher on the axles than mine, What motor is in it? Does it have quick-tach for the carraige in front? Have any other closer picturs or details? Thanks. How many hours on it?
It has an John Deere engine.The quick-tach is a Volvo attachment and that is more or less standard on all telehandlers&wheelloaders here in Sweden.It has run 17 500 hours.It is very well maintaind,I purchased it in march-09 and before that it has only one owner/driver since new.I have only put new seals in the steercylinders and bearings in the boomrollers.It runs great and starts easy even if it is cold.It would be great to se pictures on a US-machine with cab,i have only seen them without.If anyone have the colorcode for Lull I would be happy to have it.I have added some pictures on the same link as earlier.
"What did you actually work on in your design capacity?"
I am a test engineer, so i get to build and test the prototypes. Find the build issues, performance issues, engine approval, etc. One of the more interesting things we had to do was to create the load charts. The test consists of placing the machine on a tip table, in one of five predetermined positions, with the desired load. Then the table is tipped until the machine actually tips over - but of course we catch it before it goes all the way over. There is a standard which states the angle that must be achieved for each of the positions.
"When they developed a new machine how long did it take them from design start to production?"
That depends a lot on how much needs to be done. Obviously the first machine in a family takes more time than the other variants. Another issue is getting the major components from the suppliers. An example would be modifying an off-the-shelf axle, that could add 3-6 months of lead time depending on the supplier. A clean sheet of paper design would take 18-30 months, but we usually carry some designs over like the booms.
"I think my 7C is a backward tractor with the frame built around it."
Way before my time. From a quick internet search it appears they were built out of an Oliver model 770 or 1550. I think the 7C-1 was on the 770 while the 7C-2 was on the 1550.
"How many 1044B were made? How many 844's were made?"
"How do they build a prototype?"
This is how most small-to-medium companies do it: Marketing asks for a new or modified product. The design engineers generate the design, working with suppliers. Purchasing dept. decides to buy parts from outside vendor or make them inhouse. Test group receives/inspects the parts and builds the first proto or protos, then tests them. A simple project may only have one proto whereas a new project will usually have two generations of a couple samples each, depending on the options available. The first generation is understandably rough, with the second generation incorporating a lot of updates/improvements. After the final approval manufacturing normally makes a small pilot batch to test the fixtures, assembly tools and procedures, etc. The test group may get a pilot or two to verify the performance of the final design. Most protos are never sold as there are too many differences compared to the production machines to allow for easy field service - many are used as yard machines around the plant, some get repurposed on a new project, and some are scrapped.
Last edited by icestationzebra; 12-10-2009 at 02:11 AM.
Thanks for the insight on how things go from idea to manufacturing. Cool picture on the table. I was at the Gradall plant years ago about 1991 but it was a holiday or weekend so I didn't see it functioning. Any more pictures would be appreciated. How big was the factory for the Lulls? How many employees were involved at a high point of sales? Thanks john
If you want to see the old factory look up "3094 Sibley Memorial Hwy, Eagan, MN" in Google maps. (Technically the address was 3045 but Google shows the wrong location) It is now owned by a company the repairs/rents cranes so some things have moved.
As far as production goes, don't quote me but I think they were building 2000-2500/year in the early 2000's. I don't remember how many employees there were, but it was probably 300-400 total.
Here are two pictures showing the site. The fist picture shows the main plant and the service/test building. After the plant shut down the test group took over the main plant. Of course we only used a fraction of the space so the rest was leased out for storage.