1. Thank you for visiting HeavyEquipmentForums.com! Our objective is to provide industry professionals a place to gather to exchange questions, answers and ideas. We welcome you to register using the "Register" icon at the top of the page. We'd appreciate any help you can offer in spreading the word of our new site. The more members that join, the bigger resource for all to enjoy. Thank you!
  2. ALL NEW MEMBERS READ THIS FIRST!! Thank you for joining Heavy Equipment Forums! If you are new to forums we communicate with "Threads", please search our threads to see if your topic may have already been answered and if not then click "Post New Thread" in the appropriate forum. This will allow all of our members to see your question and give you the best chance to be answered. After you've made a number of posts you will graduate to Full Member status where you'll see a few more privileges. Following these guidelines will help make this the best resource for heavy equipment on the net. Thanks for joining us and I hope you enjoy your stay!!

Choosing a telehandler, need some advice

Discussion in 'Forklifts/Telehandlers' started by Gacoustic, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. Gacoustic

    Gacoustic Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2011
    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Alberta
    Hi, I'm new to the forum today. I have read some old posts over the last few months to learn about the different attributes of the various brands of telehandlers. I've determined that a 8000# or 9000# machine is suitable for our residential and farm building construction business. I've been drawn to the GRADALL 534D-9-45 for it's heavy boom design as well the JLG G9-43A and a third choice of the Skytrak 8042.

    We will be lifting and placing lifts or part lifts of plywood on to second floors or roofs and perhaps outfit with a 10' wide platform for metal roofing and siding. Possibly seting up with a 15' truss boom.

    I've been having the most luck finding the Gradall machines in the 2003 range with between 2500 and 4000 hours selling for about $25-$28K with various tire condition. I've learned they are $1200 a wheel to replace and foam fill which has a huge affect on price in this price range. I'm assuming the Gradalls with the rear pivot steer will steer similar to a warehouse forklift; small turning radius but a little hard on the turf. The 4 wheel steer units seem like they may have some advantages too; the crab steering could be very handy.

    Currently I'm looking at a 2003 GRADALL 534D-9-45 with 4100 hours that has recent paint and brand new rock tires for $26,500. I'd like to be lower with the hours but the unit seems to be in nice shape and currently is a rental unit.

    I'm in a colder climate in southern Alberta where it could be running on -20C days. Are the cummins or deere engines typically cold blooded? Block heaters available?

    I'd really appreciate some feedback on these machines and if there are any strong or weak points. I have seen a 2002 JLG G9-43A with 2500 hours go for $21,000 on auction (IRn Plnt) that was in nice shape. Maybe I should be holding out for one of these.

    Thanks in advance for any replies!

    ~Gerald
     
  2. barklee

    barklee Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Messages:
    898
    Location:
    ohio
    The Gradall machines in this year, hour range should be able to be bought for right at 20,000 that would go for Skytraks as well. JLG machines command more money so im thinking a good buy for a clean machine would be High 20s or low 30s.
    You are right about the tires, they are right around 1000-1200 a rim foam filled.
    The big downfall in my eyes with the Gradalls is the fact they dont have multiple steering selections. The other steering options are very handy to have. However, it seems to me that Gradall guys are stuck on the rear steering and love it.
    You might also look into a Lull 943, its extremely handy to have the traversing carriage, and Lulls are tough machines.
    I have a friend who brokers aerials and im sure has whatever you may need. PM me your email if you are interested. Or there is always Ritchie Bros or Ironplanet, 9000 pound machines are not hard to find.
    Best of luck :D
     
  3. Gacoustic

    Gacoustic Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2011
    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Alberta
    Thanks for the reply Barklee, I have not been able to find a decent Gradall for $20K. They are out there but they are a bit rough with higher hours and worn out tires. Thanks for the tip on the Lull brand.
     
  4. oceanobob

    oceanobob Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    668
    Occupation:
    general contractor
    Location:
    oceano california
    I once was a rear wheel steer fan, and then I realized that is because the machine can be operated just like a warehouse forklift which we were familiar with. I rented my first four wheel steer (JLG's first model) to erect a metal building and the guys were mad as heck cause I did not get the gradall rear wheel steer.
    I informed them we are using the machine for ops in the air, not yard work.
    From one machine to another, the control preference follows this thinking. As to the four wheel steer, the crab and steer options have been beneficial.
    I also think the gradall has a cable to telescope the boom (I could be wrong here) and I like a chain.
    I settled on a Terex (square shooter) due to its simplicity and did not get the skytrak due to the complexity of the axle pivot / overturning hydraulic system - although it is probably better.
    I decided to get something simple and hopefully reliable. Also the Terex has four rams to tilt as opposed to some machines only having two (one for each axle)
    We looked into pettibone but couldn't find too many good ones. Same for Lull, not really sold much around here.
    I like the slip on forks truss boom - yeah it lifts less but quicker on and off. We have regular forks and also have lumber forks. We rent dirt buckets for gravel placing etc.
    Gradall is what we started with - they should work well for you. We have heard they do 'eat the rear tires' faster than the other steer systems.
     
  5. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Messages:
    9,236
    Occupation:
    Running what I brung and taking what I win
    Location:
    Alabama
    I have a 1998 Gradall 534D-6 36 that we bought new. It has been a very good machine. Simple design and components and no electronics which makes repair fairly simple.

    I like the rear steer machines and I like the 4 wheel steer machines. I had a Cat 460B that I liked but it had continuous problems with the instrument cluster (replaced twice through warranty) and that machine was traded off.

    My Gradall had been sitting in a field for 2 years, the other day we put a fresh battery in her and the little Cummins fired right up.:) The joystick is sticking a little on the carriage tilt function but she is 13 years old.;)

    The only issue I see with a Gradall is parts availability since they discontinued the line. With that being said most parts on a Gradall are "plug and play" meaning you can find the parts, you just have to search a little to find them.

    For reliability and ease of operation, I would recommend a Gradall. She's earned a lot of money over the years and has paid for herself many times over.:)

    ON EDIT - Just found this website http://www.gcironparts.com/GCIronPartsSelection.asp
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2011
  6. Gacoustic

    Gacoustic Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2011
    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Alberta
    Great information, I'm currently choosing between a 2002 Gradall 9000# machine and a 2003 JLG G9-43A. Do I need to be concerned that the Gradall has 4000 hours? The machines appearance is quite good, and has new rock tires. Are the rock type treads poor in snow? That's a bit of a concern too.
     
  7. barklee

    barklee Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Messages:
    898
    Location:
    ohio
    I dont think 4000hrs are too many. I guess it just depends on how rough the hours are?? I would say you are getting into the nickel and dime zone though. We have a Skytrak 6k with 12000hrs on it and it is as dependable as a new one.

    Not sure what rock tires are so i cant comment on that one!
     
  8. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Messages:
    9,236
    Occupation:
    Running what I brung and taking what I win
    Location:
    Alabama
    Check the machine over well, especially the boom and its components. Look for cracks, welds, wear pads, chains/cables, hyd cylinders and that the boom has not been stressed or bent. Check all the usual on the engine. Check the carriage pins and bushings for wear.

    Tires are new so that is one of the largest expenses out of the way.
     
  9. Gacoustic

    Gacoustic Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2011
    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Alberta
    Good to hear these units can go a very long time when cared for. The rock tires are more of a solid tread design with more rubber contacting the road where as the standard ones have a more skid steer type tread design that would bite into the turf or snow better. I see the rock type tires a lot on the Gradalls likely because they won't tear up the ground or pavement as bad on the pivot steering. That's just an observation I've noted and may not be the case.
     
  10. grandkobelco

    grandkobelco Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    Messages:
    232
    Occupation:
    chainsaw, small engine mechanic
    Location:
    lazy boy in a barn
    Just a note frome a skytrak mech. IF you buy a 8042 legacy series do not load the tires, when you get in deep sand you can brake the rear planitares.
     
  11. Gacoustic

    Gacoustic Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2011
    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Alberta
    Well I finally decided on a nice used JLG G9-43A. It is an 04 with 2500 hrs for about $25k. It was that or a similar condition Gradall rear pivot. I decided a machine with the alternate steering selections will be more useful on our sites. It's coming with the tilt carriage which will be handy eventhough the swing carriage would have been my first choice. I'll be checking back with more questions and reports once I get the machine in October, thanks for the useful advice in the posts above. ~Gerald
     
  12. barklee

    barklee Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Messages:
    898
    Location:
    ohio
    Sounds like you did real well! You will have to show us some pictures and let us know how you like it.:D
     
  13. Speedpup

    Speedpup Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    Messages:
    1,214
    Occupation:
    President and all else that needs done!
    Location:
    New York
    sometimes you see swing carriages on ebay for gradalls/jlg
     
  14. aerolift

    aerolift Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    michigan
    If you still would like to outfit your JLG with a 72" "swing" carriage, maybe I can help.
    I have one that fits a SkyTrak. We would have to confirm that JLG and SkyTrak have interchangeable accessories.
    Then we could make arrangements, if you like.
     
  15. barklee

    barklee Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Messages:
    898
    Location:
    ohio
    What is the difference between a swing carriage and a tilt carriage???
     
  16. aerolift

    aerolift Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    michigan
    Swing Carriage

    A "Swing Carriage" operates in a horizontal rotation.
    It is utilized to square up a man basket for trim, siding, tuckpointing or setting windows. With a "Slip on jib", can be used to set trusses. (Disclaimer coming from ISZ).
    A "Tilt Carriage" operates in a verticle rotation.
    Mostly used by Masons to set pallets, cubes on scaffolding.
     
  17. Speedpup

    Speedpup Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    Messages:
    1,214
    Occupation:
    President and all else that needs done!
    Location:
    New York
  18. barklee

    barklee Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Messages:
    898
    Location:
    ohio
    Got it, never knew that was what it was called. All of our lifts have this option. We always call it swing forks. I thought the chassis was also called the carriage.
     
  19. icestationzebra

    icestationzebra Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2009
    Messages:
    321
    Location:
    WI
    Aerolift, made me chuckle. Are you referring to the fact that "slip on's" are not OSHA legal? If so I am not trying to condemn, just inform and help small businessmen from getting screwed by the system. ISZ
     
  20. aerolift

    aerolift Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    michigan
    Swing carriage

    ISZ, Glad you enjoyed the sparring. "You Guys" (design engineers), developed frame tilt to safely navigate slopes and level the machine PRIOR to boom extention/elevation. "My Guys" (rough framing contractors) use level to "lean" trusses into place with extended booms up/out @ +60 degree elevation. (Audible gasp by ISZ). Swing Carriages with "slip-on" jibs allow carpenters to LEVEL the machine, boom up/out, THEN swing the carriage and therefore spot the truss into place. Slightly less dangerous, but arguably still not safe. Real World 101.