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Newbie Question - Vertical or radius lift necessary?

Discussion in 'Skid Steers' started by SuckerPunch, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. SuckerPunch

    SuckerPunch Member

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    Hello everyone. New to the forum. I have a business without a loading dock. It is also on a gravel lot. I get semi trailer loads on a weekly basis that need to be unloaded. I am not wanting to limit myself by getting just a fork lift and want the versatility of the skid steer so I can move gravel, mulch, etc on my lot. I have owned a 753 Bobcat, Gehl 4840 and and Gehl 5635 previously. I used those mostly for landscape work.

    My primary use for the skid steer is the ability to unload up to 3K lbs off a semi trailer. Most pallets are 4 to 6 feet long, but the longest pallets are about 10ft long. I know I will need extend forks for these pallets.

    Anyone have suggestions on the best size to be looking for? I'm going to be buying a used machine so I'm really not tied to any particular brand. I am mainly looking for either a Bobcat, Gehl, or Cat.

    Here is my biggest question for those of you who have experience unloading pallets off semis. Is the vertical that much better than radius when unloading off a semi trailer? I mean if I was to buy a big Gehl 7800 with a operating lift capacity of 3600 lbs would that not work for these types of pallets? 3000 lbs is about the max weight of the pallets I will be unloading.

    Any help or info would be appreciated.
    Thanks
     
  2. durallymax

    durallymax Senior Member

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    Radial lift is better for unloading at semi trailer height as they reach further forward that verticals do at that height.
     
  3. SuckerPunch

    SuckerPunch Member

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    Thanks for the quick response! The reason I asked the question is because I keep getting conflicting messages. The local bobcat dealer was telling me vertical lift would be better for unloading a semi trailer.:beatsme
     
  4. frogfarmer

    frogfarmer Well-Known Member

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    Typically the vertical lift loaders shine at loading and unloading trucks but either will do what you state with ease and a radial may be cheaper/less demand. For legal reasons you need a loader with a rated lift capacity of at least what you will be unloading but a loader with an ROC of 2000lbs will handle 3000lb pallets all day long with a good operator. For a business machine dealer support would be a primary concern. For what you list an A300 Bobcat would be a very nice machine and have all your bases covered. Gehl and Cat dont have any market share here in my area so I cant recommend either from experience. It NH and BC in these parts.
     
  5. frogfarmer

    frogfarmer Well-Known Member

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    Vertical verses Radial come into play when loading full size dump truck heights. The radials do not have the reach at full extension where the verticals mantain the forward reach through out the lift path. Because semi trailers are in the mid range on height either will get the job done.
     
  6. SuckerPunch

    SuckerPunch Member

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    Awesome, thanks for the info frogfarmer!
     
  7. durallymax

    durallymax Senior Member

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    If you are not unloading stacked things off flat beds b the radial allows you to reach further out onto the flatbed. However outside of that area the lift reach starts to become less than a vertical.

    The vertical is better for full height loading/ unloading/stacking.


    Best bet is to demo them both doing what you will be doing and see which you like. Radials are cheaper with better visibility and fewer wear points also.
     
  8. TriHonu

    TriHonu Well-Known Member

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    A couple things to consider:

    The Rated Operating Capacity (ROC) is 1/2 the Tipping Load on wheeled loaders.

    ROC is rated at the QuickTach plate. As soon as you move the load out onto a set of forks, that ROC drops considerably. For example my loader is rated for 1500 lbs ROC. 15.75" out on the forks it drops 1115 lbs. 24" out on the forks it drops to 960 lbs.

    If you have 10 ft long pallets that you are lifting from the short end with extended forks, the machine will only be able to lift a fraction of its ROC.

    I 2d durallymax's recommendation to demo the machines with the heavier loads and loads with extended forks.
     
  9. Digdeep

    Digdeep Senior Member

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    Not to be too picky, but the ROC is actually measured with a "standard bucket" (SAE does not specify what type of bucket and some not to be mentioned OEMs have used foundry buckets in the past- Deere :D) fully curled back at the point where the direct downward force goes through the center of the load. This is forward of the quick attach plate somewhere depending on the type of "standard bucket" the OEM uses.

    Breakout and lift force are measured 4" back from the cutting edge with the bucket 25mm(essentially 1") off of the ground. This is where Deere used to get some of their obnoxious breakouts with foundry buckets since they are much closer to the center of gravity of the machine. The rear of the machine can be chained down to get this measurement.

    You are right-on regarding the load center on forks.
     
  10. JCBgm

    JCBgm Well-Known Member

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    Get a compact telehandler. Not much bigger than a skid, can us a bucket and forks and will handle the load better. Obviously I'm biased, but I'm thinking of something like a JCB 520 or 524-50