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Why I hate boom trucks

mekanik

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2015
Messages
920
Location
Canada's Northwest
Operator error? I worked for an electrical utility as a mechanic for a few years. The utility decided after a very expensive screw up by a mechanic servicing a truck mounted crane that their mechanics needed to take a crane operators course. The crane was a telescopic boom and part of the service was applying grease to the bottom of the boom extensions where they slid on the wear pads. The mechanic thought it would be okay to fully extend the boom with the main boom still sitting on the boom rest.
The boom buckled from its own weight just above the main section. A very expensive mistake.
 
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skyking1

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2020
Messages
7,188
Location
washington
oh ouch^ That is a very expensive Boo-Boo. The LMI was fooled in the boom rest.
I always liked an RT that would hold the full boom flat for grease/inspection.
First pic was driving too fast. Been there and got religion in the air suspension boom truck I operated most recently.
The rest have stories.
 

RocketScott

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2013
Messages
157
Location
Lexington, KY
Love mine

But I'm not doing the big industrial stuff like those jobs

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DMiller

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2010
Messages
16,263
Location
Hermann, Missouri
Occupation
Cheap "old" Geezer
Are places they do or can work as well, HOWEVER nothing replaces a True Crane but another Crane.

Still see that Grove truck crane I had to cut the mast away from the house On a Hilltop outside of Festus MO. Line Crew dumped it on its side as outrigger dug in, FAILED to set outrigger expanded seats. Used a Rented twin to that one to pick the scrap off.
 

JLarson

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2020
Messages
655
Location
AZ
Occupation
Owner- civil and heavy repair/fab company
According to a former employer of mine the solution to this issue is to put a full 960 bucket on the deck, went right along with the sketchy man basket on the boom tip. Dumb ways to die lol
 

terex herder

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2017
Messages
1,735
Location
Kansas
Of all those pictures of boom truck problems, how many are the fault of the boom truck? Or are boom trucks simply less intimidating than a regular crane so ignorant people use them carelessly? If you put those same operators in a regular crane, will they just find heavier loads to overtax the capacity of the crane?
 

crane operator

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2009
Messages
8,162
Location
sw missouri
Of all those pictures of boom truck problems, how many are the fault of the boom truck? Or are boom trucks simply less intimidating than a regular crane so ignorant people use them carelessly? If you put those same operators in a regular crane, will they just find heavier loads to overtax the capacity of the crane?
I see way more dumped boom trucks, than anything else. Of course, numbers wise, there's probably a lot more boom trucks out there.

I see typically 2 incidents, overload to boom failure/tipping, and dumped on their side going down the road.

The manufacturers have gone to more and more main boom, and they are mounted higher to clear the cab than a standard truck crane. They are top heavy SOB's. And they run 75mph with a 500 hp engine. So they are out there ripping along, a tire blows, or someone does something stupid in front of them/on their phone, and over they go.

Of course you're right, none of them would go if the operator was doing his part and kept it within the operating parameters. But these 40toners with no counterweight and 127' or 140' of boom are all a accident waiting to happen.
 

Old Doug

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2013
Messages
4,438
Location
Mo
Of all those pictures of boom truck problems, how many are the fault of the boom truck? Or are boom trucks simply less intimidating than a regular crane so ignorant people use them carelessly? If you put those same operators in a regular crane, will they just find heavier loads to overtax the capacity of the crane?
I worked at a place that bought and sold cranes and boom trucks. We all so did some crane jobs and used them alot at the place . I have operated a lot of different cranes . After a while a operator will get to know when something bad could happen. Were it be to heavy , ground soft under out riggers or to far away . I was lucky and some one was looking out for me i never had a real bad deal but we got a truck crane that we started using a lot i came close to turning it over 2 times and another guy bent the boom. This crane was very different when something started to happen it was to late before i could make a move it was on its way . I was at the controls so yes it was my fault but i had never had problems like this with other cranes.
 

skyking1

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2020
Messages
7,188
Location
washington
When I started with XYZ to operate their 1195 National, I could tell right away that they were all about safety from the management end. 100% steel sheets under outriggers without exception, decent looking forms and signature requirements, and I found the cable to be questionable and it was no issue to go get a new cable.
The atmosphere was a little tense, shall we say.
Then I found out the why of it. My boss had done most of the boom trucking for the last couple of years but it was a little much to do that and manage 5~10 tower crane operators, same number of manlift operators, and a bevy of forklift operators.
He took over the job after they had a bad accident on a MegaCorp job and the crane boss at the time essentially got run off.
They were pouring concrete on a few columns and they knocked a couple of carpenters off the form as the bucket and boom came down. As it was told to me, the operator was a bit ham-handed and he swung over there a little quickly and it just kept on going. No particulars about the pre-operations or load calcs, just a really bad scene with two guys hurt and all of it on a big site right under MegaCorp's watch.
They torched the bent boom off and swung the base into the rest, strapped it down and drove it off the site.
I poured concrete a few times, using a 3/4 yard Garbro. I padded the chart in my favor over and above the duty cycle reduction for bucket work.
Some of the crew I worked with were a little less concerned about load charts and doing it right. I think there is a culture around boom trucks, where anybody feels like they can jump up there and they got something done once with the alarm on and then expect every body else to be that stupid.
Those same guys had a 1.5 yard Garbro and mentioned maybe pouring a few footings to save on a pump truck rental for the odd footing here or there.
I made it clear that the 1.5 will never be on my hook, except to load it on a truck empty.
As it was, I still had to caution them about putting a wedding cake on the 3/4 yard and then trying to take it to the back of the pour full and working their way out.
 
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