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Review: Rollback truck versus Palfinger crane truck

john.k

Diamond
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Location
Brisbane Qld Australia
OK,my latest cranetruck machinery shifting bill for three 2 ton machines is $616.......so ,everyone says get a rollback ,these guys work for peanuts....so ,the guy I sold the yard to has a roll back ,he says ,yeah ,my guy can do it no probs.......Buuuut ,there were probs......first ,was the old Swift lathe ,4 tons odd......winch it up ....but the winch was spewing oil ,sooo I sling the lathe ,and lift it on with the old crane......Quick tiedown ,and were on the hiway.....at my place ,the plan is to deposit the lathe inside the shed ,on the new concrete.After the dodgem drive ,I decide to put it outside on the soft dirt...fortunately....tilt tray right back ,lathe wont slide ,....no worries ,before I can say WTF,he jumps in the cab,pops the clutch ,lathe does a skijump off the truck tray and into the dirt ....literally dug a trench as it landed from the 2 ft drop.at warp speed .....fortunately ,old pommy stuff was made solid ,and no damage.......Now I also have him booked to do another machine.....which we do ,I lift on ,and I lift off this time .....no dramas..............Sooooo review wise .....will I ever get a rollback to move machine tools again? Nooooo.
 

Garwood

Diamond
Joined
Oct 10, 2009
Location
Oregon
Sounds like your rollback driver was an idiot.

It takes very little to slide a machine off of a dry steel deck. A forklift putting a small bit of tension is how I normally do it. If you know you can't use anything to pull on the other end the best approach is to soap the deck before you load the machine. Be damn careful though because it gets real slick.
 

john.k

Diamond
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Location
Brisbane Qld Australia
OK,what do I get for $205 /hr with a crane truck ......first ,the whole rig is brand new,$1/2 m on wheels.....second would be crane capacity ..32 ton /metre....so he can each out and pick 4 tons with ease.....Radio controll ,so driver can stand beside the load ...and land it exactly where I want it ..... size of the crane can be a problem when I want the machine put in thru a roller door with just 10' height......Pinching pennies is out for me.
 

matt_isserstedt

Diamond
Joined
Dec 15, 2003
Location
suburbs of Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Driver of a rollback is everything. I got a forklift moved successfully, needed a guy to move a tractor, another driver shows up, looks it over, and says "oh i'm going to have to call my office about this" and then he said he couldn't do it and left. So I had to dig back into my records and find the original guy, who moved another machine no fuss.

That said I was also driven out of the rollback business unless its the only resort...and they are pretty much all over the US from what I see.
 

Garwood

Diamond
Joined
Oct 10, 2009
Location
Oregon
Keep in mind that most rollback decks are made of aluminum these days and they are NOT smooth.


Rex

It's not a situation where aluminum is replacing steel. When you buy the bed for your truck you spec what you want. If you're going to haul more than just small cars you want a steel bed.

I don't know what alloy the new beds come with, but a friend of mine has rehabbed a few rollback beds for his trucks and he uses 3/16" T1 for the deck.
 

john.k

Diamond
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Location
Brisbane Qld Australia
Rollbacks here are all hard steel ,its the only material to stand up for general use .....ally may be OK for mobile cars ,but for any other use the hard steel is universal for strength, lightness and wear resistance ..........I actually have a pre-rollback truck,that used arms to raise the deck and slide it back ...as usual with my stuff ,I used tray that I had ,3/16 deck .but of checkerplate mild steel.....ok for wheels ,but no good for sliding.......however ,the arm type tilts have a much greater angle of incline (around 45deg) to get stuff sliding.......this is why they were banned around 20 years ago for WHS related reasons .......a forklift loose on a 45deg incline is going places when it gets free.
 

kb0thn

Hot Rolled
Joined
May 15, 2008
Location
Winona, MN, USA
I think it is a matter of location. In the USA, Palfinger / Hiab cranes are not generally available. Roll back wreckers are widely available from a large variety of operators. When I have used them, I have specified when calling what we are moving and have never had a problem. When dragging stuff, I mention that it doesn't have wheels and will need to be dragged and they have brought steel decked trucks. In one case when moving a shipping container, they provided a aluminum deck truck but brought a pallet jack with. It rolled the pallet jack and had very nice and smooth delivery.

An hour with a roll back around the USA is about $200. Often less when cash tip is provided. A small all terrain crane is typically $150 to $300 per hour. But they often have 3 to 4 hour minimums. And in some cases they charge you for overweight permits, even though they have an annual permit on the truck already.

Next week I am paying $1500 to unload a 12,000 lb 20' shipping container from trailer to ground. The crane will have less than 1 hr from their yard gate to being back at their yard gate. But it's at the big state university on the fancy side of town. If it was down at my yard on the industrial side of town, I would pay a neighbor $100 or $200 cash and they would roll over with a massive forklift or wheel loader and it would be down.

Location location location. Or as AVE on Youtube says, "you've got to piss with the cock you got." :-)
 

john.k

Diamond
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Location
Brisbane Qld Australia
Ok,I gotta admit Im paying the rollback $90 hr,and his normal job is with "CashforScrap.com".....hes got a sort of taximeter thing ,and he bids on abandoned cars nearest to his location......Sort of Pavlov whistle thing when he hears the chimes for another junk car.
 

john.k

Diamond
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Location
Brisbane Qld Australia
I dunno if any here watch the fancy house building programs on telly ,but Im always mighty impressed with the giant truck cranes that deliver the building panels ,double glazed windows etc,and erect the panels /windows etc at incredible reaches with the multiple extensions of the crane ........I also see that in Europe ,to accomodate giant truck mount cranes ,they can go to a 15ton axle load ......max here is 8.5ton on a hiway truck.........By comparison ,my old crawler crane weighs 20 tons,and can lift 9 tons before it gets the tippy/uppy syndrome........the Palfinger on the truck can lift the same load ......but cant walk with it like the old track crane.
 

Garwood

Diamond
Joined
Oct 10, 2009
Location
Oregon
42k lbs of 1925 Bliss stamping press flying here. Don't know where the picture went, but somewhere I got one of them reaching over one of my buildings to set it on it's 44k lb "inertia block". For scale, the bull gear is almost 80" diameter.
 

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