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  #1  
Old 11-16-2008, 01:08 AM
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Crane or Bucket?

Okay, I have been struggling with a decision to purchase either a new 60' bucket truck or a used (but good) 70' Motor Crane. I think that the crane is a little more versatile in that, my climber simply loves to use a crane instead of a bucket. My only concern is if he decides to retire soon or something. He's in his late 40's now and you know how the back gets after 24 years of climbing trees.

What are your thoughts? Right now I have a chipper truck, (2) pickups, and a tri-axle trailer. I have an old dump and a cargo truck that'll carry 10,000# or so comfortably. I am thinking that the crane will increase productivity substantially and pay for itself quite quickly.
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Old 11-16-2008, 08:43 AM
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The best way to be objective about the decision is to look back at the past year of work. Job by job. How many jobs would have been easyer with the crane. And how many would have been easyer with the bucket. My guess is the bucket will win.
Also you can rent cranes easly. I havnt seen any place that rents bucket trucks (sure they rent the construction baskets).
And finally... The 70 crane aint gonna get you too much for removals unless you live somewhree the trees dont grow over 70 feet. You would still need to climb beyond the crane. Yea you would need to with the bucket, but that articulates you can actally get it to where you need to. When I lived in VT we used a 146' 23.5 ton crane every day. Pruning off that thing SUUUUUCCCCKKKKEEEEDDDD. When you move around you are always getting pulled around by the ball. Because its not attached to anything solid. When you get away from center it wants to pull you back.
I think your true decision is to get he elevator on the bucket or not.

PS. Check out my rigging (tie in point) in pics under Dead oak removal. Youll see what I mean by pulling you around. That ball weights 175lbs and I only weight 145. Itll win every time
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Old 11-17-2008, 09:19 PM
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The guys that I work with use there crane to set the climber up in the tree and move him around. It saves a lot of time and wear and tear on him.
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Old 11-18-2008, 05:48 PM
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Agree it saves the climbers energy. But... A good climber can get into the tree before the crane is even set up. As for save wear and tear on the climber. Yes. But it also makes a lazy climber. If the crane is down or not available or just cant get it there... Oh no what do I do. Now do the math... What is the ins. going to cost for the use of a crane. EXPENCIVE. if you havent checked lately.

Im not trying to argue. Just playing devils advicate. Getting all of views on the table. I love cranes they make life easyer. but they have their place.
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Old 11-22-2008, 05:23 PM
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I agree with flying squirel, breaking down the last year and if it were myself personally I would go over the best 3-5 years.

What are most of your jobs, do you guys focus on prunes, removals, front yards, vs back yards.

You said you think a crane would pay for them selves quickly. I think it all depends on what you focus on.

How tall is the crane?

How many yards will the box hold on the bucket?

Just some thoughts.

Mike
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  #6  
Old 11-22-2008, 05:30 PM
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never mind, i just looked at the top 70' tall crane.

What type of trees do you focus in removing?

Someone already said it. Just want to second it.

A crane is a nice toy to have but you can rent them cant rent to many bucket trucks with a chip box.

Something else to look at...
What do your competitiors have, do other tree care companies have cranes? Do other have buckets?

If no one else has a crane in your area then it may be beneficial for you too. Here in Sonoma County there are a few companies that all have there speciality, one with a crane, another with a bucket....etc...

Just more to think about. Its a large investment.

How big is your chip truck and chipper right now?
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  #7  
Old 02-05-2009, 02:32 PM
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as a climbing arborist i would take the crane over the bucket. its good to have both:) 70ft is a little short. i think 120ft is ideal, thats without the jib
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