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We have always used cranes to boom trusses and large skidloader for the rest of the framing needs. With crane prices getting too high and other reasons we are going to keep our eye out for a telehandler. Big question is do we need an 8000# machine or can we get by with a 6000#? seams like they're is a better supply of the 6000 in the budget category. Main use is single story houses, but would like to be able to set them on a average 2 story on occasion. Buddy of mine says pass on the 6's , but he also ran them on large commercial mason jobs. Next question, looking at completed auctions on Ritchie bros and Ebay, and talking to others you can get a decent machine for around 20K? any input? Thanks.
 

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Would seem to me the 6,000 would be adequate for setting trusses on normal houses.. but others may have different opinions. You will find lots more uses for that machine though...you'll wonder how you worked without it!
 

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We have all skytrak 6036's. these machines have served us VERY well over the years. That being said, they are getting to be a little small for alot of the houses we are getting into. 6,000 should be more than enough weight capacity, its the reach you want. Skytrak makes a 6036, 6042 and an 8042. I heard that the 80's tend to get stuck in the mud and wear parts down easier. Bottom line is get the lightest machine with the farthest reach. We set trusses onalmost all our homes with the telehandler except for the really big ones. It certainly takes some getting used to when setting trusses though. No pics of truss setting but you get the idea

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We have 8000 lb lull with 42' reach. We got a lull because of the traversing carriage (moves the entire boom forward 7') and gives me more forward reach. Can't have a lot of weight out there but we use it a lot. We have had it stuck a few times but that was operator error and anything would have gotten stuck. I agree with get the furthest reach as possible. We can take a lumber package and set it in the middle of most floors and start building walls and have all our lumber close by on the floor. It is also great on two stories especially sheathing the roof. We will also use it to get trusses ready. We can put a strap around a bundle of trusses and move them out of the way instead or carrying them one at a time. We will set trusses with them but it does take longer than a crane. The site also needs room to work to set trusses with the forklift. It does make it nice that if we can not get a crane right away, we will set some trusses with it and then have the crane do the stuff we can not get. I don't know how we did it before. One other thing to consider is how will you transport it. Our lift weighs around 24,000 lbs. People do it with goosenecks but I feel that is a lot of weight to stop with a pick up truck.
 

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We just got ours in November. Worked for almost 30 years without one. We got a 6000 pound Lull with 37' reach. I think this size is fine to start with. Takes a while to learn to use it well, so a smaller machine probably keeps me out of trouble. I paid $17500 off of Ebay. I have an excavator friend who hauls it for me with his semi and trailer. Well worth the money to have him move it. I still think using a crane for most truss sets will prove to be more profitable. We think we will cut our crane usage by 50% by owning the machine.
 

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Get as big as you can afford. If your looking at 6k machines, what length? As framing goes you'll need the extra stick more often then not. A truss boom should be an item to look at as well.
Start looking at their load tables for the specific machines. A 6k of different make may lift a large difference at full reach. As an 8k will mostly lift more at full reach again. Figure a full stack of studs will most likely be a tough lift at full reach so gauge your needs.
Craning trusses up still makes sense for me. It's faster and safer. The builder picks the tab for the roof bill and still pays me to have my machine on site to set beams and walls.

I've got a 10k 55' gradall. Plus a 20' truss boom ontop of that. We are regularly framing 2500-3000 sqft 2 story homes with front access only and it's just doable to set the steel beams at the back of the homes.
 

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BAREIN said:
All good things to know, How many of you work out of platforms on these things?
No, no, no! How many times do I have to tell you? It's a "materials staging platform."
 
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Here is my family of current Lulls. Another coming, and maybe two of these up for adoption. :thumbsup: If anyone wants a cheap 8K machine, the 844Tt34 is for sale, $10,000. She is the oldest, depreciated out, and I have found a 10K with outriggers that I really want.
 

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We have always used cranes to boom trusses and large skidloader for the rest of the framing needs. With crane prices getting too high and other reasons we are going to keep our eye out for a telehandler. Big question is do we need an 8000# machine or can we get by with a 6000#? seams like they're is a better supply of the 6000 in the budget category. Main use is single story houses, but would like to be able to set them on a average 2 story on occasion. Buddy of mine says pass on the 6's , but he also ran them on large commercial mason jobs. Next question, looking at completed auctions on Ritchie bros and Ebay, and talking to others you can get a decent machine for around 20K? any input? Thanks.

IMO, the best machine if you have to lift high, and reach out, is an 8K with outriggers. The outrigger option will make the machine quite a bit more stable, and less prone to tip on any soft ground. It will add a few thousand pounds to the weight, and if used then the boom is up and out, need a delicate touch or bad things can happen.

One of the things I have seen a lot of with auctions is this: Like used cars, machines seem to have a floor price...they will sell for X amount about every time unless there is something wrong with them, and nearly every machine you will come across will be an ex-rental unit. Complete with the care and abuse you would expect of rental machines.

A private sale is probably the best, and a machine owned for years by a contractor is probably better then a deal found on an equipment yard. Auction machines from rental yards or bankrupt companies may have had regular maintenance, but probable will not have records, but some newer lifts may have information available (Like JLG) on what parts have been purchased and service information.

There are a lot of machines out there for $25,000, and unless it is a 50" plus stick with outriggers, it seems like there is little difference in price between 6K and 8K machines. If you have to haul it yourself, then weight is a factor, and I think the Skytraks are lighter then others, Lulls and Pettibones are the heaviest.

I have heard the rental companies around here (oil field country) that rent 8 and 10K lifts to the industry have a lot of problems with the computer issues on the newer machines. Nothing like having a machine beep at you a few times and shut down in the middle of a lift. My newer Lull has electronics but no computer, and my older lulls are total hydraulic machines...meaning you can work on them if you have any mechanical skills and don't own a volt/ohm meter.

The machine I am negotiating to buy for a job we have coming up is a 56 foot lift with outriggers, and $55,000 price tag. Ouch. :rolleyes:
 

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I guess opinions will vary, but I thought I would add this about hours and time: A telehandler from up north with a lot of hours, like 10,000 might be a way better deal then an abused machine with 2500 hours. Idling on job sites when the weather is cold will add a lot of clock hours to a machine in 10 or 15 years (the age $25,000 will buy you in today's market), but doesn't mean a lot except for engine wear. A machine from Florida or the gulf coast with 2000 hours may be a wreck, and no telling about the rust or corrosion you cannot see....wiring and rust in the fuel and hydraulic tanks.

Also, if you get a machine with foam filled tires, make sure they have some life left, because they cost a lot to get them off and replacing a set back to foam filled can cost $6,000.

One last thing to look for....and that is the fork carriage. If you can see any obvious signs of damage, or the forks look a lot better then the frame, they may have been replaced, and a lot of machines I have seen from rental yards that show damage have been driven and the forks stabbed in the ground...and this is hard on the carriage, and did not do the drive train any good.
 

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BAREIN said:
All good things to know, How many of you work out of platforms on these things?
This is a touchy subject. There is really only one style of basket that meets osha standards and it isn't very useful for the type of work we do. Osha also says something about having an operator within 20' of the machine at all times. For us, that isn't all that feasible as we set up to sheath a roof and are in that spot for half a day sometimes. All that said here is ours. 10'x6' with 4' high sides. We load it for a ton of uses and when there is osb in it, there is still room for tools and such. The metal frame and wood sides work well for durability and when it gets beat up, we just rebuild it. The floor are secured with self tapping bolts and last o long time. We also use them for scrap and chain it to the forks and dump it in the dumpster

Floor Wood Hardwood Plywood Flooring



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I sold my 844TT34 today. So, if anyone is actively seeking a 6000# lift in good shape for low dollars, I will take $14,000 for this Lull Highlander II 644. Wide fork carriage and a pretty decent lift.
 

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This is a good thread, I have been keeping my eyes open for a while but haven't pulled the trigger on anything. Thanks for all the general info Joasis, If you were closer I would consider your machine.

A friend of mine bought a 2006 terex from a rental place and he has had lots of issues with it, electrical and such. The older machines seem a lot more simple.

matt
 

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I have a Lull 644-E42 6000 lb machine. With a 16 ft truss boom, 3 different styles of platforms, forks and material bucket, I would give up two or three employees before I got rid of it.

Besides I haven't found an employee yet who will lift 6000 lbs, 44ft in the air without bitchin about it.:mad:

Biggest expense will be transportation, buy a semi and trailer or pay some one else to move it. One advantage of having the ability to transport on your own is you will find you use it alot more.

We have used ours to lift trusses and roof sections, grout hog platform, material management, shingle disposal, drain tile gravel, moving hay bales, and snow removal, as well as quite a few other odds and ends.

Mike
 

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This is a good thread, I have been keeping my eyes open for a while but haven't pulled the trigger on anything. Thanks for all the general info Joasis, If you were closer I would consider your machine.

A friend of mine bought a 2006 terex from a rental place and he has had lots of issues with it, electrical and such. The older machines seem a lot more simple.

matt
You could get it moved for $1000 or maybe $1500 with a little patience. I paid $2400 to get the last one trucked from Connecticut.

This is how I move the heavy stuff from job to job. :thumbsup:
 

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I am wondering if my F350 Dually diesel could pull one on a bigger equipment trailer? I guess if I went 5th wheel it should, I have a bobcat and thought that was heavy, 9k but think a handler is much more.
 

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This is from last fall, It's a 36' 6K machine.

That size should get you through pretty much any size house.

I has a 16' jib made for it.


FWIW these machines are heavy mine is light at 19'200 lb. The 6k lulls are about 23,000 if i remember right.:thumbsup:
 

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FWIW these machines are heavy mine is light at 19'200 lb. The 6k lulls are about 23,000 if i remember right.:thumbsup:
24400 before attachments.

I have pulled ours before with a 1 ton on a gooseneck trailer, I do not recommend it.:eek:
We have since gone to a smaller semi with air brakes, a lot better and safer scenario.

Mike
 
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