Hey, everybody. I've been distracted by a home construction project for a quite a long time, and I've been ignoring this board and my trucks. My project and my move are still in progress, but things are winding down to where I can start to think about starting to think about trucks again someday!
So, after various headaches I swore off even looking at the GL web site long ago. Well, this weekend I had a weak moment, I looked at the current GL listings, and danged if something didn't catch my eye!
I've always really liked what Bjorn did with his crane truck, and I've often considered that if I ever had the gumption and money to put a nice knuckleboom onto a 900-series cargo truck, I'd get rid of my tired, old M543A2 wrecker and my last remaining deuce (an M35A2C), and be happy. I never take any of them on the road, anyway, and I just use my wrecker as a yard crane. I'd like it better as a crane if I could control it remotely and the outriggers were power-operated.
Well, it turns out that a big pile of HEMTT rear-halves are coming up for auction real soon, and a bunch of them are not too far from me. So, I'm eyeing those hydraulic cranes mounted on their rear ends, and coming dangerously close to drooling!
Those HEMTT cranes look kinda like the illegitimate offspring of a regular crane and a knuckleboom to me.
So, here I am now, wondering if any of y'all have experience with the HEMTT material handling cranes, and would like to comment on them:
How suitable would one of them be for a behind-the-cab installation on 2.5-ton or 5-ton 6x6, much like Bjorn did? Are they made to straddle a pair of frame rails like a common (?) knuckleboom, or do they bolt onto the HEMTT's butt in a way that wouldn't lend itself to mounting in the middle of a regular 6x6 chassis?
In terms of usability and versatility, how do these cranes compare to either regular hydraulic cranes like the one on my 5-ton wrecker, or a typical knuckleboom?
How do these cranes receive their power? I.e., would there be an electric pump mounted somewhere near them on the trailer, or would they just have a hose pair ran up to a PTO-driven pump on the (missing) tractor end of the truck?
The listings vary between two different NSNs for the trailer assembly. Some of them are listed as having "Wajax boom", and the other are listed as having "Pietzsch boom". I can see visual differences between the two kinds of cranes, and I wonder whether one kind or the other might be better for my hare-brained Frankentruck idea. The pictures of at least one of the Pietzsch ones show a Grove dataplate on the crane. I'd welcome any information or opinions about how these two kinds of crane compare to each other.
It's been so long since I've been active on Steel Soldiers, that I don't recall the consensus regarding posting links to auction listings. I'll just attach some representative pictures of the two kinds of trailer/crane here for discussion purposes.
I'm tempted to go take a good, close look at these cranes. If I did manage to win one, I'd also consider dropping the crane onto my M35A2C's chassis, since a nice 900-series truck ain't cheap!
Thanks in advance for any comments!