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Forestry is a global business, demanding high productivity every day. Today, one person has to produce 10 times the volume he or she did 25 years ago. Choosing the right crane is essential.
Here are the top questions to ask when evaluating your needs and your choices for how to meet them.
1. What is my main operational need?
Do you usually work with cut-to-length timber or do you load full-length stems? Or maybe a combination of both. The starting point for any crane choice is, of course, your fundamental needs. Bringing timber from the forest is tough, demanding work and configuring the crane according to your unique circumstances will help you deliver efficiently and accurately.
2. What boom type matches my operation?
Also basic to your crane choice is the boom type. S-boom types, which are straight and partially folded, offer the highest capacity choices. Z-boom types fold more compactly and offer the convenience of being able to drive without removing the grapple. Also consider whether you could do with telescopic reach.
3. Do I lift mostly the same amount each time or do I need capacity for heavier lifts from time to time?
Typically, forestry cranes range from 6 to 26.5 tonne-metres in capacity for the most common lifting needs. However, larger capacities are also available for extreme jobs. S-boom cranes go up in higher capacities than Z-boom cranes.
4. How far out from my truck body do I need to reach?
Stretching up to 12 metres, your choice of max hydraulic reach is vital to configuring your crane to appropriately handle what you need to do.
5. Which type and size of grapple do I need for my applications?
From small and compact to large and industrial, you can choose from a variety of specialised timber grapples for any situations.
6. What do I need for the best performance in certain weather conditions?
You know forest weather better than anyone. Yet you may not be aware of how it can affect your performance until you’ve tried alternatives for protection, comfort and safety. This includes comparing seats with weather protection hoods and to fully enclosed cabins or even to using camera-based 3D vision technology VR technology for operating the crane from within the truck cabin. Be sure, however, when testing cabins in particular that they are designed for maximum visibility.
7. Can I add smart features to make my work safer and easier?
Specialised accessories and features can not only increase your performance, but also keep you safer. A weighing system, for example, can boost your profitability by helping you load the highest payload possible without overloading. Talk to dealers about what features can make your work easier, more comfortable and above all more efficient.
8. What resale value do I want to maintain in my crane and within what period of time?
Often, truck owners plan to upgrade or change their cranes after a certain period of time, such as five years. To get the most value from your investment, you need to be sure your crane is built durably to its core. Check that the base is cast in strong steel, that parts do not require frequent replacement and that you are covered by a comprehensive warranty.
9. How close am I to a service location specialised for my crane?
Way out in the forest, you may feel completely remote and alone. Naturally, it is important that you choose a durable crane you can rely on day in and day out. Yet, you also need to plan ahead for normal service and wear and tear. Make sure the things you can take care of yourself are within easy reach. And also make sure that you always have access to a large service network with professionals specialised in your crane’s needs, no matter where in the world you are.