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Air or air over walking beam . . . or

hound

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Joined
Dec 2, 2023
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11
Location
Philly
I need a suspension on a tractor that will allow me to creep around the back of a house on steep and soft job sites. We’re thinking about 6x6 or something with fat tires on a 20k front axle. It will have a Knuckleboom mounted behind the cab.

BUT . . . I haul windows so the ride needs to be SOFT. We’ll often have 5,000-15,000 pounds of windows on a low-pro air ride trailer; 25% of the time a 25,000# telehandler and 5-10,000# of windows.

At the job site we drop the trailer and then creep around the back with the tractor to hoist the windows into position. We can do it with the telehandler but doing the Daytona 500 around the house with the telehandler one window or pallet at a time chews up the yard too much and burns time.

This tractor will only be used 5-10 times a year and we’re driving 100-350 miles.
 

Truck Shop

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Hendrickson makes several models of vocational suspension-one to look at might be
the AR2 Air Over Beam for your application.
*
 

Oxbow

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Idaho
I priced converting to the AR2 a number of years ago, and the kit was 7 grand, and had to go through Hendrickson for approval. With labor and welding an additional mount on the axles, I would guess now you will be close to $15k.
 

hound

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Joined
Dec 2, 2023
Messages
11
Location
Philly
What's your budget?
Overall pretty high; the crane will probably run us $25-60,000. I’m looking at cheaper pre-emission trucks (or pre-DEF/DPF). The under powered stripped chassis with 20k fronts and PTOs seem pretty reasonable; REALLY nice ones for $15-40k IMHO. We’d take a longer chassis, mount the knuckle boom and add a 5th wheel with a flatbed surround. I’m just not knowledgeable enough regarding the suspension. (Or how much it matters). It always seemed to me that standard air rides should not be subjected to steeps. And our old crane truck was a converted Mack MRU garbage truck with a camelback suspension. Driving in that cabover lighted loaded with expensive windows on the bed was horrible in so many ways.
 
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Truck Shop

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I priced converting to the AR2 a number of years ago, and the kit was 7 grand, and had to go through Hendrickson for approval. With labor and welding an additional mount on the axles, I would guess now you will be close to $15k.
That's a little high I priced one for less than that-and nothing about approval I could have
ordered it. Plus I was going to install it, a septic pumper. He bought a newer truck instead.
 
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cfherrman

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Jun 3, 2022
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Hays, Kansas
A telehandler might rip up the grass but it won't do permanent damage, a truck driving in the yard with 100 psi in the tires will permanently damage the ground that either will take years to go back to soft ground or some work with a tractor to get back right. In slick or muddy conditions it's way worse in a truck as you can imagine with sliding. The damage from my pickup with 70 psi tires when I did my roof last year took a long time to come back.

I drive trucks on soft ground (farm or pastures) every day.

I'd look if there is a different tire you can change to on the tele that doesn't rip up grass, but will lessen traction.
 
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MG84

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690
Location
Virginia
A telehandler might rip up the grass but it won't do permanent damage, a truck driving in the yard with 100 psi in the tires will permanently damage the ground that either will take years to go back to soft ground or some work with a tractor to get back right. In slick or muddy conditions it's way worse in a truck as you can imagine with sliding. The damage from my pickup with 70 psi tires when I did my roof last year took a long time to come back.

I drive trucks on soft ground (farm or pastures) every day.

I'd look if there is a different tire you can change to on the tele that doesn't rip up grass, but will lessen traction.
Agreed, setting up a truck like that seems to be an expensive and difficult solution to a simple problem. Is a telehandler absolutely necessary or would a standard 4wd rough terrain forklift work? They are a good bit lighter and even stock have wider tires than a telehandler. A local sod farm has some on big flotation tires on one that looks like it’d go anywhere and do little damage. Getting one under 8’6” wide with tires like that may be a problem though.
 

hound

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Joined
Dec 2, 2023
Messages
11
Location
Philly
Agreed, setting up a truck like that seems to be an expensive and difficult solution to a simple problem. Is a telehandler absolutely necessary or would a standard 4wd rough terrain forklift work? They are a good bit lighter and even stock have wider tires than a telehandler. A local sod farm has some on big flotation tires on one that looks like it’d go anywhere and do little damage. Getting one under 8’6” wide with tires like that may be a problem
I didn’t give a clear enough picture. We’d just be driving the tractor back behind the house; no trailer. We’re always projecting out over a porch etc. and can’t get the machine close enough. The 56’ machines are heavier still, and sometimes longer. Plus the telehandler doesn’t slew. You back, straighten and turn a million times to get straight on. We’re getting a better pivoting suction lifter, but it’s wasted on the end of a telehandler compared the knuckle boom that can shoot straight out then have a 10-20’ jib angle up. Lifting the windows I can do. I’m just wondering about the suspension. Maybe I can just creep along with an air ride.
 

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hound

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Dec 2, 2023
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Location
Philly
The attachment below solves some of the problems since it moves in all kinds of directions, but if you look close you can imagine the situations where an overhang or flat soffitted roof line blocks the telehandler. We’re gonna saw the back rest off ours and create a removable softer one. But is still nice to have the suction cups on the end of a straight stick versus the end of the telehandler. My guys are expensive and productive; I have to keep ahead of them!
 

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Oxbow

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Nov 22, 2012
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Idaho
That's a little high I priced one for less than that-and nothing about approval I could have
ordered it. Plus I was going to install it, a septic pumper. He bought a newer truck instead.
I had contacted Hendrickson directly because I did not know where I could order the kit. That may be what prompted their design team to spec the system out according to my axles and set up. Once they specified the kit they referred me to Fleetpride who gave me the price.

I would still consider adding it, but I would sure like to talk to someone who has done it
 

Truck Shop

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I had contacted Hendrickson directly because I did not know where I could order the kit. That may be what prompted their design team to spec the system out according to my axles and set up. Once they specified the kit they referred me to Fleetpride who gave me the price.

I would still consider adding it, but I would sure like to talk to someone who has done it
I know of two done in the TriCities it wasn't too big of a deal but both were stripped bare.
The biggest problem is what the current price and availability is, because some stuff just
takes forever to acquire. Plus if a certain design isn't selling well companies like Hendrickson
will think nothing of deleting it which also causes the thought of do I really want something
that could be SOL on replacement parts.
 

hound

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Dec 2, 2023
Messages
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Location
Philly
That’s close to an ideal spec there. But we’d be fine with an higher mile truck that’s less powerful.
 

Spud_Monkey

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I have walking beam here, but not air ride unless you include the CTIS (central tire inflation system) onboard. I can inflate and deflate by push of a button.
Those are my personal windows and I got them home down 40 miles of rock/dirt road and up a ridge without breaking any of them. Got 12 of them home unbroken.
IMG_6054.jpegIMG_6059.jpeg
 

hound

Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2023
Messages
11
Location
Philly
I have walking beam here, but not air ride unless you include the CTIS (central tire inflation system) onboard. I can inflate and deflate by push of a button.
Those are my personal windows and I got them home down 40 miles of rock/dirt road and up a ridge without breaking any of them. Got 12 of them home unbroken.
View attachment 300126View attachment 300127
I like the CTIS ! Awesome truck. You’ve got rock and gravel and I’ve got Philly potholes.
 

Spud_Monkey

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I like the CTIS ! Awesome truck. You’ve got rock and gravel and I’ve got Philly potholes.
Thanks,
I said we got rock and dirt roads, first 10 to 15 miles is rock that when they grade there is 3 to 5 inch rocks in the road and after that it's dirt. Wash outs, pot holes, wash boarding, and cattle guards that sit above the road surface or below. Last 3 miles up the ridge gets fun in the winter.
I like the CTIS, but rather put a manual system in, in the future.
 
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