Lifting cargo has always been the job of stiff boom cranes for decades; however, this norm has been challenged and overtaken by knuckleboom trucks. With several performance advantages, the knuckleboom is fast becoming the equipment of choice for low to mid range capacity lifting tasks.
A Brief Synopsis
The knuckleboom is truck-based equipment which means that the equipment uses a standard chassis that is also used in other commercial vehicles like dump trucks, vacuum trucks, and bucket trucks. The specifications of the chassis can vary with many different criteria including length, size, number of axles, and engine size depending on the required capacity of the added equipment.
- Bed – The truck normally has a flat bed, which sometimes is equipped with low siding for securing a load. The evolution of the equipment only began after the need to develop a system of loading and unloading heavy material in tight spaces was identified. The problem most often encountered with flat beds is that loading and unloading requires separate equipment like a fork lift or a crane at the designated work site. If such equipment is not available, workers must be used to get the job done, which is slow, costly, and even potentially hazardous. Due to such operation hurdles, a new mechanical device was added to the flat bed that is referred to as the knuckleboom.
- Arm – Knuckleboom trucks have an articulated steel arm that is mounted on the chassis right behind the cab. Most manufacturers create the articulated arm with three joints thus making it somewhat resemble a human knuckle when it is curled up. The base of the arm is a turret to allow it to rotate horizontally in all directions. Its main function is to lift loads on and off of the bed. The tip of the arm is extendable just like a telescopic boom to increase its length and reach to lift the load to certain heights.
- Outriggers – Another feature of the equipment is the hydraulic outriggers. These are a set of steel legs attached to the chassis that can be extended hydraulically towards the ground. They are deployed whenever the boom is in use in order to widen the base of support of the truck and keep it from tipping whenever the weight distribution is uneven.
Work Site Advantages
The articulated design of this unique boom gives it a few convenient advantages over the traditional stiff arm crane.
- Easy Maneuverability – By having more articulation points than a stiff boom, the equipment can easily operate and maneuver a load at its destination. Each joint can move independently of the other, so it is possible to get the load into a position that would not be possible with a stiff boom.
- Increased Payload – Articulated booms are able to carry a heavier payload because the individual sections can be positioned in a way where there is less weight applied on the boom. For example, setting the boom perpendicular to the ground relieves the stress, whereas setting it parallel to the ground amplifies the stress. Having several articulated joints gives the operator the capacity to position each joint so as little stress as possible will be experienced.
- Better Control – There is better control over the equipment with the help of a remote controller. It is possible to be positioned so that the load can be easily seen, making it possible to guide the load precisely where it is needed to be.
Knuckleboom trucks are an equipment born out of necessity, evolving from a simple flat bed to one that can compete with full fledged cranes, making jobs much easier and safer. The advantages that these trucks have to offer are sure to jump-start the efficiency of work at any job site!
Look At the High-Functioning Knuckleboom Trucks That Central Truck Sales Has to Offer!
Could your company use the help of knuckleboom trucks? Call Central Truck Sales at 856-570-1412 to speak with an expert who can help you find one of these trucks that will fulfill your needs!