A variation of the crane or knuckle boom truck, a grapple truck is a vehicle that has become essential in many different lines of heavy-duty commercial work. With a structure similar to a crane, the main difference with powerful grapple trucks is that instead of having a bucket, auger, or some other attachment at the end of the boom, there is a giant claw-type hand. This device is extremely useful and grapple loaders can be found on construction sites and city streets everywhere, making quick work of loading bulky, heavy items and material.
Grapple Loader Specifications
Grapple trucks are easy to operate by trained workers and can be used to pick up and load large, bulky, or heavy items and handle other material when equipped with a grasping bucket instead of a claw-like one. The crane maneuvers so that the grapple can release material into any one of many different containers of various sizes.
Container set-ups can differ based on the type and amount of material being collected and how far it needs to be moved. Grapple trucks are typically built with either a roll-off container or a large dump bed or without any type of container and then material is moved into a separate roll-off or dump container. Regardless of the type of container used to hold the material, the purpose of the vehicle is to grasp, lift, move, and release.
Naturally, heavy-duty grapple trucks are completely at home on any construction site, frequently either collecting scrap and waste to be removed or scooping up gravel, screenings, and other types of loose material to be loaded and moved to another location. When appropriately equipped, this practical vehicle can be used in the forestry industry to move harvested trees, in mills for unloading huge logs, and at waste dumping facilities to unload containers. A recent usage that has proven to be both popular and productive is as a part of municipal sanitation fleets.
Grapple trucks are an efficient and useful way to collect bulk trash, waste from storm damage, and clean out storm sewers; they are capable of working faster and easier than having all of that done by hand. Some sanitation departments have used the vehicles to be used for bulk pick up every day of the week, leaving all of the other garbage trucks to continue with normal trash pickup on regularly scheduled days.
Grapple Loader Benefit
Though these vehicles are useful for loading and moving just about any type of material, the primary design intent was to make a truck that could easily pick up and load extremely large and heavy items. Using a grapple loader does make cleanup and other loading jobs faster and easier; however, the main advantage that has been seen with these units is to drastically reduce worker injuries.
Before this vehicle was designed, workers had to lift and move many large items such as a sofa or large steel beam into a container or trash truck by hand. This action resulted in numerous injuries and workers compensation claims; taking the human factor out of the action with grapple trucks, the risk of such injuries was eliminated as well. Many companies or municipalities that did not think adding one of these vehicles could be afforded has seen that they are actually more affordable that originally thought, primarily because of the lower health insurance and workers compensation premiums that will need to be paid.
It should be easy to see how heavy-duty grapple trucks can be so beneficial and useful at many different work locations. Strong, fast, and hard-working, these units really give workers a break while allowing twice as much work to get done – a veritable win-win situation indeed!