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4x4 or 4x2 forestry bucket trucks

kcurbanloggers

kcurbanloggers

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Hi all,
Apologies if this has been asked before, but I couldn't seem to find any previous threads. I am looking to purchase a used bucket truck with a chip box. Previously, I have always climbed trees, and the trucks I have used have been 4x4. The overwhelming majority of forestry trucks seem to be in 4x2 configurations. Have any of you guys felt like this has limited your access to trees? I do a lot on large properties that do not always have access from the driveway. Gate access is not generally a problem, but I do find myself occasionally driving over large lawns. The spot where we dump brush and chips is particularly muddy and unforgiving. How well do these 4x2 trucks perform off the pavement? I do not want to be damaging lawns. Is laying down plywood a viable solution? Please let me know your thoughts
Lastly, some of these units have low miles but very high hours on the pto. I know maintenance is everything, but assuming it has been well taken care of, how long to people expect to run the pto before the moto and lift need major rebuilds? 10,000 hours seems to be the upper threshold for major repairs, but please let me know if that is or is not your experience.
Andy advise you have is welcomed.
Thanks in advance,
A
 
mrhemihead

mrhemihead

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Not in the tree business but when a bucket truck was required for tree work on my property they always put down plywood. It did a decent job of protecting the lawn.
This was demonstrated on a YouTube site I follow.
Seems superior to plywood.
 
sean donato

sean donato

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4x4 is a must imo even if you are using planking, there's no replacement for the front of the truck pulling while the rear is pushing. Also opens up areas that may not be as accessible with a 2x4. They do have their down sides, steering radius, height, extra maintenance cost. Some are geared stupid low and don't do highway speeds well. I'd still rather have it myself. Gotten in some odd places with 2wd trucks that had rear lockers that wouldn't come out, the 4x4 truck just walked out 90% of the time without the diff lock in.
 
ElevatorGuy

ElevatorGuy

What are you doing with the wood?
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Not sure I’ll ever buy a bucket truck but I know I’ll never buy another truck that’s 2wd. Worthless for anything but a pavement princess. 4x4 all the way.
 
kcurbanloggers

kcurbanloggers

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4x4 is a must imo even if you are using planking, there's no replacement for the front of the truck pulling while the rear is pushing. Also opens up areas that may not be as accessible with a 2x4. They do have their down sides, steering radius, height, extra maintenance cost. Some are geared stupid low and don't do highway speeds well. I'd still rather have it myself. Gotten in some odd places with 2wd trucks that had rear lockers that wouldn't come out, the 4x4 truck just walked out 90% of the time without the diff lock in.
Well bummer. I wish I read that before I got the 2x4. Good thing I've got climbers I guess. I'm planning on getting ground protection mats from notch or some other supplier. Hopefully those help with accessibility and might be better than plywood.
Thanks for the insight

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sean donato

sean donato

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Posi is better on the street, still pretty worthless off-road. A locker is much better but nothing replaces that front ring and pinion. I have zero experience with chains.
Chains help, but need used with caution. Getting too rough on them typically causes them to fling off. Then you have other issues. Best we found for easy on/off was peewag cam locks. Didn't need bungies to keep them tight and stayed on most of the time unless you got real ignorant with them. But they were still basically like snow chains. They had a diamond pattern chain I wanted to try out but quit that job before I got around to convincing then to get a set...
 
sonny580

sonny580

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2 or 4 depends on where you need to go. My 84 f-700 goes anyplace I need to so its fine for me. I have been off-road a lot with it and did o.k. but I got meat-eater tires on the back! Broke the pinion shaft the other day coming back up hill from a off-road job. Not the trucks fault,---my driver got scared and dumped the clutch and mashed the gas,---ole 460 took out the shaft!
for serious off-road use tracks are #1, 4x4 would be second choice.
 
ElevatorGuy

ElevatorGuy

What are you doing with the wood?
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2wd is worthless off the pavement. I had 6 yards of concrete and 15 yards of sand delivered recently. Both the concrete truck and dump truck pulled in fine, neither could get out without locking both rears together. Both trucks empty spun the first axles left duals and 2nd axles right duals going no where before they locked both axles and them together. I’ll never buy another single axle driven vehicle that’s going to leave pavement. 2wd sucks.
 
Up_and_climber

Up_and_climber

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I’ve drove our companies 2wd bucket for awhile. I live in the Midwest so winter is from about September to may haha. We have a 2011 freight liner outfitted with a 70’ elevator. It’s absolutely worthless off pavement. Most of our jobs either require gravel roads or planking. I won’t take it off pavement or improved gravel anymore. The winter basically deadlines the truck as you need chains to go anywhere. Using chains for traction on our 2wd truck basically gets us into spots we shouldnt have it to begin with. Our company is looking to switch to 4x4 for for the foreseeable future because of its limitations.


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Arborsharp

Arborsharp

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I am also curious how many hours a lift can handle before needing significant repairs. thanks for the advice!

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kcurbanloggers

kcurbanloggers

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Clearly, the 4x4 would have been a more capable option. But a 4x4 with a chip box was hard to find. I think I ended up with the best I could reasonably afford. Attached is a photo of the new rig. Is a 2011 with a 70ft versalift and a 12ft chip box. Now that I have the 2x4, are there any suggestions that would help get this thing off pavement occasionally? We do not do serious off road work, but occasionally limited access would force us to go across a or up a gravel road. I was planning to get some of those heavy plastic mats. Does anyone have experience with those? They appear to be better than plywood. They certainly are pricey... About $250 for a 4x8 sheet.
Would these a dozen or so of these realistically get this truck across a lawn without getting stuck and creating ruts?
Thanks
ce8edabbd776e11ec556d80f9578620e.jpg


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ElevatorGuy

ElevatorGuy

What are you doing with the wood?
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Maryland
Getting it off the pavement will be easy. Getting it far off the pavement or even back on the pavement will be the issue. I’d suggest you look for the front axle with the proper ring and pinion, Should be good to go.
 
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