grapple truck

Is a Grapple Truck a Boom Truck?

While a grapple truck and boom truck are not the same, you can modify your existing grapple truck to add a boom knuckle and make it more operational.

Many waste management companies are reaping the benefits of grapple trucks like the Petersen TL3, which feature hydraulically-powered arms that can collect waste that normal work crews would find difficult or dangerous. Some fleet operators may be wondering if they can substitute trucks with a similar operational capacity, such as boom trucks, for grapple trucks. Below, we’ll break down the differences between these two vehicle types.

Can You Use a Boom Truck as a Grapple Truck?

The short answer is “no.” Boom trucks and grapple trucks operate on similar principles: a hydraulically-powered arm or crane is mounted on the back of the truck, and allows the operator to lift or manipulate heavy loads. However, there are key differences between the two.

A boom truck’s lifting arm typically angles up in a single straight line and is stabilized at the bottom. Such trucks are most often seen at construction sites, where they move large, heavy objects around the site.

A grapple truck’s arm, on the other hand, will usually feature several points of articulation along its length to give it greater flexibility and reach. While these articulation points mean that the grapple truck’s arm cannot lift the same amount of weight as a boom truck’s arm, it allows it to tackle jobs that the boom truck would be too unwieldy for.

Another key difference lies in how their arms end. For boom trucks, this typically takes the form of a winch or crane that loads are secured to, allowing the boom truck to maneuver it from one spot to another.

Grapple trucks, on the other hand, end in a grasping claw or bucket that can grab objects without requiring a secure connection. This is because in waste management, grapple trucks are most often used to clear debris that is too large or heavy for human work crews to manage.

Modifications Do Exist

With all this said, aftermarket modifications do exist. If you own a grapple truck, such as a Petersen TL3, you can modify it down the line with a boom knuckle, should you have a job that requires the greater strength that a boom knuckle offers.

If you’re looking for used grapple trucks for sale like the Petersen TL3, then we invite you to contact Route Ready Trucks. We offer a range of used waste trucks for sale, all of them inspected to the highest standards possible, and certified with our industry-leading warranty.

We specialize in helping waste management companies forecast their long-term trucking needs, and our expert salespeople can provide you with a free quote for grapple trucks as soon as you give us a call!

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