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Boss is looking at a new Van Ladder

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by signbrad, Jan 11, 2021.

  1. signbrad

    signbrad Member

    Jun 15, 2014
    Kansas City
    Anybody have one or use one? Like it or not? Disadvantages?

    Brad in Kansas City
  2. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

    Aug 4, 2010
    montgomery, alabama
    if you are referring to a "straight shooter" type of lift with no bucket, one of the guys here in town have one and Im sure at one point in time it had its purpose but Im not impressed when you compare it to an articulating boom with bucket
  3. Notarealsignguy

    Notarealsignguy Very Active Member

    Feb 20, 2020
    My friend had one and said he didn't really like it. IIRC he said it didn't feel very stable and his had the pedestal that took up a lot of space inside of the van. Personally, I don't like working out of a van and would much rather have a service body. It's easier to grab tools/hardware at ground level then it is to crawl through a van. The center door over the wheels make a nice little work table on the service body trucks. I don't like driving a van either, theyre loud inside compared to a truck cab.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2021
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  4. Souldar

    Souldar New Member

    May 22, 2020
    I have used these in the past. Don't like them and the ones I have used broke down a lot.
  5. signbrad

    signbrad Member

    Jun 15, 2014
    Kansas City
    Thanks for the replies.
    I was hoping someone had experience with the latest generation of Van Ladder.
    A lot of the past complaints have been addressed on the latest version. No tower penetrating the interior. Lots of accessible tool boxes. And they are putting it on a heavier vehicle. It's still all electric with no outriggers.

    Personally, I would take a used Elliot any day. But it's his 100 grand. I told the boss I would try to find somebody on here that has used the newest version.

    Here are some pictures if no one has seen the latest model.


    Brad in Kansas City
  6. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    What's the load capacity in that ?? Also, it doesn't look much more than about 30' fully extended.

    What does your boss feel the pros are over a regular bucket with or without outriggers. That cargo area can be on just about any setup.

    Does your boss already have a selection of booms/cranes of some sort and just needs this for some particular reason(s) ??
  7. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

    Sep 28, 2017
    These are really meant for service IMO. They are great if you have no room for setup, because there is no setup. Just park and go. We had one stop by for a cold call right after we got our 50' altec bucket. It was very mickey mouse in comparison, 350lb basket, super slow unless you're rotating at full extension then it felt like an unmaintained carnival ride, and kinda scary when you take it to the ground while watching the wheel wells of the van compress more and more and more.
    Would you plan to do installs with it, or service, or everything?
  8. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

    Oct 21, 2016
    Frisco, TX
    I agree with JBurton. There is a company in town that only does service that bought one. You can get them for just under $100k. I looked at them recently but ultimately decided against it.
  9. Rocco G

    Rocco G Member

    Feb 27, 2014
    Pennsauken NJ
    I've used ladder trucks and personally wouldn't buy one. I've also had a van-bucket and it was in use for perhaps 15 years. It's great in that you can just throw everything inside and lock the door. However, for sloppy people (yes including me) that's also a bad thing. STUFF tends to accumulate inside. The van is great when you need to carry a bunch of florescent lamps for service but that's much less common anymore. I do like the outside bin doors on the V-L though.

    If it was me, I'd go for a Stamm Mfg. ATR-41 or ATR-45. I have the 41 (that's the working height) and it's the best small/medium truck I've ever used. Plus I have the 1000 lb jib, well worth the extra $7k I spent. The Stamm truck has a platform larger than most Elliotts (two fit in easily with room for tools etc.), turns 90 degrees each way, power in the platform, etc. Without using the jib, the platform rating is 600 lbs. I've added sliding tubes for handling faces and raceways. I can install 6x8 faces without help and have installed up to a 6 x 14 face with a second person in the platform. I can reach out over pretty wide sidewalks and install channel letters in comfort. Well relative comfort - it's work after all. I'd go on and on but need to get to work. IIRC a new one is ~$135k with the jib and a new truck. I got mine used and wish I had one forty years ago.
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  10. signbrad

    signbrad Member

    Jun 15, 2014
    Kansas City
    Thanks for all the replies.

    As you can see from all the pictures, the truck he is looking at is a F450 chassis, a box truck with duallys. The tool boxes are all opened from the outside. The reach is 40 or 45 feet, long enough for parking lot lights. Weight capacity is 300+, like a typical smaller bucket truck, enough for a man and a set of channel letters on a raceway. He would use it for installing and servicing channel letters mostly.

    He currently has 3 bucket trucks and a small Skyhook. I assume he will replace one of the smaller Versalifts with this one.

    I'm not a big fan of all-electric. I like to be able to move slowly and not move jerkily, which is only possible with hydraulics.
    I would rather have a used Elliott, but it's his money.

    I'll be retiring soon, anyway.

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