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Jeff J

Side puller ?

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Is is cost effective to install a side puller on a carrier or use snatch block method for side pulls 

recovery’s are a large part of our business in the winter 

 

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We have three flatbeds with sidepullers. It can be economical, but I would really need to know more.   Are you using it for police calls?  Can you charge for it in your area?  How many trucks do you have?  Number of wreckers vs flatbeds.  Do you cover a large area?  How many towing operators in the company?  How many guys work overnight?  

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We have mostly flat beds two wreckers and yes they work along at night primarily for police calls our area 80 miles wide 60 miles north and south we charge only for recovery if over 15 min and usually they all are over except for on curb etc... but one can do the same with a snatch block but it boils down to ease of use and safety and the big plus of having a second winch.... just like when we were choosing wreckers we ordered them way back when with single lines and did the same job but we would never order a single line again 

my worry is we can have all the toys but will they pay for them self??

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I actually prefer to take the flatbed on wrecks and winchout calls now.   We have everything on remote contol though.  You can be very creative with the two winch lines and it can also save your butt.  The sidepuller can do way more than just the deck winch and a snatchblock, and safer.  If your operation was covering a smaller area and most of the recovery was just rolling a car back over to its wheels, a sidepuller wouldn't be worth the cost.  Your company seems like the ideal candidate for one though.  If you need any more details or help send me a pm.

 

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You have to look at how the equipment will improve safety as a number one priority in my way of thinking. I have rolled many vehicles with a flatbed to include suburbans and full size pickups. I utilized a snatch block on a chain as well as an aluminum drive shaft as a rollover stick.  After the safety concern is addressed, then you must consider return on investment. Personally I am not completely sold on the units bringing advanced safety to the table. I am still debating that fact.

 

I always used to think that having a twin line crane similar to my absolute favorite Vulcan 882 twin line incorporated into the bed, that can be operated independently of the bed would be the ultimate in versatility.

Edited by goodmichael

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Side-Pullers are a great piece of equipment. But, in California, the highway patrol will NOT recognize a flatbed carrier as a recovery truck. So, the question remains; whether or not the carrier can be used to do a recovery. Although we towers know that rollovers and winch-out scenarios can be easily and successfully done with a carrier and it's trained operator, can you the tower, based on law enforcement contract, charge for using a side-puller for a truck that shouldn't be dispatched to a recovery scene? While I pose a somewhat stupid answer up-front, break down the components and come up with a different answer that could result in a disciplinary action, suspension, or removal from the rotation list. All of the responses herein are reasonable and accurate where cause and effect come into play.   R. 

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I have a side puller on my rollback. Was it expensive? Yes it was, but the police would request a wrecker for a crash at night and you would run out with one and find out you need a rollback. They would call for a rollback and you would get there and the car was down an embankment and 100' out in a field and now you need a wrecker. You can do 90% of the recoveries with a sidepuller and a rollback, yes sometimes you need a hydraulic boom with dual winches but not very often. Saves me from sending 2 men and 2 trucks and I now can do it with one truck and one man. Of course I charge extra when using the sidepuller. Does it pay for itself and make you money? Maybe, maybe not, but it sure is convenient.

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I totally agree with Stuart.  The police rarely tell us what kind of car we are going after.  More often than not we don't know the car is on its roof or over the guardrails and down an embankment.  Having a truck that can complete 90-95% of the jobs beats having to call someone else in at 2 am.

 

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