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The tree removal industry has faced a number of challenges – safety, property damage, operational inefficiency. Moreover, the skill level of operators can vary significantly. And, perhaps, most significantly, the quality of equipment makes the biggest difference of all. After all, not everyone will invest in a high-quality Heila knuckle boom to make their jobs easier.

Reducing risk

Tree removal jobs are also inherently risky when performed in any built-up area. Whether it is cutting a dead tree in a residential setting or clearing a tree from land marked for commercial use, there are almost always space constraints. It’s when improper handling of equipment can cause damage. And, especially with older equipment, it is very much the operator’s skill that stops a tree from toppling onto an adjacent building.

A smaller footprint

Today, one of the biggest challenges the tree removal industry faces is the collateral impact it leaves behind. Having to access adjacent land, leaving tire tracks on the grass and having to bear neighbours’ ire are common issues. Even the risk of property damage is very real.

With advanced knuckle boom and grapple trucks, a lot of these can be reduced significantly. Greater reach and control over tree handling can really raise your tree-cutting capabilities and decrease time spent on administrative formalities such as access permissions.

New grapple saw technologies are helping change the face of tree-cutting. It is about to become a whole lot safer, faster and easier for all concerned.

New knuckle boom and grapple saw tech is bringing unheard of levels of agility and ability.

The advancement is evident through two technologies: the knuckle boom and the grapple saw. Together, they can help you raise your tree-cutting game.

Setting the grapple saw to ‘auto’

Let’s first talk about grapple saws. Development has not only focused on easing the burden on operators but also making maintenance less expensive. Here are some features you should definitely look for in your next knuckle boom crane with grapple saw.

  1. Automatic tension adjustment – Instead of having to manually crank pressure on the chain, modern grapple saws can do it themselves – on the fly. It’s especially beneficial as the fine adjustments increase the performance and longevity of the saw blade. Great if you put your saws to extended use.
  2. Auto-return and cut-off – An auto-return saw blade is a very handy feature to have. It greatly increases safety for personnel working around the equipment. Near misses with swinging grapple hooks and spinning saw, blades are too common. This can make your site a much safer place.
  3. Lubrication systems – The joys of automation once again. Whereas traditional systems were mostly, ‘turn it on and let it flow’, newer systems are much more sophisticated. The amount of lubrication can be changed on the fly without any intervention to ensure optimum temperatures and lubricant use.
  4. Remote operation – Perhaps the most important development has been remote operation. Totally wireless control over the grapple saw means the operator can position him or herself exactly as needed. It is a fast-changing space, too, with greater control and more automated systems under development.

The humble knuckle boom crane

Knuckle boom cranes are the workhorse of tree removal companies. With enormous numbers of configurations of knuckle boom for sale, operators can find exactly what they need.

Booms like the PM knuckle boom truck offer a wide range of motion, allowing you to manoeuvre your grapple saws into oblique spaces too.

What’s more, with the strength of knuckle lift systems, operators can rely on one or just two machines to cut and extract trees, rather than a full complement of staff to manage tag lines and individual cranes.

With more capable craning mechanisms, you are able to reduce the footprint you leave on the property too. Cranes can be parked further away, reducing the risk of tire marks and damage to soft ground. Smaller cranes are also able to pass through narrower alleys and operate in more confined areas.

Vast selection of knuckle boom grapple saw

Bik Hydraulics is your one-stop-shop for all types of cranes. Our inventory consists of a vast selection of trucks and crane combinations. Grapple saw technology has evolved at a rapid rate and we offer a wide selection of grapple saw types and capacities


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