Skid Steer and Telehandler Truss Booms - What Are Your Options? - Skid Steers Direct

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Skid Steer and Telehandler Truss Booms - What Are Your Options?

Key Considerations...

  •  Truss booms are used in the construction of new buildings to raise prefabricated roof trusses onto the structure.
  • Fork mounted and quick attach mounted truss booms are available to fit skid steers and telehandlers. 
  • 6' to 15' booms are common in both fixed and extendable lengths.
  • Look for a combination of light weight and high lift capacity when searching for a skid steer truss boom attachment.
  • High quality skid steer truss booms will be built with a "roll back" design to help lower the centre of gravity.
  • Roll back will help in maneuvering the trusses along the ground.
  • Our suggested truss boom attachment manufacturers are Haugen Attachments and Star Industries.

There are more than a dozen different telehandler and skid steer truss boom attachments on the market today. Understanding your needs as a builder, as well as knowing what makes one boom better than another, is the first step to purchasing the right one.

In this brief article, we are going to look at few common brands of boom and design features of skid steer truss booms, and help you decided which one might be right for you.

Telehandler truss jib lifting pallet

What is a Skid Steer & Telehandler Truss Boom used for?

For those of you that are new to the building and construction world, we should start by explaining what a roof truss is.

A roof truss is a prefabricated wooden structure that forms the roof of many buildings, while tying the outside walls together. The important note here is that roof trusses are "prefabricated" meaning they are built in a factory and then delivered to the job site.

A skid steer truss boom attachment is an extendable arm that is used to lift the roof trusses onto buildings where workers can fasten them into place.

Quick Attach or Fork Mounted Truss Boom?

Quick Attach vs Fork Mounted Jib Booms

One of the first considerations when deciding on a truss boom is how the attachment will couple to your machine. Fork slotted and quick attach booms are both available.

Although we can make an argument for either set up, it's important to mention that data compiled from our business shows that fork mounted booms are more popular than quick attach by a margin of 2:1. This applies to both skid steer and telehandler booms.

Fork Mounted Truss Booms

Given that most skid steer, telehandlers, forklifts and tractors have pallet forks already, purchasing a truss boom with fork slots makes the boom very versatile.

Fork slots will give you the advantage of quickly being able to switch between machines, increase the likelihood that you will be able to rent or lend the boom out while it's not being used, and it may even help with resale value.

Fork mounted adjustable jib boom installed on telehandler

Standard fork pocket sizes are 3 1/2" x 7 1/2" and are open on both ends to accommodate nearly any length of fork. Of course you should check with your dealer before purchasing. Be sure to ensure you do not exceed the lifting capacity of your forks and frame.

Fork mounted booms will normally have a pin that locks in behind the heel of the fork. Ensuring that you use the pins properly is essential to proper use.

Quick Attach Mounted Truss Booms

Alternatively, it is possible to purchase truss booms that will couple directly to your skid steer or telehandler quick attach. This system may be ideal for customers who don't already own forks, don't own large enough forks or have the same attachment plate across all machines.

Quick attach mounted jib boom on telehandler ready to lift trusses

Because telehandlers Quick Attach designs vary by make and model, the lead time for purchasing one may be a few weeks longer.

Truss Boom Lengths and Hitch/Hook Types

Adjustable Truss Boom Lengths

Truss Booms are made in both fixed and adjustable lengths, with the adjustable length booms being more popular.

The adjustable length not only help you to adapt to your working condition quickly, but also makes storing and transporting the boom much easier when it's not in use.

adjustable jib showing its adjustments

Most adjustable length truss booms are fixed in place with a removable pin, and will come with a chart to show loading capacities at specific lengths. Some may even come with holes in the frame to accommodate extra hooks.

Common adjustable boom lengths are 2.5' to 8.5' with lifting capacities around 2,000 pounds fully extended.

Fixed Truss Boom Lengths

By eliminating moving parts, a fixed length truss boom will have higher strength and a longer service life.

For a skid steer, fixed length booms are common in 6', 9' and 12' lengths, with loading capacities around 2,000 pounds below 8' and 1,000 pounds above 9'.

Fork mounted jib on white background

Telehandler fixed length booms are common in 2', 4', 12' and 15' lengths with loading capacities around 10,000 pounds for the shortest boom and 2,000 pounds for the longest boom.

Truss Boom Hooks and Hitches

Pintle hitches are the most common hitch type on truss booms. With a pintle hitch you can attach a chain or rope to connect the truss to the hitch. It's simple, strong, and has only one moving part.

What To Look For in a Skid Steer Truss Boom?

When it comes to choosing a a truss boom for your skid steer or telehandler, we do have a few recommendations.

Light Weight and Heavy Lifting

Lifting heavy loads high off the ground raises your centre of gravity. A high centre of gravity creates instability, and should be avoided as much as possible. Therefore, it is important to ensure your boom is as light weight as possible.

adjustable jib boom on a cat skid loader

Along with being light weight, the boom should have a high lifting capacity. To achieve both a light weight and high lift capacity, you need a well engineered boom made to the highest standards. For this reason we recommend truss booms from reputable manufacturers such as Haugen Attachments and Star Industries.

Roll Back Design

Roll back is when an attachment is built on an angle to the attachment plate. For example, if you look at a skid steer boom designed with roll back, the boom will be angled 15 to 20 degrees upwards from the attachment plate to the pintle hitch.

Roll back provides several advantages with a boom. Firstly, it allows the skid steer operator to keep the loader arms lower while setting the truss, hence lowering the skid steers centre of gravity. It also allows the skid steer operator to reach higher with the boom if needed.

Fixed boom on skid steer loader 

Roll back may also come in handy for moving trusses along the ground. With enough roll back and boom length, a skid steer operator may be able to keep the loader arms all the way down while having the trusses off the ground. This greatly improves the skid steer operators visibility while maneuvering.

Conclusion

Ensuring that you have a high quality, well designed truss boom for your construction company is important for safety, efficiency and investment value.

If you have questions about what truss boom might be right for you, feel free to reach out the author Cohen Meyer directly at cohenmeyer73@yahoo.com, or our sales team at sales@skidsteersdirect.com.

Written by Cohen Meyer
Cohen Meyer is a product researcher and content contributor for Skid Steers Direct. Cohen has spent over 12,000 hours operating skid steers, telehandlers, excavators and tractors. He is a former business owner, certified welder and a self proclaimed tech geek.

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