Theodore, Alabama-based Mack Manufacturing Inc. has introduced a series of self-contained remotely operated crane bucket and grapple attachments ranging from 3/8-cubic-yard capacity up to a 20-yard capacity.
“We have been producing large units like this to handle bulk loading for several years,” says Matt Davidson, Mack’s vice president of sales and marketing. “The new small-sized grapples and buckets were developed to solve big problems for customers in forestry, recycling, aggregate and shipping industries. But we found many customers need similar attachments sized smaller for more mobility, faster deployment and greater precision in moving material.”
The new Mack attachments have been designed to handle a wide array of materials, including scrap metal, waste, logs, rock and other bulk materials. The first unit Mack delivered was a 3/8-cubic yard five-tine grapple, built for a paper mill to clear jammed logs from its debarking process.
“Jams can be a costly problem, whether you’re processing logs like this or pulling oversized, wedged-in material from a grinder or a shredder,” says Davidson. “In this case, a stuck log could stop production for six hours or more. The jam could happen 60 feet above the crane location, out of the crane operator’s sight, and the mill would have to send a crew into the equipment to free up the jam.”
The paper mill ordered the self-contained grapple from Mack so an operator can use the remote control to pick out a stuck log. The crane, working down below the debarker line, simply lifts and positions the grapple with directions for the remote operator. “It’s much safer than the old method,” Davidson continues. “The remote operator can maneuver the grapple precisely to clear the jam in far less time. It can save a day’s production.”
The smallest of the Mack attachments are powered by 14-horsepower air-cooled Hatz diesel engines. The largest models use 85-horsepower air-cooled Deutz diesels. The attachments are maneuvered by hand-held radio controls similar to those used with Mack’s larger models.
Mack Manufacturing designs and makes heavy-duty hydraulic grapples and buckets for overhead cranes and mobile equipment. Established in 1942, the company is family-owned.