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What is Going on in this Lumber Yard?

This is one of those scenarios that can leave you scratching your head for a few days. This is a Volvo single lift attempting to do what it is supposed to do… Remove a few tons of lumber from a lumbar hauling semi truck. Obviously, this was shot in the lumber yard. You can see other pieces of equipment and stacks of lumber from time to time in the background. However, who knew that such an entertaining world existed right beyond the edges of commercialized society?



I mean, this guy unloading the lumber with his prong fork and hydraulics is better than a Barnum and Bailey circus act. Each time he goes to lift it, the entire load lifts him off the ground! He wrestles with it for a bit and it seems like he will be unsuccessful. Then, at the very end, he makes a final move and lifts the entire load skyward as if it were nothing at all.


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Now for the fun part. This is sure to generate a few questions. I’m going to try and answer them as best I can. Get ready friends, I’m about to attempt to read your mind. Here are the questions I think you might have.

How Heavy Is the Load? Well, that particular piece of equipment is designed to carry a maximum load of about five tons. I would say that this wood pile is maximum capacity. I mean it’s not every day that you try to lift something that causes your back tires to come off the ground.

Therefore, this load obviously is a max load for the single lift.

Why Not Take Two Loads? This is a question that I would imagine would be quite popular in the YouTube forums. There are always so many experts there. I can hear them chiming in now.

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“At my work we always take a half load! It takes half the time and is much more efficient!”
“This guy should be fired for taking too much time trying to lift a single load!”

Well, that all sounds fine and good if you want to skate right past the obvious. I’ll give you a hint. It’s found in the name. That’s right, this is a single lift Volvo unloader. That means that the fork prongs are designed to go underneath the load and secure it in one pass. That’s the only thing it can do. You can’t stick those forklift prongs through a load of lumber. It simply won’t work that way. You have to go underneath. Therefore, this is why the guy is trying to lift it all at one time. It’s what the machine was designed to do.

Why Not Use a Ballast?

You know, of all the questions you might ask me, this one would be the best. The answer is, I have no idea why he doesn’t use a ballast weight to counteract the load. Taking a look at this, it’s obvious that when the Volvo leans forward the entire load is placed on the front axle. That can’t be good for the machine at all. Think about it, if you took the semi truck and leaned it forward on its front two axles, it would snap like a twig.

The only reason the Volvo does not snap is because it’s made to be a heavy duty machine. I’m willing to bet that the axle is reinforced because they assume this sort of thing might happen. However, putting a ballast on the back end would certainly help stabilize the machine while it is engaging the hydraulic lift.

 It is rather entertaining to see someone do the impossible. Even though this is just a mere piece of machinery, it certainly looks like it is out-matched. Yet, as with most things in life, it boils down to simple leverage. It’s how we move things from place to place, it’s how you got that bank loan, it’s how you got your girlfriend or wife (think about that one until it makes sense), and how this guy got all of that lumber off that big rig.

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Therefore, this load obviously is a max load for the single lift.

Why Not Take Two Loads? This is a question that I would imagine would be quite popular in the YouTube