Mechanical Versus Hydraulic


Photo Credit: Miller Industries

I’ve heard it said that today’s HD operators could not safely and efficiently operate yesterday’s mechanical wreckers. Likewise, yesterday’s HD operators could not safely and efficiently operate today’s modern HD hydraulic wreckers. But, you be the judge and let’s take a look at the following comparison:


Feature Holmes 750 Hyd 25-30 T
Turn on the wrecker depress clutch, pull out PTO flip a switch
Drop the rear anchors (1) pull pins and drop the RJ30s
(2) place the SB140 scotch blocks
(3) place SB140 retaining chain in TB
(4) winch or drive wrecker up on blocks
pull two levers
Extend the boom (1) disengage boom lock & swing
(2) tighten boom service line
(3) release boom support lines
(4) lower boom w/service line &
(5) unpin b
(6) manually pull boom out (w/help)
(7) repin boom
(8) raise boom w/service line
(9) retighten boom support lines
pull a lever
Lower the underlift not available pull a lever
Extend underlift/truck hitch (1) position HD truck hitch
(2) unpin & manually extend hitch
pull a lever
Attach underlift to casualty (1) remove casualty bumper, etc.
(2) attach chains to axle, spring, etc.
(3) raise both service lines to collapse hitch
(4) re-engage hitch extension pins & tighten chain
position forks
We could go on but you get the point. Where the modern hydraulic wrecker requires only eight functions to complete the above tasks, the Holmes 750 required at least 19 and that doesn’t include dragging blocks and hiring another wrecker to pull out the boom and a LOT of manual, back-breaking labor. What the HD hydraulic can do in 20 minutes, the venerable 750 could easily take two or more hours. Yes, the Holmes 750 was a very durable workhorse that never stopped. But, the modern hydraulic performs more functions, faster and safer and with far less operator participation and effort, resulting in more $$ production per day.

Yes, they cost more but they do much more. Besides, how much did you pay for your last $950 car?

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