1968 Dodge C800/Prentice HOBC

Any crane is better than no crane, but the 12′ reach on the Hank truck is limiting.

HOBCfrontThis little gem came along for scrap value or thereabouts.

HOBCrearOutdated for production work, but for sorting and feeding the processor, it’s perfect.  19′ of reach, tail mount, and a short chassis.

And shelter from the storm.  So long as the storm doesn’t swirl too hard…

As with most semi-retired iron, this piece needs some work.  For starters, the air brakes aren’t working properly.  One of the rear copper lines has been abraded by hanging hydraulic hoses, the quick release valve for the front axle is junk, and the spring brake release valve needs to be replaced.  The swing pedal pivot is badly worn, along with all of the valve bank links.  For the immediate future, I’m going to be churning butter…

One of the bucket cylinders needs to be repacked, but there is a spare available for loan.

The stabilizer lock valves seep, the hydraulic oil needs replacement, and the valve bank needs new seals. The carrier needs a new carburetor and alternator.  The two speed axle has only one speed, and the muffler is shot.

If it was ready to go, it wouldn’t be any fun, now would it?

AirvalveQuick release valve.


And of course, the hydraulics.  Most of the hydraulic lines are dry-rotted and look like a hazard.  Lot’s of hose on one of these machines…50 feet doesn’t get it.

Boomcyl1The boom goes up, but won’t stay up.  At all.  Suspect the packing is bad in the main cylinder.

boomcyl2A few chains, straps, a come-along, and some gravity assist, and the cylinder is down. Just enough room to swing one end onto the tailgate.

Many years ago, I bought a big cylinder for use on a log splitter that I never got around to building.  As luck would have it, it’s an exact match for this cylinder, and I was told it was recently rebuilt prior to my buying it.


Seems to work so far.Bucketstop1

The Barko bucket had no swing stop.  Don’t know how that is suppose to work, but I’m not too keen on ripping lines off the stick.  Bucketstop2This shot shows the stop on the snubber, and the business end on the bucket.

In the future, I plan to change the valving to incorporate an active/indexing swing brake as used on the more modern Rotobec systems.

There are a few minor cracks here and there on the crane assembly.Boomcrack8And I’m not that tall, so I have to improvise.

Boomcrack9It’s the shiny spot ahead of the stick cylinder pin.

Boomcrack3Preliminary clean-out.  Just like a trip to the dentist.

Boomcrack5“This grinder makes a different sound…”

And yes, the sun has gone to bed.  But I’ve got it on the run, and will press on.

Boomcrack6Might not be the comeliest gal at the hoe-down, but she’ll dance without crushing my toes…

SPG&HOBCGlamour shot with the other service ‘truck’.

Nice haunches…

Building a better air cleaner.

DDthrottleHand throttle.  I think the lever assembly is late of an International Harvester tractor.  The cable is, well, from a Volvo 240.



At the first gig.  The Detroit has the wrong type of engine governor, so I had to limp along at low throttle.  Plenty of lift though.

Swapped in a cable-drive governor from a parts engine.  Normally, the driver could twist a knob on the dash to raise the throttle as the job required.  I made a small knob from a piece of aluminum hex stock and used a set-screw to attach to the cable stub.  A little ungainly, but it works.