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Author Topic: Please help me learn what to look for on used Prentice 120  (Read 1326 times)

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Offline badger1

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Please help me learn what to look for on used Prentice 120
« on: December 24, 2017, 04:35:23 PM »
Hello Gentlemen,

I've recently purchased 5 acres and plan to start my 24x30 full scribe log cabin project int he spring...I plan on starting a thread about this with pics of the property soon and will continue throughout the entire project to completion.

In prep for this project I'd like to purchase a loader for ease of moving material on the property as I will be working predominantly solo.

I've located 2 prentice 120 loaders for sale mounted to trucks. Both are the older models, fold down outriggers rather than telescoping, lever controls...I don't have the model numbers but I can probably get them if it would help.

Just looking for some input on what to look for to determine which is in better shape. I don't have much experience with hydraulics on the loaders or what can go wrong or wear out. Besides the obvious leaking hydraulic lines I don't know what a leaking cylinder might look like or other issues that would be costly. Does anyone have any input?

I can also maybe post a couple pictures of each if that helps to give a better idea of what we are dealing with. I've been google searching on the 120s and its tough to find a simple easy clear cut list of things to take a look at and inspect. They do seem like fairly straightforward equipment, I mean its essential just hydraulic cylinders attached to straight arms, but I want to make sure I don't learn something that I never even considered after I buy one and its ends up being very expensive to fix.

Both loaders are "cheap" and mounted to the back of trucks, the trucks are late 60's early 70's. The one truck was owned by a municipality and the seller says would pass a DOT inspection. The other truck looks super clean but evidently could use brakes. Honestly I don't worry too much about the truck as once I get it to my property (about 100 miles) it really want move much until the project is completed. I also know several heavy truck mechanics that could help with any issue on the truck. Im mostly concerned with making sure the Prentice is in good shape, I don't know anyone who deals with hydraulics and equipment much. Although I would imagine just by looking at it, the system for the prentice in terms of ease of access and simplicity on this older equipment must be a walk in the park compared to a payloader/front end loader or other heavy equipment.

Thanks in advance for any input. Let me know if you want additional information on either. I plan to call on the second truck Tuesday after the holiday. I've already spoked to the owner of the first truck that said it would pass DOT inspection. I'd like to go look at both Thursday or Friday and purchase one of them.
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Offline starmac

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Re: Please help me learn what to look for on used Prentice 120
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2017, 09:20:56 PM »
I can't help with any specifics to the prentice, but look it all over good for cracks, check for slop in the pins and bushings, obviously hydraulic hoses and leaks in general. It would be nice to try it out and make sure the hydraulics are not weak too.
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Offline badger1

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Re: Please help me learn what to look for on used Prentice 120
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2017, 09:32:57 PM »
I can't help with any specifics to the prentice, but look it all over good for cracks, check for slop in the pins and bushings, obviously hydraulic hoses and leaks in general. It would be nice to try it out and make sure the hydraulics are not weak too.

Thanks for the input, I hadn't thought of cracks in the beams...I mean I guess obviously you'd see some serious large cracks but if there were hairine cracks I don't know what that would look like or if a guy would even be able to see them.

I'm pretty sure I'll be able to try each loader when I go look. Im not sure I would know the difference between a "weak" hydro and normal, I haven't used them enough to get a feel on what normal should be like...unless there was something that was just blatant. I've considered looking for a shop around the area that these are to take and have them check them out..but I dont know if thats even feasible.

Overall, Id also like to know what the worst case scenario is for replacement of items that may wear or be bad...if there is a pump that goes out, what might that cost to have replaced...if there are hydraulic lines that are bad how much do they run? Is it something that a guy that is handy can switch out himself? I'm really pretty green when it comes to heavy equipment and what that all entails...Any insight on what things might cost (ballpark) would be helpful.

Thanks again
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Offline Banjo picker

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Re: Please help me learn what to look for on used Prentice 120
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2017, 10:01:34 PM »
I would check out the turntable swing drive and bearings/gear.  That turntable would probably be pretty salty to buy.  Banjo
Cooks AC 36--Prentice 210C--Morgan edger--Kubota M7040 with loader--Case 580 K with extendahoe--Case 850C dozer--Int 1700 series twin cylinder dump/log/flatbed truck--logging arch--2 Logrite mill sp.--Cat claw sharpening system--And a bulldog to make sure it all stays here.

Offline badger1

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Re: Please help me learn what to look for on used Prentice 120
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2017, 10:41:50 PM »
I would check out the turntable swing drive and bearings/gear.  That turntable would probably be pretty salty to buy.  Banjo

Ok good to know, what would a bad turntable swing drive, bearings gear look like or sound like...grinding? sticking? If it was bad would it be obvious?
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Offline badger1

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Re: Please help me learn what to look for on used Prentice 120
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2017, 11:00:39 PM »
I have pictures of these in my gallery, both pieces of equipment but I started the "tutorial" on how to add them to my posts and it lost me. I'll have to come back and try and post some pictures or link a post to the pictures in my gallery when I get more time...no idea why its set up like this...normally in a forum I just convert my saved picture to the img. text and then paste that into my post, but it looks like this is more complicated...

 :new_year:
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Offline starmac

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Re: Please help me learn what to look for on used Prentice 120
« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2017, 01:28:00 AM »
Hydraulic hoses are not cheap by no means, nothing else is for that matter, but fairly cheap as far as parts go. As far as running it, it may be to your advantage to let the seller run it while you watch, excessive play in that turn table bearing when he picks up a log is a red flag. I was recently running a bigger machine and a hood instead of a prentice, but it had a crack we hadn't noticed on the mount that the turntable bolted too. It was not noticeable until you swung the log around to the other side, but then it opened up a half inch, and only then noticeable to someone standing on that side on the ground. The whole house was about to break off.

Hydraulic hoses are generally just time consuming labor to change, not a lot to it.
Old LT40HD, old log truck, old MM forklift, and several huskies.

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Re: Please help me learn what to look for on used Prentice 120
« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2017, 05:23:35 AM »
Hoses would be the least of my concerns. They may not be cheap but they are an easy fix. But their conditon may tell you about the machines life and maintance.

Grab something heavy and watch for the turn table to move and flop separate from the base. This would indicate worn turntable bearings.

Looks for slop in the pins and bushings at all pivots and ends of cylinders when moving and lifting, or pushing down on the ground with the bucket. Things should pivot smoothly around the pin not side to side and radially about the pin. Check to see that things have been greased.

Make sure cylinders are dry. Repacking a leaking cylinder isn't that expensive but can be difficult because of the size and weight, and sometimes the leak is because of a bent or damaged rod.

Offline snowstorm

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Re: Please help me learn what to look for on used Prentice 120
« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2017, 06:58:48 AM »
neither of those loaders are a 120. bolth are from the 70.s  1 is a   g   the other a    f  model

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Please help me learn what to look for on used Prentice 120
« Reply #9 on: December 25, 2017, 07:37:50 AM »
badger1,you got the hard part down,with the pictures.
This is the way to do it. Makes it look clean and neat.


I like to go to whatever post or start a new topic first to include a picture.Go to your gallery,it will open in a new window.Click onto your album,then click onto whatever picture you want,it will get bigger,than scroll down a little to find,Insert Image In Post,click onto that,click Yes and that is it. Some have to copy/paste the link to work.I like to hit the enter key at least once or twice to move the picture down away from what I am typing. The enter key really helps to leave some white space if posting more than one picture or posting a comment. Use the preview button to see how it looks and modify it if needed.
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Offline badger1

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Re: Please help me learn what to look for on used Prentice 120
« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2017, 08:41:30 AM »
This is the 75, not much for a description but they say it needs brakes...that could mean anything. It is being listed by a consignment outfit so I don't know how familiar they are with the machine, I plan to go see it and operate in person.




This is the 72. The owner said they have used recently to load logs onto the truck and transport 30 miles as well as load cars onto a semi trailer. The owner assures that it will pass a DOT inspection and that there are no leaks etc he said he "keeps his equipment in top order and that all lights, hoses etc work as they should and the hydraulics are strong". Call me a skeptic but I always take someones word for just that...usually anything is subjective and I've looked at enough "rust free" projects, personal vehicles, to know that what one person considers great shape is often to me, a basket case. So we'll see. I'm mostly concerned with which loader is in better shape.




Thanks for all the input, thus far and continued. I don't know much about either and want to make sure I'm not buying a basket case. Some routine maintenance on equipment is expected with this "vintage" but if it means sticking another $5k into either of these I'd be better off going another direction I think. I don't mind an extra grand or so. Like I said I just need to get either back to my property (100mi away) and then once its there I just want the loader to function properly. There is an equipment seller/shop about 2 miles from my property if there was an issue, and generally stuff in that area is reasonable, services, mechanics etc, its in the middle of nowhere and stuff is cheap compared to where I live in the twin cities.

So far from the posts what I've gathered is to operate it myself, and have him operate it and look at all the connections on the boom, cylinders, pins, turntable while under load etc and get a feel for anything that doesn't look right.

I really appreciate all the input guys. Helps to have others more familiar with the equipment to provide their .02. Thank you and Happy Holidays to all.
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Offline badger1

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Re: Please help me learn what to look for on used Prentice 120
« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2017, 08:45:26 AM »
Also, the 75 to me just looks "cleaner" and like it's had an easier life, the bed is in better shape and the boom looks cleaner. I suppose that doesn't necessarily mean anything, but that's just my view. The 72 owner is admit that its a clean machine that works excellent. But every seller always says that right? haha

Also I wanted to add, the 75 asking price is I think $3800 and the 72 asking price is $4700...pretty close and I don't know how much wiggle room is in either, but Im sure there is some. My main concern again is the loader. I can address truck issues and they aren't that important as I wont really be driving once it gets to the property, Im more concerned with the loader as that $1000 difference could be eaten up pretty quick if a guy picked the loader with hidden issues...
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Offline badger1

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Re: Please help me learn what to look for on used Prentice 120
« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2017, 08:47:10 AM »
neither of those loaders are a 120. bolth are from the 70.s  1 is a   g   the other a    f  model

I guess I don't know what that means...they didn't make 120's in the 1970's? Or does Prentice use alphabetical designations...meaning g model or f model? If they aren't 120's what are they? And what does that mean?

How do the two loaders differ? Is there one that is preferred?

Thanks!
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Online chevytaHOE5674

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Re: Please help me learn what to look for on used Prentice 120
« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2017, 09:42:10 AM »
They are older than 120s. The model g and f were produced before the 120.

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Re: Please help me learn what to look for on used Prentice 120
« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2017, 12:53:41 PM »
Sorry to sound skeptical, but I thought of some things that might be helpful for you to think about. :P ???

 Aren't those things a lot of maintenance, given all the hydraulics and moving parts, even if you buy one in good shape?  Do you really need that for 5 acres?  Maybe you are going to use it on more land somewhere else?  I know I couldn't use the truck like those on our land, too much "topography".  Two rear axles doesn't mean four-wheel-drive capability even with specialty forestry equipment, does it (tho' locking the differential probably helps, my recollection from owning a couple old Mack DMs)?

Offline snowstorm

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Re: Please help me learn what to look for on used Prentice 120
« Reply #15 on: December 25, 2017, 01:17:56 PM »
Looks like a f. On the newer truck g. On the other one. After those came the 110. None of those had turn table bearings. The old ones were prone to breaking the mast. I had a g. That did. 120 came out early 80's

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Re: Please help me learn what to look for on used Prentice 120
« Reply #16 on: December 25, 2017, 01:34:08 PM »
Here are some of my opinions. First off, I think you are going to be disappointed in those loaders in a log building setting. They won't have much reach to the side, and they will be difficult to position next to your building foundation. I think you would be better served on the building site by a small telehandler. Are you building directly on your foundation, or building in a yard and then moving the logs to the foundation? A loader truck would have some utility in a building yard, and I know log builders that use them. But they also have much larger loaders. Also, the yard is flat and level with complete access from all 4 sides, which is something I've never seen on a building site. They all then disassemble and reassemble on site with a crane. Another option would be a skid loader or good sized tractor with a front end loader and forks to stage logs, and a cable hoist jib pole on the building for lifting the logs. I won't go into the setup on those, but there is a lot of info out there on them. Also, I think you said your building is 24x30? Consider a stub wall on those long walls, it takes a lot of monkeying around to get a log positioned right to scribe on those long runs so that you don't end up removing 4" of material off of a log (not to mention that it takes a very, very straight log to make those runs, which you will find doesn't actually exsist😊). Use your door and window openings to make use of shorter logs or crooked logs that can be cut and straightened around the openings- i.e. don't use your nice straight logs to span a door opening just to cut it out. You'll need to save those nice straight ones for headers, ridge and purlins. BTW, my advice is from the perspective not of "how to get it done" but rather "how not to get it 90% done and scrap it because you screwed around too much". I shudder every time I see a log shell sitting for too long now👎
Too many irons in the fire

Offline badger1

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Re: Please help me learn what to look for on used Prentice 120
« Reply #17 on: December 25, 2017, 02:01:28 PM »
Thanks for the input from everyone thus far.

Maybe this isn't the best way to go? I have considered putting up "ramps" on the structure and rolling the logs up onto the wall via block and tackle, that's what we did in my log building class. I plan to build the cabin on the foundation, The poured basement has a deck with floor trusses on it now. I was just concerned that I would have a hard time moving the logs from the laydown area to the platform by myself and this seemed like a viable option.

I wouldn't use the loader for site prep, just for construction of the cabin. Maybe its overkill. My time might be better spent planning how to use shorter logs? ie more windows? Or try to incorporate a stub wall? Would the stub wall run the entire height of the wall? And how far would this jet into the inside of the cabin?

I was just thinking this could be easier than a gin pole or tractor with loader.

As for the stub wall, I don't know that my plan allows for much of that as space is at a premium in my plan. I could maybe incorporate one if I had to. I also don't plan to have a ton of windows in the 30' spans..and those that are would only be about 3' high, so in an 8-9' high wall that still leaves several courses of full length logs.

I haven't ordered logs yet, plan to do that in the next month or so with a planned delivery in early spring to begin prep.

24'x30' footprint, the one 24' run will have a patio door so that will be short logs mostly, the one 30' wall will have 2 windows and an entry door so that will be some short logs, but the other 24 and 30 will only have 1 3ft tall normal window in each, meaning several full length walls.

I appreciate the help, this is the first project I'm attempting and I really appreciate the input from everyone. I will be starting a thread on the project in the next week or so when I get back up there to take more pictures, I'll post site pics and pictures of my sketchup plan.
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Offline badger1

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Re: Please help me learn what to look for on used Prentice 120
« Reply #18 on: December 25, 2017, 02:05:27 PM »
I also forgot, another thing I am hesitant on is my ability to end the long log runs over the stub wall and make them line up with logs of similar size etc.

I've said before, ideally for a first project I would have liked to do a 16x20 or 18x20. I just found a very good deal on this property with the basement already in at 24x30 so this is what Im working with. I definitely have more ambition that experience, as is the case for most of my endeavors in life I guess haha.

I've been reading quite a bit and took a month long log building class so I have some experience. I've slowly bought over the last year, pretty much every book I could find on log building so I feel I have a fairly good handle on what to expect but will no doubt have some questions and seek the forum for advice once the project is underway. This loader/lifting challenge is an example and like I said, I really appreciate everyones input.

Another thing Im thinking of is to run a ridge beam and cut individual rafters of dimensional lumber rather than running full length purlins...the idea of cutting an edge for tTG roof sheeting seems confusing to me, to get that angle cut right on all the purlins to match the ridge beam and top plate...the idea of cutting rafters from the ridge beam to the top plate seems much simpler to me, but that may change by the time I get to that point. I don't want to get ahead of myself worrying about things before I even start, I figure get the logs, get them peeled and get the structure up and that gives me plenty to keep busy with while I work out what direction I want to do with the roof.
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Re: Please help me learn what to look for on used Prentice 120
« Reply #19 on: December 25, 2017, 02:23:38 PM »
I initially got the idea of looking for a loader from the log building class I took in Northern Minnesota. Ron the instructor had a loader that we used to position logs on the 18x20 cabin we worked on for the class, made short work of moving the logs onto the structure and looked ideal. The truck was old, and I wouldn't say road worthy, the loader was old also and I know he stuck a couple bucks into it, and had it repainted, but it was all a guy would need. Here is a pic of his set up.





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Offline barbender

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Re: Please help me learn what to look for on used Prentice 120
« Reply #20 on: December 25, 2017, 02:45:22 PM »
I agree the log loader will work dandy in a log yard, but you don't want to drive it right next to your basement or you'll be caving a wall in.
Too many irons in the fire

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Re: Please help me learn what to look for on used Prentice 120
« Reply #21 on: December 25, 2017, 07:49:22 PM »
The loader in your last picture is a 110.

Offline Don P

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Re: Please help me learn what to look for on used Prentice 120
« Reply #22 on: December 25, 2017, 09:59:36 PM »
I have an old FOBC. Totally worn out. I have set pole barn trusses with it but that is really pushing it. It would be fine for setting logs if you can get close enough, they are pretty limited on reach. They work best right off the back which requires some room for the truck. We were using it to maneuver 30' logs for flattening Appalachian style logs this past year and I creased the seat more than once trying to work off the side. The old 25P Parker Gresen valves are out of production and unsupported as far as I can tell, if anyone knows of a parts source for them I'd be interested. Pick up and maneuver some 30' logs, that is pushing it on this loader.  Swing to the side and watch how far out you can go, pay attention to your outriggers, are they solid or do they yield under that load. Does pinch hold on the grapple. How much slop is in the turret? Look for cracks around the mounts and braces and in the grapple, around the pins, at stress areas. Check the oil for milk or trash. I'd rather have a telehandler for what you are doing but I doubt you'll find one running anywhere close to that price.


Offline MbfVA

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Re: Please help me learn what to look for on used Prentice 120
« Reply #23 on: December 27, 2017, 12:23:33 AM »
 How about a utility crane truck used for setting poles?  I've seen those things selling in the $7-$10K range, and newer than the one this guy is looking at.  Several tons of max lift capacity, and usually 45-50 ft max reach.

Most have pincer like grapples for holding utility poles, which should work great for setting vertical posts.  Some can accept pin on buckets, making them even more useful.   So-called "digger derrick" trucks even have post hole diggers.   Most that I have seen can utilize rigging rope (similar to climbing rope), making the hard to handle wire rope unnecessary.

You can find them on eBay, and at local auctions, by the dozen.  Play around with the bed, take off some of the toolboxes, and you can probably carry logs. 

I want one that is four-wheel-drive, given the topo of our land.  And with a dump body.

I've been in touch with the tooth fairy.

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Re: Please help me learn what to look for on used Prentice 120
« Reply #24 on: December 27, 2017, 09:21:26 AM »
Thanks for the crane idea, Ive considered it, but again I dont want to get into a situation where I have an expensive piece of equipment with costly repairs that I am unfamiliar with. I think the route I'll end up going (as of now) will be an older tractor with a loader attachment. This should allow me to lift the 1300lb logs approx 8-9' to the top of the wall, if I need more height I can weld an attachment/boom to the forks or bucket.

They can be had for relatively cheap, theyre fairly simple and easier for me to work on.

I want enough equipment to do what I need to do but nothing more, also something that I can resell later if I want easily. I think the tractor is the best route there assuming its powered adequately. Thats the direction Im leaning as of now. Thanks for all the input from everyone.
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