A new CTE Traccess 170 was taken through its paces this month and left our test driver as impressed as he was in his previous run on the 230 model.

A few months ago, I tested the CTE 230, the big brother of the CTE Traccess 170 with all the bells and whistles, and I was super impressed. These machines are operating within multiple businesses in the arbor and construction industries across Australia, and although I have not personally spoken with any of the individuals who own one of these machines, it is good to see they are getting more exposure as these units get the heightened awareness they deserve. I have tested or used a few different brands of these spider lifts and, if I was looking to buy one, these would be one of the first machines I’d look at. For the record, after working in this industry for the past 20 years, I try to keep my reviews as honest as possible. Someone I know might buy something I’ve talked about. My reviews are all based purely on my own opinion, which is formed from my own experience cutting trees, others I’ve worked with cutting trees and what I like. Some people are Ford and some are Holden, others are neither.

The CTE Traccess machines are big performers compared to some of the others brands I’ve used. I can confidently say that I am no stranger to cutting out of a bucket either and I would love to see how these machines stand up to a few months or even a year of constant use. Hire giant Skyreach have acquired four machines, one of the T170s and one of the T230s in both their Sydney and Brisbane locations; these machines are available for hire. They will be adding to their fleet in the coming months with another order currently underway for the Lithium versions of these machines.

Aside from the tiny footprint, short length and quick set up speed, the thing I love about this machine is the Z style lower boom. When you knock the head out of a tree and it’s time to block down, it is one movement each time to reposition for the next cut. If you are not getting that, you don’t need to play with two or three different controls to reposition the bucket in the right spot for the next cut.

In most machines an up or down movement on the lower boom will pull you away or push you closer to the barrel, requiring an adjustment on the opposite boom as well, and possibly even the tele in or out to get in the right position.

With these CTEs you can just come right down parallel to the barrel, almost to the ground cutting barrel all the way, without letting go of the saw, if you don’t want to. Big time saver in my book.

Another thing I think is better than some of the similar style machines on the market is the bucket stability. None of them are as stable as a bucket truck, obviously. Some are terrible though, giving the soles of your feet and ankles an unbelievable work out just standing in them in the air. The CTE is a fairly stable bucket, not giving the same style of work out that leaves you begging for a break.

While we are talking about the bucket, the one thing I didn’t like was the second rail around the top of the bucket. It’s too tall. Again, that’s my opinion, but I found it to be a little awkward. Something else good in the 170 model is a safety system that will stop you from slewing into the control panel that’s right by the bucket, when the boom is down. It stops an accidental knock and possible downtime. The control panel is actually really handy right next to the bucket when is stowed. The main reason is the stabilisers all have load sensors and if you haven’t set up properly, you don’t need to climb back out of the bucket to sort it out. Awesome idea!

There are no cables, hydraulic lines or anything attached to the outside of the boom to snag or get covered in debris, as everything is tucked inside the boom. If you want to go through all the stats/ working envelope you will see that these machines are better than most or if not all in their class.

All in all, the CTE Traccess 170 Spider Lift is a top machine that is well suited to the arboriculture industry. I hope to see more hire companies get on board with these machines in the near future.

For more information visit www.platformsales.com.au

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