TL2 Trash Truck Grapple Loader


Built for Everyone

The TL2 Trash Truck Grapple Loader is our non-CDL & cost efficient unit. A single operator can load, haul, and dump trash with this unit. All while remaining under 26,000 lbs.  GVW.

  • 16 ft. boom reach
  • Lifts 2,650 lbs. when fully extended at 16 ft.
  • At 10 ft. maximum lift capacity is 5,320 lbs.
  • All-purpose heavy duty trash bucket features low profile dual cylinder design
  • Dump body sizes range between 18 and 20 cubic yards
  • ANSI Z245 compliant

Petersen's Trash Truck Grapple Loader Advantages

The Most Imitated Grapple Truck in the Industry

The Lightning Loader® is the most envied, most desired, and most imitated grapple truck in the industry. We manufacture 95% of each unit in-house to guarantee quality. Each Lightning Loader® is built to provide maximum strength, durability, and reliability, so you can get the job done fast and free of headaches.

At Petersen Industries, we’re serious about being “Made in America.” We’ve lived and breathed knuckle booms for over 60 years, in Lake Wales, Florida. When it was time to build a new facility, we moved down the street – not overseas. From buckets to cylinders, we manufacture and install 95% of all components in-house. We’re proud of our product and the people who build it. Your Petersen Industries Lightning Loader® is built by highly trained American workers, with quality American parts.

Head & Pedestal Assembly

TL3 Trash Truck Grapple Loader

This heavy duty piece of American ingenuity is stress relieved prior to installation.

TL3 Trash Truck Grapple Loader

Simply and effectively prevents vertical movement of the king post.

TL3 Trash Truck Grapple Loader

The torque arm allows the gearbox to float laterally, which helps to reduce stresses to the pedestal caused from dynamic forces from boom rotation.

TL3 Trash Truck Grapple Loader

We use Nylatron bushings in the bearing housing and a sealed planetary gearbox to reduce maintenance time.

TL2 Full Truck
TL2 Controls


Greaseless proportional dual walk-thru standard lever controls are operational from either side of the truck. Petersen also offers QUADSTICK® controls and stationary top mount controls with joysticks or valvehandles.



Vertical outriggers act independently of each other. Allows the operator to custom place on against ground.

TL3 Trash Truck Grapple Loader


Notifies the operator when the boom is over legal travel height with an audible buzzer and red light. The boom-up alarm has been a standard safety feature on our equipment for over a decade.

TL3 Trash Truck Grapple Loader


Slack hoses can snag on debris and obstructions. That’s why Petersen designed their “enclosed hose recoil system” and a bucket with no hoses below the rotator.

TL2 Bucket


A large cylinder and manifold block keep hoses out of work areas, allowing for a stronger bite force, and ensuring that both sides always work together.

TL3 Trash Truck Grapple Loader scissor Hoist


The most stable hoist available for this application. Lifts 16 tons and is power up and down.

TL3 Trash Truck Grapple Loader Wheelbase


Petersen specifically designs their units to have the best turning radius while keeping a comfortable operator platform.


Three year structural, one year hydraulic.


Please note – there might be more standard features than listed here. Petersen Industries reserves the right to change product design and features at any time without notice. Please contact your Petersen dealer for complete features.

TL2 Specs

TL-2 with HDX, other body sizes available.

General Specifications

Reach (from centerline rotation): 16 feet
Tare Weight (empty): 20,790 lbs
Front Axle Weight: 8,230
Rear Axle Weight: 12,560 lbs
Outrigger Span: 8 feet 6 inches
Storage Height: 11 feet 3 inches
Dump Body Hoist Capacity: 16 tons

Lifting Capacity
10 Foot Radius: 5,320 lbs
16 Foot Radius: 2,650 lbs

Weight of bucket and/or attachments must be subtracted from lift capacities shown. Standard bucket weights approximately 1,000 pounds. Capacities shown do not exceed 85% of vehicle tipping moment with outriggers fully extended on firm, level ground.

Standard Bucket Features
All purpose clamshell design, 2 feet wide with an opened width of 5 feet. High impact tempered steel used on bucket cutting edges for extended life. Reverse curve shape helps prevent scalping of lawns. Continuous rotation. No hoses below bucket rotator.

Recommended Chassis Specification (Minimum)

Body Style Conventional Cab
Cab-to-Axle Dimension 156"
Front Axle Rating 10,000 lbs
Rear Axle Rating 16,000 lbs
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating 26,000 lbs
Frame 1,800,000 RBM
Engine 230 HP Diesel
Transmission Automatic
Electrical Remote engine & transmission connectors
* CNG Capable*

Standard Trash Dump Body
16 feet, 18 cubic yard capacity is standard (larger sizes available). 3/16″ solid plate floor on cross members with 12″ centers.

Operator Controls
Dual manual controls (greaseless) for outriggers and loader on both sides of the truck for easy access and visibility. QUADSTICK® mechanically linked dual joystick controls are available.

A-frame pedestal design allows flexing under repeated load shocks. Replaceable Cast Nylon bushings used in head assembly. Head assembly is stress relieved. Reinforced connection points with hardened pins and replaceable bushings. Counterbalance valves used on boom cylinders and pilot operated check valves used on vertical outrigger cylinders.

* We reserve the right to change product design and specifications at any time without notice. There maybe more specifications than are listed here. Consult your Petersen dealer for complete specifications.

Grapple Loader Options

Dual Walk-Thru Controls

Greaseless dual controls are operator friendly and maintenance free!

Dual Controls: Control platform to be located directly behind conventional cab to allow operator access from the truck cab without ever having to touch the ground.  A single bank of control valves to be mounted at the mid-point of loader, with control handles accessible from the operator platform on either side of truck. Control handle pattern must be the same on both sides of the truck for superior visibility. Control handles shall not require lubrication. A “Grip Strut” serrated steel walk platform is included.

TL3 Trash Truck Grapple Loader dual joystick walkthrough

QUADSTICK® Mechanical Controls

Completely mechanical! No high maintenance electronics!

Joystick (dual walk-thru):  Petersen mechanical QUADSTICK® controls.  Each of the four joysticks has two functions to control loader operation.  Outriggers are controlled by two joysticks at the center of the operator platform.  When applicable, body dump is controlled by a single lever at the center of the operator platform.

PATENT #7,353,652 B2

TL3 Trash Truck Grapple Loader Pads


4x12x12 rubber pads mounted on bottoms of outrigger feet help prevent outriggers from causing damage to curbs etc.

Tl2 Half Bit Bucket


Petersen’s trash bucket is actuated by a dual double-acting cylinder and capable of continuous rotation with no need for physical stops. Petersen buckets have the capability to be rolled over on the load without damage to any components, allowing for a maximum load while keeping boom height within acceptable limits.  An anti-scalping feature is standard and advantageous for jobs requiring increased precision (ex: sidewalk removal).

The bucket also incorporates:

  • 1/8″ Hardox plate smooth steel clamshell scoop for leaves and sand
  • End plates minimum of 5/8″ thick and of A-572 grade 50, 50,000 psi steel
  • A minimum of 4 ribs per side to handle branches, logs and appliances
  • Replaceable bolt-on bucket blades made of high impact tempered steel

The bucket is 2 ft. long with an opened width of 5 ft. between pickup blades.  Anti-scalping bucket sides are pivot mounted to provide a horizontal closing action rather than a vertical digging motion. There are no hydraulic hoses located below bucket rotator.

TL3 Trash Truck Grapple Loader lights


Dual strobes mounted on the pedestal head.

TL3 Trash Truck Grapple Loader Hose Guards


Metal guards cover the valve bank and back of head assembly to protect operator on walk-thru platform from hydraulic fluid in the case that there is a leak at these connection points.

Hose sleeves also available.

Only on walk-thru type controls.

TL3 Trash Truck Grapple Loader double braided hoses


3/8” 100R2 double wire braided hoses.  4,000 working pressure.  16,000 burst pressure.

TL3 Trash Truck Grapple Loader Heat Shield


Designed to shield operators from the radiant heat produced by the truck.  Includes a flap of PVC belting that is bolted to the platform to cover the gap between the chassis cab and the platform, and two overlapping sheets of 18.5 inches wide, 14 gauge sheet metal installed below the walking area of the grip strut platform.