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June 5, 2020

MSW Management March/April 2020

MSW Management March/April 2020

Petersen Industries, Inc. The move away from hand loading bulky waste. MSW Management March/April 2020

August 28, 2019

Post-Hurricane Season Clean Up

Post Hurricane Clean Up - Grapple TrucksNow that hurricane season is upon us; it’s time to clean up around the neighborhood with the proper trucks in your fleet. The city has a limited amount of resources, and after a storm, it’s more imperative than ever to assist residents with clearing the streets and sidewalks. Florida is home to natural disasters such as tornadoes, thunderstorms, and most often, hurricanes. With that fact kept in mind, it’s no doubt that Petersen has trucks in their lineup that can alleviate the after-effects.

Substantial Damage & Debris

Of course, throughout the world, there are natural disasters that are geared for each region. For South Florida individually, we endure a six-month hurricane season each year. Whenever we’re lucky enough to pass through those months without taking a hit, it’s a sigh of relief. However, when high-speed winds and floods of rain bombard us, we can expect for debris to spread through our neighborhoods and communities.

Trucks Designated for Clean Up

  • TL-3 – As one of our most popular trash loader trucks, this single operator can haul and dump massive amounts of trash. The TL-3 allows for multiple variations to accommodate the needs of whoever is utilizing the car. With this enormous loader, you’re receiving a maximum lift capacity of 7000 lbs., horizontal and vertical outriggers, and an enclosed hose recoil system.
  • RS-3 – Features you won’t find anywhere else are the abilities to drive in reverse, and not needing outriggers for almost all loading operations. Our Model RS-3 is excellent for high-volume collection and is our most advanced and efficient system for collecting scrap. Operators are looking at an enclosed cab, a tandem pump, suspension locks, several joystick selections, making up a durable, reliable loader.

Petersen Industries

All of our products are built with quality in mind. During a storm, everyone is in survival mode, but when it’s all said and done, that’s when it’s time to get everything back in working order. Our grapple truck loaders are the perfect secret weapon in clearing out debris and post-hurricane season clean up, and it only takes one expert to do it. Save time and labor with our grapple trucks, and make a severe dent in the efforts of your community. For a quote or any questions, please give us a call at (863) 215-7188.

August 10, 2018

Why A Grapple Truck for Bulky Waste?

Every community produces some form of bulky waste. Depending on the type of waste that’s accumulated, specialized equipment and handling is needed to recover every last bit. Like a thief in the night, the waste is collected from the streets without a trace. Grapple trucks are the most crucial component that bulky waste programs are utilizing across the country.

What Qualifies as Bulky Waste?Bulky Waste Collection

  • Furniture – Mattresses, Couches, Chairs, Bed frames
  • Appliances – Refrigerators, Washers and Dryers, Ovens
  • Electronics – Computers, Monitors, Televisions
  • Nature Debris – Tree branches, Trimmings, Stumps

Which Grapple Truck Is Right for You?

To safely and efficiently collect these difficult and dangerous items you’ll need top-of-the-line equipment. Our model TL-3 is the original grapple truck that changed the game and we are continuing that tradition with the Route Assistant side loading device. Adding the Route Assistant to your TL-3 will make it truly the fasting bulk loading option available. We like to explain is simply: Use the TL-3 for the big stuff and the Route Assistant for the little stuff.

For larger and /or more urban customers, the RS-3 is specifically designed for high-speed collection in densely populated areas. Utilized in many major metropolitan centers throughout the country, the RS-3 or Rear Steer (as we call it) is the only grapple truck that allows the operator to drive the truck and operate the loader from the same seat.

Petersen Industries

A Petersen Grapple Truck doing a Bulky Waste Collection

Consider the possibilities if you incorporate one of our grapple trucks into your bulky waste program. Communities, neighborhoods, and homeowners will all benefit from the speedy, precise, and effective bulk collection from the streets. Petersen Industries has made it as easy as possible to clean up trash with durable, reliable equipment. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please give us a call at (863) 215 – 7188.

May 31, 2018

Sidewalk Removal Using Lightning Loaders ®

The Lightning Loader is our signature product at Petersen Industries. But not only is it a perfect tool for moving debris, but it’s also incredibly useful when it comes to removing sidewalks. The grapple on a lightning loader is the perfect size to grab an entire section of sidewalk and lift in one piece.

Precision – With 360 degrees continuous grapple rotation; it is easy to precisely position the truck to maximize the load.

Lightning Loader

Endurance – Petersen has the reputation for long service life in the toughest environments. Our loaders able to take anything you throw at them. While also providing a state-of-the-art hydraulic and filter system ensuring optimal usage for a long time.


Strength – Lightning loaders powered by tandem pumps as a standard with more powerful options on our larger loaders. The tandem pump allows the loader to quick lift extremely heavy sections with fluid movement.


Our Quadstick® mechanical joysticks make learning and using this piece of equipment seamless. By combining speed of operation and overall reach, operators are able to remove “over 75 feet of concrete in 15 minutes”.


You just cut along every second or third expansion joint, then lift out the large segments. Most of our customers use a TL-3 with a Hardox body for this application, but it could also be accomplished using a Lightning Rear Steer® that loads into separate dump trucks.

Lightning Loader


Petersen Industries

With Petersen Industries, you know you are buying the highest quality on the market. We’ve been in business for over 6 decades, and it’s no surprise that we come so highly recommended to new and old companies alike. Call us today at (863) 215-7188.


May 31, 2018

Which Lightning Loader® model is right for my trash collection?

When you’re looking to replenish your fleet of trash trucks, you need to make sure that you have the best Lightning Loader® model for trash collection. Nothing says quality, experience, and expertise like Petersen and our line of grapple trucks, but which grapple truck is the best for trash collection? We have the answers right here.

Lightning Loader collecting trash

Model TL-3 – It’s going to be hard to beat the TL-3 which is our standard trash grapple loader. With a 20-foot boom reach and the ability to lift up to3,200 pounds, it is a must have for any serious professional who needs to move fast and get the job done right with minimal labor.


RS-3 – This model is very popular for use in large urban areas. Designed for high speed pickup in high volume areas. This model is perfect to keep all operators inside truck cabs and out of streets.


Atlas Lightning Loader – Finally, since designed for the heaviest of application, the Atlas can handle the toughest of jobs. With 360 degrees of boom rotation and unparalleled speed of operation, this is the ideal truck for those who must do bulk or debris pickup. While a great unit for daily collections, we always see a surge in demand around storms, natural disasters, and cleanup seasons.


Atlas Lightning Loader

CP-3  Lightning Loader – A radical new way to transport and deliver front loader containers. If you have at least 2 front load garbage trucks in your fleet, you need a CP3 Lightning Loader for transportation of your containers. Traditional CD trucks only carry one front loader container at a time, but a CP3 will carry a minimum of three containers.

Petersen Industries

Petersen Industries stands behind our stamp of quality and our high-end products. If you would like to learn more about our different trucks, be sure to give us a call at (863) 215-7188 today.


May 31, 2018

Top Four reasons you’ll Need Grapple Truck

Grapple Trucks are Powerful Tools

Lightning Loader Grapple truck

If you’ve ever seen a grapple truck in action, you know that it is capable of doing many powerful tasks simply and easily. But how can you tell if grapple trucks are right for you? They’re right for these industries, why not yours? Check the top four reasons you will need a grapple truck.


The Top Industries to Use Grapple Trucks

Green Waste Collection

One of the most common uses nationwide is to collect brush, trees, leaves, shrubs, and grass clippings with a grapple truck. This can be in large bulk piles, bags, or in green waste carts.

Debris Pickup

The flip side of this is to use our trucks for debris pickup;  making it incredibly easy to manage and move a lot of debris. This is invaluable asset for the not only for the waste industry but also the construction industry.

Storm Clean Up

Storms, including hurricanes, tropical storms, tornadoes, wind storms, ice storms, and floods, cause a lot of residential and public damage over time. All of these situations generally result in streets piled with debris that need to be safely collected. The most important part of a disaster readiness plan is to have the equipment you need before the event.


Street Department Maintenance

Black & White picture of a grapple truck

Additionally, the Lightning Loader is the ideal solution for any organization that needs to maintain streets, bridges, drainage. The loader can lift whole sections of sidewalk without needing to break it up further, reach over the side of bridges, and down into ditches.

Petersen Industries

Our TL-3, Rear Steer, and Atlas Lightning Loader units are perfect for picking up debris and hauling it as quickly and efficiently as possible. Let our Lightning Loader® units help you with all your debris collection efforts by saving you time and reducing or eliminating manual labor. We also maintain a rental fleet of Lightning Loaders to help with truck down situations, annual cleanups, and storm seasons; please contact us about availability.

To schedule a demonstration or to obtain a quote, please call 863-215-7188 or email us at sales@petersenind.com

May 2, 2018

Petersen Industries announces Amick Equipment as their 2017 Dealer of the Year

Petersen Industries honors Amick Equipment as their 2017 Dealer of the Year. 

Lake Wales, Florida, May 2, 2018– Petersen Industries, Inc., the waste and recycling industry’s leading knuckleboom manufacturer, recently honored Amick Equipment as their 2017 Dealer of the Year.  Petersen gives this prestigious award to the dealer who sells the most Lightning Loader® units for the prior year throughout their nationwide network. Read more

April 3, 2018

Join us at our upcoming Tradeshows

We will be at the Florida APWA Expo in Jacksonville, Florida April 17th-19th. Come to see us on Wednesday, the 18th at the equipment Rodeo where you can test your skills on our Route Assistant® unit. We will have a TL-3 for you to view and ask us questions about in our booth on the 19th. Therefore, come to see us in Booth “E”.

You must come join us in exciting Las Vegas for this year’s Waste Expo, April 24-26th. We will have our largest booth to-date, exhibiting our TL-3, Rear Steer®, and Atlas Lightning Loader®. We will be in Booth # 1627. Therefore, be sure to join us on Tuesday from 2:30-4:30PM in our booth for a reception honoring our 2017 Dealer of the Year along with our customers and other dealers. In addition, this is the 50th Anniversary of Waste Expo so you do not want to miss this one. We will have an extra special surprise in our booth this year, but you have to stop by to find out what it is. Therefore, if you still need some free show floor passes, please contact Sarah Bryant, sbryant@petersenind.com or 863-676-1493 ext. 227; they are first come, first served. We will see you there!

March 6, 2018

Using Grapple Trucks as part of your Collection Fleet

Click on the link below to read our most recent article featured in Waste Advantage written by Sam Petersen. Read more

February 9, 2018

Using Grapple Trucks as Part of Your Collection System


“Grapple trucks compliment refuse fleets by making your organization a one-stop-shop for all refuse collection. It makes a multi-person job, a one-person task. With that comes safety and efficiency—something all operations seek.”

-Sam Petersen

You were probably looking at this line in the table of contents thinking “how do I know if we need a grapple truck?”. The simple answer is you need a Grapple Truck Servicegrapple truck. But first, you need a bulky waste program. Every community generates bulky waste, including tree limbs, branches, logs, discarded household appliances, furniture, etc. This type of solid waste requires special handling and management, and due to its shape, bulk or weight, it cannot be placed in a container or bundled. Not having a bulky collection program is the equivalent of sticking your head in the sand. The response we hear often is, “well, our city is different.” No, it’s not. Your city is not a special snowflake. Chances are if you are not collecting bulky waste, you have an illegal dumping problem; in which case, you need a grapple truck to clean up the illegal dump sites.

At this point, I’d have to say that grapple trucks have hit the big time. Many of you probably even knew what this article was about without having to google grapple trucks. But, just for kicks, let’s do a little exercise. Pull out your phones and google “bulky waste”. Not grapple trucks, as we are attacking the larger problem here. Chances are that you have a Wikipedia entry at the top of the page. Click it. Drum roll…. what’s that? That my friend is a grapple truck in all its glory. I know; I was surprised, too.

Grapple trucks are an absolutely necessary piece of equipment for a bulky waste collection program. If there is a need to pick up larger, hard to handle items, in an efficient, yet safe manner, then a grapple truck is the ultimate tool. Bulky waste is not easily quantified. It is by definition different shapes, sizes, weights and comprised of different materials. Operators generally have no idea what will be waiting for them at the next stop. Because of this, you must be prepared to pick up anything and everything. Grapple trucks do this safely and efficiently by eliminating the need to handle the waste. These trucks also keep the operator out of the street, which is where many of the truly tragic injuries occur.

The Right Fit

There are a couple of applications that are best suited for grapple trucks. The first is municipal refuse collection. Most, if not all, municipalities have some need to collect and discard items that will not fit into an automated garbage cart or that cannot be lifted easily into the back of a rear loader. The majority of municipalities have included grapple trucks into their weekly routes to handle these kinds of items because they make what used to be a complicated task very simple and easy. Additionally, grapple trucks are very well suited for multiple other tasks. They are extremely capable of removing sidewalk, cleaning out ditches and waterways, as well as removing roadkill. They are perfect multi-purpose tools for any municipality.

Another great fit for grapple trucks is in forestry and logging applications. Grapple trucks come in a variety of sizes and some are very well suited for lifting long, heavy logs quickly. They allow individuals the ability to remove multiple loads per day while minimizing the amount of risk to the workers.

Finally, grapple trucks are also well suited for disaster relief. Natural disasters leave tons of destruction in their wake. Most of the items that need to be moved are heavy, cumbersome items that require heavy equipment. Not only can grapple trucks be first response vehicles, getting in quickly and moving

Grapple Truck Service For Collection System

road impediments out of the way for emergency vehicles to get where they need to go, they can also aid in clean-up effort. Now don’t check out on me. Don’t say you don’t need a grapple truck because you don’t get hurricanes or tornadoes. First, the range is much broader than that. Regular wind, rain and ice storms can cause major damage. Also – news flash, no one gets storms every day. You don’t need storms to need grapple trucks. You need bulky waste; which you have. That being said, preparedness is the name of the game when it comes to storms and with a grapple truck you will always be prepared.

Integrating the Right Grapple Truck Style  

Every customer has varying degrees of need and the industry has progressed enough to meet many of them. Forty years ago, if you bought a grapple truck, it was a 16’ boom with an 18’ dump body— that was it. Now, you can get different boom and body sizes, control locations, lift capacities, etc. There are solutions out there not just for large fleet users, but even very small communities.

A “self-loader” grapple truck incorporates a grapple loader and a dump body to load the items in and are great “all-a-rounders”. This is the most common style of grapple truck. These are used by operations that have a need for an all-purpose grapple. The bodies are capable of handling most any bulk item you can fit in it and has the convenience of being a one-person operation. They can be used in route situations or special pickups, especially when there is a lot of drive time involved. Due to this, the combination trucks only need one operator, which means there is only one person riding around instead of a whole crew.

For the high-volume customers with defined routes, having a dedicated loader with haul trucks is a great way to keep the loader on the route and let the haul trucks do the driving back and forth to the landfill. There are a few different styles of this type of truck, but they all have a loader mounted on a shorter wheelbase chassis and use the grapple to grab and lift items to load into the back of the haul truck. The most popular style of this type of truck can be driven and operated from the operator cab. This capability has helped some of the nation’s largest cities become extremely efficient at loading bulky items.

For the very small communities, skid mounted units are a great solution. They can use existing roll-off or hook lift trucks and can be set aside when not needed. This adds a use to an existing piece of equipment and eliminates the need for purchasing the most expensive part of a grapple truck, the chassis.

November 2, 2017

Check out our new job opportunities

We are continuing to grow & new job opportunities are available. We are hiring for the following positions:
• CNC Machine Operator
• Fitter/Welder
• Plasma Table Operator
• Truck Equipment Installer
• Truck Equipment Electrical Technician Team Leader
• Painter Helper
• Production MIG Welder
• Industrial Painter
• Finisher
Interested in any of the above positions, please come to our office to complete an application, 8:30am-4:30pm, Monday – Friday. We close from 12-1 for lunch. All candidates will be required to take and pass a drug test.

October 19, 2017

Storm Debris

storm debris removal

Storm Debris Removal

At Petersen Industries, we recognize that clean up after a significant storm can place a strain on both the public and on City resources. We want to help you prepare for any natural disaster, by adding our grapple trucks to your fleet before storm season.

Storm Clean Up ContractorsHurricane Irma left many cities and counties in Florida scrambling to find grapple trucks to collect debris throughout their city. Some cities had private contractors lined up prior to storm season for any possible debris collection needs, only to find that when Irma left the contractors had already taken jobs in Texas cleaning up after Hurricane Harvey. Several cities and private contractors tried to find grapple trucks after the storms passed, only to find the supply did not meet the demand. Our Lightning Loaders can be used year round for your debris and bulky waste collection needs, don’t wait until after the storm passes to realize you should have a grapple truck in your inventory.

With Lightning Loaders in your fleet, you’re ready to start recovery immediately after the storm strikes- whether it is an ice storm, hurricane, or tornado. Petersen understands that a quick response is imperative so that utility trucks can reach downed power lines and utility poles. Many customers find that using our model RS-3 Rear Steer® works great in assisting first responders. Our Rear Steer® unit can fit into smaller spaces and clear roadways fast, allowing emergency personnel and utility trucks to pass through the streets.

Call us

Our TL-3, DL-3, and Atlas Lightning Loader units are perfect for picking up debris and hauling it to the dump as a one-man operation. Let our Lightning Loader® units help you with your storm debris collection efforts more efficient by saving you time and manual labor. We also offer several of our TL-3 Lightning Loaders as rental units, please contact us about availability.
To schedule a demonstration or to obtain a quote, please call 863-215-7188 or email us at sales@petersenind.com


August 8, 2017

Vote for our Public Works Expo Video

Please Vote for our Public Works Expo Video entry titled “Lightning Loaders Good, Hand loading Bad” at the link below. You can only vote once per hour.  To vote, simply click the heart icon in the upper right-hand corner of the video tile in the link below, voting closes on August 18th @ 5pm Eastern time. The winner will be announced August 22, 2017. Feel free to share this video link:



August 1, 2017

Boom Crane Fundamentals

How is a Loader Different than a Boom Crane?

boom crane definition There are countless different cranes on the market. In fact, most cranes can be considered boom crane since the boom is part of the design of a crane. The pedestal is fastened to the platform; which is connected to the head that turns the loader. The main boom is the first section connected to the head, the more mobile, smaller part of the boom is called the tip boom which has a tip extension that connects to gimbal that connects to the bucket cylinder.

We sell loaders which are often called ‘knuckle boom trucks’ loaders because it has multiple joints and resembles the motions of a finger and it knuckles. The knuckle boom loader is classified as a ‘fixed’ loader meaning that it is fixed to a point, in this case, the pedestal is fixed to our trucks.

How do we design our Loaders?

While each of our loaders is designed differently and modified for specific purposes, we are going to focus on the design elements behind our most popular truck, the TL-3 Lightning Loader®.

Lightning Loader truck

The TL-3 Loader has been in operation for over 60 years. While there have been small changes to the design. We still keep three features close to the design philosophy: Strength, durability, and reliability.

Strength – The TL-3 Lightning Loader® offers an impressive 7,100 load capacity along with various body sizes to meet our customer’s needs.

Durability – We manufacture and install 95% of all components in-house. Our loaders are built by highly trained American workers with quality American parts. We use nylatron bushings in the bearing housing and a sealed planetary gearbox to reduce maintenance time.

Reliability – 2017 marks the 60th anniversary of the Lightning Loader®. Our loader has been on the market twice as long as most of our major competitors have been in business. The Lightning Loader® is the most envied, most desired, and most imitated grapple truck in the industry.

Petersen Industries

We are the face of experience, dedication, and amazing boom crane service. Give us a call at (863) 215-7188 or e-mail us at sales@petersenind.com for your demonstration or quote.

June 9, 2017

Petersen Industries, Inc. awards River City Hydraulics as Dealer of the Year for 2016

Petersen industries employees Petersen Inc Awards River City Hydraulics as Dealer of the Year for 2016

Lake Wales, Florida, June 2, 2017– Petersen Industries, Inc., the waste and recycling industry’s leading knuckleboom manufacturer, recently honored River City Hydraulics as their 2016 Dealer of the Year.  Petersen gives this prestigious award to the dealer who sells the most Lightning Loader® units for the prior year throughout their nationwide network. Read more

May 5, 2017

Join us next week!

Be sure to come and join us at Waste Expo in New Orleans next week (May 9-11th). You will find us in Booth # 2818 with two of our amazing Lightning Loaders®. We will have one of our CP-3 units in the Hino booth # 1609.
We will also be at the Florida APWA Expo (May 10-11th) in Tallahassee. Come see us at the Equipment Rodeo and in Booth “G” at the expo!
We hope to see you there!

April 6, 2017

Join us at Waste Expo 2017 in New Orleans in May

Let the Good Times Roll!  Waste Expo 2017 will be in the culture rich city of New Orleans.  Come see the Petersen Industries crew and our legendary units along with exhibits from others in the waste industry.  This year it will be held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center May 9th – 11th.  Amazing food along with the best jazz music to keep you moving are all awaiting you in this historical city.  Come join us at Waste Expo 2017 in New Orleans, we will be exhibiting in Booth 2818 and celebrating our 60th year of the Lightning Loader®. Read more

February 3, 2017

Celebrating one of our own…

Our devoted Procurement Manager, Jimmy Tillman, is celebrating 40 years at Petersen Industries today. We truly appreciate all your hard work and dedication over the past 40 years, Jimmy. We are blessed to have such loyalty within our company! Congratulations and Happy Work Anniversary!

Jimmy Tillman Celebrating 40 Years at Our Company

November 30, 2016

Lightning Loader VS. Crane – The Difference?

Petersen provides the industry standard Lightning Loader as one of our original products. It’s one of the knuckle boom trucks that helped put us on the map many years ago, and it’s still powerful and pertinent to this day. But why is it called the lightning loader and not the lightning crane?

Read more

November 23, 2016

Petersen Industries, Inc. announces Kinloch Equipment & Supply, Inc. as a new Dealer

Kinoch Equipment & Supply, Inc.     Lake Wales, Florida, November 21, 2016– Petersen Industries, Inc., manufacturer of grapple trucks and bulky waste collection systems, is proud to announce that Kinloch Equipment & Supply, Inc. is now the sole and exclusive dealer for the entire state of Texas. Read more

October 28, 2016

Petersen Industries, Inc. announces Sanitary Equipment Company, Inc. as a new Dealer

sanitary equipment co logo      Lake Wales, Florida, October 18, 2016– Petersen Industries, Inc., manufacturer of grapple trucks and bulky waste collection systems, is proud to announce that Sanitary Equipment Company, Inc. is now the sole and exclusive dealer for all of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Read more

September 2, 2016

Petersen Industries, Inc. introduces two new models, the Route Assistant™ and the Atlas Lightning Loader.

Atlas & Route Assistant with wraps 056 use as main pic on front RESIZEDAtlas last batch after wrap 012 use as main pic on front of brochure RESIZED

Lake Wales, Florida, August 9, 2016– Petersen Industries, Inc., the waste and recycling industry’s leading knuckleboom truck manufacturer, is proud to announce two new models which they debuted at Waste Expo in June this year, the Route Assistant™ and the Atlas Lightning Loader.  The Route Assistant™ is an option for the TL-3 unit. It incorporates a side-loading trough to the front of the dump body and can be a full-trough system or half-trough and cart tipper. The Route Assistant™ option truly makes the   TL-3 the Jack-of-all-trades loader. The trough can be used to quickly pick up small piles of sticks or leaves by hand and the cart tipper can be used for missed cans on the route. It is available on a standard or stand-up-right-hand-drive chassis. Read more

August 8, 2016

Petersen Industries announces Environmental Products of Georgia as a new dealer

Petersen Industries, Inc. announces Environmental Products of Georgia as a new Dealer

Lake Wales, Florida, August 8, 2016– Petersen Industries, Inc., manufacturer of grapple trucks and bulky waste collection systems, is proud to announce that Environmental Products of Georgia is now the sole and exclusive dealer for the entire state of Georgia.

Read more

June 23, 2016

Petersen Industries, Inc. awards Heil of Texas as Dealer of the Year for 2015

Waste Expo 2016 028 Dealer of the Year

Lake Wales, Florida, June 7, 2016– Heil of Texas was recognized as Dealer of the Year for 2015 by Petersen Industries, Inc., the waste and recycling industry’s leading knuckleboom manufacturer.  The dealer who sells the most Lightning Loader® units for the prior year throughout the Petersen nationwide network is bestowed with this honor. Read more