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Fieldtech59, Shop manager
Category: Construction and Road Equipment
Satisfied Customers: 111
Experience:  Construction equipment repair technician since 1986, JLG certified, Shop manager since 2006.
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My boom stopped retracting on my gradall 540 (the first two

Customer Question

My boom stopped retracting on my gradall 540 (the first two retracted but the last stage part of the boom stops). There are two steel cables around 6' in length coming out of the back of the boom? What's wrong and how can this be fixed?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Construction and Road Equipment
Expert:  Fieldtech59 replied 2 years ago.
Hi, I noticed the thread title stated it was a Gradall 540, but your further comments stated it's a 534C-9, is that correct? As for the cables hanging out, yes, it's broken the retract cables for the tip section. The mid section is attached to the telescoping cylinder itself, but the tip section extends and retracts using cables. Typically, one of three things break the retract cables, 1) old age of the cables, deterioration, 2) a problem with one of the pulley sheaves the cable runs over or cables too loose causing one or both to flip off of its sheave, or 3) operator either pulls the machine by retracting boom (like when machine is stuck) or tries to pull a load by retracting boom (like with a chain attached to load and front carriage), these are the most common causes of retract cable failure. In order to repair it you're going to have to disassemble the boom, it's going to have to come apart, telescoping cylinder has to be removed along with the hoses running inside the boom, and telescoping sections have to be removed from the main boom section. It's a big job to do this and you have to have some other machine or hoist to handle the telescoping cylinder and the boom sections. That's the only way to make this repair. I hope this helps.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I thank you for the information. My Gradall is indeed the 534C-9. When first beginning to write my question, I was working from memory. I decided to walk to the machine to obtain the correct data. The information provided was moderately helpful. I was expecting step instructions to initiate the repair. I own this unit and I am out in the country. I have tools and other equipment to assist me? I really have no other options!
Expert:  Fieldtech59 replied 2 years ago.
I understand your situation, and as long as you have the equipment and tools to do the repair it is very do-able. As for the step by step instructions, there's just no way I could provide that, and that's not because I can't, it's like I stated, it's a big job, there's quite a few steps to do this job and I don't think I can pull out of memory every little detail involved in doing this repair. However, no worries, you have access to the internet, otherwise we wouldn't be conversing, just go to the JLG website and you can download both the service and parts manuals for your machine, the service manual has the step by step info that you're searching for. Although, they recommend removing the entire boom from the machine to get it down to a "safer working level" for the repair, to heck with that, I ain't pulling that big pin that attaches the main boom to the machine, I just take the boom apart with the main boom remaining attached to the machine. Yes, it's a challenge, but I busted down the booms on all manner of telehandlers, bucket trucks, and aerial lifts. They all share similarities, but they also have there own little quirks, the info in the manuals will put you on track to do the repair. Cheers ***** ***** of luck getting it back in service.