Belos (Trans Giant)

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment' started by Aerospace Eng, May 5, 2018.

  1. Aerospace Eng

    Aerospace Eng Addict
    Messages: 1,864

    I figured I would start this thread as a running review/commentary on the Belos (now Karcher) equipment, based on my single-machine experience. I have a Trans Giant (now MIC 84), but most of what I have to say should be applicable to their other machines.

    Bottom line, I like the design overall, and even though there is only one dealer in the US at the moment (Minnesota Equipment, formerly Scharber Equipment), I would not hesitate to get another Belos/Karcher if the price was reasonable.

    The backstory is that Fred pointed it out on an Auction site. It was being sold by Ticonderoga, NY. They had purchased it in 2008 to do sidewalks, but it was too big for them (I don't know why they didn't get the next size down) and they rolled it down an embankment by drifting off a sidewalk. The damage was mostly fixed, but there are some things I have to work on.

    Ticonderoga bought it through Tenco's Vermont location. Tenco had an agreement to sell the Belos units at the time. Belos was sold from GGP to Karcher in February 2011. Meanwhile, also in 2011, Tenco went into receivership, and was bought by the Alamo group in August. When the sales/dealer agreement fell apart, I don't know.

    The Trans Giant I bought was equipped with a Tenco-branded snowblower (actually made by Pronovost), a Tenco branded spreader (actually made by a company that was bought by Metec), and a dump bed made by who knows.

    This thread is likely to ramble a bit, as I discuss the things I do and do not like about the engineering/design and also the repairs/modifications I am working on.

    Basic specifications.....
    84 Hp (Kubota V-3300T)
    Hydrostatic drive through wheel motors
    Articulated Steering
    Implements driven hydraulically (no mechanical PTO) Total flow 120 liters (31.7 gallons) per minute at 3000 PSI, which can be split between front and rear implements
    Empty Weight 2300 kg (5070 lb)
    Maximum Weight 5000 kg (11,023 lb)
    Length 3215 mm (126.6 in)
    Width 1370-1590 mm (54-62.5 in) depending on tyres (tires)
    Height 2030 mm (80 in)

    Trans Giant.jpg




    Mark Oomkes, FredG and jonniesmooth like this.
  2. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 25,774

    Does it have the Blue Tooth.......
    All joking aside, good write and cool machine.Thumbs Up
  3. OP
    Aerospace Eng

    Aerospace Eng Addict
    Messages: 1,864

    Nope, but it does have an AM/FM/CD Player stereo.
    jonniesmooth likes this.
  4. OP
    Aerospace Eng

    Aerospace Eng Addict
    Messages: 1,864

    One of the things that has surprised me on this has been corrosion. I don't use much salt at my house, and it isn't allowed at the airport. I thought that the corrosion would be like I see on cars. However, Ticonderoga used this for salting sidewalks. Although there isn't any significant structural corrosion, the overall level was something I was not prepared for.

    The main battery switch was so corroded such that it wouldn't move and the handle was broken off.

    resized_main switch.jpg
    The alternator was corroded as well. The belt was loose even through the alternator was at the end of its adjustment range.


    It turns out the alternator was at the end of its adjustment range because the pulley was corroded such that it was eating the belt. It was riding on the bottom of the pulley groove, as shown by the pulley.

    The wear was significant. In the picture below, the one on the left started at the same width as the one on the right.


    I got an alternator online, and ordered a belt from the local Kubota dealer. While waiting for the belt to come in, I put on one from tractor supply. The alternator case and tensioning ear were broken. I don't know if corrosion had anything to do with this, or it happened when the tractor was rolled, or someone tried to pry it tighter without loosening the bolts.


    In the two hours or so that it ran while waiting for a new alternator and belt, it chewed up the tractor supply belt, as evidenced by the blue fuzz.


    At any rate, I got a new alternator and switch and put them in.


    I'm not sure yet if the water pump pulley and the crank pulley are also corroded to where they will also eat the belt.
  5. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 25,774

    Seeing was salt does just blows my mind away. I would think being a muni rig it would have been washed down after every use trying to midigate the corrsion.
    Mark Oomkes likes this.
  6. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,826

    What are the hours on the machine?
    Without knowing the history or if the tensioner was improperly adjusted or not, it could also be probable that someone swapped in an old alt with the wrong pulley that they thought would do the job ,v belt pulleys will decimate a flat belt quickly.
  7. OP
    Aerospace Eng

    Aerospace Eng Addict
    Messages: 1,864

    1144.2 when I bought it. About 1150 now.

    No tensioner. The alternator setup is like an older car. V belt around the crank and water pump pulleys, with the tension being adjusted by the alternator itself.
  8. OP
    Aerospace Eng

    Aerospace Eng Addict
    Messages: 1,864

    I think they walked around the outside once in a while, spraying it down, but that wasn't going to help in this salting application. You needed to remove the three panels on the rear (two sides and then the front). It's hard to see, and I don't have a picture, but there is sort of a flat-bed that goes over the engine, and hinges at the front to allow access. It can be seen in this brochure....

    The side panels hook onto a flange on the side of this, and then are held at the bottom with a rubber holder on the front and back. By design, this is simple, and takes a minute or so to get access.

    However, the idiots that designed the dump bed placed the frame rails in exactly the wrong spot, so that it interferes with removal of the panels. You can get them out, but it is about 10 minutes of struggle. The dump bed design also interferes with putting in diesel (As shown in the first photo in the thread, the cylinder on the left is directly over the fill cap when the bed is down), or adding hydraulic fluid.

    The hydraulic fluid is added through the return filter compartment, rather than directly into the tank. This is because with hydrostatics and proportional valves many fluids straight from the can would contain particles too large for proper functioning.

    resized_hydraulic fill.jpg

    However, this access panel was also directly under the dump bed frame.


    I think the problems with access contributed to stripping of two threads in the filter housing. They had been replaced with through bolts. However, in operation I noted that I was leaking fluid out of the filter housing, so when I got it apart, I replaced the third bolt with a through bolt as well. Hydraulic leak fixed.

    Also note the completely useless tiedown/lifting fittings on the bed frame. They are completely covered by the cylinder when the bed is down.

    There was no reason they couldn't have made the dump bed wider (out to the edge of the panels). It would have made the dump bed more useful (larger). The only drawback would be that you would have to make the dump bed get narrower at the rear to ensure you dumped in the spreader, and had the bed up to fuel.

    At any rate, without removing the panels, there is no way to effectively wash down the engine compartment.

    The air for the engine and cooling is drawn through the screens on the side and one at the rear on the flat-bed. In a salting application, this means that you are drawing air from near the salt pile in the bed and/or salter.

    I think that Ticonderoga could have done a better job washing it down, as most of the hydraulic fittings are so corroded they can't be disconnected/reconnected, but I place most of the blame on the idiotic dump bed frame design.
    Mark Oomkes likes this.
  9. The machine was bought brand new by the highway superintendent before Dennis bought it. They replaced it with a smaller tracked bomby with a steering wheel brand new, Accept it is branded pronovost.
  10. Glade your mostly happy with it Dennis. Thumbs Up
  11. John_DeereGreen

    John_DeereGreen PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,566

    And that is why engineers should be required to perform routine maintenance and at least minor repairs on the prototype of just about everything they design. It seems like this unit is set up similar to the Bobcat Toolcats in which they drastically over complicate even stuff that should be simple.
  12. OP
    Aerospace Eng

    Aerospace Eng Addict
    Messages: 1,864

    I'm sorry if my posts were unclear. I don't think the Belos is overly complicated. I actually like the design a lot.

    Although the all-hydraulic design seems complicated, and does require cleanliness of the system, the lack of a mechanical PTO or driveshafts means they don't have to be accommodated, that there is no clutch for the PTO to fail, no universal joints, short shafts through the articulation, etc. More on that design choice later.

    With respect to servicing, the problem was whoever designed/built the Tenco branded dump bed. As designed and built from the factory, the servicing is generally easy.

    For example, based on my experience with the windows fogging this past winter, and the lack of a vent window (which I do think is a design flaw/oversight), I started to tackle the air conditioning. The compressor is tucked down behind the fuel tank.


    resized_fuel tank.jpg

    It looks like a pain in the butt, but if you undo one bolt, the fuel tank swings out and gives good access. The bolt above allows the oil cooler to swing up to perform maintenance on the fan, but the stupid dump bed frame was in the way of that, which is one reason I removed it. (Yes, there is more corrosion there)

    resized_tank bolt.jpg

    resized_tank opened.jpg

    One of the fitting was broken off (whether due to corrosion or impact, I don't know). I also don't know if there is a good way to clean up the crank pulley so that it doesn't chew up the belt, or whether I will have to remove/replace it.

    resized_compressor and broken lines.jpg

    Removal wasn't that bad with the access, although the engineers at Belos/Kubota made it difficult to remove the mounting bolts since the holes are threaded, and I couldn't just push out the bolts after I got the nuts off. The lower frame rail was too high to allow straight access to the mounting bolts, and the access from underneath was obstructed by hydraulic hoses and electrical lines.


    It took a while turning the bolts a 12th of a turn at a time, but I got the compressor out. With non-corroded bolts the reinstallation should be easier.
  13. John_DeereGreen

    John_DeereGreen PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,566

    Man that thing is crusty. Even with frequent washing, salt gets everywhere and wreaks havoc in a very short order.

    And I was under the impression the whole machine was made by one company. Not the base machine was made by someone and then another company put the bed on. That's my bad...
  14. OP
    Aerospace Eng

    Aerospace Eng Addict
    Messages: 1,864

    I'm very happy with it. I wouldn't hesitate to do it again.

    It was still cheaper than a new SCUT with cab and blower, and much more capable (as long as you don't need to fit it on narrow walks). Dealing with the salt, alternator, air conditioning, etc. is just part of what you get buying used.
    Mark Oomkes likes this.
  15. OP
    Aerospace Eng

    Aerospace Eng Addict
    Messages: 1,864

    Wheels and Tires......

    I bought it with some 16" wheels that Ticonderoga had had custom made, so that they could fit some light truck tires (what's on there is 7.50x16 studdable snow tires).

    resized_snow tires.jpg

    If I want to use it in the summer around my house, it needs to be able to move in dirt and clay. The tire pressure for the truck tires is too high for off road work on an unsuspended vehicle. Also, one of the wheels was slightly bent when they rolled it. Lastly, I didn't like those tires when rolling along at top speed (25 mph).

    Unfortunately, the turf wheels and tires were kept/lost by Ticonderoga, and replacements are hard to come by, as the wheels are odd due to the hydraulic wheel motors (5x160mm bolt pattern, 95.7mm center bore).

    Minnesota Equipment had two set of takeoffs, one set of wheels with 380/60-15 turf tires and one a set of 12-16.5 skidsteer type tires. They wanted $1600 a set (wheels and tires included). They might have been used, but they weren't even worn enough for the little rubber injection tubes to have worn off.





    After some negotiation, I wound up buying the skidsteer set (and a used 6' broom).
    Mark Oomkes likes this.
  16. OP
    Aerospace Eng

    Aerospace Eng Addict
    Messages: 1,864

    I decided to remove the dump bed. I first had to remove the spreader. It was relatively easy, as it was only held in with three pins.



    The pins were somewhat corroded....


    I disconnected the 7 pin connector for the lights, but could not get the hydraulic connectors apart.

    resized_hydrostatic connection.jpg

    I took the hoses off the connectors and reconnected them into loops, one on the machine and one on the spreader. One of the issues is that the connectors themselves are not common in the U.S., which makes them expensive. They are made by Voswinkel, and are screw together. The problem is that they are the same for the front and rear hydrostatic output (photo below is of the front connector plug after I removed the snowblower. If I replace the rear, I would also want to replace the front, but then that is more connectors. I haven't decided what I am going to do yet.

    resized_Hydraulic Connection_Plug.jpg

    There is corrosion on the spreader, as expected, and the seal is leaking on the motor. I'm not going to worry about either now as it would only be used for spreading NAAC deicer, but will recondition it (remove the corrosion, repaint, and replace the lights and motor) before I put the spreader back on (if I do).
  17. OP
    Aerospace Eng

    Aerospace Eng Addict
    Messages: 1,864

    Getting the dump bed off was a bit more of a pain in the butt.

    The bottom mounting went into frame rails, and had a wedge mechanism to prevent slop. Not a bad idea, except when it corrodes. I loosened the bolts, and tried to use them to drive the wedges back, to no avail. It eventually took a long punch with a beefy sledge, but I did get them to slide and loosen.

    resized_Wedges with corrosion.jpg

    The next problem was getting the bed off, as the lifting lugs were useless, as mentioned above.


    I wound up gingerly getting the forks of my telehandler underneath, popping the front off the front crossmember (it had rusted to it), and then sliding it back. I could not get the quick connects loose, as they were too corroded, so I just removed the hoses from the dump bed, drained them, and zip-tied a rag around them until I can get the connectors off.


    I put it in another hangar until I decide what to do with it. It is not going back on.


    I might cut off the bracketry for the spreader, add a brace for the top, and put it back on so that I can spread if I want to. I'm thinking of using the upper frame and the bed itself to make a dump trailer that could be pulled by the Trans Giant.
  18. OP
    Aerospace Eng

    Aerospace Eng Addict
    Messages: 1,864

    Pictures of the used broom I bought....

    72", so 62" wide when angled 30 degrees.

    32" diameter wafers


  19. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,826

    That hydraulic motor sticks out quite a bit...does the a frame oscillate on the 3 pth? That is nicely built.
  20. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 34,203

    Is that entire thing made oot of Chinese steel?

    Good grief, that amount of corrosion is unreal. I wonder if they only used mag or calcium and maybe washed it oof at the end of the season. Or figured parking it in the rain was good enough.