SO, YOU’RE READY TO SHOP FOR A ROLL-OFF? An Industry Leader Provides a Primer on Cable Loaders vs. Hooklifts


In this post, Marrel—the maker of Ampliroll Hydraulic Hooklifts—addresses the pros and cons of each type. Be sure to read it before you choose one system over the other.


Whether you’re a fleet manager for a municipality, highway department or a private business, the appeal of roll-offs is clear.

When outfitted with a cable hoist or hook loader and operating with multiple roll-off containers or truck bodies, one cab-and-chassis (and driver) can do the work of several single-use rigs.

The advantages of this system are especially apparent to waste haulers and recyclers. They must often drop off empty containers at various sites until they’re filled and ready for pickup later.

Any operation tasked with various jobs will appreciate the versatility of roll-offs, too. For example, cities might cycle through an asphalt patch tanker in the summer, a leaf-vacuum body in the fall, and a salt-spreader hopper in the winter.


Explained: The mechanics of each system.

With a cable hoist, the cab-and-chassis is equipped with a tilt-frame with rails. On it, there’s a winch and cable. Your driver tilts the rails to unload the roll-off. Later, they’ll extend the cable, attach it to a hook on the container or truck body, and winch it aboard.

A hooklift is simpler. This system employs hydraulic power and features a jib or projecting arm with a hook. The driver extends the jib rearward to unhook and drop off the load. Later, they’ll utilize the jib to hook up a roll-off and bring it aboard.


Good: The benefits of a cable loader.

Cable hoists generally require less overhead room for loading and unloading than hooklifts. They’re the way to go if you provide service to indoor locations or other sites with limited clearance.

Generally speaking, the initial cost of a cable hoist may be less than that of a comparable hook loader. But when factoring in ongoing maintenance expenses, the latter system often wins the day. There are no cables requiring regular inspections.

The greater number of cable loaders on the road also means you’ll have a bigger selection of used units from which to choose if going the pre-owned route.


Better: The advantages of a hooklift.

Many fleet operators are leaning to hook loaders for reasons hook lift dump bedincluding increased safety and reduced liability. Ease of loading and greater efficiency are also big plusses.

A cable hoist driver, for example, has to leave the cab and manhandle a heavy cable. They’ll bend over in an awkward position to attach it to a container or truck body. All the while, they’re at risk of strains, sprains and other injuries—and even more so if working in the rain or snow on slick surfaces.

There’s no such threat with hook hoists. With their in-cabin controls, the driver never has to leave their seat! Fleet operators can breathe a little easier knowing their exposure to costly worker’s compensation claims is likely reduced.

Loading is also faster when drivers remain in the truck. It’s speedier still when you consider that hook hoists permit off-center approaches. Operators can approach a container or truck body up to 30° off center. Not so with cable hoists! The stingers of the rail must be in almost perfect alignment with the front wheels of the roll-off.


Best: For selection, savings and service, make Ampliroll your first choice in hooklift systems.

Ampliroll Hooklift Systems are manufactured by Marrel – the inventor of the dual-pivot hook loader in 1969 and first again in bringing them to users across the U.S. in 1980. Today, Ampliroll is the only supplier in the U.S.A. of premier hook loader systems and associated equipment.

Unlike many others, we also offer a complete selection of truck-mounted accessories and roll-on/off bodies that we can supply as a package with our hook loaders, allowing for single-source acquisition! Select from aerial lifts, cranes, grapple systems and more. Also choose from cement mixers, dump bodies, flatbeds, septic pumpers, waste containers, water tankers and other interchangeable bodies. In addition, you can select from our line of high-quality pre-owned hooklift vehicles.