When it comes to working at tall heights, there are numerous options that can be considered. One of the very viable options is to use an aerial work platform know as an articulating boom truck. This vehicle gives a degree of mobility that may be lacking in other trucks also designed to lift workers up to a certain functional level.
Function and Description
This truck operates in a manner similar to a standard bucket truck. The equipment sits on a basic frame and the boom is raised or lowered using a hydraulic system. The unique feature that gives the vehicle its name is the addition of articulating joints that connect the primary and the secondary booms together. The entire assembly sits on a turret that can be operated from different directions.
The addition of an articulating joint makes the lift very maneuverable. Unlike a standard single lift, an articulating boom can position the bucket in a wide range of positions. The two booms can be controlled individually, giving the operator more control over positioning needs.
Two functioning joints add working length to this vehicle. Articulating lifts have a longer working height than most of their standard counterparts. Despite this longer operating height, the frame used for articulating boom trucks does not have to be very long because the primary boom simply folds over the secondary one allowing for a compact design when not in use.
Safe Operation with Proper Training
Although the articulating bucket truck is very effective in terms of maneuverability and work height, operating it does require proper training. As an example, the lift can be positioned in a variety of ways and that fact alone can make it susceptible to breakage if not properly used. Knowing how to properly operate the vehicle requires adherence to certain important considerations.
- Positioning – When the primary boom is in a horizontal position, the lateral forces working in opposition are at their point of major impact. Moving the lift upright would reduce the stress on the boom. The same principle applies to the secondary boom. When it is positioned almost parallel to the ground, the load must be reduced as compared to when it is vertically positioned.
- Base – A higher working height requires a more stable base to keep the entire apparatus from tipping over. During articulating operation, always use the outriggers for added safety. Chocks should be installed on both sides of the wheels to avoid even the slightest disturbance that could affect the vehicle’s balance.
- Operating Surface – The surface is crucial when selecting the proper spot to operate the vehicle. Ideally, the surface should be flat and solid for perfect balance. Since not all surface areas are evenly flat, it is important to always check the manufacturer’s recommendation for allowed inclination when operating this vehicle. Most manufacturers only allow operation of the bucket at a five degree slope as anything beyond that could cause the vehicle tip-over.
When looking for an aerial work platform useable for heavy-duty maneuverable applications, an articulating bucket truck is definitely a wise choice. It still remains important to remember that prior to commencing vehicle operations, the truck’s operating manual should be consulted for proper operating procedures and set-up capacities. When so used, the articulating boom aerial work platform is a great choice for many businesses to consider!