When a company wants to buy new equipment such as a bucket truck, a common mistake made is to base a purchase on the jobs to be handled without learning about the type of equipment that suits that need and the overall requirements of the company. There are many things that should be known about this very versatile type of vehicle before making a purchase decision and learning important information about the various features of a bucket truck will allow for the purchase of the proper vehicle that meets specific company needs and will allow for the best use of any bucket truck that is purchased.
Bucket trucks were originally designed for orchards and were commonly known as cherry pickers. The lifting tool, or the boom, is an arm-like apparatus that is attached to a bucket that allows personnel to stand and perform various aerial tasks; it is mounted on the truck and is widely used in a variety of industries. Such powerful and versatile equipment is used by telephone, electric and cable companies as well as many other industries such as construction, exterior painting, tree trimming, and many other aerial tasks.
The primary use of this versatile vehicle is to lift one or two workers to certain heights in order to perform a particular task. This allows each job to be accomplished easily and safely. In addition, the bucket has accessory containers that allow workers to place tools necessary to accomplish their assigned task.
Life Saving Uses
Firefighters use this equipment to save the lives of people who are trapped in a burning building. There are times when this vehicle is used for wildlife in order to save animals from otherwise unreachable locations. Any bucket truck is a very helpful piece of equipment and the safest substitute for old-fashioned ladders – eliminating the risk of slipping from ladders and falling to the ground.
Usage of this truck by the electric industry enables employees to work safely with high voltage power lines, making this vehicle a life-saving tool. The high risk of shock is decreased because of the rubber tires, which help insulate the vehicle as well as the operator. In addition, the insulated booms reduce the risk of electrocution in case it comes in contact with a high voltage power line.
The life of the driver inside the cab is also protected by bucket trucks that are used in the forestry industry. The cab is designed with a guard that can withstand heavy falling debris, keeping any workers inside the cab safe from injuries.
Bucket trucks come in a wide variety of sizes and configurations that can suit the needs of most any company. Many of the vehicles have storage compartments that can hold tools and other material that may be needed by operators at the work site. Booms may have single or double buckets and hydraulic outriggers that are designed for the equipment’s stability. The truck engine powers the lifting of the boom; there are some vehicles designed with auxiliary engines mounted on the back which are very useful in supplying power to the lift separate from the main engine.
These vehicles are relatively easy to operate; yet they are so powerful that they allow jobs to be performed much more easily. They are also very safe when they are properly operated. Operators should be well-trained and be familiar with the manufacturer’s safety instructions as well as the safety guidelines set forth by OSHA. These trucks must be properly maintained. All controls should be properly labeled and tested every day. Communication between the driver and the operators is important; drivers should never attempt to move the equipment when a worker is on the lift nor lower the boom without the permission of that worker.
Proper and safe usage of this very versatile vehicle will tremendously increase profitability for a company. Gaining the most benefit from the purchase of a bucket truck can best be obtained by become familiar with all the features of this helpful vehicle!