As you drive down the highway, you may notice a truck with a long arm at the end of which is a container holding a person working on an electrical pole or communication lines; or you may notice a similar truck and a worker trimming tree limbs after a storm; or in your neighborhood you may notice that same vehicle with a worker putting up Christmas lights and decorations. Everywhere you go, if you watch closely you will notice these vehicles doing their routine or special tasks. The versatility and usefulness of bucket trucks is greatly recognized in a wide variety of industries.
Basically, these unique vehicles consist of a truck, a boom and a bucket. Depending on the design needed by each different industry, there may either be a single engine that operates both the vehicle and the bucket lifting system or two engines with one for the truck and an auxiliary engine for the bucket lifting system. There may be either one or two booms made from different materials such as steel, fiberglass, or wood and the boom could be articulated, Z-type or telescopic. There are also different types of buckets depending on the usage required with the capacity of either a single worker or two workers.
The main purpose of these vehicles is to reach great heights, replacing ladders in accomplishing tasks in a more efficient and productive manner. So how do you know which one is right for your business or industry with so many different shapes, sizes and capacities? Bigger is not necessarily better; the right one for you depends upon your needs. Let’s explore some of the common uses of these vehicles to see which one could best serve your company’s needs!
Orchard – The right vehicle for this very original usage of the bucket truck is probably pretty simple, basically requiring that the boom be sufficiently long to reach the top height from which the fruit will be harvested. One option to consider would be if you want the worker to be able to operate from the bucket to move from one part of the tree to another since such control can be done either from inside or outside of the bucket.
Electrical and communications industry – Electrical services use bucket trucks to repair electric lines as do workers in the fields of telephone and cable. Needs for these industries would include one or two person buckets made of non-conductive material; customized containers or compartments to store necessary tools; booms sufficiently long to reach the tallest operating heights; and controls that suit the needs of the workers.
There is also the need for great stability while working with power lines. Outriggers to stabilize the vehicle would probably be a real need here to allow workers to perform their tasks in safety without worrying about any movement of the bucket or the truck.
Then there is the consideration for the placement of the poles needed to carry the utility lines along the road. There are unique vehicles called digger derrick trucks that can dig the hole for the post and place it in the hole.
Rescue and other Emergency Operations – Firemen use a modified bucket truck to rescue people trapped in a building or bring a hose to control the fire to a great height above the fire location. The need for the industry usually consists of a long articulated and telescopic boom that can carry one or two firefighters and their tools to a great height.
On the other hand, wildlife rescue centers also use these same trucks to rescue animals or birds trapped in high trees. This usage would entail a simpler, more efficient vehicle than that of fire companies located in a metropolitan area.
Entertainment industry – A very famous singer, the king of pop himself – the late Michael Jackson, used a bucket truck in some of his performances. In addition, outdoor sporting events frequently use these vehicles to provide better coverage of the event from a height that allows the viewer to see the whole event and not just a portion of it. These usages could each require a specially tailored vehicle to meet the needs for efficient usage.
Forestry workers – This industry does have some unique needs. In addition to varying heights, working on a tree often takes some time to do the best job. A single engine that operates both the truck and the boom might prove to be very fuel inefficient. Therefore, consideration should be given here for a separate engine to operate the boom while work is being performed allowing the truck’s engine to be shut down.
This is another industry where stability is very important so the different kinds of outriggers that are available would need to be reviewed to decide which would be best for the primary usage of this vehicle.
These are just a few of the businesses and industries that rely upon the versatile bucket truck to do their work. Deciding the best one for your industry should never be done in haste. Go online and read all that you can that is pertinent both to your business and to your fiscal needs. Hopefully this article will have helped you know what to consider when you are searching for the right vehicle. Happy bucket truck hunting!