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How Bucket Trucks and Bucket Lifts are Similar

bucket truck vs. bucket lift

bucket truck vs. bucket lift

Bucket trucks and bucket lifts are both aerial work platforms. They both serve the same function: to lift a worker to areas that are not otherwise easily accessible. However, there are some crucial differences. Knowing how both work will help you choose the right equipment for the job.

The “bucket” is an aerial platform that is secured to a hydraulic lift system. This lift system in both bucket trucks and lifts are essentially the same. They are designed to lift a crew member into the air to reach places that would difficult or dangerous to reach with a ladder.

Both pieces of equipment are mobile and used for temporary access. This sets them apart from permanent lifts like elevators. They are lightweight when compared to other lifts such as cranes, typically weighing less than a ton. They are also intended to hold only one or two people.

The boom is hinged with more than one jointed sections. It may also be telescopic. This allows the operator to adjust the length and height for more versatility.

It is easy to see how bucket trucks and bucket lifts are similar, but the important question is: How are they different?

Bucket Trucks

The most distinguishing characteristic of the bucket truck (also known as a knuckleboom truck) is found right in its name. As the name suggests, the bucket is attached to a vehicle. Mounted to a full-size truck, they are generally capable of handling a heavier weight load than bucket lifts, with an average of 400 to 2,000-pound capacity.

Bucket trucks provide a convenient way to transport a lift to any job site since no trailer is required. However, bucket trucks typically do not have the height reach that a bucket lift allows. Also, since the lift controls on a bucket truck are usually operated from the cab of the vehicle, their use requires at least two crew members.

Knuckleboom bucket trucks are a standard piece of equipment in a variety of industries including electric utilities, telecommunications, lighting and signage, tree management, agriculture, and even photography and the film industry.

Bucket Lifts

Bucket lifts, often called cherry pickers, have a smaller overall size which in many ways makes them more versatile than bucket trucks. Many are small enough to fit through large doorways and are therefore convenient for indoor work. Even larger bucket lifts are convenient due to their ability to fit into tight spaces between buildings or rows of fruit trees.

Because of their small size, bucket lifts have more maneuverability than larger bucket trucks. Some models can move the bucket 360 degrees without moving the equipment body. However, they have lighter load capacity and are designed to only lift one person.
Another drawback of the bucket lift is that it is not licensed for use on roads and highways. They must be carried to a job site on a trailer or flatbed truck.

Once on the site, a bucket lift is a valuable piece of equipment. They can reach taller work spaces than bucket trucks, as well as maneuver through tight spaces. Also, the lift controls are mounted in the bucket or aerial platform. This allows the laborer to move the body and the bucket without having exit the lift.

Which One Do I Need?

Determining whether a bucket truck or bucket lift is right for your job depends on several factors, including the amount of space on your job site and how high you need to lift workers to complete the job. Also, the amount of weight you need the equipment to lift and how you intend to transport the lift are all important things to consider when making the decision.

Whichever piece of equipment you need, Utility Auto Sales can help by answering your questions and getting you set up with the right piece of equipment.

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