10 Common and Uncommon Uses for the Common Bucket Truck

multiple bucket trucksA bucket truck is a work truck with an attached aerial lift. They are designed to safely lift people into the air to perform work that can’t be easily or safely reached even with a ladder.

Bucket trucks are commonly seen on highways, suburban side streets, and country back roads. While most people tend to think of bucket trucks as utility vehicles only used to work on electrical poles, they can also be used for various tasks from the mundane to the unusual.

Here are just a few uses for the common bucket truck, although some of these are anything but common.


Uses for Bucket Trucks


#1 Electrical and Telephone Line Maintenance

This is the most common and obvious use for a bucket truck. Special insulated bucket trucks elevate workers while protecting them from the potentially dangerous high-voltage wires that they must repair or replace.


#2 Harvesting Fruit

Bucket trucks are often called “cherry pickers” in some areas because they were originally designed to lift fruit pickers, enabling them to reach the highest branches of orchard trees. These trucks are still widely used to harvest fruit in orchards, although they aren’t limited to harvesting cherries. Bucket trucks are used to harvest everything from Florida oranges to Washington apples.


#3 Washing Windows

A sizable bucket truck has a boom that can extend of 60 feet or more. With that amount of reach, it allows window washers to reach the exterior windows of mid-size office buildings at heights that would be dangerous or impossible to reach with a ladder.


#4 Animal Rescue

You’ve heard stories of firemen saving kittens stranded in trees. Chances are good that these stranded cats were saved by men in bucket trucks. Interestingly, there have been several news stories over the years of firemen and construction workers also saving injured birds tangled in fishing line from trees and light poles… using bucket trucks.


#5 Fire Rescue

Speaking of firemen, specially designed bucket trucks allow fire fighters to reach tall buildings to put out fires. Sometimes they are even used to rescue people from burning buildings.


#6 Tree Trimming and Maintenance

Arborists use bucket trucks to reach the tallest limbs of trees for routine care. Bucket trucks are also used to trim branches away from power lines, roofs, and highway signs. When trimming limbs near power lines, special insulated bucket trucks are used to keep workers safe from potentially dangerous high-voltage wires.


#7 Painting

Bucket trucks make it easier for to reach heights that would be dangerous or even impossible to reach with a ladder. With a bucket truck, painters can safely paint the exterior of buildings up to five stories high.


#8 Stage Tools

Bucket trucks have frequently been used to help add dramatic elements to stage performances. For example, in the documentary This is It, Michael Jackson is seen rehearsing the song “Beat It” on a bucket truck. It is the last known footage of Michael Jackson taken before his death in 2009.


#9 Aerial Photography and Filming

Bucket trucks provide a safe spot for above ground scenic filming. They can also be used for dramatic movie shots, landscape photography, and overhead portraits of large groups.


#10 Hanging Holiday Lights

Bucket trucks help dress up towns, public buildings, and private residences for the holidays. They help easily reach the rooftops to hang Christmas lights. Also used for hanging festive lights on street lamps and trimming the tallest trees, bucket trucks are handy to have around for the holidays.

Bucket are versatile utility vehicles. However, operators of this specialized equipment should be properly trained to operate them safely. So, before you purchase or rent a bucket truck for any of the purposes listed above, make sure you do your research, become well informed, and hire a qualified bucket truck operator.

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