Choosing the Right Bucket Truck

Finding the Right Boom for Your Needs

Finding the Right Boom for Your Needs.

There are different booms for different jobs. Hopefully this will help you find the one that best suits your needs. A common question asked is, which boom is right for me? Please note, we normally carry trucks from 5-12 years old and under CDL so this answer will be in relation to that criteria.

Lets start by going over the major categories.  We are experts on bucket trucks and diesel engines, that’s what we do! Please call for a demonstration or questions.

  1. Articulating & Telescoping Booms 
  • A few examples are Altec AT37-G, AT35-G, AT235, AT237, AT248F, AT36M*, AT40M* Versalift SST-40-NE, SST-36-NE,VST-40-AP, VST-36-AP, VO-43-I, VST-43-TN, VST-40-SI, VST-39-TN, VST-36-SI, VO-40-MHI. Terex High Ranger makes the L13i, TL,  LTM and the HR series. There are a few others like Duralift, Elliott, etc. I personally find that Elliott makes a  good boom but incredibly overpriced to fix/maintain. The same part from Altec can be 1/5 the price.
  • Normally used for electrical work including signs and lights. It allows you to have a very versatile, tall boom on an under CDL truck package.
  • Articulating and telescopic, and just plain telescopic, are best utilized for working along a roadway, you wont have a lower boom sticking out onto the road when you are working. A regular two stick style boom, or an over-center, are less desirable in this situation, or in tight areas.​

         2.  Over-Center Booms

  •  Boom examples: Altec L36, L36, L37M, L42A, L42E, K42, L42M, L44E, L45M. Versalift and Terex also make versions of this, but are usually not seen on under 26,000 GVWR trucks
  • You may see this style boom driving to work almost every day and not even know it.  Over-center booms  are almost always situated on chipper dump trucks, or tree trimming trucks. If you have ever seen an orange Asplundh truck with a boom on it, it is most likely over-center
  • These booms are very hardy. The Altec LR series is well know as the best, most common boom in the tree industry. They are very heavy duty, the L36 series are sometimes optioned with a lift point that can be used up to 1,000LBS at the end of the lower boom. Please see your operators manual to see if your boom is equipped.  They have less hydraulic lines, and moving parts.  If a hydraulic line goes bad in an over-center boom, it is typically an easy fix. A blown hydraulic line in a AT37G (Articulating and Telescoping) will cost you $2500, just for the lines, because they are in a ribbon and just one cant be changed.  If you are going to change one, you will want to change all of them!

3. Telescoping booms (non-articulating)

  • There are a large variety of these booms Altec, Versalift, Lift arm, Duralift, Telsta, Terex High Ranger, ETI are some common ones. Telsta did go out of business, which tends to lower the value of there boom trucks, but there are loads of them out there, so used parts are easy to come by. You will find these booms on F-350, F-450, F-550, and the corresponding GVWR’s from other manufacturers.


The truck featured below started as a full utility body truck. A customer requested a half flatbed, half utility body. We can make any truck a flatbed, half flatbed, or any other combination you want. The L36 Booms below make great rear mount forestry trucks being over center. We can change that utility body out for a nice flatbed. The bottom two rows are a 2006 flatbed 4×4. The quality of our work is unmatched in this field. So browse, pick a truck you like, then let us make it yours.
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