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.
Bucket trucks and other equipment that use a knuckleboom to raise weight above the height of the vehicle can easily be tipped off balance as the weight is raised. This unbalance poses a danger to the equipment, as well as equipment operators and other workers in the area.
Fortunately, most modern standard-production commercial equipment is equipped with safety outriggers. They work to securely stabilize the truck while the boom is in operation.
Be careful when purchasing a used, older model truck. Always make sure that the vehicle you are purchasing comes equipped with safety outriggers. If not, make sure to have them installed before using the knuckleboom.
What are Outriggers?
Outriggers are like extendable “feet” that keep bucket trucks and other utility vehicles balanced. They provide extra stability to prevent the vehicle from tipping or completely flipping over. When the truck’s outriggers are extended, it has the additional support it needs if the [...]
A 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 [...]
Since bucket trucks first came into being, they have been powered by diesel-run internal combustion engines. In recent years, despite advances in technology, this has held true. The clear majority of bucket trucks still rely exclusively on a diesel engine for power to drive as well as to operate the hydraulic lift. Recently, however, as fuel costs continue to rise, engineers are re-imagining the traditional design, giving birth to the new hybrid bucket trucks.
What is a Hybrid Bucket Truck?
A hybrid bucket truck has two distinct types of engines. When you lift the hood of a hybrid bucket truck, you’ll find a diesel engine that looks exactly like the one you would find under the hood of a traditional bucket truck. This standard diesel engine powers the transmission of the truck for on-road driving.
For most of us, bucket trucks are everywhere. Of course, that’s probably because the majority of us work with them every day. Still, society as we know it wouldn’t function without them. They’re essential for our electricity linemen, our first responders, some of our produce, construction, theatrical productions and much more. But aside from those of us who work with these unique vehicles daily, they often go unnoticed. They very much function behind the scenes. And they rarely make the news.
That said, the bucket truck industry has gained its 15 minutes in the spotlight now and then…. and for some fairly interesting reasons. We’re not sure which one is our favorite, but why don’t you just go ahead and decide for yourself?
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