When performing any types of aerial jobs such as trimming trees or painting building exteriors, the average worker must rely upon ladders or even ropes. Although the job could get done using this approach, it would certainly be very risky especially for falling. Thanks to the advent of equipment auctions, there is a much safer and faster way to get the project done – the used bucket truck.
Used Bucket Truck – Common Types
A bucket truck is a heavy-duty vehicle with a truck-based aerial lift designed to carry workers to heights ranging from 30 to 100 plus feet, depending on the equipment’s working height and capacity. The bucket truck is powered by either a gas or diesel engine, usually determined by the temperature where the vehicle will be primarily operated. Gas engines are normally used in colder climates because this type of fuel does not readily freeze.
The boom pedestal is usually situated either behind the cab or at the far end of the truck bed. These steel arms are mounted on a turret so the entire assembly can perform a 360 degree rotation which allows for easier positioning. The turret and boom are held together by joints to allow vertical movement and can be used to adjust the height as well as the angle of the arm. At the end of the boom is the bucket, which is a plastic container with a flat bottom and siding about waist high. It is designed to hold workers and prevent them from falling while working. Some of the boom truck arm variations include:
- Telescopic – The telescopic style bucket truck is the earliest and simplest design; its concept is to change length by sliding several sections in or out in a manner similar to a telescope. This design poses certain movement limitations because the point of horizontal movement is only at one joint near the turret, leaving a very limited range of motion.
- Articulated – The articulated design is much more common on newer lifts. The unique feature of this style is that the boom is usually divided into three foldable sections with each end connected by an articulated joint which gives an operator more control in positioning the equipment.
A used bucket truck can do many different kinds of tasks and there are many configurations available. Each manufacturer creates a design for certain applications. Following are some optional features available on these vehicles, whether purchased directly from a dealer or through an auction house featuring this kind of equipment.
- Material Handler – A material handler bucket truck has a feature allowing workers to lift materials up to the work area. A small jib is located beside the bucket and behind that is a powerful winch that is used to hoist loads from the ground such as tools and equipment. This feature is common on bucket trucks used by electric utility companies as well as in the construction industry.
- Insulation – Another optional feature is insulation which can help prevent the transmission of electric current should the boom touch a live wire; this can help protect a worker from electrocution, in conjunction with proper work and safety procedures. Insulation is required on trucks used by electricians and for trimming trees.
- Cab Guard – The cab guard is heavy-duty metal mesh that protects the cab roof and is most common on trucks used by arborists and foresters. The guard will protect the cab in case tree limbs or branches drop onto the vehicle, thus protecting any cab occupants.
- Double Bucket – A double bucket refers to a bucket that is designed to accommodate two workers at a time; a standard bucket is only designed for a single person. The double bucket is particularly useful for applications such as sign installation where two workers are needed at the same time to complete a task.
Used Bucket Truck Buying Considerations
When buying a bucket truck, whether purchased from a dealer or from an auction company, two important factors must be considered: working height and capacity. A boom cannot be too long or too short to handle the job; it must also have the correct weight capacity to lift a worker and necessary equipment into place. Additional features that may come in handy for a job should be considered as well.
A used bucket truck can make any aerial job fast and easy as well as a whole lot safer. Hopefully this article has provided some helpful information regarding this vehicle and its many variations and additional features! Download our Buyer’s Guide for tips and answers to frequently asked questions.