So, your organization needs an aerial lift truck or a bucket truck. These vehicles do one task – safely allow crews to work at height – but they have many specialized features. Finding the right one is a matter of knowing what specs you need to do your jobs safely and efficiently. Jack Doheny Company (JDC) has a long history of providing these vocational trucks.
An aerial lift truck is a vital investment for your company or municipality. We recommend following these important tips to find the truck you need:
1. Maximum Boom Lift Height
“How high does it go?” That is usually the first question we get about these trucks and for good reason. Your aerial lift’s maximum height needs to match the jobs you do. The average height range of these boom lifts is often somewhere between 34 and 115 feet. Other models can go higher. It’s important to make the right choice. Too little height means not reaching key areas on the job. Having too much height usually means that you have invested in a truck that’s bigger than what you need.
2. Bucket/Basket Size
This refers to the overall size of the basket or the bucket, where your crew works. It is best to base your decision on how many workers you plan to have in the air. For example, if your jobs require only one crew member to be in the air, a smaller bucket size is better. Work that requires two people in the basket calls for a bigger basket. Generally, we recommend a 300-pound basket weight limit for one worker and double that for two-person buckets.
This all seems obvious but there’s something else to consider when it comes to basket size. That’s the future needs of your company. For example, you might have many one-person jobs to last to the end of the season. Common sense would tell you to get a truck with a small basket. But what happens if your sales teams forecast bigger jobs in the future? If that’s the case, it makes sense to invest in a larger truck.
3. Maximum Boom Lift Weight
This is a very important thing to consider if your crews are handling material. Many companies and municipalities need trucks with a platform jib, which is an arm with a winch that lifts 500-1,500 pounds.
These devices are used for a variety of tasks such as securing transformers, lifting tool bags and holding signs during installation. Generally, bigger is better if your team regularly handles heavy materials.
Your crew’s safety depends on you getting a truck with the right maximum boom lift weight. For example, a truck with a boom rated at 500 pounds should never be used to lift anything heavier than that. If your crew tries, this decision will cause the truck to tip over and crash to the ground. Everything the boom lift was carrying comes down with it. This damages your aerial lift truck, and it could cause life-threatening injuries to your crew.
4. Side Reach and Platform Rotator
Side reach and platform rotators provide workers with more safety and convenience to get the job done. A side reach system lets the boom rotate up to 90 degrees. This is a great solution for crews that work on the side of the road. They can set up the outriggers on pavement, which is more stable than the ditch, then extend the turret into the work zone as needed.
A platform rotator feature increases the work zone of the bucket. Let’s say your crew is working on a utility pole. Trucks with platform rotators give crews 90 to 180-degree rotation at the work zone. There’s a huge benefit to this feature. It lets workers move to the side of the pole without having to pull the outriggers, move the truck and redeploy the boom.
Your bucket truck is an investment. If you plan to expand your business, it might be wise to get a truck with these features. You should only pass on these if you’re sure you won’t need them in the future.
5. Aerial Platform Tools
Pay attention to the platform tools offered on the lift. Each job has its own unique needs, and your truck must fulfill those needs. Some of the most-needed aerial platform tools include:
- Hydraulic tool power
- Extending jibs
- Remotes, etc.
- 100v power for non-insulated platforms
- Welding leads
- Air lines
- Hydraulic hose reels
- Power inverters to run electric tooling
It is critical to get the truck with the platform tools that meet those needs. The alternative is leaving your crew underequipped and the job unfinished. This prevents them from doing jobs. It also puts you back at square one, which is finding the right aerial lift truck.
JDC Has the Bucket Truck You Need
Once you’ve pulled your specs together, JDC can help. We proudly carry aerial lift trucks from Elliott Equipment and Versalift. Renting them from us lets you avoid the big sale price of a new vehicle. The JDC rental fleet makes it easy to use the vehicle for your jobs then return it when you’re done. We have options for long-term, short-term and customized rental programs. Come see us at any of our 15 locations across the United States and Canada. You can also use the contact info below to contact us about the benefits of renting aerial lift trucks.