Bucket trucks are commonly seen on Americas streets and highways, but what exactly are these trucks being used for? This article examines some of the common, uncommon and sometimes humorous uses for these trucks.
Ten Uses for Bucket Trucks
Use Number 1: Maintenance on Electrical Utility and Telecommunications Lines
The most obvious use for bucket trucks is for elevating workers to electrical utility and telecommunications lines for maintenance. Special insulated trucks are used for these jobs to protect workers from the dangerous, high voltage wires that the job requires them to work with.
Use Number 2: Window Washing
Since these trucks have booms that can extend sometimes 60′ or more, they may be used for washing exterior windows on mid-sized office buildings of up to 5 stories. These trucks allow window washers to safely reach windows at heights that are inaccessible with ladders.
Use Number 3: Fruit Picking
Cherry Pickers were originally designed to pick fruit from orchards (though not just cherry orchards). These trucks are still heavily used by fruit pickers in orchards today.
Use Number 4: Animal Rescue
Help Wildlife, a site dedicated to show the devastating effects of fishing line on wildlife, documents a case where a sea gull was rescued using a bucket truck. The gull had a hook and fishing line caught in it’s wing, and became entangled in a 50′ tall tree. Animal rescuers were able to rescue the bird using a bucket truck.
Use Number 5: Hanging Decorations
From hanging Christmas decorations in your city square, to banners on your favorite local teams field, these trucks are used for hanging all manner of decorations.
Use Number 6: Tree Trimming
Bucket Trucks are often seen on city streets after big thunderstorms, when loose and broken tree branches endanger electrical lines. Workers trimming trees near power lines use special insulated bucket trucks to keep them safe from the dangerous, high voltage wires that they will likely be near in the course of their jobs. Arborists also use bucket trucks to reach the tops of very tall trees that need routine care.
Use Number 7: Stage Performance Tools
Michael Jackson has a long history of including cherry pickers in his stage performances and music videos dating back to his 1987 Bad Tour. Most recently, he was seen rehearsing “Beat It” on a cherry picker in the documentary film, Michael Jackson’s This is It. This was the last known footage of Michael Jackson before his death in 2009.
Use Number 8: Security Detail
Some retail stores have security guards stationed in specially modified trucks that give guards a birds eye view of the parking lot.
Use Number 9: Exterior Painting
Just like window washers, some painters use these trucks to reach high places on the building exteriors that they are painting. These trucks allow painters to safely reach heights of up to 5 stories to safely paint building exteriors.
Use Number 10: Fire Rescue
Some fire trucks are equipped with a boom and bucket, technically making these fire trucks special purpose bucket trucks! These specially designed trucks allow firemen to reach tall buildings to put out fires, and sometimes rescue people from places that would otherwise be inaccessible.
These trucks are versatile machines that can be used for many things! But operators of these powerful utility trucks must be properly trained in order to operate them safely. Before renting or purchasing a truck for any of the uses described in this article, take time to learn about aerial lift safety and invest in a trained and experienced operator for your bucket truck.