One of the most popular types of heavy-duty trucks today is the bucket truck, also known as a man lift, boom, squirt boom, personnel carrier and material handler. These vehicles are equipped with a bucket used to lift workers and, at the same time, provide a safe platform as the workers perform their jobs at considerable heights above the ground. There are many more interesting facts to be learned about these lifting devices.
There are certainly many great brands of bucket trucks available on the market; however, there are three brands considered to be the most popular within the industry:
- Altec – Altec is the biggest and most influential producer of bucket trucks on the market today. Altec was founded in 1929 and since then has become the fastest growing and biggest manufacturer of these vehicles and their accessories.
- Telsta – Telsa is another one of the prominent manufacturers of bucket trucks. They started manufacturing these trucks in the 1950’s and are presently owned by Colorado Mobile Tool International.
- Versalift – Versalift specializes in manufacturing bucket trucks used in the telecom, signage, and forestry industries as well as many others. With the goal of manufacturing equipment that would ensure safe working conditions for linemen, this company was founded in 1965 and is a recognized manufacturer of these vehicles.
Most Recognized Manufacturer
The most recognized manufacturer of this type of equipment is Altec. They offer equipment that is very well made as well as being reasonably priced. Accessories and parts have widespread availability all over the country which is one of the reasons why this is a much desired brand.
Altec products are known to be able to meet consumer demands and produce lines that will suit and sustain any commercial use of this vehicle as well as almost any budget. Their products have gained worldwide approval and recommendation by a strong majority of commercial vehicle owners.
There are many important features of bucket trucks that need to be known when considering buying one of these vehicles. The more that is known, the better a buyer is equipped to make a good purchase decision.
- OSHA-Mandated Boom Controls – OSHA requires two control panels for bucket truck boom platforms. The first control panel must be located within the boom. The other is an emergency control that must be located at the base of the vehicle. It is mandated that these controls be tested daily and if any defects are found during the routine check, the equipment is deemed as unsafe and should not be used.
- Insulated Booms – An insulated boom is very important for safety, especially for those operators working near power lines. Such a device with altered insulation exposes lift workers and operators to electric shock or even electrocution. On the other hand, vehicles that are used in the forestry industry do not require booms with insulation since many of the tasks performed frequently involve cutting tree branches, forestry research or wildlife rescue.
- Engine – The most common engine that has been used in this equipment has been the diesel version. The current trend is for these vehicles to become hybrid versions that use two types of engines in order to increase fuel efficiency. The first type is the conventional diesel combustion version that powers both the drive train and the truck. The second type uses batteries. The hybrid version greatly reduces fuel consumption and is very efficient, especially during lengthy boom lift operations. When the battery gets low, an automatic system switches the power source to the diesel engine that is then able to finish the current without the operator experiencing any power interruptions.
Ultimately, having a wide range of knowledge about bucket trucks and related equipment greatly benefits any purchasing company. Being educated about this equipment will help a purchaser locate the best vehicles and equipment available at local dealerships if such are available. There are a wide variety of trucks and related equipment available for purchase through the internet. Choosing the best vehicle or equipment to fit business needs can be difficult. Know the facts about bucket trucks and make a great purchasing decision – good luck!