Bucket truck price

NashvilleTN

Member
Hello everyone

I have a question about bucket trucks. I have read on several forums that when people bought a truck for around $30k they regretted because it was endless problems. I feel the only difference between a $30k and a $50k bucket truck is one was spray painted by a dealer. So my question is; is there a sweet spot in price when buying used? If so what should I expect to spend? I am just looking for a 50-60ft, short wheel base rear mount 2wd, gas, under cdl. Any advice would be appreciated or if I missed a forum discussing just this pointing me in its direction would also help.

Thanks
Joey
 

96coal449

Well-Known Member
Welcome to the buzz, Joey. I tend to agree with the $30k range of buckets being well used and lots of hours racked up. $40k - 50k is what you will spend to have a good truck with decent hours. Don't forget about boom certification. I wouldn't recommend anything shorter than 60'. But you have to do what you can afford. Stay away from Smidty's (shity's) and Tri-state. They are the spray paint kings. As tc262 would say ... "LIPSTICK PIGS"
 

NashvilleTN

Member
@96coal449 Thanks so much for the reply. Even at the $50k range it's not going to be perfect I understand. I could probably technically "afford" new ($150k?) but from the research I've done $50k price point will be well worth my while. So $50k isn't necessarily my budget but more so my guess for getting the most bang for my buck. Do you think think I would be better off spending a little bit more? I'm sure at a certain price then it would be worth it to look into financing new. That is for a 60ft,rear mount, short wheel base, gas, 2wd.
 

flyingsquirrel25

Well-Known Member
I wouldn't discount the 30k trucks just because of their price. Or think you are getting a gem in the 50-80k range. You HAVE TO do your due diligence. Inspect, inspect, inspect. Get a friend to look, get a mechanic to look. Have someone that has run one look at it. A couple hundred to a mechanic is cheaper than eating shit on a junk truck. When you think you have looked at everything, start talking covers off, getting flashlights and mirrors and looking deeper into the belly of the beast. If you don't it will eat you alive.
I personally wouldn't discount shmittys or tri state either.... but break out the magnifying glass if you do look at a truck from them. DONT FALL IN LOVE WITH PAINT. It isn't what makes the truck. And be ready to walk away, don't feel bad about hurting the sales guys feelings either, remember he will sell you that piece of crap in a heart beat!!!
 

NashvilleTN

Member
@flyingsquirrel25 Yeah I totally understand. My old boss had an Asplundh truck he purchased for $15k with a chipper 10 years ago and it has been fine for him but he works on it himself. I don't live anywhere near him anymore. I would rather have them not have painted it at all. So there really is no answer for exactly what to look for or even what the best sweet spot is for the price. You can get a nice truck extremely cheap and you can get a total c**p truck extremely expensive. This type of forum is redundant and quickly becomes saturated with conjecture. I'm simply looking for a "BUY THIS and it will be PERFECT you will have to worry about NOTHING. Thank you guys for your reply and I will just keep my eyes peeled!
 

CreTree

Active Member
Check out Joes Auto sales in Fl. When he goes through a truck, he goes through it. His mechanics are all ex Altec guys as I've been told. I spent 25K on my rearmount. Altec says it needs 38K in repairs. Most of which I've done on my own, but they are still repairs. My suggestion, don't spend less than 50.
 

RoyalTree

Active Member
@flyingsquirrel25 This type of forum is redundant and quickly becomes saturated with conjecture. I'm simply looking for a "BUY THIS and it will be PERFECT you will have to worry about NOTHING. Thank you guys for your reply and I will just keep my eyes peeled!
Buy brand new if you want perfect. Anything used will have something wrong right now or very soon. Call Altec or FEVA. New is nice if you can foot the bill. Used can end up costing about the same in the long run. Pay now or pay later.
 

NashvilleTN

Member
@RoyalTree I probably could but I don't know if it would be worth getting tied up in because I don't have anything financed currently because I would like to get a bigger chipper(currently using chuck and duck) which would probably need some form of financing. BUT the decision on when to finance what is probably best suited for a different forum. Ive never financed anything.
 

tc262

Well-Known Member
Buy brand new if you want perfect. Anything used will have something wrong right now or very soon. Call Altec or FEVA. New is nice if you can foot the bill. Used can end up costing about the same in the long run. Pay now or pay later.
New doesn't always mean perfect. I've had more down time with brand new equipment at times than a lot of my old "junk."
 

96coal449

Well-Known Member
Buy brand new if you want perfect. Anything used will have something wrong right now or very soon. Call Altec or FEVA. New is nice if you can foot the bill. Used can end up costing about the same in the long run. Pay now or pay later.
That depends. Sometimes you can find a well, owner cared for, 60 - 65'er that is being upgraded to an elevator or the owner is retiring. @DTS just scored a good deal that was selling for around $45k if I'm not mistaken.
 

NashvilleTN

Member
@tc262 Which is why I'm not upgrading to a bigger chipper just yet. Chuck and duck works every time. If a chipper breaks it halts my operation. If a bucket truck breaks it does not.
 

NashvilleTN

Member
@96coal449 Probably a discussion for another category but yeah I have never worked with a bigger chipper so I currently don't see the need. I'm looking at it as a bucket will allow me to do my current work faster and allow me to do other trees which I would not feel safe climbing
 

NashvilleTN

Member
@96coal449 Also I do not want to be fully spent literally every evening. I want to be happy and enthused to run around and do quotes after we are done working and not dreading it. Maybe I'm wrong, I'm assuming you know way more than me. So if my mindset is not in the right place let me know. Ive learned the hard way that learning the hard way is not always the best
 

96coal449

Well-Known Member
I have never worked with a bigger chipper so I currently don't see the need
That's why you don't see it. Chuck-n-ducks are great for pruning jobs, light removals, and good as a back up. You don't know what your missing with a "standard" sized 12'' or even larger on removals. They will get your jobs done faster. You will be running around like a mad man working, doing quotes, equipment maintenance, and office related work. If your doing a lot of removals the chipper upgrade will save you time and make you more money at removals than a chuck-n-duck. Then you'll have that cash flow to finance the new bucket truck or buy a used bucket that you want. Not something your settling for now.
 

tc262

Well-Known Member
I've been in your position before. I still own a chuck and duck and love it for pruning jobs but if you are doing more than 40% removals I'd focus on a better chipper before a bucket truck. If there is a rental yard anywhere near you with a decent lift to rent for a month rent it for a month on then a month off. Climb what you can and save up the jobs for the lift. The bigger chipper will speed up your operation much more than a bucket will. I'm sorry but if you are going home sore and spent every night from climbing then you are doing something wrong and need to work on your climbing technique.
 

96coal449

Well-Known Member
I often go home a little sore but it's mainly from the old injuries acting up in my older age.
What would I give to be in my 20s or even 30s again. :D
 

flyingsquirrel25

Well-Known Member
I agree with these guys on the chipper. A new 990 (12") is going to run 38-50k depending on your options you want. A c&d is a bottle neck now on heavy pruning and removals. You put a bucket into the mix to get the work done faster you will really see how bad. And you will not have a lot of choice to upgrade. I waited 6 months too long to upgrade my chipper it cost me 4K in resale and almost 2k in parts to get it chipping again.
Just a thought maybe you are sore from fighting the chipper and hand dragging brush.
 

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