bucket truck

Crazy_Jimmy

Participating member
Location
Texas
Im considering buying a used bucket truck and really know nothing about them.I was wondering if it would increase production alot?Also think it might boost morale and ad some longevity-especially from the wear and tear of tough removals.Just wondering what your thoughts are and maybe brands to stay away from?Should I get one with a chip box or without,reach?Also how old is to old to remain certifiable.Thanks for any help Im totally clueless about buckets.
 
To answer your last question first, age is unimportant, as long as it's in good condition. One of my trucks was a 1970; we used it up until 4 years ago.

Production is a big factor in a bucket; the sooner you can get the tree down, the sooner the job is done and you're on to the next one. You can't beat the bucket for sheer productivity.

My advice... get a rear-mount. A bucket with a chip box means you'll be working over the front or side of the truck, and ev everything will end up being dragged around the back and spun around. So much nicer to just back in with a rear-mount, and park a separate chip rig in a good spot for dragging and throwing straight into the chipper.

Brands... they're all good, really, but I myself prefer Altec and Aerial Lift of Connecticut. You're going to prefer one with "over-center" capability (I can explain, if you'd like), and for reach more is usually better, say at least a 65 footer.
 

skew

New member
I would stick to as new a truck as you can afford. Stuff is starting to become obsolete. In terms of productivity- in the right setup I can do the work of 6 climbers with my over center 70' unit.
I had an 82 high ranger that served me quite well. my new unit is Altec- they seem to be the best put together to me.
 

speelyei

New member
Staff member
Location
Nationwide
I have run bucket trucks a lot, both rear mount and chip box type chassis.

there's pro's and cons to both. I like the chip-box type trucks the best personally. Then you have the option of leaving the chipper home, but with no box, you always have to make some other arrangement for chipping. Set up correctly, a bucket truck is the ultimate shop on wheels. There's room for tools, rigging supplies, first aid kit, water jug, pole tools, a ladder, herbicide, saws, gasoline and bar oil, etc etc. When I ran a line-clearance truck, I bought a box that was just a single drawer file, i could keep all my paperwork (maps, lift inspections, repairs, timesheets, herbicide application, manuals, etc) in there, out of the cab and out of the weather. Most of those trucks are made to lock up really securely these days, so that's nice, too. From a production stand point, there's no contest. a lot of the guys that have bad mouthed buckets have never really run them. In the PNW, you have to get 750 documented hours on the aerial lift truck alone (and a bunch of climbing and ground hours) to get a journeymans card. Just like a back-hoe or a cat, there is a distinct skill set to run a lift. Positioning the truck to get it's maximum reach and effectiveness is a skill that come with time, and rear-mount assemblies can be better in certain situations, but fo me, personally, not enough to offset the hassle of no chip box.

the bucket has it's limitations, too. expense, annual inspection, break-downs and repairs, tires and brakes...
 

jim454

Participating member
Jimmy,

I'm a spiderlift guy, and I will tell you that I love the lift and I will definitely buy another when the time comes.

So far this year I have climbed twice. Check them out, you won't be disappointed.
 

Crazy_Jimmy

Participating member
Location
Texas
Jim arent spider lifts really expensive?I probably want even use whatever we get I like climbing to much.Im sure my guys will find every way to use one.
 

jim454

Participating member
Used ones out there now, mine is a 50ft which suits me just fine. Had a guy offer me his just last summer for $53 k.

More options than mine and newer as well.
 
Location
S.Texas
Jimmy,
I just bought another bucket truck, this time I got a forestry rig and I love it. Having the chip box eliminates one rig for us. There is room for everything (saws, ropes, etc.) and having the boom over center really is no problem at all. Try it you'll like it.
 
Jimmy,
I too just bought one. One step ahead of ya again!

I got a forestry rig so I can just have 2 trucks on site if need be. A lot of times I only have 1 emp. so I cant take 3 trucks.

mine is a 57' hiranger and goes overcenter on both booms.

Like NE said, yea you have to work over the front at times, but you can still work over the back. It also gives you a place to put that last little bit of chipping you have when the jobs almost done yet the chip truck is full.
 
Location
IN
I'm in the market too for a bucket with the forestry body. Any of you guys that have recently picked up one care to share where you found these trucks at and what to look for when "kicking around the tires"
 
I bought mine off E-bay, its a ALTEC lift with the forestry set-up. It hardly ever pulls the chipper but it always ends up with something in the back. Its especially usefull when you are doing crane work and time is of the essence. We usually fill the chip truck and then switch the chipper over to the bucket, hence no crane sitting around while some one goes to dump or stacking crazy amounts of brush while you are gone. Ours is only a 55' footer but it goes over center and with a little experience on set up its usually enough. But if money permits I would try and get a 65-70' boom. Also try treetrader.com.
 

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