Climbing from out the Bucket

dspacio

Participating member
Location
Narragansett Bay
Last week I worked from a Bucket truck for the first time. The crew I climb for (as a contractor) is down their bucket guy (new job), so there is a lot of room for me to fill in there, if I take it. Of course, it was kinda nice accessing this long reach Ash limb without having to tip-toe around, leaning out, and doing the whole thing in a couple hours instead of 4 or 5.

The main impulse that kept coming to me, was that I just wanted to climb out and get stuff that was out of reach. I wasn't really going to do that, I just had the fall arrest harness on, but I wondered about the opinions on this forum surrounding Climbing from the Bucket. I have been aware of guys going up and then setting up from the bucket for a climb, and things of this nature. I am just casting a line out for insights in this area.

Is this actually reasonable thinking or will I just get more accustomed to working the bucket?
I can imagine there may be safety issues that I wouldn't just imagine on my own. Are there areas to majorly watch out for, or is this whole idea a total major no-no?
I am picturing having the fall arrest harness on with a climbing harness on over it, and using a double-ended lanyard (mine now is 27') just to move around ten feet at a time and access inner parts of the tree that I wasn't able to reach. Should I just bring a polesaw instead?

Anyway, I am sure I am not the first one here to have this impulse so I am fishing for feedback. Thanks everybody.
 

Jehinten

Carpal tunnel level member
Location
Evansville
There are harnesses designed for both climbing and bucket truck work, no need to wear two separate ones. As for climbing out, you can but I'd keep it pretty limited as constantly pulling your climbing rope through the canopy in the bucket would get old, just in case you needed it.

Climbing might save you from having to reset the truck just to reach a certain part of the tree.

Also as you use the lift more you'll get better about parking it in the optimal location for reaching everything and you'll learn a few tricks that will allow you to do your job from the bucket Without having to climb out.
 

dspacio

Participating member
Location
Narragansett Bay
Climbing might save you from having to reset the truck just to reach a certain part of the tree.

Also as you use the lift more you'll get better about parking it in the optimal location for reaching everything and you'll learn a few tricks that will allow you to do your job from the bucket Without having to climb out.
Thanks! I have seen over the years how important that initial parking point is. Have seen a lot of guys need to move the truck just reach one little spot at the end of the day, tearing up lawns with abandon...

With the double end lanyard I can just swap the length back and forth so I am able to move a good bit with just the 27' and while always being tied in. I am not seeing this as a primary approach, of course, but just sensing mainly for safety issues as I am brandy new to the bucket, only have moved them around before.

Seems like it could be a good move just to reach a cut or two that were only ~10-15' out of reach due to branches in the way of the boom. In that instance it was a rudimentary deadwooding after reducing a big branch, so I let stuff slide. Doing a full prune I still feel I will want to be climbing most of the time.
 

Chaplain242

Branched out member
Polesaw is a somewhat standard accessory for the bucket when needed. Can be brought up with you or drop a line to for groundy's to tie it on - just be sure that you have the screws connecting the shaft secure to the saw head, extension knuckle or you might be scouring the ground looking for springs and black plastic bushes...

Can also tear up your back as you start full extension horizontal cuts including scarfing whilst holding the powerhead in front of you and it will take a terrible toll without you realising... can be a bad habit to get into...

But is fast way of pruining/cutting...
 

Al_trees

New member
Location
Connecticut
Like Jehintin said you will get better at manuevering and setting up initially. With a little prior planning it is amazing what you can reach from one set. We very seldom need to move the truck.

If the truck is too short for the trees you normally work on then a pole saw can help you reach sometimes. Keeping it on the truck, coming down or soneone sending it up for a couple cuts is a lot quicker than getting out the bucket.
 

dspacio

Participating member
Location
Narragansett Bay
Thanks fellas. The bucket truck is a powerful tool.
Yesterday I was set up to climb a tree with a wild lean (~20 ft horizontal from base of tree to my tie in point) and it was suggested I use the bucket ... it felt like cheating, like a shortcut! I couldnt reach the whole thing (way in backyard) but at least removing the top in small pieces was such a relief.
Of course time and experience are the greatest teachers, in the meantime I Appreciate learning the basic approach and where those high impact lessons may be. Thanks ~
 

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