In addition to their daily work requirements, bucket truck owners and operators have to stay on top of the changing requirements and legislation regarding proper licensure and certification. Below we answer some of the most common questions regarding requirements to legally operate a bucket truck.
The CDL -- commercial driver’s license -- is standard fare for truck drivers, owner-operators, and even bus drivers (or operators of vehicles with the ability to transport 16 or more passengers). It might not be as familiar to operators in other industries, and in fact there is much uncertainty as to who exactly needs a CDL.
Vehicle weight is the determining factor for CDL requirements. A driver must have a CDL to operate a vehicle with a gross weight over 26,000 lbs. So, bucket trucks or digger derricks weighing less than 26,000 lbs will be legal to operate without a commercial driver’s license.
No matter how long you’ve been on the job, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires bucket truck training, a bucket truck written exam, and a practical bucket truck evaluation. OSHA also requires bucket truck operators to receive bucket truck training for each type of bucket truck.
Bucket trucks are much more similar from truck to truck, as opposed to, say, operating a scissor lift compared to operating a boom aerial lift. OSHA doesn’t require certification for each different manufacturer of bucket truck, but drivers are required to have proper certification for each type of bucket truck.
Fall prevention is a major concern at every worksite, yet there is a lot of confusion out there. Depending on where you live, some standards require fall arrest gear (body harness, lanyard, anchorage point) at four feet above ground level, and other places require it at six or ten feet.
OSHA requires it at heights six feet above ground level. Workers must be tied in with a full body harness and a shock-absorbing lanyard that is attached to an anchor point designated and load-rated by the manufacturer.
Related: More About Bucket Truck Safety
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