Buying a bucket truck isn’t all that different from buying any other vehicle. There are specific factors to consider, but for the most part, a buyer looks for the same things: maintenance records, overall vehicle condition, vehicle specifications, and agreeable price. With that in mind, we’ve detailed some of the factors specific to bucket trucks that a buyer should keep in mind before purchasing.
Early in the buying process, you should determine exactly what size and type of truck you’ll need. You’ll want to ask questions like: What will most of your worksites be like? Will you be working with trees? If so, how tall will they be? How old are you, or how old is your climber? Do you have a place to keep the truck? How much is the insurance a year? What’s the fuel economy?
There’s an old saying: you shouldn’t use a ½ horsepower drill for a ½ horsepower job. In other words, it’s better to have more power and function than you need, rather than to need more power and function and not have it. That’s true for bucket trucks; however, you don’t want to go too big, or you’ll likely overpay for the truck and struggle to cover the costs, making it a less than fruitful investment.
You’ll want to purchase a boom truck that can handle 90% of your projects. The rest of the time, you’ll want to simply rent a larger capacity crane. This will ensure you’re getting the biggest return on investment, and will reduce the size of crane you need to purchase.
Consider the physical locations of the signs, storefronts, billboards and other areas where you will be working. Make sure the specified maximum working height of the unit meets the requirements for your work location. Remember, too, that the working height will diminish the further away from the truck the boom has to travel to perform work. If you have to park the truck several feet from the job site, a truck with a 50 foot reach won’t reach a 50 foot height due to the increased angle.
Rear Mount: Located at the back of the truck bed, which allows the crane operator to get closer to his work area. It does come at a cost, however: it reduces storage space and hauling capacity.
Short booms are lighter and easier to operate, which allows for a smaller workspace. These are ideal for tight working conditions and lighter lift requirements, but remember this limits the projects you’ll be able to handle. Conversely, a long boom has a greater reach and height but a reduced lifting capacity due to the altered center of gravity.
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