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#37749 05/05/04 09:08 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,143
DougW Offline OP
Talking with the wife about a new vehicle in a few months (OK, probably '06, but I can dream) - debating a 3/4 or 1 ton service body ("pickup truck" with compartmented rear, possibly with cap), an EWB 3/4 or 1 ton van, or... a bucket truck.

No, not one of the big 7500 series trucks with a 65' stick, something more like a used cable/telco rig with a shorter arm. Seen 'em mounted on service bodies as well as vans. Figure it would be convenient as heck for service (overhead drop) work and high mount floodlights.

Wondering what kind of certifications are required on aerial equipment. Also, haven't talked to my insurance company yet for estimates - that might be the death knell there.

Figured I'd ask around, so here I am... whaddya you guys (and girls) think?

Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 444
Excellent question. I have been kicking around the idea of purchasing a bucket truck too. The maintenance end of our business has increased exponentially and I am getting tired of subbing out the bucket truck work to others.

Does the bucket truck need to be inspected and certified? Anything else to look out for in these types of trucks? Are they expensive to fix?

Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 642
I have looked at a bucket truck and did not like what the insurance estimate was. expensive. Then they wanted to raise my business insurance also since I was going to have more high (above 15 feet) work. Since I do not own a bucket truck they have not done so yet.
Depending on size you may need a DOT drivers license to drive it around.
They have to be tested and certified for weight and function periodically depending on make and model and maybe your states regulations/laws.
And yes the lifts are expensive to fix. That is why many of the used rigs are sold, some one does not want to pay for it any more. The local POCO has a cost guide for repairs, once the rig is costs are too high it's on the next equipment auction.
That said I still want to have one one day.

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
We just rent them when needed that way we do not have to worry about the upkeep and can get the appropriate size for the job.

Sometimes a van with a small boom like a cable guy uses, or a 65' insulated boom matrial handler.

Rent is not cheap but paying insurance on one of these you own and only need it once in a while is not cheap either.

If you go with an insulated boom type bucket truck it must be tested regularly for insulation integrity.

Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,333
Likes: 7
Had a used telco (Telsta) bucket, 33' max work height, on a Ford 350 chassis with the standard Ma Bell utility body. Bucket ran of of a mounted genset. Got about 10 years service out of it with only a few minor problems. (Paid 12K when I bought it)
Cab & body had a real bad cancer problem finally.

Traded it in for a '95 Ford F-700 w/55' Teco, center mount,2 man end mount tub, fully hydraulic, 15kv certified & tested.($42K)

(HV cert not 'needed' as we only do site lighting type work, but that's how it was)

Have it 6+ years, relatively trouble free till this spring. Hose leaks (2) $900.00, upper and lower boom cylinder re-builds,
($4500) (Brake job...$1100)

There are pros and cons to either renting or owning.....renting you are subject to availability and sometimes $$$$$$ high rates, but you don't have repair/insurance costs. Owning....the repair/ins & payments, and trying to keep it a productive item. (That's a tough call in the winter, and on rainy days)

Insurance is not real bad, it a part of our 'package'.

Anyone looking may try the Electrical Advertiser Mag, there's a lot of used, and a few 'factory' rebuilds in there always.


Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 939
i dont know if this will work or not but i will try to post the link for it here :

they have both new and used bucket truck for sale

merci , marc

Pas de problme,il marche n'est-ce pas?"(No problem, it works doesn't it?)

Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 394
You generally don't have to worry about DOT driver's license until you go to a truck with a tandem drive axle. That would be one honkin' big bucket truck. Xcel's tandem axles around here are 100' or taller.

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 22
Here's my 2 cents worth... we have a bucket truck, it's an old one, a '68 or '69 IHC - HiRanger with about a 65' lift on it. Bucket itself if fiberglass, and big enough for 2 men, but the rest of it is all steel. No electrical isolation here... We use it for parking lot lights and such. Used to try to do a few tree trimming jobs with it, untill my insureance man started raisin' cain. Said that tree trimming falls into a diffrent (more expenceive) insureance catagory. Guess he thinks it's less dangerous to have some guy swinging around IN THE TREE with a chain saw than in a bucket truck where you can be above the work and control every thing. Anyway, the point is, make sure you know exactly what you are and are not covered for by your insureance.
The age of our truck dictates that no one but us works on it. We were lucky enough to get the truck quite cheap, but have to do some geniral maint. on it. Nothing much, but it's a good old truck. I feel very safe with it. From time to time, I do wish it was a little smaller, it really is too big for some jobs. When folded, it's about 35' long, and on a chassis rated for 24,000 LBS! It actuly weghts 18,000. Here's a link to a picture of it, it's #11. (and my toy truck the DieselCrawler)


[This message has been edited by electricwonder (edited 05-08-2004).]

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,143
DougW Offline OP
Also found some interesting surf material at:

Oh well... a guy can dream!

(And I HATE "for sale" websites with no prices!) [Linked Image]

[This message has been edited by DougW (edited 05-08-2004).]

Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 394
A search at eBay showed about 40 bucket and boom trucks. Looked like some of them go for under $10,000

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