Merry Christmas all! I decided to quit lurking and join up. What a great site!
I am considering purchasing a bucket truck in the next 2-3 years. Any advice and personal experiences are welcomed. I don't know diddly about bucket trucks so any and all info and opinions are appreciated.
Does anyone know of dealers in Georgia you would recommend?
We bought a Chevrolet HD 1 ton with a 30' hydraulic bucket from the local power company. It needed an engine so the price was right. The hydraulics were in excellent shape and have required only routine maintenance in the 4 years or so we have owned it.
#32506 - 12/26/0310:20 AMRe: Buying a bucket truck
There are two main line bucket trucks, Altec and Hi-Ranger. These are the two seen most often in use by line companies and Utilities.
Both have their charms, I've had 2 friends nearly killed (and known several who were killed) by leveling cable failures in the Hi-Rangers. I'm sure they will say "If you have it inspected adequately, it will be no problem" It may be true, who knows.
The Altec is very well built and engineered, the biggest difference is speed. The Hi-Ranger will actually leave you standing in mid air it's so danged fast - NOT necessarily a good thing, especially for an occasional bucket user.
If I were to buy only one, it would be an Altec line truck. It has an auxiliary bucket on it, but a very useful boom. It is slow, but again, if you are only occasionally using a bucket, that really doesn't matter, and the 5 ton boom comes in real handy.
Just my .02
#32507 - 12/01/0501:40 PMRe: Buying a bucket truck
If anyone is looking for some good used equipment (or new as well), you can look at our extensive inventory on our website - www.SunriseEquipment.com
Also there is a good general info website we found that gives users basic knowledge of all the different manufacturers of bucket trucks... we liked the site so much we wanted to advertise on it. the site is www.BucketTrucks.org
Hope that gives some good research information to some of you.
Welcome, Sunrise....though I hope your interest in ECN goes beyond slipping in a 'free ad.' :-)
I would like to suggest an alternative to a bucket "truck.".....a towable trailer. I have used one - I think it was made by Genie- and found it most adequate. Advantages I saw to the trailer design were (1) you only brought it when you needed it, and (2) unlike your truck, you can operate the thing inside a warehouse!
I have had good experiences with former utility company equipment, and found lots of atractive offerings at the auction site operated by the US Government ("General Services Administration.")
#32510 - 12/01/0511:57 PMRe: Buying a bucket truck
My only addition to this bucket truck dilema is to make sure you get atleast 40' working height. I have made the mistake of buying a van with a 33' bucket and it just wasn't tall enough to get where I needed to go on almost every job i took it to. Also, I would shy away from a van mounted bucket. The main support mast goes right up through the center of the van in the most inconvenient place. It makes getting anything out of the side of the truck almost impossible. Mine had a lazy susan around it which just meant that the area behind the driver became a catch all for everything since you couldn't really get back there to clean it out or retrieve anything easily.
#32511 - 12/02/0508:24 AMRe: Buying a bucket truck
Don't know how long they've been around, but our company just got their first squirt boom bucket truck. The arms unfold just like any other truck, but then the bucket can be extended straight out just like the boom on a lift truck. Makes getting into tight places a lot easier. Our lineman love it.
#32512 - 12/02/0502:00 PMRe: Buying a bucket truck
we tell our customers that the rule of thumb to buy a bucket truck is to get a lift height that meets the needs of 80% of your work, its easier to rent a boom for those od occassions where you might need a 85' reach... having something so big for everyday uses sometimes is more of a pain to work with.
Sunrise: Welcome to ECN, and a quick "Thank You" for the links you posted on the other BT topic here.
Macon: Check the other bucket truck topic on this site for additional info.
Reno: Yes, the towable unit is real handy, also it's cheaper for insurance purposes. We tries a few ver the years, some were good, some were really "bad"; slow and/or shaky.
Lamplighter's suggestion regarding 'height' is really great advice. Nothing like owning a 30' (+/-) truck, and going to a site with 40' poles....if all you do is site lighting. Yes, owning 85' is good, if you can use it frequently, but 'overkill' don;t look to good in the eyes of the client. Took the TECO to a shop ctr with 40' & 14' poles, and the comments from the prop mgr when he got to the site while we were on the 14' poles was untypable here.