Bucket Trucks and Trees – It’s All Up In The Air!

Tree care service is one of the more dangerous outdoor, maintenance jobs; however, it is definitely a necessary one, particularly in highly populated areas. Hazardous situations that could be created by damaged, sick, or dying trees are better taken care of before an injury accident happens. Of course, it is very important for those employees who will be performing the work on these woody perennials to be exceptionally careful to avoid the risks that are inherent with this type of task.

To more safely reach the heights required to perform such jobs, a bucket truck is currently used, although past history didn’t find workers quite that fortunate. Bucket and crane trucks have definitely proven to be very helpful in the tree service industry and have become an essential part of any kind of safe trimming operation.

Different Jobs Need Different Heights

There are now many different kinds of crane trucks that can be equipped with a bucket to help employees do any work requiring elevation that is fairly high. When it comes to tree servicing, having a crane that can lift an employee high enough to be level with the work area is a concern. Even though the main reason why bucket trucks were eagerly adopted into this profession was to end the need to climb the tree, some companies haven’t become equipped with such vehicles and still need to use a worker for the task.

Of course, such a dilemma would defeat the whole purpose of having a lift; so tree maintenance companies need to carefully evaluate working height requirements in order to purchase the right model of truck. Bucket trucks that have a 50-foot boom arm seems to be pretty standard; however, when working on larger, older trees, it is often better and safer to use boom arms that extend up to 75 feet.

Cranes Versus Lift

Bucket trucks with cranes are the most common vehicle used as an aerial lift for any kind of tree work; however, they are not the only ones that are used. These vehicles definitely offer more flexibility in terms of being able to reach higher as well as further away from the vehicle; sometimes this truck just isn’t the right one for the job.

To prevent lawn damage or getting a heavy bucket truck stuck when driven close to trees, height is sometimes sacrificed to gain the ability to position vehicles on more stable ground, such as on driveways and streets. The goal still remains the same, namely to avoid having tree care workers leave the safety of the bucket and climb.

To remedy such a problem, some tree companies have begun purchasing or renting self-propelling lifts, which can get close to trees without damaging underlying lawn or soil. These much smaller, lighter lifting crane units may seem deceptively small in comparison to the much larger bucket trucks; yet despite that small size, lifting can be just as high when it is done in closer proximity. With the center of balance better controlled, the lift can rise to similar heights in safety. A heavier bucket truck with a worker lifting outward and upward would carry the risk of tipping due to balance redistributing to the boom end.

Whether crane or lift, both options are a much safer alternative than climbing, and both also provide a much safer means for trimming near and over power lines. Tree maintenance companies that have worked with various types of aerial lifts recommend stretching the budget to afford a bucket truck that is going to provide the extra height that is usually needed.

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