Bucket Truck Safety Tips

Aerial Lift Safety

Reaching high places can be difficult. Like most tasks, we rely upon machinery and man-made tools to helps us complete the task at hand. Aerial lifts and bucket trucks are among the mechanisms that aid us in several manual labor activities such as painting building exteriors, working on telephone poles, and cleaning gutters. As convenient and useful as bucket trucks are, there comes extra responsibility during operation. If not used the right way, danger is always imminent.

Operator Training

When working on the job site, potential danger lurks around every corner and comes in the form of heavy equipment, machine tools and most importantly: operator inefficiency. Frequently operators  lack training and a fundamental understanding of  safety hazards involved. By side-stepping correct safety measures, such as reading an operator’s manual, you leave the door open for a plethora of hazards. Sometimes accidents occur simply because operators cannot read or understand the language of the manuals.

OSHA requires qualified personnel to train all users on:

  • Any electrical, fall, and falling-object hazards.
  • How to operate the lift correctly (including knowledge of maximum load capacities).
  • How to handle hazards when they occur.
  • Manufacturer requirements because not all machines are the same.

Construction workers die each year from using aerial lifts. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 70% of related accidents involve boom-supported lifts, such as cherry pickers and bucket trucks. Half of the falls from boom lifts involved the operator being ejected from the bucket after the base vehicle had been struck by vehicles, heavy equipment or falling objects. Electrocution from adjacent power lines and lift collapse are also contributing factors to deaths.

Inspect Before Use

OSHA regulations state that employers cannot force employees to use unsafe equipment. The importance of a thorough inspection before aerial lift use cannot be stressed enough. Failure to adequately inspect operating and emergency controls, outriggers, guardrails, fall-protection gear, tires, etc. can put you in harms way. Consider leaking hydraulic fluid, faulty fuel systems and missing parts during the inspection, as well.

Determining where to base your aerial lift is essential to keeping a steady balance when elevated. Look for a level surface area that is firm and won’t shift under the weight of the bucket truck. Lifts may not work if parked on a steep slope. Always set wheel chocks and outriggers regardless if you’re working on a level slope or not.

Tips For Operating Aerial Lifts

  1. Do not exceed manufacturer’s load capacity limits.
  2. Do not modify an aerial lift without written permission from manufacturer.
  3. Be sure proper fall-protection gear is available.
  4. Use cones and work zone signs when working near traffic.
  5. Full-body harness and lanyard/restraining device is required by OSHA. This is what keeps you in the bucket.
  6. Do not climb or lean over bucket guardrails.

What To Know When Renting Bucket Truck

There’s numerous applications for bucket trucks, but one of the most common is tree trimming and painting. Many contractors prefer to rent aerial lifts so they can change the style based on the application and location in which the job will be completed. Bucket truck rental providers such as Sagon Trucks & Equipment in Atlanta, Georgia can direct you towards the right aerial lift for the job. Rental companies will:

  • Make sure operator controls are easy to reach and marked properly.
  • Provide appropriate operator and maintenance manuals.
  • Accurately inspect and service lift before rental.

Find Bucket Truck Rentals in Atlanta, GA

Sagon Trucks

Seeking a bucket truck or cherry picker rental in Georgia? Sagon Trucks & Equipment services the majority of the southeastern United States. An industry stalwart since 1988, Sagon Trucks specializes in quality pre-owned bucket trucks, digger derricks, cranes and wood chipper rentals. Located in Jonesboro, GA, you’re sure to find the right lift for whatever application you’re working in.


Thank you for the safety advice on using a picker truck! We have a small cherry orchard and have rented a cherry picker every year.