New Aerial Bucket Truck Can Take Workers to New Heights

Photo by Marvin Fong/Cleveland Plain Dealer

Photo by Marvin Fong/Cleveland Plain Dealer

As a guy who is deathly afraid of heights, you won’t find me in a bucket truck anytime soon, especially one that extends roughly four times higher than a standard model. Yes, you read that right. According to an article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, FirstEnergy Corp.’s transmission line has added a new bucket truck to its fleet that can take workers as high as 200 feet in the air, the altitude of big transmission towers.

The Bronto, so named because it resembles a brontosaurus dinosaur, is the largest vehicle in the company’s fleet and will help crews deal with damage caused by high winds, severe storms, and other factors. The Bronto, which weighs 78,000 pounds and features a digitally-controlled leveling system, can haul 1,000 pounds to the tower tops. It is also both fast and agile. It can fit into tight spaces and can be operational in less than five minutes.

The machine, which will cost ratepayers $1.3 million, is operated by a specially trained crew of seven workers and is available to work in any of FirstEnergy’s companies from Ohio to New Jersey and Maryland.

The Bronto will replace a 170-foot tall Condor that was in the fleet for about 25 years.

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