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What Is a Bucket Truck?

Even if you’ve never heard the term ‘bucket truck’ before, you’ve certainly seen these vehicles around. If you’re a business owner, you may need to enlist the services of a bucket truck at some point to troubleshoot or fix certain electrical issues related to your building or other commercial space.

 Let’s dig into what bucket trucks are exactly, and how to know when you should call one for help with various electrical projects or problems.

What is a bucket truck?

First things first: What is a bucket truck, also called a boom truck? It looks like a normal utility truck, typically with a diesel engine, except that it’s also equipped with a hydraulic arm that has an insulated bucket (or non-insulated bucket, depending on the type) attached to it. 

The bucket is just big enough to hold a worker and their tools. Bucket truck operators can control the arm to lift the bucket into the air so that the person inside is at an adequate working height for the project they need to access.

What are bucket trucks used for?

Not only do bucket trucks help technicians access hard-to-reach places, but they can also help keep the workers safe and in line with OSHA regulations while doing so. That means these trucks have many different applications across various industries, including:

  • Fruit picking. Though far less common these days, workers used to use bucket trucks for fruit harvesting. That’s why you may still hear them referred to as ‘cherry pickers’ today. The truck would provide the worker in the bucket with enough aerial lift to access the tops of fruit trees so they could retrieve the fruit. 
  • Forestry. If it were your job to trim branches off of tall trees, how would you go about it? Not only would you struggle to find a ladder that was tall enough, but it wouldn’t be safe to lean that ladder against a tree. That’s where bucket trucks come in; they can lift forestry workers up safely so they can properly conduct necessary tree care.
  • Telecommunications. You’ve likely seen bucket trucks used this way before. Workers from telecommunications companies (typically phone and internet providers) may sometimes need to access the top of telephone poles to install or repair these important lines that keep us all connected.
  • Electrical work. Finally, using a bucket truck for electrical work is very common too. It’s the key reason that you, as a business owner, may need to enlist the services of a bucket truck one day. 

Bucket trucks for electrical work

Why would you ever need an electrical company with a bucket truck to come to your place of business? First, you might have an emergency electrical problem that can only be solved by sending a licensed electrician to access a hard-to-reach ‘job site’ such as power lines. 

For example, if the power goes out due to a storm or an accident of some kind, you might need your business’s sign or exterior light fixtures rewired. In a case like this, only a bucket truck can deliver the trained professional to the height they need to reach and repair the wires. That way, you can get back in business quickly.

Or, you might decide to do some upgrades to your business’s lighting fixtures. Bucket trucks are often required for many jobs like this, including:

Adding parking lot lighting

Does your place of business have a parking lot attached? Whether your lot is for staff or customers, making sure it’s well lit is your responsibility. First, a well-lit parking lot can increase the safety of employees or customers who may be walking from the building to their car late at night. Plus, it can decrease the risk of theft and even fender benders. If you’re looking to get parking lot lights installed at your place of business, you might need an electrician in a bucket truck to reach the tops of the poles where the lights will be installed.

Affixing or wiring up an exterior sign

Just about every type of business that has a physical space needs a sign outside to let people know where they’re located. If you have clients coming to your office regularly, the sign will help them spot you so they know right where to go. If you rely on customers walking in and patronizing your establishment, a sign will help catch their eye as they walk or drive by. 

If your sign doesn’t light up, you risk frustrating or losing out on clients and customers who may be trying to find their way to your business outside daylight hours. An electrician in a bucket truck is typically the only way these signs can be accessed for installation or repair, since they’re usually placed high on the outside of the building.

Installing or repairing security lights

If you’re like most business owners, your commercial space is equipped with a security system. However, security systems come in many different forms, and not all include lights. If you’re looking to add lights to your security system, a licensed electrician with a bucket truck is the one to call. 

We can use our truck to reach the upper areas of the outside of your building to install security lights (such as motion-activated floodlights). These lights can help keep your customers and employees safe when entering and leaving the building after daylight hours, and they can also help protect your building from break-ins or vandalism at night.

Completing high-up LED retrofits

Since LED lights are more efficient and last longer than regular, incandescent lights, lots of business owners are making the switch. However, many fixtures need to be retrofitted before they can accommodate LED bulbs. 

While retrofitting can usually be completed for indoor fixtures with a ladder, some outdoor fixtures are out-of-reach and require a bucket truck. If you’re looking to retrofit exterior fixtures with LEDs at your place of business, this type of truck will be used for the job.

Other applications

Listed above are just a few examples, but there are plenty of additional tasks you might need done for your business that an electrical bucket truck can accomplish. At Burnett Electric, we do them all, including the installation, maintenance, and electrical repair of each of the following:

  • Site lighting 
  • Exterior lights
  • Street lights
  • Light poles
  • Outdoor lighting
  • Lamps
  • Elevated clocks

Need bucket-truck services? Call Burnett Electric today

If you’re a business owner in Reno, Nevada, or the surrounding areas, Burnett Electric should be your first call when you find yourself in need of an electrician with a bucket truck. We have an expert team of trained, licensed electricians who are ready to help you with whatever out-of-reach electrical project you may need done. 

Whether you find yourself dealing with an electrical emergency like a power outage, or you’re considering an upgrade to some of your exterior light fixtures, give us a call at (775) 857-5229 today! Ask us for a free quote on whatever high-up electrical project you need help with—we’d be happy to assist you.