Safety: Visually Inspecting a Bucket Truck Prior to a Job

Posted: June 5, 2014 in Uncategorized

Proper safety protocol includes inspecting a bucket truck prior to getting started with a job. Each day before the truck is put to work, its operator must examine its components and make sure that the truck can function properly and safely. Visual inspections must be done of the boom and the bucket, as well as the hydraulic system of the truck.

new and used Altec BucketThe Boom and the Bucket

First, an operator needs to inspect the boom and the bucket to make sure that the fiberglass components are in good shape. The fiberglass components are vital, since they work to insulate operators, helping to protect them when they are working with energized power lines and other equipment. The fiberglass on the boom and the bucket should not be cracked, nor should it exhibit crazing, a pattern of cracks that can result when the boom or the bucket impacts another object.

Take time, as well, to clean the boom and the bucket with a cloth that’s approved by the equipment manufacturer. Wiping surfaces clean and making sure they are free of dirt and debris can help reduce the ability of current to energize these surfaces. Last but not least, make sure that none of the parts and components that make up the boom and the bucket are rusted or loose.

The Hydraulic System

Next, an operator needs to conduct a visual inspection of the truck’s hydraulic system. The hoses should be carefully checked for leaks as well as for wear and tear that could compromise function. The ground underneath the truck should be examined, as well, to see whether there are leaks. The hydraulic fluid should be checked, both to ensure that it’s at the appropriate level and also to make sure that it doesn’t contain contaminants which could interfere with the system and indicate a problem with components getting bound up.

Contaminants in the hydraulic fluid could cause the fluid to conduct electricity, as in the case of metal shavings. Visual inspection of the fluid is also important in that its appearance can serve as a clue that something is wrong. If the hydraulic oil appears milky, then moisture is present in the fluid, which could also cause it to become conductive.

Visual inspections of a bucket truck are a crucial part of safety checks before embarking on a job. Should a truck operator discover problems with the safe functioning of a vehicle, the situation should be reported to a supervisor. Either the truck should be repaired, or another truck should be assigned for the job.


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