Archive for the ‘Trucking’ Category

Winch line plays a critical role in utility vehicles being able to perform their tasks. When it comes to winch lines, fleet managers have a great many choices. Many utilities are choosing lines made of synthetic rope fibers instead of wire. Winch lines come in a wide variety of fibers and different constructions, and utility fleet managers have much to consider in making a safe and effective choice that will be a good fit for their fleets.

commericial truck winchWork Procedures and Truck Strength

It is important to seek manufacturer input on your choice of winch line, as it relates to the capacity of the trucks in your fleet and the kind of work they must do on the job. Breaking strength is an important factor to consider, and you must pick a winch line that has five times greater breaking strength than the rated capacities of the truck for lifting and working load. The absorption capability of a winch line, or its ability to absorb energy from dynamic loads, is another necessary consideration.

Choosing a Fiber

Your choice of fiber will depend on the amount of heavy work done by your fleet, the climate of your region, and budget constraints. Utility fleets require winch lines with fibers that can withstand difficult environmental conditions. Winch lines made of synthetic fibers contain weight-bearing cores of varying strength, depending on the type of material used in the core. If your fleet does a lot of heavy pulling, you will require a winch line with a tough weight-bearing core. The goal is to balance these various factors and the needs of your fleet with a cost that works with your budget.

Choosing a Construction

The factor that has the most bearing on choosing a construction for your winch line is the climate in which your fleet must do its work. Within that picture, you must examine the range of environmental conditions to which the winch line will be subject on a day-to-day, month-to-month basis and how much abrasion will likely occur to the line. Different kinds of fiber constructions are available, ranging from double-braided rope, which tends to be suitable for high-abrasive environments, to single-braided rope which tends to be more suitable for low-abrasive environments.

An increasing number of utility companies are standardizing their choices of winch lines across their fleets. Standardization of winch lines can help simplify training for crews as well as the procedures for truck maintenance. Fleet managers must carefully consider multiple factors when making their choices regarding winch lines, and it is important, as well, to heed manufacturer recommendations.


Terex Commander Digger Truck


Digger derricks are useful and powerful tools which are widely used in the utility industry, in construction, and in mining. The electrical and telecommunications utility industries utilize these immense trucks to dig holes for electric and telephone poles and to lift and set those poles. To do these jobs safely and well, digger derricks require regular maintenance and close attention to safety concerns while on the job.

Maintenance on a Regular Basis

Maintenance on a regular basis is vital to ensuring the safe and responsible operation of a digger derrick. The digger derrick is basically a truck frame on which is attached a boom and a massive auger for digging into the ground. The truck requires regular servicing such as tune-ups of its diesel engine and periodic oil and filter changes. The boom and the auger are operated by hydraulic power, which likewise requires maintenance, including the replacement of fluids and components as necessary. Always follow manufacturer recommendations when it comes to a maintenance schedule.

Inspection for Day-to-Day Use

Before the digger derrick is put into use for a day on the job, it’s important to inspect the vehicle thoroughly. Visually examine its components to make sure that none of them have been damaged in any way. Inspect the underside of the vehicle to make sure there aren’t any leaks, whether of oil or hydraulic fluid. Check the tires to make sure they don’t have cuts or other damage. Make sure the lights on the vehicle are functioning. Pay special attention to the auger, since it gets a great deal of use on a given job and could have problems related to wear and tear. None of its parts should be loose or cracked.

On the Job Safety

At the job site, the digger derrick should be secured by extending its outriggers as appropriate, and the outriggers should, in turn, sit securely on outrigger pads. The outriggers will provide extra stability for the truck while the auger is being used. Workers should wear safety gear, including hard hats, gloves, and goggles. They should maintain a minimum safe distance of 30 feet from the auger while it’s in operation.

Due to their power and wide range of capabilities, digger derricks are a tremendous boon to industry, but they should never be operated by untrained personnel. These vehicles should only be operated by people who are knowledgeable and skilled and who meet training requirements as set forth by OSHA.

Five Uses for Bucket Trucks

Posted: May 31, 2014 in Trucking

Bucket trucks enjoy wide use all over the country, and they’re often spotted along roads and highways helping workers do tasks for which they need to be elevated above the ground. There are quite a few reasons bucket trucks are used, and you’ll find them engaged in a great many interesting activities.

small used bucket truckElectrical Utility and Telecommunications Industries
Perhaps the most common use for bucket trucks is for maintenance work on electrical and telecommunications lines. These trucks are a tremendous help for utility workers in doing their jobs much more safely than in years past, when they were required to climb poles using boot spikes. The bucket trucks that are used by electrical linemen have insulated equipment to protect them against electrical hazards.

Trimming Trees
Another very important use for bucket trucks is to trim trees. Following thunderstorms and bad weather, tree branches can break off and cause problems with power lines. Workers who work to trim tree branches near electrical wires and cables do their jobs from insulated buckets to lessen the hazards. In forestry, too, workers employ bucket trucks to trim the tops of tall trees for maintenance purposes.

Washing Windows
Because of their boom arms that can extend as high as 60 feet in the air, bucket trucks make great tools for washing windows, especially on buildings that are quite tall. When they do their jobs from the trucks, window washers can take their tools with them, and they don’t have to deal with the dangers posed by trying to do their jobs from ladders.

Harvesting Fruit
The modern bucket truck developed out of a truck known as the cherry picker, which was used in harvesting fruit. Bucket trucks continue to be widely used by people who work to harvest fruit since it is much safer and more convenient to simply move the boom arm to pick the fruit rather than having to go up and down ladders.

Rescue Operations
Some fire trucks have boom arms with buckets attached, making them bucket trucks. These are used to rescue people from the higher stories of a burning building. Fire trucks that are also bucket trucks make these kinds of rescue operations much simpler and safer.
Any time there is a job to be done that needs to be performed at a great height, a bucket truck makes an excellent tool. These trucks should only be operated by people who are knowledgeable, certified, and trained in their use.

Utility fleets have a great deal to consider when it comes to keeping their vehicles well-maintained, and one of their major concerns is rust prevention. Corrosion caused by rust translates into a great deal of expense and lost productivity when bucket trucks become damaged and their parts fail. Protection of these vehicles against corrosion is vital to keeping them roadworthy and safe in the performance of their tasks and helping you manage your fleet.

Preventative Habits

Bucket trucks, when they’re new, already have a significant degree of rust protection. Paint jobs work to prevent rust by acting as a protective seal to keep out moisture and to deflect dirt. But with regular use, dirt and grime can build up and cause tiny scratches and nicks in the paint, allowing rust to get a foothold. Salt is especially corrosive and can actually speed up the rust process. Preventative habits and protective measures can help, such as having the vehicles in your fleet pressure washed, as needed, with a hot water, high-pressure washer of professional quality. Cleaning agents can be added to the water to aid in protecting surfaces and preventing rust and corrosion.

Preventative Products

Protective oils have long been used in the automotive industry and are known to be very effective. You can use oil on a yearly basis, or whatever schedule is set out as optimal by the equipment manufacturer. Oil can be an excellent means of preventing rust, especially in areas of a bucket truck that are hard to reach. You might want to use an oil that’s less viscous – that is, thinner – on hard-to-reach areas such as engine compartments, since the lower viscosity means it will flow better. Oils that are more viscous can be used on easier-to-reach areas of your equipment to which you want to give lasting protection, such as the wheel wells and the undersides of your trucks.

Other rust-preventative products include tar and wax, but they have significant disadvantages. Sure, they can act as protective seals on metal surfaces, but they can also trap moisture and even salt inside and actually work to speed up the rust process. If you use tar or wax, you need to be sure your metal surfaces are absolutely dry.

When you take steps to prevent rust, you will enjoy longer and better-quality life cycles for your bucket trucks and other utility vehicles. These benefits translate into greater cost effectiveness and efficiency for your fleet as a whole. Whether it be new or used equipment or vehicles.

How to Care for your Utility Truck

Posted: April 18, 2014 in Trucking

Utility trucks work a lot harder than most vehicles you can see on the road at any given time. They don’t just transport and drive distances, they perform various mechanical functions like lifting, drilling, or even assembling heavy equipment. For this reason, you should always make sure that your trusty machine is in excellent driving and working condition. Here are a few tips to keep yourself safe on the road:


How to Purchase a Bucket Truck

Posted: April 11, 2014 in Trucking

Buying a bucket truck for your regular tasks that involves height is no longer unusual. In the years past, the ones who buy this type of vehicle are construction and phone companies. Today, however, many companies are seeing the multitude of benefits for owning one, rather than renting. If you’re planning to buy one, take note that there are important factors to consider.


Ever since the 19th century, trucks have been considered as one of the most important workhorses of modern man. They fill a variety of roles, ranging from heavy-duty construction to long-distance transportation. In many cases, many of the needed equipment for the job are loaded or built onto the trucks. The addition of a hydraulic arm or crane system allowed even more uses for trucks, particularly in reaching higher places that would otherwise have been difficult to access.