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bucket trucks and digger derricks



Anyone using a bucket truck or digger derrick in their farm operation or know of someone that is? If so, what do you use it for and how did you come to own it (auction, dealer?). LIkes, dislikes? Was it worth the investment?




Laurie Bedord

Successful Farming magazine

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Re: bucket trucks and digger derricks

We have an old bucket truck. There is a story behind how we got it.


Dad always wanted one.  He was on a very regular scheule going to the cancer Dr. and each time went past a business with one for sale out front.  After several trips curiosity got the better of him and they stopped and looked at it one day.  The guy in the shop said "I think the boss wants $15,000 for it, but you need to talk to him.  Give me your name and number."


"The Boss" called that night.  He wanted $14,000 for it.  Dad said he'd love to have it, but he just couldn't spend that much money for something we really didn't need.  $7500 was about all he felt he could afford. The owner said "Well, we got that with a sign company we bought, and it really isn't very good for that use.  It's been setting for 6 months and you are the first guy to even look at it.  You just bought a truck."


How do we use it?  I've painted a house with it, worked on the barn,


changed several pole lights, trimmed trees, taken pictures

Sometimes you can see things from the air you miss on the ground.  Like where did those horseweeds come from?

Does it pay? Dad's theory was it was cheaper than one ER visit from using a ladder.  We have a 40 ft extension ladder that we haven't used for years and I don't miss it.


The one problem with a bucket truck is you get a lot of new friends. That is why we have farm plates on it.  "Sorry, but it is licensed for farm use only and I can't risk getting a ticket.  And my insurance stops the moment the boom leaves the cradle."  A few years ago a local guy was cutting a tree for someone and dropped it on the house ... with no insurance.  It seems to stop folks in their tracks around here when you mention no insurance.  I don't know that is true, but Dad always said it and I haven't asked.  


Neighbors have a heavier one.  Ours had a 300 pound weight rating on the bucket.  Theirs is heavy enough when the hydro went out on their combine they used it as a crane to hoist it out.

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Re: bucket trucks and digger derricks

We have both a bucket truck and a man lift.  The bucket truck is more portable and travels easier, but for sheer manuverability, the man lift wins.  The truck was purchased at auction, and ex utility truck, and the man lift was purchased from a dealer.  That unit is an older rental unit from a national rental company that was retired.

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