Bucket Lift - Basics
The basic components of a boom lift are a platform or bucket with a long arm that is attached to a grounded base. The arm is controlled by a hydraulic lift system that allows it to extend out and up to carry people or materials to new heights.
There are two main types of boom lift: articulating boom lifts and telescopic boom lifts. Articulating boom lifts have arms that bend while telescopic boom lifts have straight arms. Telescopic boom lifts have higher weight capacities while the bending ability of an articulating boom lift makes it easier to move the bucket around objects.
Common Uses of the Bucket Lift
Whenever a project calls for work at elevated heights, contractors choose a boom lift. Increased stability, easy mobility and higher capability offers increased safety of workers working at heights and can help make a project both safer and more efficient.
Boom lifts can be a helpful tool when doing projects in the air. These projects include but are not limited to:
- Erecting scaffolding
- Fruit picking on farms
- Painting walls and ceilings
- Lighting work
- Hanging signs
What are items to check during the daily inspection?
- Check all welds between cylinders and booms for cracks or wear.
- Inspect all pivot pins for the security of their locking devices.
- Check all exposed cables, sheaves and levelling devices for wear and secure attachment.
- Inspect hydraulic system for frayed hoses, deterioration, and leaks.
- Check lubrication and fluid levels.
- Inspect boom and basket for cracks or abrasions.
- Check for the load capacity posting, and other operational and instructional markings.
- Operate boom from ground controls through one complete cycle. Check for unusual noises and uncontrolled movements.
- Check that emergency controls and safety devices are operational.
- Keep a log of inspections and related items or repairs.
What should you do when using a bucket or other aerial device?
- Wear a safety harness connected to the boom. Do not attach safety harness to adjacent pole or structure.
- Ensure that no one is in the area before lowering stabilizers, outriggers or the boom.
- Ensure that each axle is horizontal when the vehicle is parked on a hill. Work with the boom pointed uphill beyond the vehicle’s centre.
- Protect a roadway job site with traffic warning signs, lights and barricades. Determine if extended boom movements will interfere with traffic.
- Secure all tools when not in use.
- Maintain the recommended distance from electrical wires unless you and the bucket are certified for electrical work.
- Face the direction of travel.
- Operate hydraulic controls slowly for smooth platform motion.
- Be aware of the other possible hazards including other persons, or weather.
What should you not do?
- Do not stand on top of a bucket or use planks or ladders to gain extra height.
- Do not enter or leave a bucket by walking on the boom.
- Do not exceed the rated load limit.
- Do not ride from one job to another in the bucket.
- Do not climb from bucket to another elevated position without being secured to the new position.
- Do not work above other workers. Clear the area below.
- Do not throw tools to or from an elevated bucket.
- Do not attempt to slow any air or hydraulic leak by using your hand or body.
- Do not move the machine when the platform is raised.
What Questions Should You Ask Before Renting a BucketLift?
Asking a variety of questions can help you find the best lift for the job. A few examples of questions to ask and things to consider are:
- What type of movement do you need?
- How high do you need to go?
- How many people and how much material do you need to move?
- What are the jobsite conditions?
- What kind of power source capability do you have on site?
- What are the space restrictions of the jobsite and work area?
The answer to these questions will point at the platform height, boom type, whether it should be tracked or wheeled with two or four-wheel drive. This helps contractors to determine whether a boom or scissor lift is the better option to rent.