Like any heavy duty vehicle from bucket truck sales, the bucket truck requires a meticulous inspection. It drives across public roads and streets; it deals with heavy traffic as well; and most importantly, it is expected to provide a safe and stable platform when operating the boom at tall heights. Therefore, it is important for all the vital parts of the vehicle to be inspected regularly if not daily to make sure that there is not any potential for failure to occur during its operation.
Scheduled Maintenance vs. Daily Inspection
Every vehicle has a scheduled maintenance to follow which is usually based on the number of hours of operation or the odometer reading. The scheduled maintenance should tell the operator when to replace certain parts such as brake pads or replace any of the truck’s fluids (such as the engine oil) in order to maintain the bucket truck in excellent working condition.
On the other hand, a daily inspection is recommended consisting of visually checking parts on the vehicle that are prone to damage with regular use. One good example is checking the tires prior to operation for any indication of wear or damage that might eventually lead to loss of air and/or a blown tire while on the road.
A good operator shouldn’t simply rely on the vehicle’s scheduled maintenance; that operator should also perform a daily inspection before heading out on the road or operating the hydraulic lift since some of the parts on this type of vehicle are more prone to damage and wear than others.
Before operating out on the roads, it would be wise to perform a daily inspection of the chassis and components to make sure that the truck is roadworthy and able to function properly when operating the hydraulic lift.
- Engine – Make sure that the vehicle can idle steadily without any misfiring. The engine also provides power for the hydraulic lift to operate; therefore it should be able to operate steadily without stalling.
- Wheels – The wheels should have equal tire pressure so they can provide a steady base whenever the hydraulic lift is used. Make sure the tire pressure meets the manufacturer’s requirements. Look for any potential problems that could affect the operation of the tires or wheels.
- Outriggers – Check the truck’s outriggers for any cracks around the welding and look for any leaks coming from its hydraulic system.
- Lights – Bucket trucks often work on electric poles on the sides of the road or streets where there is busy traffic. To prevent accidents, the truck’s warning light must be working and clearly visible during operation of the vehicle.
When checking the bucket truck’s hydraulic lift; you need to first make sure that the lift is in its neutral position, that the engine has been turned off and locked, and that the hydraulic pressure has been released.
- Check for worn-out hydraulic hoses – Look for cracks or signs of brittleness around the hydraulic hoses which indicates that the hydraulic hose is beginning to deteriorate and need to be replaced.
- Check for hydraulic oil leaks – Check the hydraulic system for any oil leaks. Leaking hydraulic oil means that the system is losing pressure during operation which can reduce the lifting capacity of the vehicle.
- Check for metal fatigue –Inspect the boom structure for any obvious sign of metal fatigue such as cracks along the booms welds or for any indication of the boom being misaligned.
Before taking the bucket truck out on a job, always perform a thorough inspection to make sure all the vital parts are in good condition and operational. Doing these relatively simple things should lengthen the bucket truck’s useful life span as well as make it a safer vehicle on which to work. Safety should always be the first concern when purchasing a truck from bucket truck sales!