Bucket Truck Design: What’s in the Future?
Technology advances at a rapid pace, new innovations are discovered almost every day that change the standard flow of life. Advances in the last decade provide an opportunity to discover more advanced technology that changes human standards and most future endeavors. In the construction industry, more innovative designs and technologies are being developed to improve health and safety in the workplace, improve environmental performance, and increase overall efficiency.
Bucket trucks play an important role in the electrical and telecommunications industries. The versatility of this utility vehicle to perform tasks other than its original design has paved the way for discovering and developing new advanced technological improvements to make work more efficient. Fuel economy features, improved safety features, ease of use, and lower operating costs are just some of the advancements made with bucket trucks.
Higher security objective
Major bucket truck manufacturers such as Altec, Duralift, Versalift, Terex and others are heavily involved in producing more advanced aerial lift vehicles. They are known to be successful in marketing premium quality lifting equipment. These large companies have also made progress with bucket trucks. In addition to this, they also train the operators of these vehicles to educate them on accident prevention. Its main objective is to manufacture a vehicle that has optimal safety characteristics that will almost eliminate possible accidents in this line of work.
Effect of electrical utility industry deregulation on design
One thing that affects the design of these vehicles is the exit from the deregulation of the electrical service industry. One result of this change is that utilities have had to change the way their workers are used, which in turn has changed the way equipment is used for work. With the increased competition that traditionally appears when an industry is deregulated comes into play, most utilities have been forced to work ‘smaller and smarter’ to maintain their competitive advantage over their competitors. This has undoubtedly affected the design of the vehicles they use, forcing manufacturers to make their designs smaller, but more labor-intensive and low-maintenance.
Strength and reliability are now paramount in the design of these vehicles. Designers must balance the very dangerous work that power company employees perform with their need to complete a job as quickly as possible, especially when they are involved with the potential for prolonged power outages due to storms. It is quite a potential problem for designers to meet these ever-changing goals of the clients they work for.
Ergonomics in design
One of the positive improvements is the use of ergonomics in the design process. Ergonomics help ensure that the utility vehicle is easy to use and safe to drive, resulting in a final product design that generates higher productivity.
Fuel consumption concerns
A big concern when it comes to utility trucks is fuel consumption. The cost of fuel today has risen dramatically, which, coupled with the departure from the deregulation mentioned above, has created an urgent need to produce these utility trucks with increased fuel economy features. Businesses that can lower their operating costs and save thousands of dollars a year are sure to get a boost in today’s competitive market.
Low profile chassis
Other important technological advances made were the development of a truck that has a low-profile chassis that allows the driver and operators to get in and out with ease. A drop down ladder frame associated with the hydraulic system has also been added which is less dangerous compared to conventional ladder racks.
Bucket trucks are now equipped with electronic stability control and computerized systems that can prevent and / or mitigate accidents. Anti-lock brakes have become more advanced and the hydraulic stabilizers are computer controlled with a level sensing mechanism to aid in this effort.
Smaller increased capacity, no maintenance, really?
To top it off, leading aerial device manufacturers have developed smaller utility vehicles that have an increased working height of up to approximately 16m, a 15m lateral reach and a 400kg platform capacity, and this vehicle requires less maintenance. The bucket truck is getting smaller and smaller but it is enough and the load capacity has definitely increased.
For electric utility fleets, manufacturers continually develop “safer and smarter” truck designs. They create equipment that is more durable and has a low operating and maintenance cost. This has been the constant ambition of those in the construction and bucket truck industries. As new problems are found in the field, new discoveries and technological advancements are discovered and developed for the industry. This it’s the future of bucket truck design.