Providing the best maintenance to bucket trucks is essential to ensure a safe working environment for all those who operate these vehicles. This means more than just oil changes and checking the brakes, since bucket trucks have specific needs to keep the bucket and boom properly insulated against electrical currents. Addressing specific maintenance needs to protect dielectric integrity keeps the best used bucket trucks in great working condition. Whether buying new or used bucket trucks for sale, companies that rely on these vehicles must pay close attention to maintaining these units for their continued safe use.
Dielectric Testing of Bucket Trucks
Bucket trucks require periodic dielectric testing and inspections to ensure all insulative qualities are still intact. Testing intervals differ according to the equipment and the job. Therefore, all boom trucks should follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for routine dielectric testing, as well as testing procedures published by OSHA and ANSI to ensure proper function and operator safety. Only with frequent dielectric inspection and testing can insulation problems be determined before a deadly accident occurs.
Maintaining Dielectric Safety Between Inspections
Keeping bucket trucks safe depends on much more than just frequent dielectric testing. Improper maintenance performed on booms and buckets can affect this important protective feature. Dielectric testing is something that is done to ensure a unit is providing necessary protection, and that current does not pass through protective insulation. But this insulation can be negatively affected by the condition and cleanliness of boom insulation. To maintain proper insulation and to continue to have the best bucket trucks, that pass all dielectric inspections, companies must pay close attention to these units between inspections - not just at inspection time.
Insulative Care of Booms and Buckets - Are You Making These Mistakes?
Besides ensuring the boom and bucket on any new or used bucket trucks for sale are functioning correctly in the mechanical sense, they must also function correctly in the insulative sense. This requires a clean boom and bucket, since dirt/dust, road grime and salt, grease, hydraulic fluid, etc., can interfere with the conductive insulation of fiberglass booms, making the insulation less effective. Therefore, the boom and bucket on a truck should always be kept as clean as possible for safety reasons - although a clean truck always looks best, too.
Companies must also make sure to only clean their booms and buckets with products specifically designed to help maintain the insulating properties of fiberglass. Common degreasers and cleaning chemicals do much more than clean a fiberglass boom or bucket - they strip the important gel coating off the fiberglass, which reduces insulating properties. Others leave residue that can be flammable, or scratch the surface of fiberglass, further reducing its insulating properties. All of these products should be avoided when cleaning fiberglass on bucket trucks in order to protect dielectric integrity. Low-residue soap and water is recommended as a general cleaner for fiberglass booms and buckets. Degreasing should only be done using products designed for fiberglass use, that will not cause damage. Companies must provide the right products for their vehicle maintenance crews, and educate them on their use to promote correct care of equipment.
It is critical for boom and bucket trucks to pass periodic dielectric testing to ensure the safety of operators who use this equipment. It is also essential that these units are properly cared for in between testing, to ensure they remain the best new or used bucket trucks. By taking the necessary steps to protect fiberglass booms and buckets so they retain their insulation, companies protect the investment they have made when purchasing new or used bucket trucks for sale. A few extra steps is all that is necessary in keeping this equipment performing at its best!