Of all the trucks that need outriggers for the safest operation, knuckleboom trucks are the one type of vehicle that needs them the most. Outriggers are an essential part of every truck’s safety equipment, preventing deadly accidents caused by loss of balance while the boom is extended. For outriggers to provide the proper measure of safety, they must be properly used. It is critical for operators who use this type of equipment to know how to properly use it, whether working on newer equipment with the latest technology in outriggers, or used knuckleboom trucks for sale that still rely on manual outriggers.
The Essential Role of Outriggers
Because of the laws of physics and gravity, equipment like knuckleboom trucks, can easily tip over when relying only on four wheels, and the weight of the truck to keep it upright. When a truck is leaning over and away from the support base - such as when the boom goes up – it creates a condition where, unless it is properly supported to keep it from leaning forward, the vehicle can flip over.
When properly positioned, outriggers prevent this from happening. This makes outriggers one of the most important pieces of safety equipment on any new or used knuckleboom trucks for sale, or similar equipment. Unfortunately, accidents still happen since there many operators do not know the correct way to use the outriggers.
Outriggers - Older vs. Newer Technology
Until this past decade, most outriggers were essentially the same. They were stowed underneath the truck, and required operators to manually unlock them, pull them out and position them based on how the truck was positioned, and the direction in which the boom would be raised. Yet there have always been challenges with the manual style of outriggers, including difficulty in positioning them on uneven surfaces, and not enough flexibility in way the arms can be set up.
With the advent of of electronic, automatic outriggers, the bar on safety has been raised in a variety of ways. Not only are these outriggers much easier to use, since they are controlled remotely, but they have greatly increased efficiency and safety since they are much more adjustable. With modern, electronic outriggers, each leg can be positioned at a different height and length to provide the best support for the vehicle.
Recommended Training on Both Outrigger Types
It is important for any company using older equipment to understand that while the new style outriggers offer great benefits, unless every one of their vehicles is equipped with them, their operators must still know how to use the manual version. If a business purchases older, used trucks and vehicles, they may still have older style outriggers. Unless a company has replaced all of their outriggers with the newer styles, they must ensure their work crews get the training they need, so they can safely operate both styles.
Companies that purchase equipment such as knuckleboom trucks must always consider the type and quality of outriggers on these vehicles, and make sure all operators are properly instructed in how to use them. This is especially significant when purchasing used knuckleboom trucks for sale, if they are older models that may still have manual outriggers. Although they are used completely different, both the manual and electronic types of outriggers are reliable in preventing flip over accidents when correctly used!