Knuckleboom trucks are heavy equipment vehicles that have become very useful in different industries at this time. This heavy-duty equipment is a type of specialty Knuckleboom Truckscrane with a hinged boom built onto the truck bed and used to load or unload all types of material.

This hardworking vehicle that is so familiar in so many industries – ever wondered where it is now and where it is headed in the future? Hopefully this article can provide some insight into those questions.

Overview of Knuckleboom Trucks

Knuckleboom trucks are designed with three hinges like that of a human finger. The first hinge, also called the base, can be controlled up and down to enable it to change the angle. The second and middle hinge allows the boom to bend. The third hinge is where usually a hoist or a hook is installed that allows the operator to load and unload material. One or more sections of this arm are designed to be telescopic to increase its reaching capability.


The articulating crane technology was the start of lifting technology on that type of vehicle; the knuckleboom worked on that principle and added the hinging abilities listed above to offer greater versatility to the users. Perceptions are that knuckleboom trucks are inferior in weight and lifting capacity, which just isn’t true. The design of current vehicles with a new generation boom is very impressive for its superior capacity of reach and weight lifting; the maneuverability of the hinged arm greatly increases the handling of loads with ease. There are numerous knuckleboom truck models to choose from, one to suit almost any business need.

Evolution from Pure Crane

Crane trucks were primarily used for picking material straight up from the job, swinging it around, and unloading it on the ground or perhaps into another vehicle bed – and that was and is the extent of its capability. Knuckleboom trucks offer so much more proficiency in moving in almost any direction to pick up a load and lift it in almost any direction so that, with the right utility attachment, it became a specialized piece of heavy equipment. Knuckleboom trucks can be modified to be used in very job-specific applications.

Control Design

One of the key ways to determine the knuckleboom trucks particular model and attachment is the way the articulating knuckleboom is operated. There were several amazing developments with the vehicle’s controls as compared to even ten years ago.

A joystick is now primarily used to operate the knuckleboom arm. This development makes it easier for operators, especially those familiar with video games, to control the movement of the articulating knuckleboom. Operators are required to learn the various safety features of this vehicle for day-to-day operations.

Overload Protection System

Another interesting state-of-the-art electronic device that is frequently installed on knuckleboom trucks is the overload protection system. This system protects the vehicle from damage caused by an overload during any lifting operation. If any problem should arise, the system provides full computer readouts to help in assessing any safety issues that need to be handled and/or any re-training that needs to occur. Making this feature mandatory is being reviewed by OSHA at this time.

Knuckleboom trucks have come a long way as modern offspring of crane versions. Modern technology now offers more choices for those industries that require transportable lifting capability to run their business and more changes are on the horizon. Put the past in your rearview mirror and look forward to the new technology that knuckleboom trucks continue to offer!