Numerous industries rely on bucket trucks to help them perform tasks. But, these devices can be expensive and there are countless varieties available which can make it difficult to pinpoint the right model. To assist you, this article will explore a few tips you can keep in mind before buying or renting one. 

7 Details to Consider Before Purchasing or Renting a Bucket Truck

1. Its Type

One of the most vital things to explore is the overall form of the vehicle. During your search, you’ll notice bucket trucks come in three categories. 


A telescopic selection is best for jobs where height is needed. While it doesn’t move as well as the others, it can aid you with reaching high places.


This option contains thick padding to protect workers from power surges. This makes an insulated bucket truck ideal for those who plan to do electrical work with it. 

Articulated Over-Centered

If you need a simple yet versatile bucket truck, an articulated over-centered one is the prime choice. Its boom can be raised and then moved in various directions. 

Besides a bucket truck’s configuration, inspect its shell. This will usually be constructed out of fiberglass, aluminum, or steel. If you need to do tough work, aluminum and steel will hold up better than fiberglass. However, fiberglass is lightweight. This makes the material good to use if you need to travel long distances or up high elevations because it won’t put stress on the vehicle. 

2. Its Platform

A bucket truck’s platform attaches to its boom. It’s what allows you to stand carefully on this component to carry out tasks. You’ll notice that most platforms will only reach a preset height. Due to this, double-check how high it can go, especially if you need to reach tall areas. 

Besides its dimensions, you’ll find that the platform will be either overcentered or non-overcentered. 


This option can reach up to 55-feet high and 50-feet horizontally. It has an impressive amount of flexibility which aids you in reaching complex zones. 


If you require a platform that needs to stay still during your work, a non-overcentered one is fitting. While it doesn’t have a huge elevation, it can move up to 180-degrees horizontally. 

3. Its Chassis

You’ll also want to view the truck’s frame (also known as its chassis). While this aspect is also related to its body, it has a slightly more important job than just protecting the engine and driver. Instead, the chassis is what determines the truck’s gross axle weight rating (GAWR). In other words, this function helps the vehicle efficiently move through the job site. If you plan to maneuver the truck over a rough road, certify that the chassis has a GAWR of at least 20,000. If you only need it for uncomplicated work, the GAWR should be around 6,000. 

4. Its Weight Limit

The truck’s weight capacity is yet another characteristic to observe. These vehicles tend to have a weight limit anywhere from 400 to 2,000 pounds.

The right option will depend solely on your needs. If you want the bucket truck for height, it will have a much lower weight capacity. On the other hand, if you want the device for transporting debris and tools, a heavier model is probably right. Take into account though that the heavier the truck the more expensive it will be. But, this price reflects the extra space and features that come with it. 

5. Its Fuel Needs

It’s key to verify how much gas the truck will use. A heavier truck, such as those made of aluminum or steel, will require a bit more fuel than a fiberglass one. This will ensure that it moves smoothly and doesn’t experience roll-back when driving over bumpy or lifted terrains. 

Most of the time, an aluminum or steel vehicle runs on diesel or hybrid fuel. Fiberglass ones will need regular gasoline. 

6. Its Accessories

Another good thing to look for is if the truck comes with attachments. Some of these could include:

  • Boom straps
  • Additional hooks
  • Side buckets
  • A chainsaw boom

Apart from these specific industry goods, also check for general use accessories. Some are:

  • An attachable tool box
  • Wheel chocks
  • Bucket covers
  • Protection mats

7. Review the Seller

You’ll find thousands of bucket trucks for sale. Because of this, you’ll want to research the seller before obtaining anything. To ensure they’re reputable look into things like:

  • If they offer a warranty or service level agreement
  • The quality of their vehicles
  • Previous customer ratings

Also, see if you can examine the truck before you buy it. Most dealers will be happy for you to do so and will often guide you around it. This helps you not only see its quality but how well the seller knows their inventory. 

You might ask if the dealer can create a payment plan. This way, you can get the truck you want but with financial support. Some might even provide a loan. With this, it will allow you to use the bucket truck at a rental rate but can eventually lead to you owning the machine once you pay it off. 

Buying vs. Renting – Which is Best?

Figuring out whether you should invest in or rent a bucket truck can be tricky. Renting can be a cost-effective method but you have to be careful with the truck as you could be held responsible for any damages. Yet, buying one can be pricey, but you get to do what you want with it. 

Overall, if you’re just starting out or not sure what type of truck is ideal, it might be good to rent. This can give you a general sense of how it works and whether it’s right for your assignments. If you’re already familiar with bucket trucks and know which model is necessary, buying one might be the correct route. 

Whether you plan to buy or rent a bucket truck it’s important to do a thorough inspection of it. By using these tips, you can easily determine the right one for your job.