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August 5, 2004 12:01 AM

Broken: Overextended bucket truck

photo134-1Naval Safety Center's Safety Photo of the Week featured this on June 25:

Apparently the person in the bucket was a little over-weight, and the bucket was a little over-extended. That, combined with the fact that the truck was already partially tipped due to the incline, provided him with a crash course in Sir Isaac Newton's Universal Law of Gravitation. 


I don't get it...

How is it broken?

Posted by: The one who never gets it at August 5, 2004 01:14 AM

I think the operator is broken. ;)

Posted by: Alden Bates at August 5, 2004 01:44 AM

I had an interesting chat with a builder last year who drove something that looked similar. He was bemoaning the fact that he had problems with "youngsters" who did most of their work on new machines that had the big-machinery version of an auto pilot.

Sensors and a computer meant that it was almost impossible to tip a modern machine over because the computer wouldn't let you.

When they were let loose on an older machine (which sometimes had a very similar looking cab) they made mistakes.

Posted by: Adrian Howard at August 5, 2004 08:36 AM

Umm, correct if me I am wrong, but I thought the whole point of the site is to point out things that are "broken"...

A crappy operator is not what I consider "broken"...

Any mistake is "broken" then!

Posted by: The First Guy Who Posted at August 6, 2004 01:41 AM

Maybe the trucks broken (it shouldn't /let/ you tip it over)

Maybe the cab designs broken (it should be different from more automated vehicles so people have more cues that it will behave differently)

Maybe the more automated vehicles are broken (they should have some time-consuming restart operation when you move over the limits rather than just beeping and stopping you tipping the truck, that way people will be trained into avoiding overextending - rather than trained into using the truck to tell them where the limits are)

Any more? :-)

Posted by: Adrian Howard at August 7, 2004 09:08 AM

I believe that what is broken here is the road itself. Highway officials shouldn't have made it so easy for bucket trucks to tip over. A more ideal arrangement would be ten-foot-high concrete walls on either side.

Posted by: sherlock1616 at August 7, 2004 04:22 PM

Personaly, what I think is broken here is proper training.

Posted by: Nathan Hughes at August 10, 2004 01:12 PM

This truck wasn't overextended. These trucks are designed to have the counter weight to extend fully. We use these everyday. This was

most definitely caused by the incline combined with the weight in the bucket. Proper training would have prevented this user error.

Posted by: Chris Baxter at August 29, 2004 05:52 PM

Definitely user error, so not broken (as I understand the purpose of this site). The manufacturer of the bucket lift could build in a safety switch so that the bucket won't go up if the vehicle isn't within X degrees of flat... but really, should that be necessary?

I'd question if the user being overweight would really be more than a mildly contributing factor. One assumes that the company would have a policy against letting anyone go up that was so heavy as to actually be able to cause a tipover without the incline, and the mind boggles at the degree of obesity that could cause one of this type of trucks to tip when on a flat surface.

Posted by: yada at September 1, 2004 12:29 AM

If this machine was in safe operating condition, it had Numerous Decals to warn the operator not to do the things that caused it to tip over. The owner of the machine is required by ANSI 92.2 TO PROPERLY train anyone he lets use this truck, BUT his limit of liability is Workman's Comp, so, if he doesn't do what is required, then the Lawyers have to look for someone else, usually with interesting opinions as to what cuased the accident. Facts, People should not operate equipment they don't know how to operate...

Posted by: old one at October 5, 2004 06:55 PM

One shop I worked for had a self contained bucket lift with a 41 foot vertical height capability. When it was being demonstrated, the salesman took it straight up, then at full extension, tilted all the way to the ground while jumping in the bucket. It rocked, but never lifted a tire. He stated that as long as it was on level, stable ground, it could not be tipped over. I used to mess with new hires by taking them up to work on some equipment, the lower them down with the arm extended, sometime pivoting the base around if there was room. Definite E-ticket ride....but never tipped one over!

Posted by: Please Stop Me at October 13, 2004 09:50 PM

Well you guy's I work with bucket trucks every day. The problem with this crash was the angle the truck was parked at. It did not have anything to do with the weight of the operator. I think that the boom companies should quit being so cheap and add on some kind of cheap out riggers to thies trucks.

Posted by: James Papp at November 6, 2004 08:02 PM

You guys aren’t looking at the big picture here. Look at all the marijuana around the truck! It's obvious that the operator was high as a kite and defiantly got that thing wiping around. I've been on those, and when you wide open a control valve when fully extended, look out and hang on because your going to get whiplash.. he haw ! - Billy bob

Posted by: Mark at December 13, 2004 06:35 PM

LOL!!! This is pretty funny...

Posted by: Carly at January 16, 2005 07:29 PM

what is the best lubricant for the cables in the boom, i was told aerolube, which manufacturer???and style number....its a white brush on lube....


Posted by: larry at January 29, 2005 04:17 PM

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