Ontivity Resources


New Braunfels, TX, January 17, 2024


Bucket trucks are extremely useful for accessing areas far above the ground, but you need to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you. As simple as a bucket truck may be, there are several opportunities for injury if improperly operated. Precautions must be taken to prevent serious bucket truck operator injuries including falls, electrocution, and rollovers. Most people would not allow a young family member to drive their car without a license and proper training. Yet, when we encounter heavy equipment on the job site, we may be tempted to jump into the seat and just figure it out. To avoid this temptation, we established a more methodical approach to equipment use to ensure that individuals have the necessary tools before climbing into the driver’s seat.

As we discuss Bucket Truck Safety, lets break it down to three main areas:



The primary objective of equipment training is to provide the operator with the knowledge and skills required to demonstrate the safe operation of the equipment. This is achieved through both theory and practical training. We are a big proponent of understanding how things work. When you understand the basic concepts of the bucket truck, the vehicle’s center of gravity, and hydraulics, you can operate the unit to its full potential. By undergoing hands-on training, employees can learn the proper steps to stable deployment and what to do during a rescue. We must all ensure that our employees and sub-contractors do not operate a bucket truck without the appropriate training. OSHA and ANSI very specifically spell out the requirements for operation. If you are unsure, please reach out to the OneSafety team before operating any equipment.


Regulations, standards, and company policy require pre-use inspections to be conducted before we operate a bucket truck. During the inspection, start with a walk-around visual inspection looking for loose, missing, and broken parts, obvious visible damage, and leaks of any kind. Be sure to look closely at the frame, boom arm, basket, and motor.  Then move on to a powered function check at both the ground controls and the next operator controls. The Ontivity JHA includes some great points to assist bucket truck operators on page 5 under daily inspections. Simply select yes on the form and it will present you with 14 bullet points to check on the vehicle. Furthermore, there are 14 additional questions to assist with truck setup. I like the added checklist as it ensures I do not overlook or forget any components during my daily checkout.


 In addition to the pre-use inspection of the equipment, you are also required to complete an inspection of the work area where you will be operating your bucket truck. This inspection is just as important as the pre-use inspection, if not more. This allows you to identify all direct operational hazards that if not corrected or mitigated will or could cause serious injury or harm to you or a co-worker. Examples of some specific hazards that need to be identified are drop-offs or holes, ground conditions, sloped surfaces, overhead obstruction, electrical conductors, pedestrians, vehicle traffic, and last but not least weather or wind conditions. Once you have evaluated the hazards, proper controls can be put into place. Utilizing a spotter or ground guide when driving a bucket truck on-site is best practice due to several blind spots in the vehicle. Furthermore, be sure to never move a bucket truck with the boom elevated or extended. There is no need to cut corners or rush with a bucket truck. You are not saving any time out of your workday sitting in a hospital room or filling out a police report.

If you would like more information on this topic or any other safety-related topic, please reach out to the Ontivity safety team at safety@ontivity.com, and we will get you taken care of. 

1820 Watson Lane East, New Braunfels, Texas 78130, United States

(830) 302-2330

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