Tips to Follow When Ordering your Digger Derrick or Bucket Truck

Terex Utilities Digger Derricks

When it comes to purchasing a bucket truck or digger derrick, there are many things to consider that will ensure you get the product you need. Back in August, we covered some tips on how the application should drive the specs when ordering a bucket truck and digger derrick – as it can save time and money in the long run. Today’s article covers other ways you can ensure you clearly understand how the bucket truck or digger derrick will be used by your line workers in the field. 

Right Parties to the Table 

Bring the right parties to the table, starting with the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) account manager. Input from your safety and fleet managers is essential, while people from field operations provide valuable insight into how the truck will be used day-to-day. Any other subject matter experts from the field, who understand the job requirements for the vehicle, would also be good to invite. 

Identify Your Needs 

Buying a bucket truck starts with identifying the crew’s needs for working height, side reach, material handling capacity and payload capacity. For digger derricks, you need to know the required sheave height, lifting capacities, how far from the truck or trailer they want to place the load and typical ground conditions. This last part is important so that the correct auger style and digger speed and torque can be provided depending on what type of ground they will be drilling into.  All this information impacts the selection of the chassis as well, including single rear or tandem rear axle configuration, required horsepower, cab to axle length, boom length, available payload, and multiple other options as well.   

Contact Your OEM 

Once you have a base specification and list of options, provide that information to your OEM account manager. At Terex, we will then prepare a quote and 3D drawing, and will then review the drawings with your team and clarify any details.  

Another choice you will need to make is the chassis. The fit and function of the chassis is dictated by the bucket truck or digger derrick equipment selected. For example, bigger equipment requires more weight carrying capacity in the chassis, and many companies prefer all-wheel drive with higher horsepower engines. Other scenarios might be stronger axles, aluminum cabs to reduce the overall weight, or alternative fuel options. Depending on the application, you might also consider larger fuel tank capacity or horizontal or vertical exhaust configurations.  

Identify the Standard Equipment Used Repeatedly 

Standard equipment that is used repeatedly should be selected. Strobe lights, pintle hitches, winches, material storage securement brackets, wire reels, pole racks, transformer holders, etc., are selected according to the vehicle’s core function. Then there are operator comfort features available from the vehicle manufacturer, such as air ride seats and radio. One trend is an increased focus on driver operator aids—back-up cameras, crash detection systems with autonomous braking, and blue tooth for hands-free phone use. These are the kinds of features that safety managers might recommend, emphasizing the importance of including a variety of people in your standard specification process. 

Terex Utilities works with our customers to discuss the pros and cons of various configurations to assist the utility company in creating a standard specification that fits most of their application needs. We will also perform a design feasibility analysis to make sure the boom and body can be properly mounted to the chassis. While Terex can work with any chassis manufacturer it’s best to select the chassis brand based on which dealers provide the best service in your area.  

Create a Standard Spec Document 

After you’ve done your research, most documents will identify your application needs, functional requirements, system requirements, safety requirements, business goals, key options, and budget. While specifying a digger derrick or bucket truck is a tedious task, taking the time to create a standard spec document for your company can go a long way to simplifying the purchase process.