Four Ways to Stay Safe while Using a Picker Truck

Picker trucks are indispensable tools for many purposes, including working on power lines, painting, putting up outdoor Christmas decorations, pruning trees, and picking fruit. But they can also represent a safety risk if you don't take care. However, it's not too difficult to follow safety rules and ensure maximum possible security while working. Here are four guidelines to help you and your workers stay safe while using your picker truck this year.

1. Use the truck only as it was designed to be used.

Using the truck safely must entail following all manufacturer guidelines. This includes all operating manual suggestions, load limits, maintenance recommendations, and the use of the equipment in its original state. If you need to use the truck for something that would require post-factory modifications, you should always contact the manufacturer first to see if it's safe. If the manufacturer replies in the negative, you may wish to use a different truck that will work without modifications for that particular project.

2. Follow all applicable safety regulations.

Any safety regulations in your area should not be seen as a way to restrict your creativity or work capacity. They're only there to keep you and your workers safe. Check with the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety to learn what the applicable guidelines are for your project and circumstances. If you don't follow guidelines about safety harnesses, inspection, and other operating issues, any injuries are on your own head. In addition, you may be subject to severe penalties, such as fines, if you intentionally violate these regulations by cutting corners for convenience.

3. Be careful where you put the truck during operation.

Look for a flat area to park the truck before beginning work. A very steep hill may interfere with the picker's operational abilities. If you must park the truck on an incline, you'll need to apply the brakes and use additional support, including outriggers and wheel chocks, for safety. 

4. Don't move the truck during operation.

As tempting as it may be to save time by driving the truck to the next location while a worker is still in the basket, most manufacturers don't recommend it. Make sure you check with your manufacturer before attempting this. It can be a serious safety hazard.

Using these four tips and common sense, you can keep yourself and any coworkers or employees as safe as possible during picker truck operation. For more information about picker trucks or to order one, contact a company like Hitch'Em Oilfield Hauling.