Differentiating Between Boom Trucks And Bucket Trucks

Boom and bucket trucks are one of the most popular types in the construction and utility industry. Although both are completely different, people often remain confused between the two. We will discuss the differences between boom trucks and bucket trucks in detail along with their purpose to help make the decision-making process easier so you rent the right one from crane truck rentals.

What Is A Boom Truck?

A boom truck is also called a cherry picker. Plus, boom lift is another name for a boom truck. In most cases, boom trucks when compared to bucket trucks tend to be smaller in size, allowing for a compact size and being able to perform various functions and tasks.

That said, boom trucks are not able to lift as much weight as bucket trucks. Meanwhile, bucket trucks are used for lifting heavy materials for commercial purposes. Therefore, the decision to pick between boom and bucket trucks depends on the type and weight of the load.

If the items needed to be loaded and shifted are lightweight, you can use the boom truck. However, if the weights are heavier, a bucket truck will suffice. In addition to that, a boom truck is not a licensed commercial vehicle. This means that if you want to change the job location or transport, it might not be possible.

This means that you will need to hire a licensed commercial vehicle that can carry the truck to another location. However, bucket trucks are different in this case as they can be easily driven on roads to other locations.

What Is A Bucket Truck?

A bucket truck, also known as the bucket lift, is easily identifiable as it is mounted on a vehicle. It can either be mounted on a truck or van. If the bucket is mounted on a van, it is called a bucket van. As the term suggests, the bucket truck comes with a bucket-shaped carrier that helps the workers carry out maintenance work at heights.

Bucket trucks come in a variety of different shapes and sizes depending on the tasks needs and preferences of the client. The advantage of buying a bucket truck is that it can handle much heavier loads than boom trucks and requires no trailer.

However, keep in mind that a bucket truck will only suit your needs if you or your company carry out maintenance or construction projects. Another major difference between a bucket and a boom truck is that bucket trucks usually come with a cab that operates the lift.

So, depending on the situation, the truck might require two individuals, one for operating the truck and the other for operating the cab.

What Are The Types Of Boom Trucks?

Boom trucks just like bucket trucks can be customized to match the needs and preferences of the client. Considering these machines are used in various industries such as utilities, construction, and telecommunications, they help lift and shift loads to heights that are otherwise difficult to reach using traditional equipment.

Articulated Boom Trucks

The most common type of boom trucks is an articulated boom truck. They are also called knuckle boom trucks. These machines are identified by their flexible arms. This allows the truck to reach and access difficult angles and corners. This makes them the ideal choice for tight spaces. That said, you will mostly see articulated boom trucks being used in siding, roofing, and painting tasks.

Telescopic Boom Trucks

Next, Telescopic boom trucks that are also called the straight boom trucks. They come with a straight arm that extends outwards. When compared to articulated boom trucks, telescopic boom trucks can reach higher heights. That is why telescopic cranes are mostly used by the telecommunication industry to look after and maintain towers that are high up in the sky.

Crane Boom Trucks

And finally, crane boom trucks are extremely heavy-duty machines that are solely built to handle serious heavy loads. For this reason, crane boom trucks are mostly employed by the construction industry where items made of metal, steel, concrete, etc. need to be lifted and shifted. They are used by rigging companies DC and you can also rent them from these companies.

What Are The Types Of Bucket Trucks?

Articulated Overcenter Bucket Trucks

Articulated Overcenter Bucket Trucks have a boom placed in the center of the truck. The boom has a bucket attached to its other end and is not a single piece. Instead, it consists of a joint that expands or contracts.

These trucks/cranes are used in industrial or open construction settings as the boom can reach different areas and heights without having to change positions.

Articulated Non-Overcenter Bucket Trucks

Next, is the Articulated Non-Overcenter Bucket Truck. As the name suggests, these trucks do not have a boom centered in the middle but are held at a steady angle with a bucket installed that is raised or lowered. This means the bucket never crosses over the truck’s center.

As a result, these types of trucks are mainly used in locations with easy access such as a building requiring maintenance work.

Insulated Bucket Trucks

Furthermore, another type known as the Insulated Bucket Truck is specifically made for electrical purposes. These trucks are insulated to protect the workers from electrocution while performing electrical tasks. These are mainly hired by utility companies that ensure the power supply remains smooth and uninterrupted.

Should I Buy Or Hire?

Buying a boom or bucket truck can be expensive. But, at the same time, it can also be a cost-effective solution in the long run especially if you frequently run into relevant tasks. When it comes to buying such machines, you can look around and visit marketplaces, auctions, and dealerships for better prices.

However, buying is always going to be more expensive than renting. Furthermore, if the tasks are such that an average or ordinary bucket or boom truck is not able to perform, you will need a custom machine. In that case, it may be hard to find such a machine in the market.

While buying, keep in mind that you have to consider the age, condition, and health of the entire machine. Most states have laws that require companies to have a maintenance schedule. You can go through them or consult an expert to help make a better decision.

On the other hand, hiring is a much more suitable option if the task or project is a week or month long. The good news is that several companies are offering their machines on rent and you should not have a hard time finding the perfect option.

If you are restricted on your budget or do not have enough space to park a truck, you may rent out a truck for a while with an operator so that it can be driven back to its original location at the end of the day.


Boom and bucket trucks differ based on purpose, needs, and preferences. Both are versatile and useful machines that are used in various industries. Therefore, when connecting with a boom truck rental VA, you must keep the distinctions mentioned above in mind when it comes to picking the best option.

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