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Do You Need a License to Drive that Bucket Truck?

Do You Need a License to Drive that Bucket Truck?

Believe it or not, there is no special bucket truck license you have to earn before getting behind the wheel of a bucket truck. In many cases, a regular driver’s license will work just fine. Depending on the type of truck, though, you might want to think about applying for a commercial driver’s license (CDL). The US Department of Transportation requires drivers to obtain a CDL before operating any vehicle over 26,000 lbs. If you’re unsure whether your bucket truck falls into this category, look through the owner’s manual or check the capacity labels on the bucket truck to determine its gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR).

Whether you’re driving a light bucket truck or a heavy bucket truck, though, you need to be properly trained. You should also get a license or certificate from your employer as proof of your training. Training should include a course in aerial lift safety, which will guide you through the procedures for inspecting and operating the boom lift.

You should also take additional training specific to operating a bucket truck. Bucket trucks come with their own set of safety precautions and regulations. They’re also prone to a unique set of hazards. Bucket truck training can get you acquainted with the ins and outs of your machine, making it easier to work with and maintain.

Of course, you should also take refresher training anytime you get assigned to a new type of truck or are involved in a workplace accident. A commercial driver’s license usually lasts around five years. Since your CDL is basically your bucket truck license, be sure to keep that up-to-date, too.

Good luck, and stay safe!