Bucket Truck Training & Certification
Hard Hat Training courses meet all training requirements set by OSHA and CSA.
We Offer Three Types of Bucket Truck Safety Trainings
Our regulation-aligned Bucket Truck certification courses are updated to reflect the most recent changes made to safety standards. Whether you want a certification in as little as two hours, or a more robust training, we can help! We offer online trainings that can be completed in a day, DIY training kits that provide training materials, Train the Trainer certifications that certify individuals to train others and provide training materials, or onsite training. No matter what you choose, we can get you what you want, at a price you can afford.
Online training is for those who prefer self-paced training from any location and/or for employers who need to assign and monitor employee training progress and exam scores.Purchase Options
The training kit is for those who want the freedom of doing the training themselves. It is an PowerPoint Presentation (PPT) that you can present yourself to a group of trainees.Purchase Options
Train the Trainer
Train the Trainer courses are online and meant to certify a individual to use the training kit to train others. Training kit and materials are included with the Train the Trainer online course for no additional cost.Purchase Options
What’s in the Bucket Truck Training Course?
Our Bucket Truck Safety Training course is regulation aligned, and our online version fulfills classroom training requirements. The training presentation contains sections on anatomy, rigging, stability, operations, hazards, and more.
This presentation includes intermittent practice quiz questions to prepare for the final written exam included with the course. In addition to the written exam, this course also includes a checklist for employers to use when administering a practical exam as required.
Estimated Training Length: Because everyone learns and progresses at different speeds, the amount of time you spend taking this training will vary. However, the estimated time for this training is 1.5 – 2 hours.
Training Scope: Each class contains the following information:
- Anatomy & Inspection
- Dynamic Conditions
- Safety Begins with You
- Know Your Machine
- Know Your Worksite
- Understand the importance bucket truck safety and how it affects you
- Learn how to properly inspect a bucket truck
- Understand how to react in the case of an emergency with a bucket truck and how to prevent emergencies from happening
Bucket Truck Certification Standards
Train the Trainer Certification
The Train the Trainer option is used to certify a trainer to teach others using the included training kit. It incorporates the online course with an additional train the trainer module, as well as the training kit. This option results in an regulation-aligned lifetime trainer certification from Hard Hat Training. This certification is not company-specific, meaning you can take it with you should you change employers.
Why Do I Need Bucket Truck Safety Training?
In line with regulations, anyone who operates bucket trucks must receive training prior to operating the machine on their own. Requirements for refresher training related to forklifts or other processes are very specific. Most other equipment doesn’t have such specific requirements, but it’s wise to follow the same guidelines.
When it comes to refresher training, the standards in some instances (like forklifts) are very specific: operators must be re-evaluated every three years to see if they are still competent to operate the equipment. Best practices say to apply this same rule to all types of equipment. A so-called “free-pass” cannot be awarded based on experience, age, or time on the job. The extent of the evaluation is to be determined by the employer but should include a written and practical examination that prove continued competency.
Stay Informed On All Things Bucket Truck
Did You Know?
Bucket trucks are also referred to as boom-supported aerial platforms.
From 1992-1999, 44% of the construction deaths involving a boom-supported lift were caused by electrocution.
The next highest cause of death was falling, causing about 25% of the reported accidents. (Source: ELOCOSH).
In The News
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most common hazards associated with bucket trucks?
Falls, tipovers, and electrocution are among the most common hazards. However, other hazards like falling objects can also be present. All of dangers these hazards present are preventable with proper training and adherence to safety measures.
Do you need fall protection in a bucket truck?
Yes! Employees in a bucket truck must wear fall protection with a lanyard that is securely attached to an approved anchorage point in the bucket. Employees should never be raised in the bucket without proper fall protection.
How much wind can a bucket truck handle?
Winds over 30 miles per hour are dangerous in a bucket truck. However, if operating on a slope, in adverse weather conditions, or other potentially hazardous environmental conditions, then the bucket truck cannot handle that much wind and necessary precautions should be taken.
What’s the bucket truck kit?
The bucket truck operator training powerpoint is the main training presentation in the kit. Videos, posters, and additional training materials are also included.
How often do I need bucket truck operator training?
OSHA requires boom truck operator training, on that there is no question. Where confusion exists is how often operators need boom truck refresher training or recertification. Outside of the initial safety training class, it is common to see companies set recertification at every three years. We are one of them. And here’s why:
As far as this 3-year boom truck operator training certification goes, OSHA regulations are very specific when it comes to forklifts and a couple other pieces of equipment. However, on everything else they are not so clear. They just state the employer must regularly provide safety training for their aerial lift operators. Following industry best practices, we’ve adopted this 3-year term in order to help employers comply with the general standard of regularly providing and proving boom truck operator training. Ultimately, it is up to the employer to determine how frequently their boom truck operators need to be trained. Many of our customers require it more often, annually even. Others may stretch it out a bit. In working with OSHA, though, it is our experience that they like to see employers adopt the strictest standard when the regulations are not clear. For instance, we know of companies that didn’t train every three years and were reprimanded by OSHA for not offering additional training more often. It is not uncommon for OSHA to refer to the forklift standard as the pattern by which training should be carried out for other pieces of equipment. On a side note, OSHA is slowly but surely making training requirements specific for other pieces of equipment so there are no gray areas. Mobile cranes and aerial lifts, for instance, are all undergoing potential changes to the regulations that will reference training specifically.
So, with that in mind, we say boom truck operators must be re-evaluated every three years to determine if they are still competent enough to operate. We also state that this every-three-year boom truck evaluation is the maximum time that should be allowed to pass before an operator receives boom truck recertification. According to OSHA, there are several instances that will require additional boom truck training and observation before the three year period is up:
- Boom truck operator is observed in an accident or a near miss
- Boom truck operator received a poor evaluation or is observed driving in a dangerous manner
- The boom truck operator is assigned to drive a different type of boom truck or the workplace has changed significantly enough to require additional boom truck training (such as being transferred from operating a boom truck used to hoist signs to a boom truck used for trimming trees).
I’ve received bucket truck operator training. Can I operate any type of bucket truck?
Not necessarily. OSHA requires mobile crane operators to receive mobile crane training for each type of mobile crane. On this term, “type,” there is much confusion. Generally speaking, by “type” OSHA means stiff boom truck vs. articulated boom truck vs. RT Crane vs. AT Crane vs. Lattice boom crane, etc. For example, say you have always operated a knuckle boom truck to lift drywall but have suddenly been asked to operate a boom truck to hoist steel beams into place. In this case, you would need additional mobile crane training specific to stiff boom truck cranes.
If you have received boom truck training on a construction site and have always operated a Terex boom truck, but then are asked to operate a Manitex boom truck, you should be just fine to operate under the same training certification received previously. Keep in mind though, controls can differ greatly from brand to brand, so in some cases you may need additional instruction or a quick refresher training to make sure you are clear on what each boom truck control does.
I’ve operated bucket trucks for 30 years. Do I need to take a class, a written exam, and a practical exam still? Or can I just take a written test?
No matter how long you’ve been on the job, OSHA requires boom truck training, a boom truck written exam, and a practical boom truck evaluation. There is no way around it. This goes for other types of mobile cranes too. The extent of the classroom boom truck training can be adapted by the instructor according to student needs. The written exam proves mental competency and understanding of the safety principles taught. And the practical evaluation proves the boom truck operator not only understands but is capable of operating the machine safely. In the opinion of many, the practical evaluation is of the greatest overall value, but all components are necessary.
I received bucket truck operator training at a different job. Do I need to be trained again by my new employer?
This is a common question, especially among laborers-for-hire who may sub out from job to job. Technically, it is your current employer who is responsible for saying whether or not you have been trained specifically for the type of mobile crane and job. If you bring a boom truck certificate or wallet card to your new employer, they do not have to accept it. It is their right to require you to take their own training class. This is because if there is an accident, they will likely be responsible and need to prove to OSHA that they trained you on boom truck operations.
Having said that, OSHA is considering enacting a law that would require every mobile crane operator to pass a set of additional mobile crane exams before being considered mobile crane certified. For now, this requirement has been postponed until November at 2017, and maybe longer. There are some organizations (NCCER, NCCCO, CIC) that still offer these written and practical exams and, yes, if you pass them, they are portable, recognized across the country. There are also some states that require it now. However, they simply prove you have passed the exam. It is still the responsibility of the employer to see you receive training. Many employers may simply accept your card, but if an accident were to occur they would still need to prove training. Just telling OSHA that an operator had a mobile crane certification card will not suffice, nor will it undo the accident.
Can you explain bucket truck certification? Who can train, evaluate, and certify operators?
This, above all, causes a lot of confusion. Bottom line, OSHA states that employers are responsible to train their employees. Generally speaking, there are three ways they can do this:
- Train employees in-house with their own program
- Hire a 3rd party to train the employees (on-site or off-site)
- Use another company’s materials or online classes to train employees
In terms of using a 3rd party for safety training materials (like our boom truck operator training kits on CD or our boom truck operator online training class) OSHA does not recognize one company over another. They simply state that ‘training needs to occur’ and ‘here are the things a mobile crane operator should be trained on.’
When we do live training or offer boom truck operator training online, people often assume we are the ones certifying the trainees. This is not true for any training company. We are simply assisting the employer by providing live boom truck training or the boom truck training materials needed to help them boom truck certify their employees.
As mentioned earlier, there is a lot of confusion surrounding OSHA’s proposal to enact a law requiring boom truck operators to pass a boom truck written exam and a boom truck practical exam to be boom truck certified. This proposal is not in effect. It has been delayed at least until November 2017. But even if the law passes, boom truck operators will still need to receive traditional operator safety training outside of the additional exams.
How do I take the bucket truck practical evaluation if I take bucket truck operator training online?
The online boom truck training class covers OSHA’s requirements for the classroom portion. Many employers prefer online training because they know exactly what mobile crane training the operator will receive. In live classes, the training sometimes varies. A written exam is included at the end of our online training courses. After the boom truck class and exam are finished, you and your safety managers will have immediate access to a practical evaluation checklist. This can be printed off and used by your supervisor to help him or her evaluate you on the mobile crane. When done, they can sign it and file it with your exam. This will satisfy OSHA’s requirements for boom truck certification.
Do I have to wear fall protection in a bucket truck?
Yes. Fall prevention is a major concern at every worksite, yet there is a lot of confusion out there. Depending on where you live, some standards require fall arrest gear (body harness, lanyard, anchorage point) at four feet above ground level, and other places require it at six or ten feet. You need to be familiar with your specific area.However, to make simple, as far as bucket trucks are concerned fall protection including fall arrest gear is always required. OSHA requires it at heights six feet above ground level. Workers must be tied in with a full body harness and a shock-absorbing lanyard that is attached to an anchor point designated and load-rated by the manufacturer.
The lanyard should be such that the worker cannot free-fall more than six feet or contact any lower level or the truck below. Each day before use, all fall protection gear must be inspected for defects. If any defects are noted or if it shows signs of potential failure, the fall protection gear must be discarded and not used. The best practice, according to OSHA, is to inspect the fall protection equipment before each use, and not just at the beginning of the day.
Before you tie into a bucket truck, check the operator’s manual to determine any additional requirements made by the manufacturer.
Can I use a bucket truck to hoist a load?
No. Bucket trucks are not typically designed for this purpose. The one exception would be certain types of bucket trucks used in the sign industry. These vehicle mounted aerial lifts come equipped with a winch and hoisting capabilities. They are specifically designed to lift loads. But you should never use your bucket truck to lift a load if it was not manufactured to do so. Doing this will affect the stability and tipping point of your bucket truck and can easily lead to tip over. Consult your operator’s manual and bucket truck manufacturer if you have questions.
My trainee scored 80% on the bucket truck operator training exam. Did he pass or fail?
Contrary to popular belief, OSHA does not dictate what a passing score entails. That is ultimately up to the employer whose responsibility it is to certify, or authorize, their employee to operate a bucket truck. If you want to pass him at 80%, fine. But what if a question or two among the 20% missed could lead to an accident or death? Is it worth it? Our recommendation is that you always go over any missed questions with your trainees—even if they just missed one. Once they understand the principle missed, have them write their initials by the correct answer. That way, you are protecting them and those around them from potential accidents in the future.
What is a bucket truck?
Bucket trucks are vehicle mounted work platforms. They are typically mounted on trucks, but can also be mounted on trailers or industrial vans. They rotate at varying degrees and have hydraulic articulating arms that knuckle, or bend, to allow workers to work around obstacles or get a better reach. They are commonly used in the sign industry, for tree trimming, or along public roads and highways by public works, road maintenance crews or utility companies.
Depending where you are, they are commonly referred to as bucket trucks, vehicle mounted aerial lifts, cherry pickers, boom trucks, truck mounted boom lifts, aerial lifts, basket cranes, personnel lift, flex truck, utility boom trucks, or truck-mounted articulated boom lifts. In some cases there are also truck-mounted scissor lifts.