Over Center Bucket Truck Question.

CT arborist

ArboristSite Lurker
Feb 18, 2019
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Hello Everyone,
I've had my bucket truck for 1 year. Its a 2001 Altec am855 over center material handler Freightliner FL80.

My question is if it's safe or proper to turn the entire boom around so that the lower boom goes all the way down back to have further reach? That is being straight back or straight forward. I would not do it to the side. We rarely do this, for the past 1 year we only did it twice to reach trees that we could only drive the truck back to a certain distance. I will attach pictures.

2nd question: How do to I rotate the platform for the small extra side reach? I see the knob, below is the picture. I have not been able to rotate it no matter how much I turn the knob.

3rd question: What are the proper boom angles to use the jib winch? I have never used it and probably never will since I don't know how much damage it would be making to the booms after I exceed the limits? I only really wanted to use it once when I was taking down a big tree that had a about 100 pound cement ball in a cavity and I couldn't lift it with my arms. I couldn't cut a bigger piece of wood since I had to drop all 18inch logs into a very small 6 feet mulch bed at the base followed by the driveway which we covered with old ropes soil limbs to absorb any impact if any of the logs were to go too far. No other trees around to help. It was the only way. I couldn't brake or pull the cement out I decide to cut just slight bigger in hopes of not hitting it with chainsaw. This log did went too far and made a hole in the driveway I had to go fix it.

If any of you guys have experience using this material handlers the right way that can give me some tips would be great! I've been meaning to stop and ask the lineman using the same booms for the electric poles.

Thanks! 20180915_083934.jpg 20180915_084411.jpg 20180915_090248.jpg 20190509_120932.jpg


ArboristSite Guru
Aug 29, 2010
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Malvern Arkansas
I am no expert but I have basically the same lift. I turn mine over and stretch it out a few times a month. Basically whenever I have to in order to reach what I need. The basket rotation knob, yours may need some testing to see why it wont work. There's an allen bolt in the end of it. Once I hit something with mine and it turned it about a quarter round. Seemed to lock it up a little. I backed the allen bolt out, turned the knob back to the 12 o clock position and everything was good after that.

Mine has a diagram on the boom that tells the angle and the lbs that can be lifted. I'll try to take a pic of mine tomorrow. Mine will lift close to 2,000lbs. But I don't push it. First it can be dangerous. Second it will put extra stress on the rotation bearing. $10k to have it and the bolts changed out. This goes without saying but always wear a harness. I knew a guy who wouldn't wear one. He was picking up something too heavy and the rope broke. He was riding in a slingshot at that point.