Archive for the ‘Did You Know?…’ Category

Annual Dielectric Test Required?

Question: I have an insulated bucket truck. Does it need to have an annual dielectric test if I’m not an electrician?

bucket truck dielectric

Answer: The short answer is YES. Ask yourself this question. Is there a chance that you may get near anything that may be charged electrically in the upcoming year? I mean ANYTHING (A tree, building, telephone pole, lit sign…..) If you can’t answer no to that question, your answer is yes.

What is ‘Dynamic Loading”?

The simplest description of dynamic loading is the effect felt by the weight of the load times the speed of it. Accidents created by dynamic loading probably follow this logic. You’re lifting 10,000 lbs. It’s 80% of your cranes capacity and the wind is making it sway 30’ side to side. You are now exerting more than 10,000 lbs of stress on the boom (dynamically) and even a great mathematician would need time to calculate if you’re still in your chart. sport-graphics-weightlifting

To witness this effect at home, go down to the basement a grab one of your heaviest dumbbells.

Wipe the dust of it, lift it up in one hand and stand up straight. (Quit moaning, you can do it!!).

Now try standing up straight while swinging it side-to-side, then front to back.

See how much heavier it gets?

That’s “dynamic loading”.


I want to add a man basket to my crane…

Question: I want to add a man basket to my crane. Where do I get specific info about safety standards requirements?

Answer: First off, the crane manufacturer and the basket manufacturer (if they’re different). Then OSHA ( 1926.550g or publication OSHA3100 Crane or Derrick Suspended Platforms.

Information on the VPP

What is VPP?

The Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) promote effective worksite-based safety and health. In the VPP, management, labor, and OSHA establish cooperative relationships at workplaces that have implemented a comprehensive safety and health management system. Approval into VPP is OSHA’s official recognition of the outstanding efforts of employers and employees who have achieved exemplary occupational safety and health.

What Is the Authority for VPP?

The legislative underpinning for VPP is Section (2)(b)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, which declares the Congress’s intent “to assure so far as possible every working man and woman in the Nation safe and healthful working conditions and to preserve our human resources – (1) by encouraging employers and employees in their efforts to reduce the number of occupational safety and health hazards at their places of employment, and to stimulate employers and employees to institute new and to perfect existing programs for providing safe and healthful working conditions.”

In practice, VPP sets performance-based criteria for a managed safety and health system, invites sites to apply, and then assesses applicants against these criteria. OSHA’s verification includes an application review and a rigorous onsite evaluation by a team of OSHA safety and health experts.

OSHA approves qualified sites to one of three programs:

  • Star
  • Merit
  • Star Demonstration: Recognition for worksites that address unique safety and health issues.

Sites that make the grade must submit annual self-evaluations and undergo periodic onsite reevaluations to remain in the programs.

 When Did VPP Begin?

  • California began experimental program
  • OSHA formally announced the VPP and approved the first site.

1998 – Federal worksites became eligible for VPP.

How Does VPP Benefit Employers?

Fewer injuries and illnesses mean greater profits as workers’ compensation premiums and other costs plummet. Entire industries benefit as VPP sites evolve into models of excellence and influence practices industry-wide.


For more information on becoming a VPP member, contact OSHA’s Office of Partnerships and Recognition at (202) 693-2213 or the VPP Manager at your OSHA Regional Office.

Did You Know? Swing Assembly:

The swing assembly that is usually buried in the pedestal of a boom truck, bucket truck or digger derrick is often times mounted output shaft up.

When the output shaft is facing up is has the ability to fill the rotation gearbox with water. Once you have water in the gearbox it’s just a matter of time before it destroys all the components in the gearbox.  This problem can get quite pricey.

There’s a couple of telltale signs that will help you determine if there’s a possibility of a problem. One sign is if there is gear oil dripping down from the swing motor or maybe even from the swing limit lever shaft. If you see gear oil then it’s likely that the gearbox has been pressurized by a faulty seal in either the swing motor or brake. This can affect the output shaft seal and lead to the seal allowing water into the gearbox.

The sooner something like this is fixed, the cheaper it will be.

swing assembly cranes101 pic 1

Above: a view of the swing motor from the right side of a National boom trucks pedestal.

Below:  a view of the swing motor, brake and gearbox on the same crane from the left side of the pedestal. It’s carefully hidden behind the hoses



swing assembly cranes101 pic 2