Before digger derricks became common in the 1950s, linemen had to dig holes by hand and lift the poles with ropes and muscles. Leroy C. Lindquist, the owner of Minnetonka Manufacturing Co. worked with Northwestern Bell Telephone Co. to create a machine that was powered by a power take-off (PTO) attached to a truck’s transmission to dig holes for the poles – this was in the 1940s. In the 1960s, three technologies were fitted to trucks and those three technologies are still in use today. They are the Rite-Way auger storage bracket, the hydraulic collector block and the pole-grabbing winch.

By the time the 1970s rolled around, the trucks being built were lighter, smaller and more maneuverable – and added hydraulics including dual lift cylinders. Trucks continued to evolve into what they are today, and with more technology, more safety comes into play.

Structural Limits

Although the trucks at Drake-Scruggs Equipment feature hydraulic overload protection (HOP), you should know your truck’s structural limits. If the downward pull on the boom becomes to much, the HOP system, which is completely hydraulic on our trucks, senses the pressure on the boom lift cylinder and disables the operation of major components on the truck. It’s always better if you notice that yourself and stop or adjust digging before the system shuts the truck down.

Range of Motion Checks

Before every shift, workers must perform a test of all of the rang of motion functions before each shift, according to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI A10.31). This ensures that the truck is fully functional and there is less chance that something could go wrong and cause severe injury or death.

Travel Height

Before you head out to a job or back to the shop, be sure that the boom is properly stored so that the truck is not higher than its posted travel height. This ensures that you know the proper height for traveling under wires and bridges.

Winch Drum Wraps

When you are working with the winch, be sure to keep at least five wraps of line on the drum. This ensures that the drum unit will safely handle the load. If the line is too short for the rated load, you could cause a sever accident or even death. Always check the drum before your shift and before each load that is close to the maximum weight limit.

About Our Trucks

Our tucks feature lower and intermediate booms made from high-strength steel and an upper boom made from high-strength fiberglass, insulation in accordance with ANSI A10.31 dielectric rating requirements, two double-acting hydraulic cylinders for the boom lift, a rotation drive, turntable winch, HOP, unrestricted continuous rotation, a 40-gallon per minute hydraulic system for the digger and winch circuits, a 15-gallon per minute hydraulic system for the boom function, a 52-inch tall pedestal, lower panel control gauges and an engine stop/start control operated by a toggle switch.

Contact Drake-Scruggs

Contact us at Drake-Scruggs for more information about our digger derricks, including safety features and features that make pole installation easier.