How to Use Cherry Pickers

Written by danny donahue
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How to Use Cherry Pickers
Stay at least 10 feet away from power lines when using a cherry picker. (electrical image by Albert Lozano from

A cherry picker is a mobile work platform that allows the user to work safely at heights. A cherry picker consists of a truck, a lift and extension arm, and a bucket. There also are stabiliser arms on the main body of the cherry picker truck. These stabilisers allow the user to manipulate the bucket to more extreme angles without the need for worry about flipping the truck. Once the truck is stable, the user must learn how to operate the bucket controls on the truck and finally those inside of the bucket.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Cherry picker
  • Harness and lanyard
  • 4 treated posts (8-by-8 inches by 8 feet)
  • Shovel
  • Work gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Hearing protection
  • Hard hat

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  1. 1

    Start the engine of the truck where the cherry picker is mounted. Manipulate the control knobs to extend all four of the outriggers around the cherry picker. Place an 8-by-8 post under the landing pad of each outrigger. Level the ground under each pad with your shovel if necessary. Manipulate the cherry picker controls to lower each landing pad onto the posts and lift the truck into the air.

  2. 2

    Clip one end of your lanyard to the metal loop on the back of your harness. Step into the leg openings of your harness. Pull the harness up and behind your body. Slip an arm through each of the appropriate openings in the harness. Fasten the clips of the harness around your waist and in front of your chest.

  3. 3

    Manipulate the controls of the cherry picker to lift it from the cradle on the truck. Swing the arm sideways and lower the bucket to the ground. Climb into the bucket of the cherry picker. Clip the free end of the lanyard to the restraint bar of the bucket of the cherry picker. Fasten the gate of the cherry picker across the entrance of the bucket.

  4. 4

    Test each of the controls in the bucket of the cherry picker. Move each control knob to move the bucket a few feet at a time to be sure the bucket moves in, out, up and down and to be sure the arm of the cherry picker will extend and retract.

  5. 5

    Lift the bucket into the air, extend the arm, and move the bucket sideways to slowly approach the work area with caution. Watch around the perimeter of the bucket to avoid hazards such as power lines and poles.

Tips and warnings

  • A harness and lanyard are required when working more than 6 feet in the air.
  • Work gloves, safety glasses, hearing protection and a hard hat are required when working with heavy equipment.

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