Bucket trucks are engineering marvels – electrical and hydraulic specimens. There are working bucket trucks out there that are 45-50 years old, built back when Sgt. Pepper and Ziggy Stardust were popular.
We opted not to include the Ziggy album cover – not quite as fun as Sgt. Pepper’s.
But, back to old bucket trucks … naturally, some of the older units may need some rehab here and there. Upper control valves that have become worn out and unresponsive may need to be replaced. But, considering the age of some machines, is it wise to spend $3,500 for a new control? Maybe not.
A bucket truck’s upper control assembly is conveniently located for the operator in the bucket. Many manufacturers offer a single stick assembly (joystick) next to the bucket, as seen in the picture below.
If buying new is not an option, a viable solution is to have the control valve rebuilt. The cost is about $1,000 less than buying new. In a valve rebuild, the seals and gaskets are replaced as well as some hardware like nuts, pins, and washers. In addition, sometimes it is necessary to replace pistons and linkage rods – wearable parts that connect to the control head base. These parts are essential to the control valve moving the upper boom, rotation, etc.
The picture below shows a 1990’s era Hi-Ranger upper control assembly with a single stick handle mechanism. The black boot hides and protects many of the working parts of the control.
You may be asking, what about the lower controls? Theoretically, the lower control assembly should need replaced or rebuilt just as often as the upper controls, but we don’t find that to be the case. But if a rebuild is required, the body and spools are cleaned up in a machine shop by stripping off the old plating, then they are re-plated.
Similar to the upper control valve, the seals and gaskets are replaced as well as some hardware like nuts, pins, and washers, and any other worn parts in the lower control assembly. The cost for the rebuild is about the same as it is for the upper controls.
We will actually answer the phone when you call. UEP has a motto that we stand by – Prompt, Responsive Service … Guaranteed Every Day! Contact Utility Equipment Parts today regarding your Control Valve (new or rebuilt) or any bucket truck need.
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