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    Bucket Truck vs Spider Lift for Tree Work | Tracked Lifts

    Tree care professionals have several options when it comes to equipment for removing or trimming trees. Two of the most common options are bucket trucks and spider lifts. While both have their advantages, there are some key differences to consider.

    Bucket trucks are a popular choice for many tree care services. They provide a stable and secure platform for workers to access trees at height. Bucket trucks are also highly maneuverable and can be driven on public roads. However, there are some limitations to their use.

    1. Limited access: Bucket trucks are generally quite large and may not be able to access narrow spaces or backyards with limited access.

    2. Limited maneuverability: While bucket trucks can be highly maneuverable, they still have limitations when it comes to working on uneven terrain or in tight spaces.

    3. Limited height: While bucket trucks can reach impressive heights, they may not be able to reach the same heights as spider lifts, especially in confined spaces.

    4. Potential property damage: The weight and size of a bucket truck can cause damage to yards, sidewalks, and other surfaces.

    5. Safety risks: Arborists may be required to climb out of the bucket to access certain parts of a tree, which can be dangerous.

    In contrast, spider lifts offer several advantages over bucket trucks, particularly in tight or challenging spaces.


    1. Access to confined spaces: Spider lifts are highly maneuverable and can access narrow spaces, making them ideal for use in backyards and other confined spaces.

    2. Stability: Spider lifts have outriggers (also known as stabilizers) that can lock into place, providing a stable platform for workers even on uneven terrain.

    3. Increased height: Spider lifts can often reach greater heights than bucket trucks, making them suitable for tall trees. Our current fleet range in height from 60 feet to 121 feet, with the ability to special order taller lifts from our manufacturers for customers who need additional height. 

    4. Reduced property damage: Spider lifts are lighter and more compact than bucket trucks, reducing the risk of property damage.

    5. Improved safety: Workers can remain safely within the lift platform, reducing the risk of falls or accidents.

    pb 27.14 spider lift in tight space

    Photo courtesy of: @fellingwelk

    How Spider Lifts Can Add Value to Your Fleet

    In addition to being a great alternative to bucket trucks, spider lifts can also be a valuable complement to them when working on a job together.

    For example, if a bucket truck can't be positioned close enough to a tree due to obstacles or access issues, a spider lift can be used to get closer to the tree and complete the job. Alternatively, if a tree is located in a tight space that can't accommodate a bucket truck, a spider lift can be brought in to get the job done.

    Bucket truck & Spider lift working togetherPhoto courtesy of: @hutchinsontreecare

    By using both a bucket truck and a spider lift together, arborists can increase their efficiency and flexibility on the job, allowing them to complete the task in a safer and more efficient manner. Additionally, having multiple options available can provide added peace of mind and ensure that the job can be completed no matter what obstacles or challenges may arise.

    While bucket trucks have their place in tree care services, spider lifts offer several advantages in terms of access, maneuverability, stability, and safety. Ultimately, the choice between the two will depend on the specific needs of the job at hand, but considering the advantages and limitations of both can help make an informed decision.

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