Tree trimmers in buckets wearing PAL safety lanyards

Being hoisted in the bucket of a tree trimmer truck, dangling high above ground to perform your job, can be a daunting task.

The truck base must be properly secured to allow the worker to do his work while safely anchored. However, the bucket is sometimes left to its own devices, not properly controlled. In such situations, a swaying bucket operated at higher elevations can fatally injure the trimmer doing the job.

To add yet another piece of safety equipment to reduce hazards of tree-trimming, Terex Utilities — strategic partner of Custom Truck One Source (CTOS) — has introduced the Positive Attachment Lanyard (PAL) device, which now features on the Terex Hi-Ranger XT Pro Series forestry bucket trucks.

The model range, comprising the XT60-70, XT Pro 56, and XT Pro 60, is designed to meet the unique job site needs of tree care professionals. They are also now available with the latest technology to support safe work practices in the field. PAL is simply a warning system. It reduces the chance of an operator elevating a bucket without a safety harness lanyard attached.

When you haven’t properly fastened your seat belt, your car beeps and a light goes off on your car dashboard. The same happens with a truck that has this device. Audio and visual warnings go off once controls engage if the worker doesn’t attach the lanyard to the anchor at the platform.

After undergoing rigorous testing, PAL became available on XT Pro Series Tree Trimmer trucks at the  International Construction & Utility Equipment Exposition (ICUEE) in October of last year. Best of all, PAL can also be retrofitted. The three-model XT Pro Series features over center aerial devices with working heights from 61 feet to 75 feet. They can also be customized to buyer specifications.

According to Bob Dray, VP of Sales and Marketing for the Forestry Division at CTOS, “A company that works clearing right of way areas prefers the XT60-70 forestry unit as it gives them the required height and chip carrying capacity. Independent tree trimmers working in residential and some commercial jobs prefer the XT60-70 rear-mounted unit. It has a smaller wheelbase, allowing more mobility in tight areas.”

Dray added, “Back of cab compact longitudinal lift accommodates an 11-ft. chip box, so there is no reduction in chip storage space. Over rear axle elevator installation makes it possible to achieve additional working height. Plus it provides more than 40 square feet of open-deck space for storing tools.”

PAL is simple in its concept. It’s easy to use, doesn’t take up space, and doesn’t require extra equipment to be utilized.

Terex Utilities’ vertical market manager, Ted Barron, said, “We have a history of pioneering innovations in the utility market. PAL is one such example. Through user-focused feedback, Terex Utilities was able to be quick in product development of the PAL device.”

He added that customers were a great help in developing PAL through their feedback. Workers often forget to attach the lanyard, because their work requires so much focus. Barron said with PAL, this would be a thing of the past. Alarms going off would serve as a reminder. He stated, “We consider the PAL device a friendly reminder in the bucket, and it promotes safe work practices.”

Also in the works is Smart PAL. This would use telematics data to time and date stamp every lanyard attachment and detachment, and activation and deactivation of the boom. So stay tuned!