A cherry picker is a multipurpose metallic tool used by landscapers and technicians to reach for high items that cannot be accessed using a ladder. Often, they are mechanically controlled. A typical device has a basket attached to an expandable arm. Some pickers use diesel engine while others are electrically powered. They are also used in orchards, for painting, washing windows, tree trimming, shipbuilding, warehouses, telephone and cable service. Cherry pickers also find wide application in entertainment departments to position cameras and lighting equipment.

Types of cherry pickers

cherry picker hire prices generally depend on type. The common ones include road vehicle-attached, road-towable, under-bridge and self-propelled boom cherry pickers.

More information on cherry picker hire prices

The two common road vehicle-attached cherry pickers include van-cherry pickers and truck-mounted cherry pickers. Generally, a van-picker has a basket and an expandable arm mounted on top. It also has a small bucket that creates room for only one operator and a restricted amount of hand tools. Compared to van-cherry pickers, truck-mounted pickers are generally larger in size and have larger expandable arm and basket.

Road-towable pickers are compact-sized and have axles that support the base of the picker. They have a basket that is mechanically controlled and which in turn controls the picker's vertical movements. They are often used in vehicles with towing capacity.

Under-bridge pickers vary in terms of range of motion. It has gadgets that can be placed on top of, under or besides a bridge. The arm moves in all directions apart from upward to enable work to be done on the bridge. They can work independently since they are self-propelled.

Self-propelled boom pickers do not need other vehicles for support or positioning. They have small baskets and have a wide reach enabling them to function in high and confined spaces with restricted ground access. They also have a maneuvering ability similar to that of the van-picker.

Operating a cherry picker

Operating a cherry picker needs skills. First, wear a body harness making sure it is attached to the lanyard and a shock-absorber. Check the gauges if the battery is charged and switch on the picker.

Use your foot to press the pedal. For reverse, pull back the lever. Push up the lever if you need to shift forward. Ensure you place your foot on the pedal. Turn left or right using the steering wheel. The dashboard contains a light that indicates the direction in which the steering wheel has been turned. The green light to the center means the wheel is straight, yellow light to the right or left means that the wheel is turned to the right or left, while red light to the far right or left indicates that the wheel has turned as far as it can go.

In case the wheel turns too far, then the picker will beep and come to a stop. Drive it slowly since uneven grounds and sudden turns may cause the picker to tip. Before you unhook the harness, make sure you lower the lift and turn off the cherry picker.