A Guide to Renting an Overcenter or Nonovercenter Bucket Truck


Renting the best truck for your application requires knowing the truck's capabilities in relation to your job.

Called bucket trucks, boom trucks or "cherry pickers", these trucks are increasingly used in tree care, sign erection and maintenance, telecom and utility line servicing, lighting, painting, building maintenance and landscaping.

Choosing the best truck for your application requires knowing the truck's capabilities in relation to your project. Where the bucket can be positioned in relation to the truck's position is a primary consideration.

Bucket trucks are manufactured with either an overcenter boom or a non-overcenter boom, and knowing the difference can be a major factor in the most prudent choice for your task.

What's the difference between an overcenter and a non-overcenter bucket truck?

In short, an overcenter truck has a boom able to be moved over its pivot point, giving the operator more flexibility in positioning the bucket. A non-overcenter boom is limited in how far it can be unfolded and thus offers less flexibility in positioning the bucket.


The boom of an over center truck allows the bucket to travel "over center". and thus be be positioned on either side of a truck without having to move the vehicle. The connection between the lower boom and the upper boom is an unrestricted pivot joint which permits travel at a 180 degree arc. The upper boom travels past or breaks "over center", thus the designation.


A non-overcenter bucket truck has a pivot joint between the lower and upper boom which restricts the bucket from traveling "over center", and thus limits the bucket from moving past a 90 degree arc. It's virtually the same as your own arm's elbow. The pivot joint only permits the boom to be moved to a position where the joint restricts further motion, roughly in a straight line with the lower boom and reaching straight up into the air.

Tree contractors usually will go with overcenter bucket trucks because they benefit from the versatility in positioning the bucket and being able to do so without having to move or reposition the truck.

Some bucket trucks are manufactured with a lower boom which also breaks over center, thus enabling even more flexibility.

The pros at Sagon Trucks wil be happy to help you evaluate which truck is best for your job. Just click here to contact us!