CSM logo - horizontal

Bucket Truck – Aerial Lift Outrigger Safety Talk

Overturning is one of the biggest risks when it comes to bucket truck or aerial lift use. This is why it is critical to take the time necessary to set up outriggers correctly prior to beginning work. Outriggers provide extra stability to the vehicle during a task.

It is important to always follow the manufacturer guidelines for setup:

Each vehicle’s outriggers will differ somewhat. It is important to know the type being used and the limits of them.


Set the brakes:

Brakes should always be set and chock wheels for extra protection.


Always use outrigger pads:

Outriggers apply a large amount of weight and pressure to the ground beneath them. Pads are essential in dispersing the weight more evenly to avoid collapse of the soil or damage to a hard surface. Always ensure pads are centered under each outrigger.


Avoid Slopes and Voids:

Always follow the slope rating listed by the manufacturer and where possible avoid severely sloped ground. Additionally, do not set outriggers up across a valley, void or excavation in the land.


Assess the work surface during the pre-inspection:

The ground should be looked over for loose soil, slopes or uneven terrain and any drainage issues. Uneven surfaces should be leveled prior to placing the outrigger pads down. If soil is unsuitable, determine steps to be taken to remediate the issue prior to placing pads such as letting the soil dry, adding rigid substrate, grating etc.

Pre-inspection and planning are some of the most important steps when setting up outriggers. Ensure this step is done correctly to avoid the potential for serious injury.


This article is provided solely as a reference tool to be used for information purposes only. The information in this article shall not be construed or interpreted as providing legal or any other advice. The information material does not amend the provisions of any insurance policy issued by CompSource Mutual. It is not a representation that coverage does or does not exist for any particular claim or loss under any such policy. Coverage depends on the facts and circumstances involved in the claim or loss, all applicable policy provisions, and any applicable law.

Meet Our Safety Team

Related Safety Resources