4 Quick Fixes For Altec Bucket Truck Hydraulic Problems

altec bucket truck hydraulic problems
altec bucket truck hydraulic problems

Bucket trucks, also known as aerial devices, have been around for quite some time now, and for good reasons. These vehicles are equipped with a hydraulic pole or boom lift to carry handymen to high places safely. Of course, using ladders to perform off-the-ground tasks can be risky.

Not only do bucket trucks ensure your workers’ safety, but they also boost productivity. This makes them a must-have for every company working in the electric, construction, and telecommunication sector.

Altec is a big name in the bucket trucks industry. It is a leading company that offers bucket trucks, crane trucks, and other equipment at reasonable prices.


The company has decades of experience and has offered lots of reliable trucks over the years. Although it sells a variety of equipment, it is particularly known for its well-built bucket trucks.

However, like every other piece of machinery, Altec bucket trucks also require regular maintenance for smooth performance. If delayed, they may develop problems, and their components may receive excessive wear.

Many users had problems with the hydraulic arm while using these bucket trucks. Of course, the hydraulic arm is an important component as it is responsible for lifting the worker in the air.

In this article, we will take a look at some common problems associated with hydraulic arms in these bucket trucks. Let’s delve further!

Common Altec Bucket Truck Hydraulic Problems

Some issues with the hydraulic arm in Altec bucket trucks are discussed in the section below.

  1. Hydraulic Arm Not Raising

Hydraulic Arm Not Raising

Many users have reported that the hydraulic arm of the Altec bucket trucks does not raise sometimes. No matter how hard you try, it just refuses to lift. This situation can be annoying for the user as a bucket truck is useless if its hydraulic arm stops raising.

Most Altec bucket trucks feature a joystick to operate the hydraulic arm. This joystick has buttons for all the features. It goes without saying the arm will only raise if you press the right button. So, be sure that you are using the right button, or else it simply won’t operate.

If you do not know which button engages the hydraulic arm, consider checking the operator manual of your Altec bucket truck. The manual will have all the information about the joystick and its buttons.

Furthermore, take a closer look at the joystick and make sure it is in good working condition. If the buttons are damaged, they may not engage the hydraulic arm. If that’s the case, consider replacing the buttons. It would be an easy fix and will take around 10 minutes.

faulty joystick

However, if all buttons are in good shape, the chances are that you are dealing with a faulty joystick. So, it would be better to reach out to a competent mechanic and let them deal with it. They will repair it or replace it if it has been damaged beyond repair.

If the hydraulic arm of your Altec bucket truck is not working, defective or dirty valves could be another reason. Altec bucket trucks use several valves to control oil flow.

These valves have coils that can go bad over time. If so, get them replaced to resolve this issue. Once you have replaced them, the hydraulic arm will likely start working the way it is supposed to.

  1. Arm Creaking or Making Sounds

Arm Creaking or Making Sounds

Another problem that people often complain about while using the Altec bucket truck is that the hydraulic arm sometimes starts making noise.

Most bucket trucks manufactured by Altec are quite durable and operate quietly most of the time, but you may hear a creaking sound sometimes coming from the arm.

Insufficient hydraulic oil is one of the main reasons for the creaking noise problem in the Altec bucket trucks.

This oil keeps the components of the hydraulic system lubricated. So, if there is not enough hydraulic oil, it will result in increased friction between the components, which will eventually cause this noise.

Therefore, if the hydraulic arm of your Altec bucket truck is giving creaking noise, you’ll want to begin by checking the hydraulic oil in the reservoir.

checking the hydraulic oil

Make sure to park your aerial device on a level surface to get an accurate reading. Furthermore, make sure to switch off its engine before checking to ensure your safety.

Some Altec bucket trucks feature a fuel gauge to measure the amount of hydraulic oil in the reservoir. If you have never used it before, consider referring to the operator manual.

It will have step-by-step instructions regarding the fuel checking process. If the fuel level is low, refill the reservoir to fix this problem.

refill the reservoir

You might be surprised to learn that hydraulic oil has a shelf life and it degrades as it ages. While its shelf life depends on several factors, it usually expires after six months.

After that, it gets gummy and can damage your hydraulic system and engine. So, if you have not changed it in a long time, get it replaced.

  1. Damaged Parts

Components of the hydraulic arm of your Altec bucket truck may get damaged due to age-related wear and tear.

A hydraulic arm is a complicated part as it contains many components, and repairing it requires knowledge and skills that you may not have. So, if you lack knowledge, it would be a good idea to bring in an expert.

  1. Power Loss

Power Loss

Engine losing power is another common issue that you may run into while using the Altec bucket truck. This problem is usually narrowed down to clogged fuel lines and filters.

A fuel filter plays a key role in keeping the engine of your Altec bucket truck working. It removes impurities from oil, ensuring they do not enter your bucket truck’s engine.

However, those impurities may get stuck inside it and block it. If that’s the case, you may experience power loss and may start consuming more fuel.

So, if the fuel efficiency of your Altec bucket truck has been reduced, the fuel filter may be the culprit. Inspect it immediately, and if found culprit, replace it. If you are unsure about the replacement process, consider visiting a mechanic.

visiting a mechanic

Fuel lines can also get blocked by carbon residue over time. They transfer fuel from one point to another, and if they are blocked, your Altec bucket truck won’t have enough power to run properly.

The boom may get stuck in the air or may not work at all. So, make sure your fuel lines are in good working condition. If they are not, replacing them will resolve the issue.

The Bottom Line

Altec bucket trucks have consistently scored high marks for their durability. However, they may also start showing problems over time. Hydraulic arm problems are quite common in these bucket trucks.

2 thoughts on “4 Quick Fixes For Altec Bucket Truck Hydraulic Problems”

  1. the switch that extends the arm on my truck is not working whether its the upper switch on the lower switch. any thoughts on what the problem may be.

  2. i have a lrv 56 and i cant get the control a single hand lever to work has fluid going to it but no responce any advice ?


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