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What is a Cherry Picker

Isnít it obvious? A cherry picker is someone who picks cherries right? How about something one would use for the picking of cherries? Well, not quite. What is a cherry picker doesnít seem like such an easy question to answer now, does it? Okay, fine. So what is a cherry picker?

Well, the answer above wasnít all that wrong. Cherry pickers were actually initially designed to be used in picking fruit at a height. Workers would be hoisted in a platform and that would leave their hands free to fill their baskets, not to mention ensuring that only the best fruit were selected. Today, what is a cherry picker can be answered by saying that it is a device chiefly meant for lifting a platform or bucket to a certain level of altitude for the performance of various tasks.

What is a cherry picker good for? They are no longer confined to tasks within the agricultural sector. One can find examples of cherry pickers being used in almost any industry including:
  • Their original purpose as aids in picking fruit
  • Painting houses and commercial buildings
  • Allowing engineers to access hard to reach areas of buildings, bridges, etc.
  • Washing windows
  • Allowing arborists to climb trees
The list goes on. Perhaps the most common use of cherry pickers, or at least the one most seen by the public, is by maintenance workers. What is a cherry picker going to do for these people? Telephone and electrical wires are often run at a height, except in areas where they are found underground. In order to access this, workers used to rely on the use of ladders and other climbing equipment. These were not very stable and didnít allow workers free movement of their hands.

What is a cherry picker doing to help? They offer a safe alternative to climbing on ladders and scaffolding. Cherry pickers can be operated by a secondary individual on the ground, or by the individual in the bucket. This allows for a greater range of movement and gives the worker the freedom to use both his hands for the job. There is also no risk of a ladder slipping or scaffolding failing. Of course there are dangers associated with cherry pickers. What is a cherry picker but a machine? All machines have their inherent risks, but these can be mitigated by the use of simple safety features such as insulated buckets and safety harnesses.

What is the cherry picker of today looking like? Well there is no one standard type. They range from huge machines capable of propelling themselves to small lifts which must be mounted to the back of a machine to facilitate movement from one place to another. It is the larger cherry pickers which are found typically found in construction while truck mounted cherry pickers are common in fire departments. What is the cherry picker of tomorrow going to look like? No one knows. Efforts are constantly being made to improve on both the design and the efficiency of these machines.

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