In the early 1900s, cherry pickers, or bucket trucks as we know them today, were based off of Roman applications that allowed the creation of modernized lifts to reach higher up. Jay Eitel invented the cherry picker out of anger after spending long, hot summer days picking cherries. While maneuvering his ladder, Eitel was determined to invent a smarter way to work. 


Jay Eitel


A Brief History

It wasn’t until after Eitel founded Telsta Corporation, located in Sunnyvale California, that his invention took off. Bell Telephone Company, founded in July of 1877 in Boston, Massachusetts, started using the cherry picker. Soon, the cherry picker was adapted by the telecommunications industry and widely known.  

As you can probably guess, the name cherry picker came from the fact that the trucks were used to pick cherries from cherry trees. These trucks had many advantages – they were safer than climbing a ladder, they did little damage to the tree itself, and the trucks made it easier to move from tree to tree. 

As the popularity of the cherry picker began to grow, industries tweaked the truck to their advantage. For example, the utility industry saw this truck with the means of being modified and used to fix utility lines. This opportunity made early lineman work faster as well as safer. Soon enough, the forestry, mining and construction industries picked up on how this truck could benefit them and started using it.  




Today, some aspects of the original cherry picker truck are still in use. On newer models, the boom is in a position so that it can be multifunctional throughout different industries. Outriggers are a newer, and more popular, option to add more stability.  


Looking Ahead

As fuel prices are on the rise, so is the cost of purchasing a bucket truck. In response, the truck is evolving, again, to be greener. This evolution will not only be kinder to the environment, but also allow the saving of operational costs. This new design will prompt the smaller size of the bucket truck making it more compact.  




KHL Group