Photo courtesy of Terex

Photo courtesy of Terex


To help utility companies and contractors select the right size of digger derrick to complete the majority of their day-to-day tasks, Terex Utilities is promoting a new comparison called Work Zone Capacity as a new industry standard. Work Zone Capacity highlights the ability of a digger derrick to perform the tasks that these trucks are built for — digging holes and setting poles.

The new Work Zone Capacity standard reflects not only the digger derrick’s boom lifting capacity, but it also accounts for the digger derrick’s auger digging and lifting capacity. These capacities need to match the work the operator is trying to do. For instance, utility fleets do not want to buy a digger derrick with a capacity in the work zone that does not allow them to lift an auger full of material out of the hole. The new Work Zone Capacity gives utility companies the tool to select a truck properly sized to perform all of the jobs it is tasked to do.

“To select the right digger derrick for the job,” said John Pantkze, project manager, Terex Utilities, “the truck should be able to dig a hole and set the pole without the need to reposition the digger derrick. This means that operators need to consider not only the lifting capacity at a 10-ft load radius (the current industry comparison standard), but also the digging and lifting capacity out of the hole at the operator’s typical working radius (often in the 20- to 40-ft range at 0 to -15 degrees, depending on the size of the digger derrick). The object of the new Work Zone Capacity standard is to match these capacities to the job.”

It’s important for operators to really understand all of the capacities of their digger derricks, not just those capacities readily available on the manufacturers’ specification sheets, Pantzke said.

“With the range of work that a digger derrick is tasked to do, the usual specifications and comparisons only tell part of the story and can lead to oversights when selecting equipment,” he said.

To calculate a digger derrick’s Work Zone Capacity, operators need to take into account the soil conditions and density of the material the truck will be working in, as well as the auger sizes they will be using and number of flights needed. Then, operators can use a specialized calculator designed by Terex to determine a digger derrick’s Work Zone Capacity.

For more information about the new Work Zone Capacity standard, visit