"Cherry Picker" Looks Factory-Built

"It's handy and a real labor saver," says James Newell, Jonesville, Mich., about the "cherry picker" he made out of scrap material and the front axle and wheels off an old dump truck.

A 3 by 36-in. hydraulic cylinder powered off a battery-operated hydraulic pump lifts the 19-ft. long boom, made of 6-in. dia. steel gas pipe. The boom pivots on a 1 1/2-in. dia. rod. Newell also made a bucket for the boom that attaches to the end of the boom. Pivots on the pipe and boom keep the bucket level at any height.

"It was far less expensive than buying a new commercial lift," he says. "I bought the hydraulic pump and cylinder new from Northern Tool. A neighbor gave me the truck axle, and I got the gas pipe free from a local utility. I came up with the idea because it's so much safer than working from a ladder when trimming trees or working on pole lights and TV antennas, and other such jobs. I've gotten a lot of use out of it on my own place and also helping neighbors.

"The bucket can be raised or lowered from the ground or the bucket. It can also be locked so it won't swing," he notes.