Reckless Construction Worker Turns Boom Lift Into Catapult


If you know anything about physics, you’ll quickly realize the potential of the cherry picker (or boom lift) to become a catapult. The back tires are raised up a good 2 or 3 feet, so you could see how an abrupt drop from the bridge to solid land could be a problem for the guy operating the picker. Apparently this guy isn’t too familiar with the laws of physics and doesn’t realize what’s about to happen. He’s actually lucky to escape this ordeal with his life or without serious injury.


Boom Lift Turns Catapult

A catapult works, or “worked” would probably be the more appropriate term, by storing tension from tightened ropes or a piece of wood when pulled back into position. The releasing of this tension moves the arm forward, propelling the payload through the air. Obviously, there are no ropes in play here, but the tension is created by the force generated from the drop in height. And just like a catapult, a cherry picker has an arm attached and the “payload” here is the guy operating the machine!


Not Just for Picking Cherries

While the catapult traces it’s invention back to the 1st Century B.C., the cherry picker was of course invented much much later. Also known as a boom lift, elevated work platform, basket crane, hydraladder, or manlift, the cherry picker was invented in the early 1940s by Jay Eitel, who designed a telescopic bucket lift attached to a truck. Though its original use was to give pickers easy access to fruit that was high up on trees—(hence the name cherry picker)—Eitel’s invention proved especially useful to firefighters, who began using cherry pickers to access fires in high-rise buildings. The uses for cherry pickers don’t end there though, as they are critical pieces of equipment in several areas today:

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