If you work with bridges, you’re probably quite familiar with the aerial boom lifts known as “snooper trucks.” What you may not know is that the term “snooper” is a brand name, not a generic reference to a certain type of vehicle. 

In 1964, the first SNOOPER® Underbridge Inspection and Maintenance Truck was designed and manufactured by Paxton-Mitchell Co., LLC. Today, the SNOOPER® is used by state highway departments, municipalities, counties, contractors, and construction equipment rental companies all over the United States.

However, in the almost 60 years since that first “snooper truck” was used, the name has become synonymous with any articulated lift vehicle. 

Also known as articulating booms, these aerial work platforms have multiple boom sections that hinge, which allows an operator to have access to work areas over obstacles and barriers. Also referred to as “knuckle booms,”  “up-and-over booms,” and “snooper trucks,” these vehicles are perfect for tight access and hard-to-reach areas.

In fact, one could argue that the list of names for these specialty vehicles could include a dozen or more variations on these few already mentioned. However, when it comes to bridges and bridge inspections, no matter what you call them, “snooper” truck equipment is vital for making under bridge inspections safe and cost-effective.

Primary Use of Snooper Truck Equipment

Although snooper truck equipment can be used for a variety of situations where hard to reach structures are involved, the primary use is underbridge inspection, cleaning, maintenance, and repair.

This work is done on roadway, or vehicular, bridges, as well as railroad bridges, pedestrian bridges and most any other type of bridge under federal or state administrations. Access to the underside of these structures is often not possible directly from underneath so a specialized vehicle, namely a snooper truck, is typically used to reach the underside of bridges. 

The size and reach of the boom lift needed is usually determined by the access point on the bridge deck and the work area to be worked on.

While many of these snooper truck equipment models are literally mounted on trucks, others are either brought in on a trailer that they’re mounted on, or are self-propelled vehicles that are essentially “driverless.”

Regardless of whether you decide on a self-driving or stationary under bridge inspection unit, these specialized vehicles known as snooper trucks, boom lifts, and aerial lifts, among other things, are typically articulated and flexible units that provide ease and breadth of access unmatched by other bridge access methods.

An under bridge inspection unit (UBIU) is a specialized “bucket truck” that is lifted and maneuvered into place by an articulated boom. These are designed to reach over bridge railings and sidewalks, or walkways, and then under the superstructure of a bridge – all while parked on the bridge deck.

Most of these units have three boom segments, and the third boom can extend and retract. This mobility, combined with a certain amount of radial access, is what provides the greater reach and access under a bridge structure than a stationary platform underneath a bridge could offer. .

Some of the larger UBIUs have four booms, giving them even greater reach and under bridge surface access. Depending on the particular “snooper truck” under bridge inspection vehicle, it will typically feature a two or three-person bucket, while other models such as the HPT43, come with a multiple-person platform on the third boom and a ladder on the second boom.

Your Source for Snooper Truck Equipment

If you are in the business of constructing new bridges, repairing existing bridges or simply inspecting them, you know that your team needs a variety of equipment for their work. However, odds are that you also know how expensive it is to buy and maintain a fleet of vehicles and equipment to handle every bridge project you acquire. Not to mention having the facilities to store them safely.

This is why renting under bridge inspection vehicles and other bridge equipment is the best way to access the right equipment when you need it.

We provide quality under bridge equipment throughout all the Western States, including California, Washington, and Oregon. Our inventory of snooper trucks and under bridge access platforms include the state-of-the-art self-drive access platform, the Truck Mounted Hydra Platform HPT43

We take a great deal of pride in being the only company in California that offers total under bridge access. By offering high quality customer service, we have managed to build long-lasting relationships with our esteemed customers. And we intend to keep it that way.

Contact us today to discuss your requirements.