Starting with the chassis could limit the options of the type of aerial device you might want installed. So I would recommend starting with the aerial device and work from there. Most manufactures have chassis requirements for their aerial devices and have a set GVW that the aerial will be stable on when in operation along with safety requirements from ANSI.
What are some of the features that are available in looking at the aerial device portion of the specifications? The aerial device may include emergency power, engine stop/start, bucket sizes, outrigger configurations and side reach of the aerial device. There are many options to choose from and knowing how the unit will function in a work day could help you design a better unit overall.
Once you have the aerial device portion set, the next thing to look at is the chassis. Due to the fact that the aerial device requires certain axle capacities for the front and rear, and certain frame requirements, the chassis needs special consideration when purchasing. After the aerial device chassis requirements are satisfied you can move onto the cab portion. There are many options like the aerial device, such as, power windows, power door locks, CD players, GPS systems to name a few.
Next we’re going to look at the body. Most body manufactures can design a body around the equipment with the guidance of the installer. There are two bodies typical used for a bucket truck, a line or service body and a flatbed body. A flatbed body typical comes with under-body boxes or a cross box mounted behind the cab area, depending on the aerial device selected. A line or service body is the most common bodies used for aerial devices. These bodies have side compartments with shelves, material drawers, and hooks inside them to store equipment.
In closing, there are many more components to look at and review. These three major components will help get you started. However, the individuals going to use the end product should be asked questions about the usage of the bucket truck. It is recommended that you contact a dealer that sells and services aerial device equipment for more guidance.