Of course, we know that it is an underbridge inspection and maintenance truck. But what many people don’t realize is that not all underbridge trucks are SNOOPER™ underbridge vehicles. 

While it is true that we’ve been referring to just about every articulated boom lift truck as “snoopers” for almost five decades now, the name “SNOOPER™” is actually a trademarked brand name of the, now, world-famous series of vehicles that are manufactured by the Paxton-Mitchell company.

Or, as they say it on their website,

“Paxton-Mitchell Co., LLC, is the designer and manufacturer of the One and Only, the Original SNOOPER™ Truck. The SNOOPER™ is the world’s most widely used Underbridge Inspection and Maintenance Truck.”

They Say Necessity is the Mother of Invention: Snooper Truck Bridge Inspection 

Paxton-Mitchell Co., LLC. built a global reputation after designing and manufacturing the world’s first “underbridge inspection bucket truck” back in 1964. For anyone who has worked with or operated a snooper truck, bridge inspections, maintenance, or repairs they are probably the most familiar types of underbridge vehicles.

And watching one of these vehicles in action will leave little doubt as to how that name “Snooper” came about. 

With its versatile articulated booms lowering a bucket down the side of the bridge deck and then underneath to allow workers to “snoop” around, it is appropriately named the SNOOPER™ Truck.

In fact, as the company’s slogan says, “A bridge isn’t inspected until the SNOOPER™ sees it!”

Today, Paxton-Mitchell Co. continues to design and manufacture the original SNOOPER™ truck bridge inspection vehicles with a series of a half dozen current models featured.

SNOOPER™ Trucks Across the World – Bridge Inspection Vehicles of Choice

While there have been several other manufacturers that have come into the industry since the 1960s, the SNOOPER™ is still the world’s most widely used underbridge inspection and maintenance truck today.

SNOOPER™ truck bridge inspection vehicles have been sold to state highway departments, counties, and municipalities, all across the United States. In addition, they are provided to numerous engineering and contracting firms, as well as construction and specialty equipment rental companies in the US and overseas.

And it is largely for this reason that the ubiquitous SNOOPER™ truck has become not only the standard for underbridge inspection units but has evolved into a generic term for most every articulated boom bucket lift vehicle.

One example of the generic use of the name “snooper” is found in an engineering textbook

“The access to underside of bridge superstructure was made possible via a snooper truck, used routinely by the department of transportation crew for inspection purposes.”

Even some state DOTs make use of the generic application of the SNOOPER™ name as in this official “Snooper Operations Manual” from the Ohio Department of Transportation,

“For the purpose of this document the underbridge inspection vehicles shall be referred to as Snooper Trucks.”

When You need a Bridge SNOOPER™ Truck for a SNOOPER™ Truck Bridge Inspection

If your job involves routine inspections of bridges or cleaning, repairing, and carrying out the necessary maintenance of highway or rail bridges, McClain and Company is here for you. We are proud to provide several models of SNOOPER™ truck bridge inspection vehicle rental units to give you the platform, reach, and versatility your project requires.

As engineers, inspectors, and contractors all know, accessing any underbridge area is often best done from the bridge deck itself.

When Smaller is Better

With one of our high-quality SNOOPER™ bridge trucks this becomes a relatively simple task.

For example, for smaller and average size bridge structures that are not multi-lane roadways, the Paxton-Mitchell SNOOPER™ Series 140-BBC 40-foot Bucket Truck can be just what is needed.

McClain & Co., Inc. - 40ft Underbridge Inspection Unit Bucket Snooper Truck

With dual-side deployment that can clear 6-foot wide obstructions and automatic transmission, this vehicle is designed for versatility and a smaller footprint. This model’s specifications include:

  • Horizontal Underbridge Reach: 40′ (With Added Extension)
  • Max Lowering Depth: 25′
  • Vertical Reach Up: 38′ w/opt overhead
  • Fence Clearance: 8′
  • Sidewalk Clearance: 6′
  • Bucket Capacity: 2-man combined 600 lbs.
  • Boom Style: Articulating Telescopic Boom 2 & 3
  • Outriggers: Yes

When Bigger is Good

In addition to the 40 foot bucket truck, the team at McClain and Company offers the larger, 60-foot Paxton-Mitchell Bucket SNOOPER™ Trucks.

McClain & Co., Inc. - 65ft Underbridge Inspection Unit

Available in both 60-foot and 55-foot horizontal reach models, these underbridge workhorses both come with three-man, 600 pound capacity buckets. The larger version boasts three articulating telescopic booms, while the smaller version offers two.

Both are part of the Snooper Series 260.

Specifications for the 55-foot version include:

  • Horizontal Underbridge Reach: 55′
  • Max Lowering Depth: 60′
  • Height to Bottom of Platform: 50′
  • Fence Clearance: 10′
  • Sidewalk Clearance: 13′
  • Bucket Capacity: 3-man combined 600 lbs.
  • Boom Style: Articulating Telescopic Boom 2 and 3
  • Outriggers: Yes

The larger version also offers the option of a 600-pound capacity platform instead of a bucket that can be mounted at the end of a fourth articulating boom. Specifications for this model:

  • Horizontal Underbridge Reach: 60′
  • Max Lowering Depth: 70′
  • Height to Bottom of Platform: 50′
  • Fence Clearance: 10′
  • Sidewalk Clearance: 13′
  • Bucket Capacity: 3-man combined 600 lbs.
  • Boom Style: Articulating Telescopic Boom 2, 3, & 4
  • Outriggers: Yes

McClain & Co., Inc. is Your Source for Underbridge SNOOPER™ Truck Rental

At McClain and Company, we not only believe in providing the utmost in customer service, but that everything we offer our customers in rental equipment be of the utmost quality. Which is why we are proud to offer a range of genuine SNOOPER™ trucks.

We also believe that your success is our success, which is why our primary goal is to do all we can to help you complete your project successfully.

If you have questions about our world-class inspection equipment rental services, or just want to learn more about Underbridge SNOOPER™ Truck rentals in your area, you can reach out to McClain & Co., Inc., by calling us at 1-888-889-1284, or email us at [email protected].