Skip to main content


Jim Galligan

Jim Galligan


Winterizing the Shop

| Jim Galligan |
Winters in the northern latitudes can be brutal. A utility fleet’s winter preparedness plan for the maintenance shop can improve safety for its technicians and helps to ensure that fleet equipment is ready to go when needed. UFP spoke with Les Faul, operations manager with Commonwealth Edison Co., to find out how the Chicago-based utility […]

Watch Your Overhang: Spec’ing Utility Pole Trailers for Maximum Safety

| Jim Galligan |
“Mind your lengths and weights” could be the mantra for any utility spec’ing a new utility pole trailer. Pole lengths and weights, as well as the operating terrain and tie-down options, are some of the safety-related factors to consider when ordering a new trailer, industry experts said. At the top of the safety spec’ing list […]

Avoiding Costly Mistakes with ATUVs

| Jim Galligan |
Prices can range upward of $300,000 for a ready-to-work all-terrain utility vehicle (ATUV), so fleet managers can ill afford missteps in spec’ing, maintenance or planning – mistakes that may end up costing unnecessary dollars or lost days on a remote site while waiting for repairs. Fortunately, mistakes can be avoided with smart spec’ing and common-sense […]

ADAS May Be a Mixed Bag in Your Shop

| Jim Galligan |
More vehicles with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are showing up in utility fleet maintenance shops as vehicle manufacturers accelerate the introduction of these safety technologies into new models. While there is little doubt that ADAS features – such as adaptive cruise control, radar-based collision avoidance systems and other technologies – can lower fleet costs […]

Tips for Spec’ing Impact Attenuators

| Jim Galligan |
Highway construction and maintenance worker fatalities have been on a steady decline for decades thanks to improved safety measures in and around worksites, including the use of following vehicles – also known as shadow vehicles – with truck- or trailer-mounted impact attenuators. These highly visible vehicle buffers add another layer of protection for road and […]

Compact Cargo Vans Find a Home in Cities

| Jim Galligan |
Since their introduction to the U.S. market, the small size and maneuverability of compact cargo vans (CCV) have made them appealing options for utility and telecom fleets serving customers in congested city environments. CCVs were popular options in European and Asian cities before rolling into the United States in 2010, when Ford introduced the Transit […]

Spec’ing the Right Cable Reel Trailer

| Jim Galligan |
Capacity, safety and flexibility top the list of features that manufacturers say should be on a utility’s spec sheet for any new cable reel trailer. But a good spec doesn’t end there. How many reels will be hauled or needed each time? Where will the trailer be used? Will loading be manual or automated? What […]

Going Where Wheeled Vehicles Can’t

| Jim Galligan |
Whether they’re used in hauling materials up steep hills, when accessing remote locations to perform inspections and construction, or for ferrying emergency crews and materials through marshes and over creeks, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) play a small yet vital role in many utility fleets. “As [distribution systems] continue to grow, it’s more important for utilities to […]

The State of Lightweight Materials for Utility Fleet Vehicles

| Jim Galligan |
High fuel prices 10 years ago were a big reason for the surge in sales of lightweight materials and components for utility vehicles. Although fuel prices have dropped significantly since then, lightweight alternatives to steel are still popular and have found a solid niche within the market. “While lightweight components are often associated with fuel […]

The Future of Drones in the Utility Market

| Jim Galligan |
Darting about inside one of Consolidated Edison’s 10-story steam boilers in Manhattan, the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) looks like a hobbyist’s dream, a multirotor mini-helicopter outfitted with a megapixel camera mounted inside a gyroscopically balanced geodesic sphere. But don’t look for it at your local hobby store. It’s a custom-built UAV – also known as […]