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Suizo Article Equipment

Addressing Ergonomics in Utility Fleet Vehicles

| Grace Suizo |
It’s no secret that there are myriad items a utility fleet manager must consider when spec’ing vehicles for their fleet. Among those are the vehicles’ ergonomic features, which are intended to provide greater operator comfort and efficiency. According to Pete Gnatowski, director of sales, manufacturing and distribution for global automotive services organization Holman (, “When […]
Gregory Industries

Truck-Mounted vs. Towed Impact Attenuators

| David Cullen |
Mobile impact attenuators, be they truck-mounted or towed, are designed to protect utility crews and their equipment by absorbing the kinetic energy released when a vehicle crashes into their work zone. In simple terms, an attenuator is a cushion fitted to the rear of a truck or trailer. These devices are engineered to improve roadside […]

How to Spec All-Terrain Tracked Carriers for Aerials and Derricks

| Sean M. Lyden |
How can your line crews safely get to power lines and poles that trucks can’t reach? That’s where all-terrain tracked carriers with aerial platforms and digger derricks come in. A tracked carrier is a heavy-duty off-road vehicle – with continuous tracks instead of wheels – that transports equipment, materials or personnel across challenging terrain. Its […]
Dejana Trailers

The Best Specs for Cable Reel Trailers

| David Cullen |
Cable reel trailers are bread-and-butter equipment for electric utility fleets. But that doesn’t mean they come in one size that fits all. Far from it. For one thing, there are at least a half dozen manufacturers producing these trailers. What’s more, these companies produce multiple models of cable reel trailers, with all being customizable to […]

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Spec’ing All-Terrain Utility Vehicles

All-terrain utility vehicles (ATUVs) are machines that utility fleets use to transport people, materials and equipment across potentially hazardous off-road environments for the purpose of inspecting or repairing power lines or performing other tasks in remote areas. These vehicles go where four-wheel-drive pickups cannot, navigating steep slopes, trudging through heavy brush, hovering over swamplands, and […]

Spec’ing Truck-Mounted Air Compressors

| David Cullen |
Like most everything else that’s installed in the manufacturing and outfitting of a utility truck, there’s no one-size-fits-all choice when it comes to spec’ing a truck-mounted compressor to best meet the demands of a given application. There’s a lot to think about, ranging from the compressor’s placement on the chassis to ensuring the correct flow […]

10-Point Checklist for Spec’ing Strobe Lights for Utility Fleet Applications

| Sean M. Lyden |
Most vehicles in a utility fleet have strobe lights to protect workers and the public from a collision with a stationary vehicle. But with numerous strobe options to consider, how do you evaluate what will work best for your fleet? UFP spoke with Nebraska Public Power District’s fleet superintendent, Rob Barbur, and fleet supervisor, TK […]

What’s New in All-Terrain Utility Vehicles

| Sean M. Lyden |
All-terrain utility vehicles (ATUVs) enable utility crews to get work done in hard-to-reach areas where four-wheel-drive pickups and other vehicles cannot go. Some ATUV models haul people and heavy equipment across rugged and hilly terrain, while others offer amphibious capabilities to cross deep waters in flooded lowlands. So, what’s new in the ATUV market to […]

All About GPS Tracking for Fleet Trailers

| David Cullen |
GPS-based electronic tracking systems first made inroads with over-the-road truck fleets to keep tabs on freight trailers as they’re hauled great distances and parked in far-off lots after cargo is offloaded. But every application for this dynamic technology differs where trailers are concerned, which is why utility fleet professionals should dig into how available systems […]

Spec’ing All-Terrain Utility Vehicles for Fleet Applications

| Grace Suizo |
Industry experts share important factors to consider before ordering an ATUV. One of the most common mistakes utility fleet managers make when it comes to all-terrain utility vehicles (ATUVs) is purchasing machines that are either too heavy or too light for the work they most commonly perform, according to Tavis Renglich, sales representative for UTV […]

Upfitting Utility Service Vans with Maximum Safety in Mind

| Grace Suizo |
One of the most common mistakes fleet managers make when upfitting service vans is not leveraging their operators’ input on what works well – and what doesn’t – with the vehicles, according to Mark Stumne, director of truck services for Element Fleet Management ( So, what better way to gain a clearer understanding of their […]

14-Point Checklist for Spec’ing Impact Attenuators

| Gary L. Wollenhaupt |
Work zone intrusions are a fact of life, and utility fleets are turning to attenuators to protect employees. One utility recently bought a truck-mounted attenuator vehicle from Royal Truck & Equipment after two of the utility’s employees were injured in an accident. “Unfortunately, sometimes it takes an incident for people to realize they need protection […]

What’s New in All-Terrain Vehicles for Utility Fleets

| Grace Suizo |
Utilities have a number of different options available to help their crews get work done in hard-to-reach areas, in harsh weather conditions and on rough terrain. Since new equipment is regularly being introduced to the marketplace, it’s important for utilities to stay up to date about what they have to choose from. Check out these […]

Spec’ing a Detachable Gooseneck Trailer

Minnkota Power Cooperative, an electric generation and transmission cooperative headquartered in Grand Forks, North Dakota, recently replaced its antiquated mechanical detachable gooseneck semitrailer with a new unit. The old trailer, used approximately 10 times a year for the past 20 years, was replaced by a new model from Felling Trailers ( UFP recently spoke with […]

The State of UTV Electrification

| Sandy Smith |
There is at least one obvious reason for an electric utility to move toward adopting electric-powered vehicles into its fleet. “We’re using our own product,” said Paul Jefferson, senior fleet manager for Oklahoma Gas and Electric, which serves more than 858,000 customers across 30,000 square miles in Oklahoma and western Arkansas. Another reason for the […]

Spec’ing the Right Truck-Mounted Air Compressor for the Job

| Grace Suizo |
Today’s utility fleet managers have numerous options to choose from when it comes to truck-mounted air compressors. But how do you go about spec’ing the right one for the job? One of the biggest mistakes that utility fleets make is using bid specs from previous years, according to Dean Gary, national sales representative for VMAC […]

What Fleet Managers Should Know About Impact Attenuators

| Sean M. Lyden |
An impact attenuator is a safety device, either mounted on the rear of a truck or towed as a trailer, that absorbs the force of a vehicle collision at speeds up to 62.5 mph to protect roadside crews working nearby. While attenuators are not a new concept – they’ve been in use in the highway […]

New Developments in All-Terrain Vehicles for Utility Fleets

| Sandy Smith |
Utility work occurs rain or shine, day or night, and whether we’re in the midst of a pandemic or not. Often, that work takes place on rugged terrain and in other challenging environments. All-terrain vehicles provide solutions to safely move utility crews, tools and equipment in and out of these environments, and ATV manufacturers continue […]

Mistakes to Avoid When Spec’ing Cable Reel Trailers

| Sandy Smith |
With his crew focused on downtown Austin, Texas, and several substations, size was an important consideration for Bobby Dahl, network construction supervisor for community-owned Austin Energy, when selecting a new cable reel trailer. The new trailer upgraded outdated equipment, making work safer and more efficient. “We used to pull cable out with a one-ton truck […]

Spec’ing ATUVs for Optimal Performance and Safety

| Sandy Smith |
Cooperative Energy, which generates and transmits energy to 11 member systems in Mississippi, recently doubled its line crews to four. It’s no surprise, then, that they’ve “had to have more equipment,” according to Wayne Owens, the company’s fleet maintenance supervisor. Serving 55 of Mississippi’s 82 counties, Cooperative Energy crews must deal with hills, hollows and […]