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Equipment Archive



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 […]
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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 (www.elementfleet.com). So, what better way to gain a clearer understanding of their […]
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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 […]
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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 […]
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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 (www.felling.com). UFP recently spoke with […]
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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 […]
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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 […]
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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 […]
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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 […]
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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 […]
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Spec’ing Service Van Interiors with Safety in Mind

| Sandy Smith |
When it comes to spec’ing service vans, utility fleet managers must consider several factors, including budget, vehicle performance, efficiency, and operator safety and comfort. Take Alabama Power’s vans, for instance. About half of the 80 units that the company – a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Co. – has on the road are outfitted for general […]
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What’s New in All-Terrain Vehicles for Utility Fleets?

| Grace Suizo |
Today, a wide range of options are available to help utilities get work done in hard-to-reach areas where conventional and even four-wheel-drive vehicles cannot go. Following are five new developments in the all-terrain vehicle space that can help utility companies get their crews and equipment across various terrains safely while also boosting productivity.  ARGOWhat’s New: […]
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What to Know When Spec’ing Service Vehicles for Utility Applications

| Grace Suizo |
When it comes to spec’ing vehicles, the absence of an effective, proactive strategy often results in a significant number of units being purchased from dealer stock, rather than ordered from the factory. That drives up acquisition costs, delays delivery and hampers efficiency, according to Ted Davis, vice president of North American supply chain for fleet […]
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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 […]
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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 […]
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What to Consider When Spec’ing Onboard Scales

Operating an overloaded truck is categorized as a misdemeanor in most U.S. states. Aside from putting the safety of the operator and the public at risk, overloading also can increase fines and lead to premature vehicle wear and tear. Fortunately, the availability of today’s onboard scale technology can help utility fleet managers ensure trucks operate […]
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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 […]
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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 […]
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