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Special Focus Archive


Accelerated Development: What’s New in All-Electric Medium- and Heavy-Duty Trucks

As you navigate the opportunities and challenges brought about by fleet electrification, it’s crucial to stay informed about the latest product news. This roundup delves into the latest news in the heavier all-electric truck segment from industry leaders Mack Trucks, Isuzu, Hino, Nikola and Tesla. Consider the impact these electric vehicles might have on your […]

What’s New in Truck and Van Upfits for 2023?

| Sean M. Lyden |
As you evaluate your truck and van specs, where do you see the best opportunities for improvement? Perhaps you could take weight out of the vehicle to reduce fuel costs or increase legal payload. Or upgrade your equipment to be more efficient and ergonomic, improving crew productivity and safety. Or electrify your onboard equipment to […]

Looking at Fleet Management Through a Legal Lens

| Sean M. Lyden |
Aggressive driver behaviors. Improper use of equipment. Distracted driving. These are just a few issues that increase a utility fleet’s risk of preventable accidents that can lead to multimillion-dollar payouts and ignite a public relations firestorm. So, what can you do as a fleet manager to help protect drivers, the public and your company’s reputation? […]

5 Fleet Technology Trends to Watch for 2023

| Sean M. Lyden |
Electrification is the most significant fleet technology trend right now. Most major automakers and heavy-equipment manufacturers have made substantial investments to shift their entire product portfolios from internal combustion engines to electric within the next 10 to 15 years. But what are some emerging technology trends that aren’t making headlines but could significantly impact your […]

Latest Developments in All-Electric Utility Construction Machines

| Sean M. Lyden |
There’s a lot of media coverage around the rollout of new electric vehicle models. But there’s one EV category not grabbing headlines – yet it’s still critical to achieving a utility fleet’s sustainability goals: utility construction equipment. All-electric machines eliminate emissions and allow crews to operate in noise-sensitive areas and outside of standard work hours. […]

ANSI A92.2: 2022 Changes and Training Requirements

| Phil Doud |
Here’s what owners and operators should know about upcoming updates to the standard. Updates are coming to the ANSI A92.2 standard, titled “American National Standard for Vehicle-Mounted Elevating and Rotating Aerial Devices.” Your most common piece of powered equipment soon will have new or revised requirements for design, manufacturing, testing, training and operation. These new […]

What’s New in Truck and Van Upfits in 2022?

| Sean M. Lyden |
Despite a lingering pandemic and a supply chain crisis, truck and van upfitters continue to bring new products to market that will help utility fleets cut costs, improve crew safety and productivity, and reduce carbon emissions. So, what are some notable new products and design enhancements to keep your eye on in 2022? Here are […]

What Utility Fleets Can Do to Improve Driver Safety Performance

| Sean M. Lyden |
How much does a vehicle collision cost your company in property damage, health care expenses, lost worker days, legal fees, and other direct and indirect costs? According to the latest report by the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety, available at, U.S. employers across various industries paid: $26,081 per crash in property damage. $78,418 […]

What’s New in Lifting Equipment for Utility Fleets in 2021

| Sean M. Lyden |
Lifting height, capacity, stability and range – these are all critical factors utility fleet professionals consider when spec’ing aerial platforms, cranes and other heavy-lifting equipment. They’re also looking for enhancements to machine safety, longevity and efficiency. So, what new products in the lifting equipment space have emerged in the past year to help fleet managers […]

What’s New in Digging Machines for Utility Fleets

| Sean M. Lyden |
Whether the job is digging trenches, drilling holes or digging in confined areas, you’re looking for machines and tools that can help your customers – the business units your department serves at your company – increase crew productivity at lower operating costs. Those are also the goals that many heavy-equipment manufacturers have in mind as […]

Con Edison Orders All-Electric Class 8 Bucket Truck for Pilot Program

| Sean M. Lyden |
In late March, Con Edison announced its partnership with electric truck OEM Lion Electric and Posi-Plus, an aerial device equipment manufacturer, to develop the first all-electric bucket truck in North America. “Medium- and heavy-duty trucks are more challenging to electrify than cars, but the purchase of our first all-electric bucket truck shows the market is […]

What’s New in Truck and Van Upfits for 2021

| Sean M. Lyden |
The past year with the pandemic has been anything but normal with sporadic nationwide lockdowns, supply chain challenges and vehicle production delays. But there’s one thing we can still count on: Truck and van body manufacturers and upfitters are continuing to bring new products to market that equip your crews to get more work done […]

Using Aerials and Digger Derricks in Slick Conditions

| Craig Ries |
As we enter the full grip of winter, setting up aerial devices and digger derricks in snowy and icy conditions brings additional concerns for equipment operators. Normal traction is greatly reduced, which could put a truck in an unstable position. Variable site locations – on gravel or grass, sloped or level – and the urgency […]

3 Factors to Consider When Retrofitting LED Lights on Work Trucks

| Sean M. Lyden |
It makes sense that most truck OEMs, body manufacturers and upfitters have made the switch from conventional incandescent bulbs to light-emitting diode (LED) lighting for their latest models. After all, LEDs last exponentially longer, shine brighter, burn cooler and draw less power. And although LEDs are more expensive upfront, the cost drops significantly over the […]

What’s New in Digging Machines for Utility Fleets?

| Sean M. Lyden |
When the job is to dig trenches, drill holes or dig in tight spaces, how can utility crews get more work done in less time at lower cost? That’s the question many heavy-equipment manufacturers ask themselves as they design and develop new digging machines and accessories. So, what new products have emerged within the past […]

New Developments to Watch in Telematics

| Sean M. Lyden |
The fleet telematics industry has come a long way since 2000, when Geotab’s ( executive vice president of sales and marketing, Colin Sutherland, joined the Ontario, Canada-based telematics company. “Back then, [telematics] was all about collecting data on board the vehicle itself and, in many cases, having to manually transfer that data to a computing […]

What’s New in Truck and Van Upfits for 2020?

| Sean M. Lyden |
The industry’s leading body manufacturers and upfitters in the truck and van sector are developing new products that equip your crews to get more work done in less time and with less strain. Some companies are incorporating lighter-weight materials in their product designs so that you can increase a truck’s payload without bumping up to […]

Driverless Vehicles are Closer Than They Appear

| Sean M. Lyden |
You know the label on a vehicle’s sideview mirror that reads, “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear”? Perhaps something similar could be said about autonomous vehicles (AVs): They’re closer than we expect. Now, most industry experts agree that full SAE Level 5 driverless vehicles – which can drive themselves anywhere, at any speed, […]

Using Technology to Eliminate Aerial Device Overloads

| Dan Brenden |
Knowing bucket capacity and understanding how to read a jib load chart are two critical elements of aerial device operation. While both tasks are fairly straightforward, it is crucial to stay within the allowable capacity of the unit. The platform capacity and material-handling capacity provided by the manufacturer are not recommendations – they are absolute […]

Pole Removal and Setting Techniques to Prevent Digger Derrick Damage

| Jason Julius |
Digger derricks are among the most versatile tools on a utility line construction project. They are built to tackle a myriad of tasks, from digging holes and lifting and setting poles to turning in screw anchors, putting lineworkers in the air and setting transformers. In short, digger derricks are hardworking tools used to solve a […]