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AUGUST 2023 Archive

The End of the Pin-On Man Basket

I have been warning my clients to prepare for an expensive high-reach, non-insulating platform compliance issue, and that time is very near, if not already here. The issue is the use of pin-on man baskets for cranes. For quite a few years, it has been illegal to use a crane to hoist personnel with a […]
The Utility Expo - image courtesy of The Utility Expo

The Utility Expo 2023: A Preview

This year’s Utility Expo – produced by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers – is expected to be the biggest show yet for utility industry professionals, exceeding the size and scope of the last expo held in 2021. The event, which runs September 26-28 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, will feature more than 850 […]
2021 Chassis Cab

How to Make the Right Choice: Gas vs. Diesel for Medium-Duty Trucks

| David Cullen |
Weighing whether to select gasoline versus diesel power for work trucks is enough to make your head spin into another dimension – of choice, that is. Thanks to advances in engine designs and greater availability of gasoline power, there is more than ever to think about when picking a gasoline or diesel option, including deciding […]
smart-fleets Aug-23

Best Practices for Managing a Shared Vehicle Pool

| Grace Suizo |
How many vehicles does your organization use every day? What about weekly? Monthly? According to Mike Hicks, vice president of marketing for Agile Fleet (, these can be challenging questions for prospective clients to answer. “For many organizations, it can be difficult to track what vehicles are owned, where they are, their condition and mileage, […]
service level agreement

Establishing and Managing Service-Level Agreements

Service-level agreements (SLAs) are a powerful tool in managing vendor performance for outsourced fleet maintenance. An SLA is a contract that describes expectations for service quality. It may include, for example, guaranteed turnaround time for preventive vehicle maintenance. The fleet manager can bank on an oil change being completed in 72 hours and plan the […]
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 […]

7 Ways Fleet Professionals Can Use ChatGPT to Boost Productivity

Most headlines about artificial intelligence sound the alarm about how AI will disrupt industries and take away jobs. But what’s the reality? What impact could AI have on fleet management? Will it put you out of a job? Or will it make your job easier and more productive? If OpenAI’s ChatGPT ( is any indication, […]

What’s New in Utility Construction Equipment in 2023?

| Sean M. Lyden |
When digging trenches, lifting materials or drilling in tight spaces, how can utility crews get more work done in less time at a lower operational cost and with a smaller carbon footprint? Those are the primary factors heavy-equipment manufacturers consider as they design and develop new utility construction equipment. What new products have emerged this […]

Using Supporting Materials with Stabilizers and Outriggers

| Kris Koberg |
When utility workers are tasked with setting up equipment, oftentimes it’s along roadsides with slopes, ditches or unstable surfaces. Unfortunately, equipment tip-overs continue to be one of the most common job site accidents, but they are generally preventable with proper planning, training and the use of outrigger pads, cribbing or blocking. Knowing when and how […]
Wisdom of the Bullfrog

Tap into ‘The Wisdom of the Bullfrog’ for Career Growth

| Sean M. Lyden |
As a fleet manager, you don’t just manage assets; you also lead people. And your career success hinges on how well your office staff, shop supervisors and technicians perform. So, how can you become a more effective leader poised to move up the ranks in your company? Check out Admiral William H. McRaven’s new book, […]