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December 2021 Archive

Containing Contagions in Close Quarters

Pandemic preparation is nothing new. In fact, I have been telling employers since the 1980s that a pandemic plan is one of the business/safety mechanisms they should have in place. It’s just good practice to address and interrupt a contagion that could potentially immobilize the employer’s workforce. The United States has been researching pandemic responses […]

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 […]

An Electric Pickup to Watch: The 2022 Rivian R1T

| Sean M. Lyden |
In recent months, Ford and GM have unveiled their concept models with plans to build an all-electric full-size pickup truck beginning next year. But there’s one OEM with actual electric truck production models on the roads right now. It’s Rivian (, an Irvine, California-based startup that raised $10.5 billion and recently filed to go public. […]

Using Telematics to Drive Fleet Safety Improvements

| Sandy Smith |
As director of product strategy and telematics at Element Fleet Management (, Kimberly Clark knows exactly how her utility fleet clients are using telematics to improve safety. In a recent interview with UFP, Clark described a couple of scenarios that have benefited those clients. One – a 4,000-unit energy utility fleet – uses “in-cab feedback […]

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 […]

Power Ahead: The Coming of Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Trucks

| David Cullen |
Even as electric utilities and other fleet operators are embracing battery-electric medium- and heavy-duty trucks to move to zero-emission power, another wave of alternative power is rolling in: the hydrogen fuel cell. Just as a battery-electric vehicle (BEV) delivers zero-emission power, so does a fuel-cell vehicle (FCV). Thanks to several key advantages of FCV design, […]

Winterizing Your Crews

| Grace Suizo |
There’s no need to wait until winter to start getting your fleet ready for the season, according to Ben Langley, director of training and development innovation for Driving Dynamics (, a provider of fleet driver safety training and risk services. In a recent interview with UFP, Langley encouraged fleets to immediately develop a winter driving […]

Stocking Critical Parts in a Supply Chain Crisis

| Sean M. Lyden |
A semiconductor shortage has crippled production in the automotive sector, forcing many utility fleets to extend the service life of their existing vehicles until new units arrive, whenever that may be. And that could be a problem. That’s because as the global economy emerges from the pandemic, the combination of increased consumer demand and constrained […]

Win Them Over

As a fleet manager, your role is about more than managing assets; you also must manage and work with people to get things done. Think about it. No matter how bulletproof you believe your proposal might be for, say, why the fleet department should receive a larger budget this year, you can expect some pushback […]