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NTEA Work Truck Show 2020 in Indianapolis, IN

NTEA Work Truck Show |  March 3-6, 2020 in Chicago, IL

Produced annually by NTEA – The Association for the Work Truck Industry, The Work Truck Show® features the latest vocational trucks, vans, vehicle components and truck equipment from 530 exhibitors on a Show floor covering more than 500,000 square feet. The event includes a robust educational conference with industry-specific training and opportunities to engage the commercial vehicle community at special events.

Click here to learn more: worktruckshow.com

 

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ATSSA Convention & Traffic Expo 2020 in New Orleans, LA

ATSSA Convention & Traffic Expo |  January 24-28, 2020 in New Orleans, LA

For its 50th Anniversary, ATSSA’s Annual Convention & Traffic Expo is THE event for more than 3,500 roadway safety professionals and transportation officials. Network with all manner of roadway safety personnel at various events, view the latest industry products and services, raise your level of engagement with high-quality education and information sessions, and so much more in New Orleans.

Click here to learn more: expo.atssa.com

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Chicago Auto Show 2020 in Chicago, IL

Chicago Auto Show |  February 8-17, 2020 in Chicago, IL

First staged in 1901, the Chicago Auto Show is the largest auto show in North America and has been held more times than any other auto exposition on the continent. This year marks the 112th edition of the Chicago Auto Show.

All Chicago Auto Show exhibits are held in the McCormick Place complex. Exhibitions include: multiple world and North American introductions; a complete range of domestic and imported passenger cars and trucks; sport utility vehicles; and experimental or concept cars. In total, nearly 1,000 different vehicles will be on display. 

Click here to learn more: chicagoautoshow.com

The SEMA Show 2019 in Las Vegas, NV

The SEMA Show |  November 5-8, 2019 in Las Vegas, NV

The SEMA Show is the premier automotive specialty products trade event in the world. It draws the industry’s brightest minds and hottest products to one place, the Las Vegas Convention Center. In addition, the SEMA Show provides attendees with educational seminars, product demonstrations, special events, networking opportunities and more.

Click here to learn more: semashow.com

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International Construction & Utility Equipment Exposition (ICUEE) 2019 in Louisville, KY

International Construction & Utility Equipment Exposition (ICUEE) | October 1-3, 2019 in Louisville, KY

ICUEE is the utility industry’s largest trade show, covering 30+ acres of indoor and outdoor exhibits, and bringing together more than 19,000 utility professionals every two years.

Click here to learn more: icuee.com

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PWX 2019 to Draw Thousands of Public Works Professionals to Seattle

Thousands of public works professionals will convene in Seattle September 8-11 when PWX – owned and produced by the American Public Works Association – takes place at the Washington State Convention Center. Trade professionals, municipal leaders, government officials and individuals from the private sector are expected to attend to take advantage of learning and networking opportunities focused on the topics of infrastructure, workforce and technical issues facing communities.

The 2019 show is expected to attract more than 5,000 attendees from across the globe, and over 350 of the public works industry’s top suppliers will be exhibiting in nearly 80,000 net square feet of exhibit space.

“The success of our recent PWXes confirms that public works professionals require an all-inclusive, one-stop shop for all their public works and infrastructure needs,” said Scott D. Grayson, CAE, executive director of the American Public Works Association. “Attendees will see and learn about innovative solutions, and trending technologies and equipment, that will help them build, protect and maintain the critical infrastructure for which they are responsible.”

Approximately 125 technical and professional development sessions will be delivered during PWX 2019. Following are just a few of the sessions that attendees will be able to choose from:

  • Planning Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure for Your Community
  • Using Underground Infrastructure to Benefit a Community
  • Applying High-Performance Concepts to Small Teams
  • How to Create a Carbon Neutral and Asset Sustainable City
  • Technology Impacts on Roadway Maintenance and Operations
  • Successfully Implement a GPS/AVL Solution for Winter Maintenance

Attendees who purchase a full registration will have the opportunity to participate in the Public Works Stormwater Summit, which will take place over the course of two afternoons and provide up-to-the-minute, must-know information about managing stormwater systems.

PWX 2019 also will offer workshops – including “Self-Assessment Using the Public Works Management Practices Manual” – technical tours to a variety of locations throughout Seattle and networking opportunities such as the Get Acquainted Party.

*****

When: September 8-11, 2019

Where: Washington State Convention Center, Seattle

Web: https://pwx.apwa.net

Snapshot: Produced by the American Public Works Association, PWX draws thousands of public works professionals from all over the world. An estimated 5,000 professionals are expected at the 2019 event, which will feature more than 125 technical and professional development sessions, 80,000 net square feet of exhibit space, networking opportunities and more.

Utility Fleet Safety Track in Denton, TX

Utility Fleet Safety Track at the iP Utility Safety Conference & Expo | April 29 – May 2, 2019 in Denton, TX

We are dedicated to safe utility fleet operations, that’s why we’ve added a Utility Fleet Safety Track to the iP Utility Safety Conference & Expo.

Click here to learn more: utilitysafetyconference.com/agenda/utility-fleet-safety-track

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MEA Transportation & Fleet Learning Conference 2019 in Louisville, KY

MEA Transportation & Fleet Learning Conference | April 9-10, 2019 in Louisville, KY

The MEA Transportation & Fleet Learning Conference is designed by and for utility fleet personnel. Topics such as Fleet Emergency Response, Electrification, and Fleet Rightsizing are covered through industry-expert presentations and peer-to-peer learning over two days. 

Click here to learn more: meaenergy.org

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Chicago Auto Show 2019 in Chicago, IL

Chicago Auto Show | February 9-18, 2019 in Chicago, IL

First staged in 1901, the Chicago Auto Show is the largest auto show in North America and has been held more times than any other auto exposition on the continent. This year marks the 111th edition of the Chicago Auto Show. The Chicago Auto Show utilizes more than 1 million square feet in the North and South Exhibit Halls of the McCormick Place complex. 

Click here to learn more: chicagoautoshow.com

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Driving Fleet Value and Performance

“The Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference is an unparalleled opportunity for fleet professionals,” said Gerald Owens, fleet manager at Oncor Electric Delivery and EUFMC president. “EUFMC offers educational sessions on management topics by industry experts, manufacturers and fleets, and roundtables where fleet managers share best practices and work with suppliers and service providers to address challenges. This conference is a unique forum where fleet managers can exchange ideas and network with suppliers who showcase new technologies and are prepared to discuss technical and operational issues.”

EUFMC continues to attract a record number of attendees. In 2013, more than 100 fleet professionals from about 75 investor-owned electric utilities in the U.S. and Canada came to the conference.

“I knew after attending my first EUFMC in 2009 that this conference would be one that I could not afford to miss each year,” said Chris Wilson, supervisor at Knoxville Utilities Board, Transportation Department. “Having the ability to network with some of the top fleet managers in the country, as well as the informative and detailed display of products presented by manufacturers, has been well worth my attendance. EUFMC is an excellent learning environment, and at the end of each year’s conference I leave with knowledge, real-life solutions, ideas and contacts that have proven to be invaluable.”

“For me professionally and for my company,” stated Dave Fisher, fleet manager at PNM Resources, “EUFMC hits home because it’s relevant for electric utility fleets. Unlike other conferences we’ve attended, everybody at the Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference is dealing with the same issues, and the exhibits at the show are all focused on the same types of equipment we use. EUFMC is a great place to interact with top utility fleet people from across the nation.”

Driving Fleet Value and Performance
For 2014, EUFMC educational program presentations will include:
• CNG – Hear the facts from utilities and industry experts about their experiences, success and issues regarding the use of CNG in a utility fleet.
• Regulatory Update – Get information on current federal and state regulatory issues affecting utility fleets, and learn how to influence decisions.
• Safety – Hear about the process one utility used to investigate and reduce recordable incidents, and lessons learned.
• Managing Driver Performance and Vehicle Information – Get expert advice on the risks and advantages of telematics and other onboard systems.
• Vehicle Electrification – Utility executives explain their position on vehicle electrification.
• How Do You Do It? – A panel of utility fleet professionals provides insight on a variety of current, relevant topics, including technician recruiting and training, sourcing parts, fuel cost reduction and more. Presenters on the agenda include Gregg Doeden of Arizona Public Service, Dave Fisher of PNM Resources and Diana Weaver of American Electric Power.
• Tires: Minimizing Failures and Managing Cost – Fleet managers and manufacturers discuss minimizing tire costs with successful management programs and advancements in tire technology, tire pressure monitoring and failure analysis.

Featured Speakers
Werner J. Schweiger, electric distribution president at Northeast Utilities, will offer valuable insights to EUFMC attendees based on 30 years of utility industry experience. Currently, Schweiger is responsible for overall operations at Northeast Utilities’ four electric operating companies that deliver electricity to more than 3 million customers in 525 cities and towns in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Previously, Schweiger served at NSTAR as president of NSTAR Electric, where he was responsible for distribution, engineering and investment planning across a system serving 1.1 million customers, and as senior vice president of operations with responsibility for electric and gas operations, engineering, metering, fleet, training and investment planning. Earlier in his career, Schweiger held positions at Long Island Lighting Co. and KeySpan Corp.

Bonnie St. John, who has been called one of the five most inspiring women in America by “NBC Nightly News,” will bring her message of success to the 2014 EUFMC. St. John is a highly successful Paralympics athlete, best-selling author, television and radio personality, business owner and consultant to senior Fortune 500 business executives.

Today, St. John travels the globe speaking and leading seminars for corporate clients, and researching writing projects. She frequently donates personal appearances to schools, homeless shelters, community groups and other organizations. St. John is also the author of six books.

Supplier Support
EUFMC is supported by suppliers who take part in a drive-through utility equipment demonstration and an exhibition of more than 60 displays of the latest equipment and services for utility fleets. In 2013, 250-plus representatives from more than 95 manufacturers and service providers were in attendance.

“Preco Electronics Inc. has been attending EUFMC for a number of years,” said Peter Evans, vice president at Preco Electronics. “The unique format of the event creates the perfect atmosphere for sharing ideas and building strong business relationships that continue long after the last day of the conference.”

“Equipment Technology has been a proud sponsor of the Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference for many years,” added Chris Neuberger, president of Equipment Technology. “ETI believes strongly in the value of the conference as it provides an environment to dialogue and work collaboratively toward industry solutions.”

At EUFMC 2014, the International Fluid Power Society will present its range of hydraulic and pneumatic certifications and membership and education offerings for utility fleets and equipment manufacturers. Included is the IFPS Mobile Hydraulic Mechanic certification, a third-party assessment of an individual technician’s skill level. Also offered by the organization are membership programs for individuals and corporations, and online and on-site education through a network of service providers.

Excellent Opportunity
“EUFMC is one of the best conferences,” said Marvin Snyder, manager of operations at Adams Electric Cooperative. “The exchange of ideas, the viewing of new equipment and technology, and meeting vendors and other fleet managers are excellent opportunities that occur as a result of attending. The roundtable discussions are also very informative. Adams Electric Cooperative is relatively small compared to the larger utilities in attendance, but we have most of the same issues, so listening to others is very helpful and gives us insights on solutions.”

“EUFMC is one of the only conferences that I go to annually,” said Pat Procaccini, manager of transportation and equipment at PSE&G. “The topics that are presented are always timely and the information provided is extremely useful. This conference also provides adequate time to network with other fleet professionals. I continue to reach out to the professionals that I meet during the conference on a regular basis to leverage their vast combined experience to help better my organization, and to share my experiences.”

For more than 60 years, EUFMC has lived up to its objectives, which include providing educational and technical information in a forum where utility fleet professionals can exchange ideas, and promoting cooperation between manufacturers and service suppliers and fleet executives.

Future EUFMC meeting dates are May 31-June 3, 2015, and June 5-8, 2016. For more information, visit www.eufmc.com.

About the Author: Seth Skydel has more than 28 years of truck- and automotive-related publication experience. In his career, he has held editorial roles at numerous national business-to-business publications focusing on fleet and transportation management, vehicle and information technology, and industry trends and issues.

Record Pace

At press time, ICUEE 2013 is on track to set new records. Strong exhibitor demand is pushing exhibit space to capacity, attendee registrations continue to outpace the last two shows and a new education program lineup is attracting near-record sales.

“We certainly hope these positive ICUEE trends reflect a more sustained industry recovery,” said Dennis Slater, president of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, the owner and producer of ICUEE.

ICUEE, known as The Demo Expo, brings electric, phone/cable, sewer/water, gas, general construction, landscaping and public works professionals together with experts from manufacturers and service providers to discuss and compare the latest product innovations and to operate equipment in job-like conditions.

More than 16,000 attendees are expected at the event where they will find 800+ exhibitors and more than 25 acres of indoor and outdoor exhibits and product demonstrations. New for 2013 is an indoor exhibitor demo stage where attendees will have opportunities for a firsthand look at new technologies.

Expanded, upgraded education programming at ICUEE 2013 will give attendees a more comprehensive understanding of key industry topics of interest. A record number of industry organizations are co-locating events and education sessions at ICUEE this year.

Included are the Association of Equipment Management Professionals Asset Management Symposium; the Fluid Power Conference, produced and managed by Hydraulics & Pneumatics, which will feature a full day of technical sessions highlighting basic fluid power and troubleshooting for utility vehicles; and the National Rural Water Association’s H2O-XPO for decision-makers and buyers in the water and wastewater industries.

Other educational events being held in conjunction with ICUEE this year include a CALSTART education conference focused on sustainable solutions for fleets and NAFA professional development programs on risk management for fleet managers. The National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators will host several exams and its new Service Truck Crane Operator Course and Certification program.

Additionally at ICUEE 2013, the North American Society for Trenchless Technology is co-locating its Cured-in-Place Pipe Good Practices course for trenchless professionals, Underground Construction Technology is holding educational programming relating to the underground construction and rehabilitation infrastructure, and the iP Utility Safety Conference & Expo, produced by UFP’s sister publication, Incident Prevention, will hold its education event for safety, training and operations professionals.

While industry professionals continue to view ICUEE as a valuable venue, as many as 16 industry groups have signed on as official supporting organizations. A full list of these organizations can be found at http://icuee.com/about/supportedby/orgs/.

ICUEE traces its roots to an Illinois farm in the summer of 1966 where Illinois Bell invited 12 trencher manufacturers to demonstrate equipment in the same field on the same day. The event was such a success that it was repeated in 1969 and 1972 as a three-day utility equipment show. By the late 1970s, ICUEE had become a biennial event.

Today, ICUEE is setting new attendance and participation records for its growing education programs and its equipment demonstrations that allow attendees to make effective competitive comparisons.

Seth Skydel
Editor

EUFMC 60th Anniversary

This year, the Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference celebrates its 60th anniversary. Sixty years is bound to bring a significant amount of change to anything, and bucket trucks are no exception. Utility Fleet Professional talked with industry professionals for their thoughts on the evolution of aerial lift devices.

Bucket trucks 60 years ago were very useful for the times. “The first bucket trucks were tremendous improvements to work practices that eliminated climbing poles,” said Joe Caywood, director of marketing and strategic initiatives for Terex Utilities. Caywood said an innovative fiberglass boom also allowed lineworkers to work on and around live lines without being tied to the pole. “At the time, poles were shorter and chassis did not support large equipment, so the average distribution line truck was sized more like today’s trouble truck.”

In the last 60 years those first bucket trucks have seen transformation and progress in a variety of areas. “Equipment capabilities have leaped forward and the ability to improve work methods has provided a smarter, safer environment for the lineworker, with more productivity, less fatigue, and less long-term wear and tear on the worker,” said C. Michael Anderson, P.E., a North Carolina-based engineering consultant formerly with Altec Industries. “In the mid-1980s, the equipment changed significantly. Work methods allowed the lineman to take advantage of available advancements in hydraulics, composites, and vehicles such that ergonomics and safety are major features in addition to cost and productivity.”

“From a repair and maintenance standpoint, I think the engineering has come a long way [in the last 60 years],” said Judie Taylor, president of DUECO. “It’s not only about the engineering of the bucket trucks and the use of them, but also being able to maintain them better.”

Mechanical Advances
Progressive steps forward have been taken during the history of the bucket truck in regard to hydraulics, chassis and other important parts. “Power sources have historically relied on the chassis engine to provide power for the boom,” Caywood said. “Advancements with PTOs have significantly improved efficiency and reliability. Changes from carbureted gas engines to computer-controlled engines significantly improved engine control and reduced work site noise. Today advanced hybrid solutions provide a quiet alternative energy source supplied from onboard stored energy.”

“We are able to diagnose a lot more on the chassis side of things with troubleshooting and the computerization of that,” Taylor said. “On the tower side of it, the true bucket truck side of it, a lot of the hydraulics obviously have changed. Safety features have definitely been enhanced.”

Similar to chassis changes over the years, aerial devices have evolved significantly. “With pole heights increasing, the aerial devices increased in working height and platform capacity to match the requirements of the job. Over this time, features and options also continually advanced,” Caywood said. Some of these enhancements and developments include the single stick controller, material-handling jibs, hydraulically compensated (coordinated action) booms, telescopic booms, elevators, basket rotators and lifters, and advances with dielectric materials.

“Back when I started in 1994, I would say 48-foot units were significant and probably the most popular distribution units, whereas now 55-foot units are the most popular,” Taylor said. “There is an increase in the line heights, and pole heights have changed so utility trucks have had to change with that.”

Safety Regulations
Mechanics and power sources have gotten bigger and more complex, according to Darin Hinnergardt, Altec Sentry Safety Program manager, “which leads to increased training for a better educated, more informed workforce. As a result, there is a need for safer aerial devices and digger derricks,” he said.

Safety regulations have also helped the industry to progress, with the addition of OSHA’s 1926.1400 standard to address cranes and digger derricks in the field being the most recent. But Hinnergardt said that it wasn’t until 1971 that OSHA was established and brought guidance to the industry. “In the ’70s, the lower boom insert was introduced to help protect the ground worker,” he added.

Caywood said the biggest advantage has been the reduction of wear and tear on today’s lineworkers. “Linemen are working much longer, in better health, because of the reduction of stress on their body from not having to climb poles all day long. Features we take for granted such as boom interlocks and moving outrigger alarms aid the operator to perform their tasks safely.”

The Next 60
A look to the future will see continued focus on innovation, integration and weight management, according to Caywood. “Fuel savings will be realized by each pound that can be reduced from the aerial device through use of lighter-weight, higher-strength materials combined with efficient systems that integrate and control chassis, aerial and operator,” he said. “As with all improvements that have been yielded over the years, they start with the voice of the customer and recognizing their needs.”

Hybrid systems have been one of the biggest recent advancements, and Taylor expects that to continue in the future. “The introduction of hybrids certainly has, I think, helped the industry to be aware that there is definitely a need for alternative fuels,” Taylor said. “I do think hybrids are here to stay and we will see more evolution of that technology. I also think from a regulatory standpoint and a safety standpoint we will continue to see more stringent regulations on the industry with the operation of bucket trucks and digger derricks.”

About the Author: Wade Vonasek is a writer and editor. His work has appeared both in print and online for publications such as Mass Transit, Professional Tool & Equipment News, Fleet Maintenance and more. He resides in Bristol, Wis.

The Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference

It all began in 1953. The desire of utility fleet managers for a convention of their own, one that would address the specific needs of their operations, became the mission and vision of Joseph B. Baker, the founder of Baker Equipment Engineering Co., and Jean Y. Ray, the fleet manager at Virginia Electric Power Co. (now part of Dominion Power), who hosted the first Public Utility Fleet Managers Conference at the Tides Inn in Irvington, Va. While the conference did not officially change its name to the Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference until 1964, EUFMC was born. ~ EUFMC History 1953-2013

In 1961, 28 fleet managers and about 25 suppliers attended the Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference. Today, the nonprofit association hosts 100 fleet managers from about 60 investor-owned electric utilities, electric cooperatives and electric contractors from the U.S., Canada and South America, and more than 250 representatives of about 95 manufacturers and service providers.

In its early years, EUFMC was truly a public utility conference. Its membership included fleet managers from electric, telephone and gas utilities, among others. By the early 1960s, its founders had redefined the focus of the conference, centering more on electric utility issues. Since 1951, when the first meetings took place to plan the inaugural EUFMC in 1953, 32 fleet managers from operations across the U.S. have served as president of the conference.

“EUFMC has always been organized by a small group of utility fleet representatives for the benefit and education of the utility fleet professionals that attend the event each year,” said Gerald Owens, fleet manager at Oncor Electric Delivery and this year’s EUFMC president. “The board of directors consists mainly of utility fleet professionals, all volunteers who devote time to the conference with the support of their companies.”

Sixty Years of Service
Decade by decade, EUFMC has served the changing needs of utility fleets and addressed the continuing advent of new technologies.

“Some things never change and that’s a good thing about EUFMC,” said Ven Burwell, retired fleet manager from Duke Power who served as EUFMC president from 1991-1992. “At the conference, fleet managers were concerned about how to save maintenance costs, and we were very interested in new technologies such as electric, natural gas and light-duty diesel trucks. EUFMC has always been a great conference where we could learn about fleet ideas and make more effective decisions.”

Conference programs listing topics of discussions across the years tell the story. In the early 1960s, EUFMC attendees were discussing derrick and digger combinations and aerial devices as well as all types of trucks and bodies. Over the years, topics have included legislative and regulatory issues and a range of fleet management subjects such as vehicle utilization and acquisition, benchmarking, fleet management software, life cycle cost models and best practices in preventive maintenance. In recent years, the conference program has covered the latest vehicle, equipment and shop technologies as well as alternative fuels and managing environmental compliance.

Bringing People Together
EUFMC promotes cooperation between fleet professionals and suppliers who come to the annual conference prepared to discuss technical issues and operational needs, address challenges, share best practices and find solutions. Activities include a drive-through utility equipment demonstration and an exhibition of the latest equipment and services for utility fleets, the site today of more than 60 displays.

“While some of the original manufacturers at EUFMC are no longer in business, there has always been an effort by suppliers to bring engineers to the show, people who can talk to fleets, listen to their suggestions and solve problems,” said Dick Rosenmeier, retired fleet manager at Public Service Electric and Gas Co., who was EUFMC president from 1982-1985. “That’s one reason it was always desirable to be invited. It’s an original concept that still stands because it’s a good one.”

“I have been attending EUFMC for 58 years,” related Lenny Fernandez, recently retired utility sales manager at Reading Truck Body. “The conference has always been about attaining knowledge from fellow attendees that you could not get anywhere else. Vendors and utility representatives come here with knowledge of products and what works in their operations.”

For many attendees, EUFMC has continued to be successful because it has not lost sight of its original mission – to bring together decision-makers from both sides of the partnership between fleets and manufacturers.

“It’s hard to imagine that any group can stick to its founding principles after so long,” said Skip Baker, president of Baker Equipment and grandson of conference founder Joseph B. Baker. “Yes, it has grown significantly, and the topics of conference discussions have changed with evolving technology and work practices, but the group’s fundamental reason for assembling year after year hasn’t. Fleet managers come to Williamsburg to learn and share.”

About the Author: Seth Skydel has more than 27 years of truck- and automotive-related publication experience. In his career, he has held editorial roles at numerous national business-to-business publications focusing on fleet and transportation management, vehicle and information technology, and industry trends and issues.

Fleet Management: Addressing Core Issues Minimizes Costs

Many companies are facing their biggest budget challenges in their history, noted Bob Pitts, senior principal at Accenture. Additionally, companies that typically operate large, specialized fleets of vehicles in support of their operations face additional pressures to reduce costs to meet these budget challenges. These fleets inevitably require large commitments of scarce capital and are expensive to operate and maintain while complying with corporate and legislative mandates. A proper strategic focus can deliver exceptional value, enhance reliability of service and improve public perception.

Pitts explains that turning a fleet from a necessary evil into a strategic asset requires addressing several core issues:
• Fleets that are suboptimized will drive operational and capital expenses higher than needed.
• Suboptimized fleets have more vehicles than necessary and asset utilization is low.
• Fleets are treated as a cost of doing business rather than a strategic asset.
• Supplier management is not advanced and fleets do not leverage spending to drive savings.
• Full life-cycle management and planning are subpar and usually driven by budgetary constraints.

“Key issues in fleet management involve capital commitments and management, as well as operating effectiveness and cost,” stated Mike Reiss, associate principal at Accenture. “Fleet asset utilization is not typically tracked or measured at an appropriate level, which leads to unwanted outcomes, such as having more vehicles than necessary, additional operating and maintenance costs, and not always having the right vehicles for the jobs they are needed to do. Additionally, fleet costs are usually fragmented and are rarely captured in total, which leads to problems in trying to adequately and accurately assess operating efficiency and evaluate strategic opportunities.

“Fleet management and fleet operations are not generally viewed as core competencies by nontransportation companies,” Reiss continued, “so it’s not surprising that focusing the spotlight on key areas will illuminate opportunities for operational improvements. Much of these opportunities can be identified and acted upon through best practices benchmarking, implementing and employing the appropriate decision support technology, and generating and maintaining high-quality data for monitoring and measuring progress and results.”

Accenture’s integrated fleet management methodology can provide a set of strategies to minimize total cost of ownership:
Buying smart: Strategic sourcing techniques drive some of the greatest value attainable in fleet management.
Operating smart: Pay rigorous attention to core operating practices involving maintenance and repair, fuel management, parts management and inventory control.
Selling smart: Disposing of vehicles at the appropriate time in their life cycle to maximize residual value.

An integrated fleet management program requires that all of these activities be analyzed, measured and managed as interdependent fleet management functions.

For more information, visit www.accenture.com.

About the Author: Seth Skydel has more than 27 years of truck- and automotive-related publication experience. In his career, he has held editorial roles at numerous national business-to-business publications focusing on fleet and transportation management, vehicle and information technology, and industry trends and issues.

Management Strategies

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night
It was one of those very intense New England winter storms that, in February 2011, buried Vermont in up to 4 feet of snow, not counting drifting snow. So much snow had piled up during the night that when Dan Mackey, fleet manager for Central Vermont Public Service, headed for his office in Rutland, he realized it was impossible to make it. The roads had not yet been sufficiently cleared, so Mackey had to settle for the nearby Poultney, Vt., office to try to manage the fleet from there.

About a dozen customers from the Benson, Vt., area were without power, a nasty situation to contemplate in the dead of winter in a rural area. Pat Traverse, operations supervisor, found out that the roads leading into that area would not be plowed for another day. Mackey overheard the comment and asked, if he could get someone over there with the GT2000, could service be restored to those customers? Traverse responded, “Let’s try it. Service restoration is very important and if we could get service restored to these few customers, the Poultney district would be finished with storm cleanup.”

After explaining the situation and conditions, Ed Baker, shop foreman, volunteered to drive the only equipment that had a chance of making it to the downed lines in that type of weather. He loaded a Prinoth GT2000 track carrier mounted with an Altec AM55 aerial device onto the back of a semitrailer and headed west to Benson. Baker went as far as he could on the unplowed roads before he had to stop. Brian Crossman, second-class lineman, and Baker then unloaded the GT2000 into the snow and ice and headed toward the broken line.

As the GT2000 powered its way to the target, snow built up in front of the windshield, about halfway up. This is equal to about 6 feet of snow that the GT2000 had to muscle through, hauling the 55-foot aerial device. After several hours of hard, cold work by man and machine, power was restored thanks to the combination of the Prinoth GT2000 and the Altec AM55 material-handling aerial device, along with a highly skilled lineman and a very capable vehicle operator.

In June 2012, the Vermont Public Service Board approved the merger of Green Mountain Power and CVPS. CVPS, a shareholder-owned electric utility, serves one of the most rural territories in the country. In place at CVPS is a fleet of more than 300 vehicles and nearly another 150 pieces of equipment. The utility’s transportation team provides a wide range of vehicle and maintenance services and, as was seen in February 2011, also fulfills a vital role as frontline support for operations during storms.

Bringing Tree-Trimming Fleet Needs to the Forefront
In early September, NAFA Fleet Management Association announced the formation of the Utility Line Clearance Tree Equipment Committee. The committee’s primary activities will include working to bring equipment needs to the attention of manufacturers. The objectives of ULCTEC include collaborating on industry equipment, regulatory issues and other concerns. The group also plans to standardize the approach to operator training and develop an operator training template that covers key areas for all equipment. ULCTEC will interact with both the NAFA Corporate Fleet and Utility Fleet committees.

Dave Lynn, CAFM, equipment service manager for Penn Line Service, is the committee chair, and Lenny Hedgelin, fleet and equipment training coordinator for Lucas Tree Experts, is ULCTEC’s vice chair. The committee’s secretary/treasurer is Kevin Fitzpatrick, CAFM, of Wright Tree Service, and its reporting officer is Claude Masters, CAFM, of Florida Power & Light. Other current ULCTEC members are Chuck Cotton of Lucas Tree Experts and Mike Harris, CAFM, of Carolina Tree Care. Committee membership is limited to NAFA members who have utility line tree clearance responsibilities.

Asplundh Crews Continue Storm Work
After Hurricane Isaac made landfall in late August, residents of Louisiana and Mississippi were among the first to see equipment and crews from Asplundh Tree Expert Co. Included were approximately 1,700 workers from 21 states who joined with hundreds of local Asplundh employees to remove storm-damaged limbs and trees. The crews were sent to assist utilities restoring power in the wake of the hurricane, including Entergy Corp., Central Louisiana Electric Co., Mississippi Power and Magnolia Electric Power Association.

Hundreds of these mobilized crews began their trek for storm restoration work weeks earlier when Florida Power & Light began to prepare for Hurricane Isaac to hit the southern half of the state. When Isaac skirted Florida’s western coast and headed for New Orleans, most of the crews were sent to Louisiana and Mississippi. Asplundh also sent its mobile storm center trailer to Baton Rouge, La., to be a base of operations and communication for its crews. At the same time, Asplundh’s storm coordination team, in its Willow Grove, Pa., headquarters, worked throughout the Labor Day holiday to expedite the movement of crews and address logistical issues.

Life Cycle Cost Modeling
The issues are not unfamiliar to utility fleet managers. While developing models for vehicle replacements that meet operational and cost needs, fleets must also compete for capital funds and address the impact of inconsistent funding. If the fleet is aging due to a lack of capital for replacements, there is the added concern about having enough trained technicians to care for older vehicles.

Fleet managers involved in this process ask themselves important questions. Why do we replace vehicles at specific intervals? What are the most recent utilization patterns and will they change? What are current and projected purchase prices? What are our parts and labor costs for particular types of equipment? What are our projected residual values at different replacement intervals?

The experiences of three fleets shed some light on this challenging aspect of utility fleet management and the ways in which positive results can be realized.

Kansas City Power & Light
“Our fleet is comprised of about 1,570 units and the average age of the equipment is just under eight years,” said Steve Granger, fleet manager. “Our life cycle study objectives took into account the aging fleet, our business model, and evaluations of previous practices and assumptions. The goal was to optimize the use of capital and level operating and maintenance costs.”

The result of this predictive approach, according to Granger, was an increase in capital funding of 30 percent over three years. “That was possible,” he added, “because we had a clear understanding of our objectives as we buy vehicles and equipment to support our company’s transmission and distribution and generation assets.”

Commonwealth Edison
Spanning a wide variety, there are nearly 3,100 vehicles and 1,100 pieces of equipment in the ComEd fleet. Annually, the utility’s vehicles travel more than 28 million miles.

“We had inconsistent funding from 2001 through 2009, which created large peaks and valleys in spending,” said Mike Radziewicz, director of fleet. “That also resulted in an aging fleet where about 40 percent of the vehicles and equipment were beyond life cycle. At the same time, 68 percent of the fleet is alternatively fueled and there’s interest in expanding the number of hybrid electric vehicles.

“Historically,” Radziewicz continued, “we had difficulty in competing for capital dollars and mathematically proving why we need consistent funding. Large groups of vehicles were coming due for replacement without funding in place and, at the same time, parts and labor costs and the number of annual work orders we generated were becoming unpredictable.”

The ComEd fleet’s recommendation for capital spending was based on a three-year – versus a five-year – vehicle life cycle. “We also indicated the benefits of maintaining recommended life cycles,” Radziewicz related. “Included were lower overall cost of vehicle ownership from reduced maintenance costs and improved residual values, reduced vehicle downtime that improved crew and fleet productivity through quicker maintenance turnaround, along with reduced rental costs.”

A strategy to optimize vehicle investments at ComEd was based on analyzing vehicle life cycle costs to determine optimal replacement cycles, and establishing a three- to five-year plan to bring the entire fleet back into an acceptable life cycle. “We used risk scoring to prioritize vehicle replacements,” Radziewicz said. “We standardized vehicle builds and types by vocation and matched fleet size to current and planned organizational staffing. The results include a vehicle replacement plan that calls for three years of consistent funding. We are also working to level future spending in the long-range budget.”

Pike Electric
With 7,500+ pieces of equipment, Pike Electric fields one of the largest electrical construction contracting fleets in the United States. Included are bucket trucks, digger derricks, cranes, pickups, and an assortment of dozers, excavators and backhoes.

To address replacement needs, said Cliff Edwards, vice president, fleet and support, Pike looks at controllable and other factors. Included are capital and maintenance costs and salvage or residual values. Other factors are standardization, the equipment’s condition at the time it’s being turned in, the benefits of an auction service or private sale, storm response and business growth needs, and contract stipulations. Additionally, replacement plans are impacted by equipment lead time and rental vehicle availability.

By taking into account all of the many factors outlined by these three utility executives, a path to determining the optimum time for vehicle and equipment replacement becomes clear.

Editor’s Note: These scenarios were first presented at the 2012 Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference. EUFMC 2013 will be held June 2-5 in Williamsburg, Va. For more information, visit www.eufmc.com.

ACT Expo News

Announcements from the Alternative Clean Transportation Expo, held at the Long Beach Convention Center in California.

ACT Expo brings together vehicle and engine manufacturers, fleet operators, infrastructure and fuel providers, Clean Cities coordinators, technology developers and policymakers. Visit www.actexpo.com for more.

Kenworth Green Truck Lineup
Four alternative fuel trucks were showcased by Kenworth Truck Company, including the T370 diesel-electric hybrid, which the manufacturer says helps enhance fuel economy by up to 50 percent in utility and service operations.

Also on display was a Kenworth T660 CNG truck equipped with the new Cummins Westport ISX12 G heavy-duty natural gas engine, a Kenworth T440 CNG mixer equipped with the 8.9-liter Cummins Westport ISL G engine and a Kenworth T800 LNG tractor with a 15-liter Westport HD engine.

“The ACT Expo is an important opportunity to demonstrate Kenworth’s continuing commitment to alternative fuel trucks, which are gaining increasing attention among vocational and medium-duty fleets,” said Michelle Harry, Kenworth powertrain marketing manager. “Kenworth’s alternative fuel product line features compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas, and diesel-electric hybrids.”

Visit www.kenworth.com for more.

Daimler Trucks North America Alternative Fuel Options
A number of natural gas-powered models were put on display by Daimler Trucks North America. Included were the Freightliner Cascadia 113-inch BBC day cab equipped with a Cummins Westport ISX12 G heavy-duty natural gas engine, along with a Freightliner 114SD setback axle CNG-powered dump truck, a Freightliner Business Class M2 112 LNG tractor and a Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation CNG walk-in van chassis. In addition, a Freightliner Business Class M2 106 hybrid, an FCCC all-electric walk-in van and an FCCC hydraulic hybrid walk-in van were showcased by DTNA.

“The breadth of our alternative fuel product offerings is in response to market feedback,” said David Hames, general manager, marketing and strategy for DTNA. “Customers in every segment want environmentally friendly solutions that enhance performance and we can meet that demand.”

Visit www.daimler-trucksnorthamerica.com for more.

ROUSH CleanTech on Display
A Ford E-450 cutaway fueled by propane autogas and owned by National Bus Sales, and Ford E-450 shuttle bus, F-250 pickup and E-250 cargo van models were displayed by the company at ACT Expo and made available for test drives.

Vehicles fueled with propane autogas emit significantly fewer greenhouse gases and smog-producing hydrocarbons, and virtually eliminate particulate matter when compared to conventional fuels, the company noted. All ROUSH CleanTech vehicles are certified to meet Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board guidelines.

Visit www.roushcleantech.com for more.

Keeping Pace

Regulatory and legislative concerns can certainly take up a considerable amount of a fleet manager’s time and energy. During the 2012 Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference, nearly 100 fleet executives from about 60 investor-owned electric utilities, electric cooperatives and electrical contractors across the U.S. and Canada heard firsthand about the latest issues that could impact their operations.

Pat O’Connor of Kent & O’Connor, legislative counsel for NAFA Fleet Management Association, provided EUFMC attendees with a comprehensive update on a wide range of topics. Three in particular could impact technology on vehicles.

Distracted Driving
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has restricted the use of handheld mobile phones by drivers of commercial motor vehicles and the National Transportation Safety Board has recommended a prohibition on the use of handheld and hands-free cellular telephones by all commercial drivers while driving in commercial operations.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has proposed voluntary guidelines calling on auto manufacturers to integrate technology in cars that automatically disables built-in phone calling, texting and other distracting devices unless the vehicle is parked. This rule would apply to vehicles under 10,000 pounds GVWR and cover communications, entertainment, information gathering, and navigation devices or functions that are not required to safely operate the vehicle. Approaches could include locking out electronic functions unless the vehicle is stopped and in park. At a later date, NHTSA will issue guidelines for mobile devices that are brought into the vehicle and address voice-activated controls.

OSHA is also addressing this subject by partnering with the DOT to focus on texting, including advising employers to prohibit any work policy or practice that requires or encourages workers to text while driving. When OSHA receives a credible complaint that an employer requires texting while driving or organizes work so that texting is a practical necessity, it will investigate and issue citations and penalties when necessary to end this practice.

Rear Vision
NHTSA is delaying a final rule until late this year that would expand the required field of view for all passenger cars, pickup trucks, minivans, buses and low-speed vehicles with a GVWR up to 10,000 pounds so drivers can see directly behind the vehicle when in reverse. NHTSA believes automobile manufacturers will install rear-mounted video cameras and in-vehicle displays to meet the proposed standard, but manufacturers have raised technical concerns.

Brake Throttle Override
A proposed regulation by NHTSA is intended to minimize the risk that drivers will lose control of their vehicles as a result of accelerator control system disconnections, accelerator pedal sticking or floor mat entrapment.

Other legislative and regulatory issues that utility fleet managers may want to monitor include those concerning hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid electric, neighborhood electric, and natural gas vehicles and refueling properties, as well as biodiesel and ethanol blends. Regulations covering underground storage tanks are also undergoing review and updating.

The focus on regulatory and legislative issues at EUFMC was a direct result of the interest in that information among fleet managers. “EUFMC this year was the largest ever,” said Gerald Owens, senior vice president of Oncor Electric Delivery and the new EUFMC president. “The Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference continues to hold great interest for fleet managers because the subjects we address help them meet the challenges they face every day in their organizations.”

The 60th annual Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference will be held June 2-5, 2013, at the Williamsburg Lodge and Conference Center in Williamsburg, Va. For more information, visit www.eufmc.com.

Seth Skydel
Editor

Past & Present

Held annually since 1953, the Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference (EUFMC) remains true to tradition while staying at the forefront when it comes to providing highly valuable and relevant information.

“EUFMC brings together a large cross-section of utilities from around the country, large and small, for one common cause – to gain knowledge from the presented programs, from each other, to view products and to interact with the utilities’ supplier base,” said Ron Anderson, manager, fleet and equipment at NorthWestern Energy. “In no other place do you find such in-depth knowledge for fleet managers.”

That is by design, notes George Survant, director of fleet services at Florida Power & Light and current EUFMC president. “EUFMC is unique in that it’s built on the guidance of professionals from within the industry it serves,” he said. “The result is an event featuring technical and management presentations that helps fleet managers make a difference in their organizations.”

EUFMC continues to attract record numbers of fleet executives from investor-owned electric utilities, electric cooperatives and electrical contractors from across the U.S. and Canada, as well as representatives of equipment and service suppliers. The annual exhibition of the latest utility equipment and services during the conference features more than 75 displays where fleet managers can meet with 250+ representatives from more than 95 manufacturers and service providers.

Close Cooperation
Since its inception, EUFMC has promoted close cooperation between fleet representatives and manufacturers.

“The Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference is an annual opportunity for the leaders in our company to share product ideas and technical information with leaders in the electrical utility fleet industry,” said James Christian, director of engineering at Time Manufacturing Company. “The multifaceted environment of the conference allows our company to show products in a unique drive-through format, participate in technical sessions and have one-on-one interaction with our customers. This is not just a ‘salesman’ show as engineers, like myself, are encouraged to attend and participate in the technical programs and roundtable discussions.”

Each year, EUFMC’s officers and board of directors put together a comprehensive program of technical presentations that includes fleet managers, suppliers and industry experts who address the topics that are most relevant to attending fleets. The 2012 program, “Essential Tools for Utility Fleet Professionals,” features presentations on the following topics:

Industry Trends – Light Duty Vehicles
Jim Michon, Ford
Tom Nimmo, Utilimarc
Craig Neuber, ARI

Life Cycle Costs – Models that Work
Chris Shaffer, Utilimarc
Steve Granger, KCP&L
Mike Radziewicz, ComEd
Cliff Edwards, Pike Electric

Best Practices in Preventive Maintenance
Jack Abraham, Nova Scotia Power

Diesel Engines – Current and Future
Dave Bryant, Freightliner
Tim Shick, Navistar

GPS/AVL – Looking for ROI
Alan Riddle, SCE
Craig Stepien, FP&L
Tim Mooney, PHH
Tim Taylor, Telogis

Regulatory/Legislative Update
Bill Van Amburg, CALSTART
Pat O’Connor, Kent & O’Connor
Josh Chard, Altec Industries

Battling the Scales – Bridge Law Compliance
Mike Allison, Duke Energy
Bill Hall, Minnesota Power
Joe Caywood, Terex

PM Practices & Technician Training Survey Results
EUFMC attendees have indicated a high level of interest in the practices that utilities are following in regard to preventive maintenance (PM), testing of aerial equipment and training of fleet technicians. Topics on the survey include PM and dielectric and acoustic emissions testing practices, management information system and data use, warranty work and claims processing, and technician training and apprentice programs. During the 2012 conference, results of the EUFMC survey on PM practices and technician training will be presented.

Guest Speakers
Other valuable aspects of EUFMC continue to attract attendees, including guest speakers who share important perspectives. This year’s keynote speaker is Jim Stanley, senior vice president of power delivery for Duke Energy’s U.S. Franchised Electric & Gas business. A 35-year industry veteran, Stanley is responsible for the electric power transmission and distribution in a five-state service area. Duke Energy provides electricity and natural gas to approximately 4 million customers in the Carolinas and the Midwest, and distributes natural gas in Ohio and Kentucky.

Also on the agenda at EUFMC 2012 are two dinner speakers:

Top Gun – Major Dan Rooney, U.S. Air Force (Ret.), will address EUFMC attendees on June 5. A former F-16 pilot in the Oklahoma Air National Guard, the decorated military aviator served three combat tours in Iraq and was a two-time recipient of the Top Gun award. Rooney is also the founder of the Folds of Honor Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides scholarships to the spouses and children of military service members disabled or killed in action.

Industry Leader – Bob Lutz, the driving force behind many vehicle advancements in a nearly 50-year career in the automotive industry, will be the guest speaker at the EUFMC President’s Gala Dinner on June 6. Lutz is currently a member of the board of directors of VIA Motors. Until his retirement in 2010 he served as vice chairman and special adviser, design and global product development at General Motors, where he championed the development of the Chevrolet Volt. Lutz has also held senior leadership positions at Ford, Chrysler and BMW, and was CEO of Exide Technologies.

Best Practices
The sharing of best practices is a hallmark of EUFMC. The conference provides a forum where fleet representatives can exchange information and discuss mutual concerns, including the highly popular fleet and supplier roundtables.

“As a first-year fleet manager, I attended the 2011 Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference and found the networking opportunities hugely beneficial,” said Michael Radziewicz, director of fleet at ComEd. “The best part of EUFMC for my company is the opportunity it provides for me to meet my peers and talk about issues that we are all dealing with and hear how they are addressing them. On a number of occasions since the conference, I’ve called other fleet managers I met to bounce ideas off of them and learn from their experience.”

“The 2011 Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference was my first and I was very impressed with the depth of technical information that was presented, the value that can be found in the experience of the attendees and the relationships that can be built with other fleet managers,” stated Keith Dunkel, team leader at Indianapolis Power & Light Company, Facilities & Transportation Fleet. “At EUFMC I met people who are dealing with the same challenges that we have and who are willing to share their solutions to common fleet management issues, during and after the conference. The sponsors do a wonderful job of supporting the event and its great sense of tradition. I have not been to any other conference with the quality of EUFMC.”

The 60th Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference will be held June 2-5, 2013, at the Williamsburg Lodge and Conference Center in Williamsburg, Va. For more information, visit www.eufmc.com.

 

The Work Truck Show

North America’s largest gathering of vocational trucks and transportation equipment, The Work Truck Show 2012 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis features more than 550 exhibitors showcasing Classes 1-8 trucks, chassis, bodies, components and accessories.

Thousands of work truck professionals, including fleet managers, equipment buyers, maintenance personnel, manufacturers, distributors and dealers attend the annual Work Truck Show to interact with peers, meet with suppliers, get answers to technical questions and visit exhibits. Industry suppliers also use the event to introduce new product innovations.

Former President George W. Bush will be the keynote speaker at The Work Truck Show 2012. President Bush will speak at the President’s Breakfast and NTEA Annual Meeting, offering insights into the challenges facing our nation in the 21st century and other timely issues.

NTEA Convention
The Work Truck Show 2012 is held in conjunction with the 48th NTEA Annual Convention. Established in 1964, NTEA, the Association for the Work Truck Industry, represents nearly 1,600 companies that manufacture, distribute, install, sell and repair commercial trucks, truck bodies, truck equipment, trailers and accessories. Buyers of work trucks and the major commercial truck chassis manufacturers also belong to the association.

The NTEA Convention serves as the educational component of The Work Truck Show, featuring more than 60 educational sessions for owners, managers and employees from truck equipment suppliers, upfitters, fleet managers and truck purchasers. Session topics on the agenda include:

• State of the Industry Overview – The NTEA Perspective
• Changing of the Guard: Millennials and Generational Differences in the Workplace
• Demystifying Weight Distribution and Payload Calculations for Work Trucks
• Government Regulatory Implications for the Work Truck Industry
• Learning to Avoid Costly Truck Frame Modification Errors
• What is the Future Economic Landscape for the Work Truck Industry?
• Optimizing Work Truck Body and Equipment Specifications
• Why Should I Care About Vehicle Certification?
• Build Your People Strategy First
• Ensuring Your Next Truck Chassis Matches the Job Requirements
• The Future of Fleet Operations
• The Ins and Outs of Lean for the Truck Equipment Industry
• Making Vehicle Investment Decisions Using Life-Cycle Cost Analysis
• Old Rules/New Tools: Staying People-Focused Using Today’s Technology
• Spec’ing Your Next Truck Powertrain for Optimum Efficiency & Performance
• The Next Generation of Work Truck Telematics

Chassis updates are on the NTEA agenda. Participating truck manufacturers include:
• Chevrolet & GMC Commercial Trucks
• Ford Commercial Trucks
• Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation
• Freightliner Trucks
• Hino Trucks
• International Truck
• Isuzu Commercial Truck of America
• Kenworth Truck Company
• Mack Trucks
• Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America
• Nissan North America
• Peterbilt Motors Company
• Ram Trucks
• Western Star Trucks

Green Truck Summit
Jointly produced by NTEA and CALSTART, the Green Truck Summit is also held in conjunction with The Work Truck Show. Technical experts, government officials, industry leaders and early adopter fleet managers come together at the Green Truck Summit to unveil recent developments in sustainable technologies and new commercial truck applications. Presenters share practical advice on fuel efficiency, firsthand information on building green fleet programs, and critical advances in engine and fuel technology.

United States Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, Ph.D., will give the keynote address at the 2012 Green Truck Summit. Dr. Chu is a distinguished scientist and co-winner of the 1997 Nobel Prize for Physics. As Secretary of Energy he is charged with helping implement President Obama’s agenda to invest in clean energy, reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil, address the global climate crisis and create new jobs.

Educational sessions at the Green Truck Summit include:
• Trends in Work Truck Technologies and Fuels covering upcoming changes that will affect the vocational truck industry, new clean technologies and fuels, and new vehicle efficiency and emissions standards.
• Gaseous Fuels: A Successful Alternative
• Work Truck Electrification: Leveraging the Ultimate Clean Fuel
• Watching the Bottom Line: Technologies for Increasing Fuel Efficiency and Eliminating Fuel Waste

Roadway to Fuel Independence and Air Quality Improvement in North America and Globally will be the subject of an address by Russell Musgrove, managing director of FedEx Express. Musgrove will provide insights based on his global company’s experience using sustainable technologies.

Recently announced regulations (scheduled to take effect in 2016) and details about how companies can prepare to meet them will be the focus of A New Generation of Clean Work Trucks: Understanding the EPA and NHTSA Joint Greenhouse Gas and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Work Trucks by a panel of experts from EPA and NHTSA.

Green Truck Summit sessions showcase new technology and provide information on reducing fuel consumption, improving fleet management, comparing clean technology options, funding clean vehicles and more. Green truck technology is also highlighted in the CALSTART Clean Technologies and Fuels Pavilion. In addition, exhibitors with products that improve fuel utilization, are environmentally friendly, use recycled materials and/or support environmentally sustainable practices are profiled throughout the hall as part of the Green Product Showcase.

Green Truck Ride-and-Drive
A popular highlight of The Work Truck Show is the Green Truck Ride-and-Drive. Featuring 21 commercial vehicles that incorporate advances in hybrid technology and alternative fuel applications, the Ride-and-Drive will include a variety of work trucks, including cargo and service vans, pickup trucks, dump trucks, shuttle buses, walk-in vans, tree-trimming trucks, utility trucks, box trucks, cutaways and more.

This year’s event includes an equally wide range of environmentally friendly drive systems, including CNG, propane, battery-electric, extended range electric, ultra-clean biodiesel, bi-fuel CNG, electric hybrids (series and parallel), and hydraulic hybrids. Some of the vehicles will feature lightweight and aerodynamic technologies. Equipment demonstrations of electric PTOs and similar technologies also will take place.

Cutting-edge technologies and energy-efficient vehicles available for ride and drive attendees are being provided by:
• Altec Industries
• BAE Systems
• Cummins Crosspoint
• Electric Vehicles International
• Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation
• Freightliner Trucks
• Hino Trucks
• IMPCO Automotive
• International Truck
• Isuzu Commercial Truck of America
• Kenworth Truck Company
• Knapheide Manufacturing Company
• Leggett & Platt Commercial Vehicle Products
• Lightning Hybrids
• Motiv Power Systems
• Peterbilt Motors Company
• Propane Education & Research Council (PERC)
• Ram Trucks
• Reading Truck Body
• Roush CleanTech
• Smith Electric Vehicles

Work Truck Show App
Now available for most mobile devices, The Work Truck Show App enables users to access the show floor plan, browse educational sessions, view and schedule appointments, and find exhibitors that are featuring products in the New Product Spotlight and Green Product Showcase programs. Scan the QR code at http://www.ntea.com/worktruckshow/index.aspx?id=25950 or visit www.guidebook.com/getit with a smartphone or device.

Industry Affair
The Work Truck Show 2012 is produced by NTEA and is supported by leading organizations:

• American Public Works Association (www.apwa.net)
• Association of Indiana Counties (www.indianacounties.org)
• CALSTART (www.calstart.org)
• Canadian Transportation Equipment Association (www.ctea.ca)
• Clean Cities – U.S. Dept. of Energy (www1.eere.energy.gov/cleancities)
• Clean Vehicle Education Foundation (www.cleanvehicle.org)
• Green Truck Association (www.greentruckassociation.com)
• Heavy Duty Representatives Association (www.hdra.org)
• Indiana Association of County Commissioners (www.indianacountycommissioners.com)
• Indiana Association of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors (www.iaphcc.com)
• NAFA Fleet Management Association (www.nafa.org)
• National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (www.naftc.wvu.edu)
• NTEA (www.ntea.com)
• Natural Gas Vehicles for America (www.ngvamerica.org)
• Ohio Contractors Association (www.ohiocontractors.org)
• Ohio Nursery & Landscape Association (www.onla.org)
• Propane Education & Research Council (www.propanecouncil.org)
• Rocky Mountain Fleet Management Association (www.rmfma.org)
• Service Specialists Association (www.truckservice.org)
• Snow & Ice Management Association (www.sima.org)

 

Keeping Up

The hardest part of putting together the Spring 2012 issue of Utility Fleet Professional was not finding enough material to fill the pages. The real challenge was determining what to include from the very large volume of information we had available.

If you’re attending The Work Truck Show, you’ll know exactly what I mean. On display at the annual event are the latest technologies from more than 550 exhibitors. Also featuring a large expo of products was the Hybrid, Electric and Advanced Truck Users Forum (HTUF) annual meeting this past fall.

We made room in this issue for coverage of developments reported to us about electric, propane, compressed natural gas and hybrid vehicles; reports from industry conferences on fleet management practices; and details of the latest shop and vehicle technologies being offered by the industry’s leading suppliers.

There were a couple of things we had to leave out, but only because they are developments that we will be learning much more about in the not-too-distant future and will most certainly cover extensively in upcoming issues.

Bright Automotive, for example, is ramping up for a 2014 launch of its IDEA plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). The all-wheel-drive platform is the result of a 2010 strategic partnership with General Motors, which is providing engines and parts. Bright currently has several prototypes of its PHEV powertrain in the field.

We have also learned about a global effort that is leading toward the eventual introduction of Class 3-5 hybrid trucks by Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America (MFTA). At the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show, MFTA’s parent company, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation, a part of the Daimler Trucks Division of Daimler AG, unveiled the second-generation model of its light-duty Canter Eco Hybrid, which is reportedly 40 percent lighter than the original 2006 model and has shown 30 percent better fuel economy than diesel-powered models.

Todd Bloom, president and CEO of MFTA, explained that the hybrid technology is in place and the payback on an investment in these vehicles is verifiable. Now, he said, the goal is to address emissions and safety standards so the Canter Eco Hybrid can join MFTA’s line of Canter FE/FG Class 3 through 5 cabovers in the U.S.

We are also planning to follow developments as Toyota and Ford work together to develop hybrid trucks and SUVs that will be ready for market by the end of the decade. The two companies announced the plan in late summer of last year, noting that they will collaborate on product development for the future rear-wheel drive hybrid vehicles and help each other meet stringent U.S. fuel economy standards.

All things considered, there is plenty to read about in this issue and we hope you agree that we made wise choices about what to include. Looking ahead, we’ll be steadfastly following all the industry’s developments and giving you even more valuable information.

Seth Skydel
Editor

Progress Report

Successfully implementing new technology into fleet operations is a major challenge for managers. In the past few years, perhaps no greater challenge has been faced than the adoption of 2010 emissions-compliant diesel engines. During the 2011 Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference (www.eufmc.com), two fleets detailed their programs and the performance of these engines in their operations.

Since the most recent diesel engine emissions standards took effect at the beginning of 2010, trucks equipped with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) engines have been fitted with diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) tanks. DEF is a necessary component of emissions compliance using SCR technology.

Georgia Power Company
A subsidiary of Southern Company, Georgia Power Company (GPC) is an investor-owned utility serving 2.3 million customers in the state of Georgia. Its fleet includes 4,500 units, half of which are vehicles. Steven Hopkins, manager, fleet technical services, oversees engineering, maintenance, testing, procurement and financial issues for the fleet, and serves as the team leader for Southern Company’s fleet engineering team.

“By 2011,” Hopkins said, “about 10 percent of our total diesel fleet of 1,128 units had 2010 and newer engines. That included 96 Cummins-powered Freightliners and 17 Fords. By 2015 we project that half of the diesel fleet, or about 573 vehicles, will have engines that require DEF.”

Diesel-powered trucks at GPC typically travel 12,000 miles and run on-site for 1,200 hours per year. Average per day idle time for these vehicles is six hours.

To meet its DEF needs, Hopkins reported, GPC awarded a contract to Brenntag North America, the manufacturer and distributor of TerraCair Ultrapure DEF. Brenntag, an OEM supplier for GM, Ford, Chrysler, Freightliner, VW and BMW, offers its product in 2.5-gallon containers, 55-gallon drums and 330-gallon bulk totes.

“For the next couple of years we’re providing DEF in 2.5-gallon containers at our fleet service centers,” Hopkins related. “We will also be installing heated cabinets at fuel islands in higher usage locations to make it more easily available. DEF tanks are usually filled every three or four weeks, or after approximately 1,000 miles and 100 hours of idling.

”As usage increases we plan to upgrade to 55-gallon drums or 330-gallon totes,” Hopkins continued. “Replenish intervals will be a moving target as more emissions-compliant units are added to the fleet and are something our fleet parts department will be monitoring.”

DEF handling concerns at GPC follow Southern Company safety and health rules. Dispensing always takes place in well-ventilated areas. All employees are already required to wear safety glasses in the work environment, which includes the fuel island, and when adding DEF, the use of impervious gloves such as nitrile, Viton or butyl for DEF handling is recommended. Hopkins also pointed out that the 2.5-gallon DEF containers are equipped with a tubular spout that inserts into the filler neck of the DEF tank to minimize the possibility of splashes and spills during the filling process.

“We have not had any maintenance issues with the 2010 engines and no drivability concerns have been reported,” Hopkins said. “The use of DEF has not presented any issues for our vehicle operators, except for adding the product as needed. It’s just another thing to be responsible for monitoring.”

AmeriGas Propane
A supplier of services to more than 1.3 million customers in nearly 50 states, AmeriGas Propane provides home and commercial deliveries of bulk fuel and cylinders. In the company’s fleet operation are more than 7,900 units, including 5,158 vehicles. By the end of 2012 there will be almost 700 AmeriGas units with newer emissions-compliant engines, including 190 vehicles purchased in 2010, 352 added in 2011 and 388 projected in 2012.

AmeriGas is moving ahead to transition its fleet, noted Jay Massey, corporate fleet manager, in part because the rules changed in California. “We needed to replace 32 trucks in California by the first of this year and will need to replace 138 trucks by 2013,” he said. “Our plan is to move 2007 and newer units into California throughout the year, in addition to sending new trucks.

“That needs to happen soon,” Massey added. “As the order cycle continues to get elongated with OEMs and with builders, it’s urgent we place orders as early in April as possible to meet a fall build schedule.”

For its 2010 and newer models, Massey related several upfit issues that had to be addressed. “We needed clear inside and outside frame rails, and had to determine DEF, air and fuel tank, along with air dryer and battery locations,” he said. “We standardized on a vertical exhaust, but some emissions component routing conflicted with air suspension placement, forcing us back into spring ride on some initial units. We also had a PTO access issue to resolve.”

Driver training was also on the fleet’s agenda. Included was helping drivers interpret system alerts and understand how to respond to protect the asset. On the fleet’s 2010 models, the DEF tank was positioned where batteries and air tanks were previously located, and each unit was equipped with a separate DEF fuel gauge.

“We anticipated about 2 percent DEF consumption, or about 1 gallon of DEF for every 50 gallons of fuel,” Massey reported. “Based on the number of units in the fleet, that lets us plan for inventory needs. Initially, we purchased DEF from truck dealers and some retail outlets. Now, virtually all major truck stops and some large fuel providers are carrying DEF. We also have to consider on-site storage based on the number of units at a domicile location consuming DEF and the ability to store it in a climate-controlled environment.”

Massey explained that different vehicles have different size onboard DEF tanks ranging in capacity by OEM and vehicle type. For example, straight chassis units had 6-, 9- or 13-gallon tanks and tractors are equipped with 23 gallons of DEF capacity. All DEF tanks in the fleet are heated plastic models.

“It’s too early to see if one manufacturer or another has a better truck from a maintenance standpoint,” Massey stated. “Routine maintenance on these vehicles has been primarily preventive and, compared to non-DEF units, has been cost and time neutral.”

Potentially offsetting the higher cost of the latest emissions-compliant engines – as much as $6,500 more for trucks and $9,500 more for tractors in 2010 – is the indication of a slightly better half-mile per gallon increase in fuel efficiency and less non-PM maintenance. Analyses have also revealed a cost per mile for 2010 and 2011 models about equal to or less than 2008 and 2009 trucks.

“Performance is still to be determined,” Massey said, “but we have noticed some improvement and we’re getting good indications about throttle response and fewer occurrences of system regenerations based on driver feedback and other reporting.”

DEF and Storage, Dispensing and Testing Technologies
Nontoxic but corrosive to aluminum and carbon steel, DEF must be stored onboard and on-site in tanks made of stainless steel or plastic. In addition, DEF is sensitive to both extreme cold and high ambient temperatures, requiring adequate climate-controlled systems. Available today are the following:

Old World Industries offers BlueDEF for use in on-highway engines in 1- and 2.5-gallon containers, 55-gallon drums, and 275- and 330-gallon totes. The company also provides a variety of dispensing systems and offers the BlueDEF Equipment Program, an installation, service and maintenance network, as well as a DEF Equipment Training Program for service and support technicians. Visit www.bluedef.com for more.

Terra Environmental Technologies (TET) produces DEF that is sold under the TerraCair brand name, including the newly introduced TerraCair Ultrapure DEF, in 1- and 2.5-gallon jugs, 55-gallon drums, 330-gallon totes, 5,000-gallon tankers and 20,000-gallon railcars. TET also offers dispensing equipment installation and training services to DEF users, including fleets with in-house systems. Visit www.tet-terra.com for more.

Colder Products Company is offering its DrumQuik PRO closed-dispensing solution for extracting DEF from drums, small containers and totes. The system is in use by DEF suppliers, including Airgas Specialty Products and Balcrank Corporation, who offer it as a stand-alone component or as part of a package in both fixed and portable pumping systems. Visit www.colder.com/Specialties/DrumQuik/DrumQuikHome.aspx for more.

Gilbarco Veeder-Root offers its Encore S DEF and Encore S DEF + 1 along with the new Atlas DEF dispenser. The products are fully compatible with the company’s Gasboy dispensers and other existing fuel management systems. The DEF dispensers are installed in a thermostat-controlled, heated cabinet that prevents DEF from freezing or crystallizing. Visit www.gilbarco.com for more.

Powerblanket wraparound DEF heaters are available for totes, pumps and dispensing units. Utilizing the company’s GreenHeat Technology, the heated enclosures can be used on metal and plastic containers. Standard models are available for 275- and 330-gallon tote sizes, and custom sizes are offered. The heaters can provide several hours of protection in the event of a power failure. Visit www.powerblanket.com for more.

Reichert Technologies DEF-Chek testers for measuring the correct concentration of DEF can be used to perform quality control checks on bulk supplies and vehicles. The tester accurately measures DEF for the right urea content, providing a digital measurement in seconds. The Reichert Digital DEF-Chek tester is powered by two AAA batteries. Visit www.reichertai.com/automotive.html for more.

Upper Midwest Utility Fleet Conference

I drove several hours from Chicago to Red Wing, MN because I had heard of a grassroots organization called the Upper Midwest Utility Fleet Managers Council (UMUFC) was having their annual Fall meeting and wanted to check it out.

The nucleus of the group is out of the Minneapolis area. But I met a utility fleet manager that came from as far as Springfield, MO. Many of the Midwest Co-op Utilities find this the most time efficient way to hear what new products vendors are offering and share ideas on problem solving from maintenance to complying with federal and state regulations.

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Pictured L – R: UMUFC Officers Bernie Kolnberger – Chairperson, Curt Erickson – Program Coordinator, Steve Kallsen – Hospitality Coordinator, Doug Shoemaker – Membership Coordinator/Historian, Mike Donahue – Secretary/Treasurer, missing from picture Matt Gilliland – Vice Chairperson.

UMUFC meets on a bi-yearly basis to share information. There were about 50 utility fleet managers in attendance in a large ballroom. The managers come from some of the largest utilities in the upper Midwest as well as smaller cooperatives and district wide utilities to share information and learn from each other. In between vendor presentations there were “break out discussions” where a utility fleet manager would bring up a topic or challenge they were facing and the group would share information. For example: The group discussed how the current CSA 2010 regulations are impacting their day to day operations. They shared information on how each utility is dealing with complying with the regulations. It through this problem / resolution sharing format where the group bases its tag line “Promoting Better Fleet Management Through Mutual Exchange”.

Rather than smaller rural utilities or co-ops feeling like they might be on an island these meetings serve as a real opportunity to share solutions. One of the biggest questions the group had for me was, “are there any other regional organizations out there that are like us?” I had recalled meeting a Pacific Northwest utility fleet manager that had organized a similar group in the Seattle-Portland area but other than that was not aware of similar regional groups.

Certainly Utility Fleet Professional being the only publication 100% dedicated to the utility fleet market would encourage and support these regional grassroots meetings. I worked several years with a lumber association and saw first hand how these regional meetings could provide excellent education and networking opportunities. If you would like UFP to help organize and promote a regional utility fleet managers meeting? Please contact us.

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(Photos of UMUFC provided by Kurt Moreland attached)

Resale Value

 

An important part of any fleet manager’s responsibility is the remarketing of used vehicles. For a growing number of fleets, the highest used values are being realized by turning to auction companies that specialize in the disposal of used utility vehicles and equipment.

In a recent roundtable discussion with Utility Fleet Professional Editor Seth Skydel, representatives of three leading auction companies discussed the trends that are impacting their remarketing choices and success, and the reasons that utility fleet managers should consider auctions as they manage their fleets’ remarketing efforts.

Roundtable Panel
Richard Aldersley, Divisional Manager, U.S. Southwest, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (www.rbauction.com)
Armando L. Camarena, President/Owner, US Auctions (www.usauctions.net)
Jake Josko, Vice President, PPL Group LLC (www.pplgroupllc.com)

Please detail industry trends that are impacting used vehicle values and either limiting or enhancing remarketing success.

Camarena: The biggest factor affecting the utility industry in California is the California Air Resources Board (CARB) initiative on emission control standards. This regulatory activity has forced utilities to sell off older units much sooner than anticipated. That’s having a financial impact because fleets would have normally kept these vehicles on the books for 10 years and now they have to replace them several years before they are fully amortized. At the same time, the CARB environmental protection initiatives have been met head-on by utilities, which have taken steps forward in their use of alternative fuel vehicles. In some cases utility companies in California are moving faster than the agency.

Aldersley: CARB emissions standards have dramatically devalued used equipment in the California market. Basically, they have restricted lower tiered-level vehicles from being sold. While these stringent regulations devalue equipment locally, the majority of noncompliant CARB utility fleet vehicles in the California market will leave the state and a good number will also go out of the country. Newer or late model utility fleet vehicles meeting CARB emission standards are more likely to stay in the local market.

Josko: Government regulations can play a large part in secondary remarketability. In the last four years we have seen some great auction prices on used fleet vehicles, as buyers don’t want to incur the EPA tax expense associated with new vehicles. In some instances, we’ve sold 2-year-old vehicles for more than they cost when they were new.

What other issues are impacting utility fleet remarketing efforts?

Aldersley: Smaller utility companies and government agencies are experiencing budgets cut as a result of the economic downturn and are under severe constraints about how much money they can spend on vehicles. As a result, they are looking more closely at the used equipment market as an alternative. These days, more utility companies and government agencies are coming to auctions because they see them as a legitimate place to source the equipment they need.

Josko: The vehicle’s application and configuration play a role. Things like four-wheel drive and air conditioning can have a large effect on remarketing to specific geographical regions. We are also seeing a lot more fleets going toward quad cabs these days as they want to get more employees to job sites with fewer depreciating assets on the books.

Camarena: We’ve seen a downward trend in resale prices since 2005. However, demand for late model Tier 2 trucks has increased prices since the beginning of 2011, and the resale market for utility trucks has improved along with the sale of older alternative fuel vehicles.

When selecting an auction services provider, what should fleets consider about the company’s expertise in specialized vehicles used by utilities?

Josko: I always recommend to prospective clients that they come to a sale, walk around, talk to buyers and sellers to get their opinion of the event, observe the operation for themselves and even call past clients for their experiences. Most importantly, ask the auction company to take the risk out of the market. If the auction company says the equipment has a specific range of value, it should be willing to make a reasonable cash offer or guarantee to earn the business. The auction company needs to be big enough to serve its clients’ needs, but small enough to want to still earn their business.

Camarena: The first consideration to review is how long the auction company has been in business, who is operating the company and whether they have experience with utility fleet vehicles. To effectively auction utility line equipment, you must have personnel who have the experience to sell boom trucks, backhoes, digger derricks, etc. Do your homework before you choose an auction company. Meet the owners and staff, visit the auction site and attend a live auction. We also recommend starting with no more than 10 pieces of mixed equipment to be sure you’ve made the right choice.

Aldersley: Fleets should consider what audience the auction company is targeting. They should also look at the method by which an auction company sells utility vehicles and make sure that prospective buyers are able to inspect the equipment they’re interested in buying. That includes allowing customers to come to the auction yard before and on auction day to inspect, test and compare equipment. We even encourage them to bring along a mechanic.

What benefits do auction companies bring to utility fleets compared to other used vehicle remarketing options?

Camarena: Auction companies are using a variety of remarketing strategies on behalf of utility companies. For example, we’re not just conducting traditional land-based auctions. We also have online capabilities where we can offer equipment across the U.S. This can require sellers to complete accurate condition reports and take pictures and to coordinate with the buyer to deliver the equipment. On our part we have to qualify bidders and ensure they can pay for the vehicles. Overall, buyers are now more comfortable using online sources.

Josko: A live auction, unlike online or retail sales of utility fleet vehicles, is naturally more competitive. An auction will always beat out other methods because it captures the human emotion of competition and the price always goes up, rather than a negotiated sale where the price almost always goes down.

Aldersley: Auction companies provide fleets with easy and convenient bidding options on-site or online. Auction companies can also connect utility fleets to a large and diverse number of buyers worldwide. Where else can you go where you have 2,000 units for sale and know that every item will be sold by the end of the day? For utility fleets there is not a better resource.

Continuous Improvement

 

Louisville Gas and Electric Company (LG&E) and Kentucky Utilities Company (KU) are well known in the industry for creative approaches to continuous improvement and outstanding performance in many respects – including the operation and maintenance of their vehicle and equipment fleet. The companies’ fleet is recognized as one of the most reliable and efficient in the industry. It consistently ranks in the top quartile in overall cost management, cost per mile, fuel costs and other components when benchmarked against other utilities. But that’s not good enough. Keeping with LG&E and KU’s style of being the best they can be, the companies continue to search for safety enhancements and operating efficiencies that will benefit their operators and customers.

The LG&E and KU fleet consists of about 1,600 units, including light- and heavy-duty vehicles, trailers, heavy-duty and power equipment, and a small number of hybrids. The fleet is managed by the Transportation Department in Energy Delivery (E.D.), the business unit that distributes natural gas and electricity and provides services to the company’s 1.2 million customers. The bulk of the fleet is utilized by E.D. employees who drive about 13 million miles per year across the Kentucky and Virginia service territory.

Ongoing Evaluation
“The key components of our business model are safety and service restoration,” says Bill Doggett, manager, transportation. “We want to ensure our equipment and employees can respond safely and quickly to customers’ needs, while operating cost-effectively, within all government regulations and in an environmentally friendly manner. That requires continuous re-evaluation of our needs and standards as well as manufacturers – all of which constantly change.”

Like many utilities, LG&E and KU’s diverse service territory challenges the companies’ ability to ensure DOT compliance, efficiently manage its fleet and balance customer service needs. It includes complex metro areas, rural backwoods, and the hollows and hilltops of the Appalachian Mountains, which make matching vehicle type and payloads with work needs daunting.

In the LG&E and KU service territory’s urban areas, patchworks of old and new infrastructures consist of different standards and equipment types. In rural and mountainous areas, terrain is a factor, so size and maneuverability become critical considerations when operating along tight mountain and country roads. Determining which parts and equipment to carry and how to optimize payload is also critical. Vehicles with lower weight allowances can impact service restoration timing because the number of tools, parts and other items they carry is restricted. Traveling many miles back to a service center for additional items isn’t an option in remote areas when working against service restoration deadlines.

Strategic Approach
To address these and other issues, last year LG&E and KU launched an aggressive, user-based fleet management strategic planning process that is streamlining its fleet and netting other benefits – particularly pertaining to employee awareness and safety.

The process began with teams, representing the transportation, safety and operations areas that developed and implemented fleet standards and controls for the heavy- and light-duty fleets. They ensured the companies’ “No Compromise” safety approach was incorporated into every initiative, optimized operational efficiency and assured regulatory compliance. The teams enlisted the recommendations of an outside contractor and, more importantly, the employees who use the vehicles and equipment. They included managers and frontline employees who formed additional heavy- and light-duty vehicle user teams, which inspected their vehicles, double-checked DOT compliance against standards, and reported questions and concerns.

“We gained a great deal of valuable information by including the individuals who actually drive the vehicles and use the equipment,” Doggett states. “They asked questions pertaining to situations that were job-specific and that aren’t in the manual, such as how to handle weight limits on roads and bridges in certain rural areas. It was a learning experience for us as well as them. The teams, as a combined working unit, had to develop solutions.”

Increased awareness among the workforce about DOT compliance was one of the greatest benefits of the process. The companies are recognized in the industry, nation and globally as safety leaders.

“This enabled us to close the circle of safety on yet another aspect of our operations,” says Ken Sheridan, manager, public and operational safety. “Our employees reaffirmed the company’s compliance with Department of Transportation regulations, which are specifically designed to ensure their safety as well as the public’s. Most importantly, they became better educated about how to manage compliance responsibilities and other safety requirements associated specifically with their vehicles or equipment. This is a huge perk for our companies.”

Business partners who support LG&E and KU’s purchasing, maintenance and repair work were also involved in and trained on the process. This is the same approach the company takes with safety initiatives, because the more people who are knowledgeable, the more who can support the achievement of goals. Business partners also must be in step with the changing needs of the business and, consequently, the final strategy’s content was critical to ensure they continued to support operating efficiency and safety.

“We believe in a top-led, employee-driven approach to safety,” says Sheridan. “Any time we give employees or our business partners responsibility for any aspect of operations or safety, they take charge. That’s why we have an outstanding safety culture.”

Improving Awareness
In addition to employee involvement, other measures helped to reinforce DOT compliance and safety awareness among the workforce at LG&E and KU. The companies tagged vehicles and trailers with decals listing the gross vehicle weight rating, gross combined weight rating and maximum allowable payload so drivers can accurately control payload and trailer towing capacity. They also purchased heavy-duty weight scales to:
• Validate the weight of newly ordered vehicles;
• Perform random weight audits as part of scheduled routine maintenance; and
• Perform weight checks following functional or driver changes.

Environmental concerns also play an important role in setting fleet standards, particularly at LG&E and KU, which are also recognized for environmental leadership. While the companies’ total fleet mileage has risen since 2007, carbon dioxide emissions have actually been reduced during that same time span. The challenge will be to sustain that success. As part of the fleet strategy, demands for larger construction equipment will have to be offset in other areas, especially the light-duty fleet. Including more hybrids in the fleet and other tactical initiatives, such as evaluating vehicle assignments, the take-home policy and the percentage of four-wheel drive vehicles, will all contribute to the success of this endeavor.

Never Ending
At LG&E and KU, the fleet strategic planning and evaluation process is never-ending. The companies continue to benchmark all aspects of their operations. Transportation policies are updated continually to reflect changes necessary for efficiencies and cost-effective measures. Additionally, other initiatives are underway to:
• Simplify and reduce the number of company vehicle standards by harmonizing business models, payload and equipment needs;
• Improve maintenance parameters, including extending preventive maintenance schedules and oil change cycles, enhancing tire management through the use of retreads and utilizing more advanced preventive maintenance technology;
• Reduce light-duty vehicle usage costs by right-sizing vehicles for the assignment and needs;
• Establish heavy-duty equipment/vehicle decision matrices for making cost-effective decisions about what unit is best suited for an operation and to support decision-making by managers when placing new orders; and
• Harmonize equipment pricing incentives with LG&E and KU’s parent company, PPL Corporation, based in Allentown, Pa. Both companies utilize Ford light-duty vehicles and Altec bucket trucks, creating a potential opportunity for lower costs at both companies.

Through a continuous and wide-ranging effort, LG&E and KU are finding new programs and practices that improve fleet performance.

Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company, part of the PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL) family of companies, are regulated utilities that serve a total of 1.2 million customers. LG&E serves 321,000 natural gas and 397,000 electric customers in Louisville and 16 surrounding counties. Kentucky Utilities serves 546,000 customers in 77 Kentucky counties and five counties in Virginia. More information is available at www.lge-ku.com and www.pplweb.com.

 

Finding Solutions

 

Born out of necessity, the International Construction & Utility Equipment Exposition (ICUEE), also known as The Demo Expo, traces its roots to an Illinois farm in the summer of 1966. To help solve an equipment evaluation and communications problem, Illinois Bell invited 12 trencher manufacturers to demonstrate equipment in the same field, on the same day.

The field demonstration event was such a success that it was repeated in 1969 and 1972 as a three-day utility equipment show. By the late 1970s, what would become a biennial event now held at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville had grown considerably. Today ICUEE is owned and produced by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).

During the 2011 event, which takes place October 4-6, ICUEE will host more than 950 exhibitors and 20,0000+ attendees from electric, phone/cable, sewer/water, gas, construction, landscaping and public works industries. ICUEE now covers more than 1 million square feet of indoor and outdoor exhibit space. On display is equipment including all-terrain carriers, attachments, components, earthmoving, environmental, light, overhead and maintenance, material-handling, recycling, safety, testing, transportation, trenching, trenchless, trucks and utility materials/supplies.

A hallmark of ICUEE is the hands-on demonstrations of construction and utility equipment. Exhibited in job-like conditions, attendees can experience equipment working at ground level, underground and overhead. On the ICUEE Ride & Drive track, attendees can test drive commercial vehicles to examine trucks, engines, transmissions, brakes, safety and collision warning systems, fuel and GPS management systems, and hybrid and alternative fuel systems.

New for ICUEE 2011 are crane and rigging safety demonstrations from the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators and International Powered Access Federation. ICUEE will again feature a general show safety demo area with a focus on topics such as live-line safety and pole-top/fall protection.

ICUEE also features an extensive education program where experts on the latest safety, regulatory, operational and technological issues affecting the utility and construction industry are on hand. In 2011, new workshop and certification programs complement more than 100 learning opportunities covering underground, aboveground and overhead applications, new technologies and the latest industry, regulatory and management trends.

New keynote sessions at ICUEE 2011 will focus on energy and safety. In “Energy Policy – Outlook for the Industry,” Vic Staffieri, chairman and CEO of Louisville Gas and Electric and KU Energy, will discuss how the industry may be affected by potential energy legislation and regulatory action, and will cover renewable energy and development of clean technologies.

In “Hooked on Safety – Leading Safety Initiatives,” motivational speaker Billy Robbins will discuss how companies can implement behavioral-based safety initiatives that will change the way all employees think about safety and create a fresh commitment to safety within a company.

The 2011 ICUEE education program includes new co-located programming from the Association of Equipment Management Professionals, Underground Construction Technology, International Erosion Control Association, National Association of Trailer Manufacturers, SAE International and Scaffolding Industry Association.

ICUEE attendees will have access to the iP Safety Conference & Expo. Sponsored by Incident Prevention magazine, the event is the utility industry’s leading educational opportunity for safety, training and operations professionals.

The National Rural Water Association’s H2O-XPO is also co-located at ICUEE. H2O-XPO brings together top officials, decision-makers, buyers and new technology in the water and wastewater industries.

From its inception until today, ICUEE remains at the forefront with its equipment demonstrations that allow attendees to make highly effective competitive comparisons. Now, the annual event’s extensive education program complements the displays of the industry’s latest equipment technology and product innovations.

For more information, visit www.icuee.com.

AT&T Takes Delivery of CNG Vans

AT&T is putting 101 Chevrolet Express Cargo 2500 vans powered by low-emissions compressed natural gas (CNG) into its customer service fleet. The purchase is consistent with AT&T’s alternative fuel strategy to reduce its dependence on foreign oil and to support sustainable transportation. Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana CNG vans meet all Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) emission certification requirements.

CNG-powered vans can produce 25 percent less emissions than similar gasoline- and diesel-powered vans, according to GM, which notes that the vans get gasoline-equivalent fuel economy of 11 mpg city and 16 mpg highway. Fuel tank capacity on the models ranges from 15.8 to 23 gasoline-equivalent gallons.

Testing Confirms Fuel Savings

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC has announced results of ongoing tests confirming its air management system reduces fuel consumption by more than 4 percent in medium-duty commercial vehicles. The closed-track vehicle testing included the Bendix PBS Air Injection Booster, Bendix Turbo-Clutch Air Compressor and Bendix Electronic Air Control Dryer.

“By combining these optimized air management products, vehicle and engine manufacturers have proven solutions that can be used in current and future vehicles to provide fleets and owner-operators greater fuel savings,” said Steve Mance, Bendix vice president and general manager for the charging business group. “This will become even more important with future implementation of the EPA and NHTSA proposed rule to further reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gases beginning in 2014.”

Work Truck Show Awards Presented

A panel of trade press editors and fleet managers attending The Work Truck Show 2011 presented two industry awards during the annual event this year. Dakota Bodies Inc. was the recipient of the Editors’ Choice Award for its new Component Body, and Energy Xtreme won the Green Award for its new U36 Crossover mild-hybrid plug-in system.

Named the most innovative product introduced at the show, the Component Body was selected as the winner from a field of 90 entries. Dakota’s Component Body is sold as a service body kit that upfitters can assemble in 16 different configurations to meet a customer’s specific needs. Components are huck-bolted together, making them easily interchangeable. The Component Body is available in galvanneal, aluminum or stainless steel, with a pre-assembled powder-coated finish. If a component on the body is damaged, it can be replaced without the need to buy a whole new body.

“We are delighted to win the Editors’ Choice Award,” said Dan Dahl, sales manager for Dakota Bodies. “It’s very difficult as a body manufacturer to come up with a new product that will satisfy the needs of a lot of companies in this industry.”

Named the best new product that advances fuel utilization displayed at The Work Truck Show was the new U36 Crossover mild-hybrid plug-in system from Energy Xtreme. The company was chosen to receive the Green Award from a field of nearly 30 entries.

The U36 Crossover was designed to provide reliable, emission-free energy to power hydraulic lifts and equipment on bucket trucks. It can be factory-integrated into new vehicles or retrofitted to existing utility vehicles. The system can run the truck’s auxiliary electrical equipment, tools, motors, pumps, hydraulic booms, lights, radio and laptop without the need to engage the engine or use a generator. The system includes an Energy Xtreme power management system, electric motor, pump and control module. It has a small footprint, weighs less than 750 pounds and plugs into a 30-amp wall outlet to recharge.

“Fleet users are finding that the U36 Crossover system reduces their payload by 35 percent and reduces maintenance,” said Energy Xtreme CEO Devin Scott. “As fuel prices continue to rise, our products have proven especially relevant and provide a cost-efficient way to reduce consumption and eliminate emissions while increasing functionality. We are honored to receive the Green Award.”

High Value

“The unique thing about the Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference is that it’s put together by volunteers from within the industry it serves,” said George Survant, director of fleet services at Florida Power & Light and current EUFMC president. “The result is a highly valuable event featuring technical and management presentations, and a show that’s built on the guidance of fleet professionals.”

EUFMC has been held annually since 1953 in Williamsburg, Va. The gathering of fleet executives from investor-owned electric utilities, electric cooperatives and electrical contractors continues to attract record numbers of attendees from across the U.S. and Canada, as well as representatives of equipment and service suppliers.

“The time we spend at the Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference is an investment in our people,” said David Meisel, director of transportation services at Pacific Gas and Electric Company. “I don’t know of any other conference where attendees from our company can learn as much and meet as many influential people, in both the utility industry and the supplier community, in such a short period of time. EUFMC is completely unique and something that each person who attends will find very valuable for years to come.”

Suppliers are also quick to agree that EUFMC offers high levels of value for everyone involved. “EUFMC lets us learn as much as possible about the needs of our customers who attend the show and meet with many high-level fleet management business contacts,” said Matt D’Arienzo, national fleet manager at The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. “The formal meeting structure at this conference is excellent and informative, and the informal environment makes it very easy to have valuable conversations with contacts from all over North America. In this economic environment, we would not be at EUFMC unless the conference was truly top-notch.”

Each year EUFMC’s officers and board of directors put together a comprehensive program that includes fleet managers, suppliers and industry experts who address topics that are most relevant to attending fleets. In 2011, for example, the theme of “Focused Strategies for Future Success” will be covered in the following sessions:
Fleet Strategies: Acquisition, Maintenance, Parts – Gill Nichols, Baltimore Gas & Electric; Herb Kramer, Oklahoma Gas & Electric; Gary Butler, Progress Energy; Moderator: Bill Doggett, LGE-KU
2010 Emissions Systems: Fleet Experience and Strategies – Steven Hopkins, Georgia Power; Jay Massey, AmeriGas
Hybrid Truck Life Experience: One Year Later – Mike Allison, Duke Energy; David Meisel, Pacific Gas and Electric Company; Glenn Martin, Florida Power & Light
Utilization of Benchmarking Data to Define Success – Chris Shaffer, Partner, Utilimarc
Acquisition and Funding Strategies – Mark Smith, National Technology Deployment Manager, National Clean Cities Program
Washington Update: Legislation and Regulations Impacting Fleets – Pat O’Connor, President, Kent & O’Connor Inc. and U.S. Legislative Counsel, National Association of Fleet Administrators
Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles – Mark Kosowski, Technical Executive-Hybrids, EPRI
Emerging Market Update – Bill Van Amburg, Senior Vice President, CALSTART
New Standards for Cranes and Digger Derricks – Joel Oliva, Program Manager, National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators; Jim Olsen, Product and Safety Engineer, Terex; Josh Chard, Director of Product & Corporate Safety, Altec Industries

“We work as a group for many months to sort through a large array of issues and determine what subjects will have the greatest interest to the fleet and supplier community,” Survant related. “By focusing on the most important critical issues, EUFMC is highly valuable. Attendance at this conference helps fleet professionals make a difference in their organizations.”

Other valuable and popular aspects of the conference continue to attract attendees to EUFMC. Every year a keynote speaker from a utility leads off the conference. This year Mike Sole, vice president of government affairs, Florida Power & Light, will address the group. In 2010, Des Bell, senior vice president of shared services and chief procurement officer at Pacific Gas and Electric Company, kicked off two days of technical presentations.

EUFMC also features guest speakers from the outside the industry who share important perspectives with attendees. This year, Coach Lou Holtz, one of the most celebrated and accomplished coaches in sports history, will return to Williamsburg – where he served as the College of William & Mary’s football coach from 1969 to 1971 – to address the conference.

Aptly called “the greatest motivator of our time,” Holtz had a 26-year career of inspiring players and motivating them to be winners, most notably with the University of Notre Dame “Fighting Irish” football team. At EUFMC, Holtz will use his experience and humor to help attendees learn to assess their strengths, work as a team and embrace the values that can help improve their organizations.

EUFMC is noted for its exhibition of the latest utility equipment and services. The EUFMC equipment demonstration this year will feature more than 60 displays where fleet managers can meet with 270+ representatives from more than 95 manufacturers and service providers. Since its inception, the conference has promoted close cooperation between fleet representatives and manufacturers and suppliers engaged in the development and design of vehicles and equipment associated with the electric utility industry.

“EUFMC provides incredible value,” said Judie Taylor, president of Utility Equipment Leasing Corporation. “Not only does it connect utility fleet managers together in discussions centered around their most current challenges, it also connects suppliers as a part of the solution to meeting their needs. The drive-through demonstration and equipment display offer the ability to learn about technology, while the conference seminars provide substantive information to assist fleet managers in learning about industry trends. Overall, this is one of the best conferences in our industry.”

The sharing of best practices continues to attract new attendees to EUFMC. The meeting provides a forum where fleet representatives can exchange information and discuss mutual concerns, including EUFMC’s highly popular fleet and supplier roundtables.

“As a first-time attendee at EUFMC I found the conference to be of great value as a fleet manager,” stated Bill Bonham, senior manager at Tennessee Valley Authority. “The networking opportunities with other electric utility fleet managers are a one-of-a-kind experience that can’t be found anywhere else. Everything about the conference was great.”

With all it has to offer, EUFMC continues to attract record numbers of attendees. In 2010, the conference had its highest level of fleet participation, including 100 fleet managers from more than 50 companies. Also included were more than 30 first-time participants.

This year’s 58th annual EUFMC is on track to set another attendance record. “EUFMC continues to offer amazing value to fleet managers,” said Wesley Keller, manager, transportation at PPL and this year’s EUFMC chairman. “The attendance at the conference reflects how great a forum this is for gathering valuable information and learning about best practices and technology developments that can be used to improve the efficiency of fleet operations. The record number of attendees shows clearly how this unique industry event provides exceptional value.”

ICUEE 2011 and AEMP partnership brings new fleet management exhibit pavilion, expanded education to show

ICUEE 2011 show attendees will find more fleet management education, products and services than ever before as the result of a new cooperative agreement between the International Construction and Utility Equipment Exposition (ICUEE) and the Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP). AEMP will develop a show education track for fleet management professionals as well as conduct certification exams at ICUEE 2011. The association will also sponsor the new Fleet Management Exhibit Pavilion on the show floor.

The next ICUEE will be held October 4-6, 2011 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky. ICUEE is geared to the utility/construction industry, with a focus on electric, phone/cable, sewer/water, gas, general construction, landscaping and public works.

AEMP represents heavy equipment management executives who work in areas including construction, government, utilities, energy and mining.

The new ICUEE 2011 exhibit pavilion, with its focus on the latest fleet management software, products and services, broadens the scope of what’s available at the show, and the pavilion format makes it easy for attendees to quickly locate what they need. Fleet management education sessions at ICUEE 2011 will benefit both new-to-the-field as well as experienced industry professionals.

“Fleet managers are an important customer segment for ICUEE exhibiting companies; with AEMP’s support we can more efficiently connect buyers and sellers and enhance the educational value for attendees,” stated Melissa Magestro, ICUEE show director.

“By working with ICUEE, we can offer our members and other industry workers more professional development opportunities and convenient access to the latest technology advances to help them and their businesses succeed,” stated Stan Orr, AEMP executive director

The 2011 Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference: A “top-notch” opportunity

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“EUFMC lets us learn as much as possible about the needs of our customers who attend the show and meet with many high level fleet management business contacts. The formal meeting structure at this conference is excellent and informative, and the informal environment makes it very easy to have valuable conversations with contacts from all over North America. In this economic environment, we would not be at EUFMC– nor would the attendance be at a record level as it was in 2010– unless the conference was truly top-notch.”

Matt D’Arienzo
National Fleet Manager
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

DID YOU KNOW that fleet representatives at EUFMC have the authority to buy the products and services you sell?

In 2010 EUFMC attracted 100 fleet managers, including 30 first-time attendees, representing over 50 investor-owned electric utilities in the U.S. and Canada and South America, and more than 20 electric cooperatives and contractors?

These fleet managers represent the industry’s leading companies. Collectively they:

  • Spend well over $13 billion annually on fuel, parts and labor
  • Operate over 275,000 vehicles, including nearly 70,000 trucks
  • Field as many as 35,000 trucks with aerial devices & over 27,500 service trucks
  • Employ about 4,000 technicians in their maintenance operations

TARGET AUDIENCE

Exhibit at the 2011 Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference and reach an audience unlike any other at the utility industry’s premier exhibition. The EUFMC outdoor exhibit is the site of more than 60 displays where fleet managers can meet with over 270 representatives from more than 95 manufacturers and service providers.

Become a Platinum Sponsor of EUFMC and have your company’s logo presented on conference advertising and in promotional materials sent to attendees throughout the first half of 2011.

SAVE THE DATE

The 2011 Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference will be held June 19-22, 2011 at the Williamsburg Lodge and Conference Center, Williamsburg, Virginia. For more information, visit www.eufmc.com

Ann Brown-Hailey
Director of Administration
Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference
757-220-1795
www.eufmc.com

Altec Industries exhibits cranes at ConExpo 2011

Birmingham, Ala., January 25, 2011 ­– Altec Industries, will exhibit three cranes at ConExpo 2011. Each crane is a display of Altec’s dedication to provide value to customers with crane safety, productivity and regulation compliance.

  • The newest feature is the tilt cab option, which is available on all riding seat models. A truck-mounted AC38-127S will feature this option, designed to offer crane operators increased vertical visibility and less neck strain during particular work applications. The tilt cab allows the operator to adjust the angle of the cab with hydraulic power.
  • To show the versatility of the AC38-127S, the unit will be displayed mounted on a track carrier, which is used for job sites not accessible by truck. This configuration provides customers a solution that offers a higher total return on investment than alternative lifting solutions. Typical uses include construction of electric power transmission lines and oil field work on remote sites.
  • A truck-mounted AC23-95B will also be displayed, which features a combination of safety and productivity benefits. Out-and-down outriggers provide increased productivity during setup in confined areas with short-span, mid-span and full-span load charts. From the control station, operators can safely access the bed using the walk-though control consoles. Outrigger controls at the crane controls, in addition to outrigger controls at ground level, reduce the  access/egress frequency required to setup the crane and  reduce the operator’s exposure to potential slip, trip and fall hazards.

Altec cranes are designed and built with integral safety features to help owners and operators comply with the new crane standard. The cranes displayed will be equipped with the following safety features:

  • Outrigger interlocks help prevent boom operation prior to deploying the outriggers.
  • Outrigger controls at ground level, and located within view of the outrigger shoes, help prevent crush hazards.
  • Winch drum rotation indicators signal the operator of winch drum motion and speed.
  • Area protection in the load moment indicator helps warn the operator of potential overhead hazards.
  • Load moment indicators programmed with a 50% de-rate for personnel handling with pin-on platforms.

 

Be sure to visit us at Booth 360 in the Gold lot. For information on all Altec products and services, please visit us on the web: www.altec.com

Altec is a leading equipment and service provider for the electric utility, telecommunications, contractor markets.  The company provides products and services in over 100 countries throughout the world.

360 Memorial Drive, Suite 10, Crystal Lake, IL 60014 | 815.459.1796

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