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UFP Magazine

Kate Wade

Hino Paves Path to Zero Emissions

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Hino Trucks recently announced Project Z, the company’s development path to zero-emissions vehicles (ZEV), ranging from Class 4 to Class 8.

The live virtual event showcased the most comprehensive lineup of zero-emissions trucks, partnering with technology leaders in advanced electrification drive systems.

The ZEV products ranged from a Class 5 on a SEA Electric SEA-Drive 120a on a Hino M5 chassis, up to a Hino XL Series Class 8 tractor powered by Toyota’s Fuel Cell system. Additionally, Hino featured a battery electric Class 7 tractor with Hexagon Purus’ full electric drive system, and a Hino XL Series Class 8 box truck powered by Xos Trucks’ X-Pack battery and electric drive system. For the battery electric vehicles, Hino will look at both central drive motors and e-axles.

Project Z advances Hino’s environmental leadership position, first established in 1991 with the global sale of its hybrid buses, and will consist of demonstration vehicles in the first half of 2021, customer demonstrations in 2022 and production prior to 2024.

The project does not end here. Over the coming months, Hino Trucks will unveil more granular details about the cutting-edge technologies and vehicles to come out of Project Z. www.hino.com/projectz

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Kate Wade

Terex Utilities Opens New Manufacturing Facility

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Terex Utilities announced that its new manufacturing headquarters is now fully functional, and the first production units have rolled off the line. The 450,000-square-foot facility brings production operations under one roof on a 55-acre site in Watertown, South Dakota.

The new facility houses assembly, fiberglass, paint and installation. Among the first machines to roll off the line were a C6060 digger derrick for Otter Tail Power Co. in Minnesota, an HR46 aerial device for Xcel Energy in Minnesota, an LT40 aerial device for NiSource in Indiana and a General 65 digger derrick for Brazos Electric Cooperative in Texas.

Terex Utilities hopes to celebrate the opening of its modern manufacturing facility with customers once the coronavirus is controlled. Until then, this video shows a time lapse of the new facility construction. www.terex.com/utilities

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Jim Vaughn, CUSP

A Practical Review of the ANSI A92.2 Standard

This is a review of ANSI/SAIA A92.2-2015, “American National Standard for Vehicle-Mounted Elevating and Rotating Aerial Devices.” As a consultant, investigator and auditor, I have been surprised time and again that people who should know this standard do not know it that well. Most fleet managers are familiar with the rules, which is important because the A92.2 standard obligates owners of aerial lifts to be held liable for equipment they sell in certain scenarios. On the employee side, a working knowledge of A92.2 can prevent incidents and loss of life. In fact, a recent live-line barehand training class was what inspired this topic. We found that a bucket truck had the leasing company’s logo sticker adhered down both sides of the insulated boom section. That bucket truck was designed and rated for barehand use at 500 kV, yet a vinyl-plastic printed logo installed by the leasing company, spanning two-thirds of the insulated length, could have had some serious implications for the safety of that boom.

In this article, we are going to review some of the information covered in the A92.2 standard. Readers should recognize that ANSI/SAIA consensus standards are protected by copyright, so we will not directly reproduce the text of the standard itself. The A92.2 standard can be purchased directly from the ANSI website (https://webstore.ansi.org).

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Sean M. Lyden

3 Factors to Consider When Retrofitting LED Lights on Work Trucks

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It makes sense that most truck OEMs, body manufacturers and upfitters have made the switch from conventional incandescent bulbs to light-emitting diode (LED) lighting for their latest models.

After all, LEDs last exponentially longer, shine brighter, burn cooler and draw less power. And although LEDs are more expensive upfront, the cost drops significantly over the bulb’s life.

But what about the older vehicles in your fleet that still use incandescent bulbs? Would it pay to retrofit those lights with LEDs? How do you decide? And what factors should you consider before you make the switch?

UFP recently caught up with Ken Gillies, senior work truck consultant at Element Fleet Management (www.elementfleet.com), who offered these three considerations.

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Sean M. Lyden

The Impact of COVID-19 on Order-to-Delivery Time Frames – and How to Respond Effectively

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In early March, the coronavirus caused automakers to shut down production completely for two months. But even after reopening in late June, they’ve still had to deal with temporary plant closures as positive cases emerge.

As you can imagine, COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on vehicle and equipment production schedules and supply chains, causing significant delays that have put many utility fleets in a bind.

So, what exactly is the current state of order-to-delivery (OTD) time frames? What can you expect to see over the next several months? And how can you minimize any disruption to your fleet operations?

UFP spoke with Cindy Gomez, vice president of vehicle acquisitions services at Donlen (www.donlen.com), a fleet management company, to get her outlook on OTD time frames and advice on how you can handle the issue.

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Gary L. Wollenhaupt

Top Trends in Commercial Truck Tire Technologies

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A number of tire manufacturers are developing high-tech solutions for the truck and bus radial market segment, which includes tires for the Class 4, 5 and 6 trucks that are the backbone of many utility fleets. Tires and related items typically are among the top three costs of running a fleet, so even incremental improvements can slash expenses.

Smart Tires
Tire makers are developing intelligent tires that communicate information about performance in real time, including wear, temperature, pressure and speed. Each tire has a sensor that sends information to the cloud, where fleet managers can access it for individual vehicles or the overall fleet.

Fleet managers also can benefit from interactivity with other smart environments – like fleet telematics – to improve sustainability and efficiency. So far, Goodyear (www.goodyear.com) has collected more than 3 million miles of data in its intelligent tire testing.

"As vehicles become smarter and more autonomous, intelligent tires – as the only part of the vehicle that actually touches the ground – will become even more critical," said Johnny McIntosh, director of integrated solutions and tire management for Goodyear.

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Sandy Smith

New Developments in All-Terrain Vehicles for Utility Fleets

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Utility work occurs rain or shine, day or night, and whether we’re in the midst of a pandemic or not. Often, that work takes place on rugged terrain and in other challenging environments. All-terrain vehicles provide solutions to safely move utility crews, tools and equipment in and out of these environments, and ATV manufacturers continue to introduce new and improved products to meet the needs of utility fleets. Here’s a roundup of six products that have been introduced so far in 2020.

Hydratrek
What’s New: Smaller CM66 model
Website: https://hydratrek.com

Hydratrek has been experimenting with going smaller for the last five years, according to Craig B. Simonton, vice president of sales and marketing for the amphibious ATV manufacturer. “We’ve built at least three prototype versions to find the right combination of power, torque, comfort, stability and reliability in this model. This has resulted in the new CM66 model that features a gasoline engine, seating for four persons and a smaller chassis.”

The CM66 is made in the USA and features many of the same characteristics that customers expect from Hydratrek, Simonton said, including aluminum construction, a hydrostatic drive, a rubber track option and an available water propulsion system.

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Grace Suizo

Utility Fleet Best Practices for Idle Reduction

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In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, some utility fleets have discovered that their idling has increased. So – perhaps now more than ever – it’s imperative for fleets to identify instances where idling can be controlled and act on them. UFP recently spoke with three fleet industry professionals who shared tips on how to do just that.

Get Staff on the Same Page
According to Dale Collins, fleet services supervisor for Virginia-based Fairfax Water, the greatest idle mitigation is achieved through operators intentionally turning off their engines when possible.

“The best practice is to have a well-trained workforce that understands state and local statutes regarding idling, company expectations, and the difference between necessary and unnecessary idling,” he explained.

That may require some coaching. Several years ago, Collins asked the local Clean Cities coalition to provide idle reduction training for all his field staff. As a result, the fleet experienced almost 10% less fuel consumption the following quarter.

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Sean M. Lyden

Smart Hiring Tips for Fleet Professionals

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You’re looking to hire a mechanic, shop supervisor or data analyst. You’ve sorted through the applications and resumes, creating a shortlist of candidates who look great on paper.

Now, it’s time for the interviews to assess who would be the best choice for the job.

But when candidates operate as their own public relations agent, selective about what they share – and don’t share – to put themselves in the best light, how do you get to the truth about whether they really have “the goods” for the job?

Enter Robin Dreeke, the former head of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Behavioral Analysis Program.

Dreeke spent over three decades developing high-trust relationships with informants, including many unsavory characters, to gather intelligence to help the FBI and other agencies prevent terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. So, he knows a thing or two about how to read people to quickly determine whether you can trust them – and work with them.

And he writes extensively about his system, which he calls “The Six Signs of Behavior Prediction,” in his latest bestselling book, “Sizing People Up: A Veteran FBI Agent’s User Manual for Behavior Prediction.” 

UFP recently spoke with Dreeke to get his take on how you can apply his behavior prediction model to make better-informed hiring decisions that can take your fleet’s performance – and your career – to the next level.

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Sean M. Lyden

Shop Talk: Reimagining the PM as Predictive Maintenance

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A thorough and consistent preventive maintenance (PM) program is a core best practice of any high-performing fleet.

But the challenge is that too many fleets still base their PM schedules on OEM recommendations and not on field-specific data that takes into account higher-idle scenarios, hilly terrain, extreme climate conditions and operator behaviors – all of which accelerate wear and tear on the vehicle.

As a result, you could achieve near 100% PM compliance per OEM schedules and still get blindsided by higher than acceptable failure rates that lead to costly downtime and productivity loss.

So, how can you improve maintenance performance?

George Survant, principal at Fleet Mace Consulting, recommended that fleets adopt a predictive maintenance model, which requires a different way of thinking and operating than traditional PM.

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Sean M. Lyden

Who Can You Trust?

Whatever task you’re performing as a fleet professional – whether it’s purchasing equipment, hiring new technicians or presenting your case for a budget increase – you have to work with a wide range of different types of people to accomplish your objectives.

But how can you tell who you can trust? Try using a system called “The Six Signs of Behavior Prediction,” which you can learn more about in the book “Sizing People Up” by Robin Dreeke, the former head of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Behavioral Analysis Program. Here’s an overview of what to look for with each of the six signs.

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Kate Wade

FRAM Oil Filters

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FRAM, a market leader in filtration products, has launched its new, innovative FRAM Titanium and FRAM Force Oil Filters. FRAM Force and Titanium filters are the latest filter technologies in a long line of oil, air and cabin air filtration products available for vehicle service professionals and DIY-ers. 

FRAM Titanium is a super-premium, high-flow synthetic oil filter engineered to provide the most advanced level of oil protection for up to 20,000 miles. The technology behind this performance is FRAM PowerFlow, an innovation that allows for higher directional oil flow to ensure full media performance and filtration. These filters include the FRAM Perfect Seal Gasket that ensures a positive and lasting seal in high-heat and high-pressure engine environments.

FRAM Force is a premium, synthetic blended oil filter engineered to provide extended oil protection for up to 15,000 miles. It is designed for real-world driving conditions, including stop-and-go traffic, extreme temperatures, hauling and towing. In addition to offering increased dirt-trapping and dirt-holding capacity, the FRAM Force filter accommodates all oil types, installs easily, provides consistent oil flow in extreme temperatures and delivers superior startup engine protection. www.fram.com

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Kate Wade

Polaris GEM Strengthens Customer Support

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Polaris GEM and its dealers have re-engineered the customer and rider experience to accommodate the world’s current situation. Together, they’ve launched new accessories, grant assistance, financing and leasing, contactless support and virtual shopping to keep professionals moving forward. To meet customer demand, Polaris has continued to manufacture vehicles in the U.S., and service support lines are open. 

To help support GEM customers, Polaris is launching divider kits that enable the operator to minimize direct contact between occupants riding in a GEM. Polaris engineered the kits with clear, marine-grade vinyl for durability and minimal impact on visibility. The dividers separate driver and passenger sides of the vehicle, as well as each passenger row, front to back.

Polaris has a history of helping organizations that serve our community and recognizes the important role grants play in funding. They’ve strengthened this commitment through a grant assistance program geared toward state and local government as well as educational customers. Visit https://bit.ly/PolarisGrants for more. 

Electronic forms of shopping, service and support have always been available but are even more so now with an increased emphasis on expanding alternatives to in-person options. The Polaris.com/Commercial website continues to be a resource for customers. https://polaris.com/commercial

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Kate Wade

LockNClimb Ergonomic Ladder Stand

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Servicing utility trucks has never been faster, easier or safer than when using LockNClimb’s new rolling platform ladder. The 44LNCTRKENG is quickly maneuvered by one person on hard rubber wheels and positioned over the truck tires or against the truck body. Durable rubber padding on the back of the ladder protects truck finishes and allows direct contact. Yellow safety handrails promote using three points of contact when ascending and descending the ladder. The wide, slip-resistant service platform affords even weight distribution, providing a comfortable working surface and helping prevent foot thrombosis.

LockNClimb ladder stands are made one at a time by skilled craftsmen in the USA and have been engineered to exceed all applicable OSHA and ANSI standards. The ladders have less than a 1% damage rate during continual use for three years in the demanding truck maintenance environment. For more information, call (620) 577-2577 or watch a short video at https://vimeo.com/442115980. http://locknclimb.com

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Kate Wade

Terex Utilities Launches New E-Commerce Platform

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Terex Utilities has launched a new e-commerce platform to support all customers and give them the type of online shopping experience today’s buyers have come to expect.

This new e-commerce platform offers one-stop shopping for tools and accessories used in the utilities industry and beyond. Many of these products had previously only been available through a traditional catalog. Hundreds of products can be ordered, from climbing equipment to traffic safety gear to Terex auger tools. New customers can self-register for an account, place orders by credit card, view order status, track shipments and see invoices.

For existing Terex customers – including rental partners and dealers who previously had access to an e-commerce platform – the new platform comes with a host of new and upgraded features. Online parts manuals for many of our units are now browsable from this website and allow for simple click-to-cart functionality. In addition, parts are searchable by keyword, part number and category, making part identification or discovery easier than ever.

For existing Terex account holders, request online access at https://parts.terex.com/. For new customer and retail sales, browse the catalog at https://myparts.terex.com/. www.terex.com/utilities

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Jim Vaughn, CUSP

Arc Flash and Face Masks

Recently I have received numerous emails and phone calls regarding respiratory air-filtering masks rated for arc flash. I’m sure everyone reading this, no matter what country you’re in, is aware why that’s the case: the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you are a regular reader, you know it is my methodology to address topics by first citing the related safety standards in effect and then discussing the issue from a practical perspective typically related to the utility industry. This time is no different – for the most part.

Initially, the use of masks during the pandemic was limited as effective respiratory protection and still is for the public per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As far as OSHA was concerned regarding workplaces, the only approved mask was the NIOSH-approved N95 filtering facepiece respirator (FFR). The N95 rating means that the mask meets the criteria for effective filtering of airborne particulates and moisture at 95%. The rating system also was established by NIOSH. It is important to understand that the N95 rating is based on the assumption that the masks are utilized by trained users meeting the OSHA respiratory protection worker training and fit-testing standard, which also can require a medical evaluation of the user.

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Sean M. Lyden

What’s New in Digging Machines for Utility Fleets?

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When the job is to dig trenches, drill holes or dig in tight spaces, how can utility crews get more work done in less time at lower cost?

That's the question many heavy-equipment manufacturers ask themselves as they design and develop new digging machines and accessories.

So, what new products have emerged within the past six to nine months to help utility companies and contractors improve worker productivity and cut operational costs? Here are seven new developments to keep your eye on.

JCB
What’s New: 19C-1E Fully Electric Mini Excavator
Website: www.jcb.com   

As JCB’s first fully electric mini excavator, the 19C-1E is suited for construction and excavation applications in enclosed or urban job sites, or noise- and emissions-sensitive environments, such as hospitals and schools. The machine offers comparable power to JCB’s diesel 19C excavator, while producing zero exhaust emissions and one-fifth the noise.

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Sean M. Lyden

6 All-Electric Pickups in the Pipeline

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For utility fleets committed to electrification, the holy grail is to electrify pickup trucks.

That’s because pickups represent the largest vehicle segment for most fleets in the industry. So, if you can electrify a wide range of pickup applications, you’ll make a huge dent in your company’s sustainability efforts.

The challenge is that high battery costs and low range between charges have historically made the idea of all-electric pickups seem impractical for widespread fleet use. And there are no products commercially available for fleets to choose from.

But that could be changing soon. Here’s an overview of six electric pickups currently in development that are expected to launch in the next one to two years.

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Gary L. Wollenhaupt

Gas vs. Diesel: Which is Better for Your Medium-Duty Truck Applications?

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Diesel has been the traditional engine for medium-duty utility trucks. But with Ford, GM, Isuzu and other OEMs recently launching new gas-powered models, utility fleet professionals have more options than ever to consider. Recent volatility in fuel prices has changed the equation as well.

So, which is better – gas or diesel? The answer is, of course, "It depends."

Diesel engines use about a third less fuel than comparable gasoline engines and are particularly well-suited for high-idle situations where gasoline engines don't perform as well.

But gas-engine trucks cost less to purchase, and maintenance is usually less expensive. On the other hand, diesels tend to have a longer useful life and retain more value at high mileages when they are released from the fleet, according to George Survant, an experienced fleet consultant.

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Sandy Smith

Mistakes to Avoid When Spec’ing Cable Reel Trailers

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With his crew focused on downtown Austin, Texas, and several substations, size was an important consideration for Bobby Dahl, network construction supervisor for community-owned Austin Energy, when selecting a new cable reel trailer.

The new trailer upgraded outdated equipment, making work safer and more efficient. “We used to pull cable out with a one-ton truck and sit there and roll it up,” Dahl said. “During the daytime, that’s inferior. But we have a lot of cable failures at night, and that made it a safety concern.”

He settled on a self-propelled hub drive cable reel puller from Dejana (https://dejana.com) and has a second one on order. It has multiple benefits, Dahl said, including strong pulling torque and an ability to navigate tight alleyways.

“We didn’t have to have a bigger footprint to do the job,” Dahl said, which can mean less traffic control needed on the job site because fewer intersections are blocked.

That maneuverability – and all the benefits it has brought – also was among the top considerations for Dahl when spec’ing a new cable reel trailer.

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