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UFP Magazine

Kate Wade

CARB Chair to Present Green Truck Summit Keynote


Liane Randolph, chair of the California Air Resources Board (CARB), will deliver the keynote address at the Green Truck Summit, a full-day program focused on clean energy trends for commercial vehicles held as part of Work Truck Week 2022. John Davis, creator, host and executive producer of MotorWeek, will return as emcee. New this year is a full slate of short breakout sessions in the afternoon.

Work Truck Week, North America’s largest work truck event, runs March 8-11 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis. The Green Truck Summit is March 8 at the JW Marriott Indianapolis, adjacent to the convention center. Education sessions run March 8-10 and the exhibit hall is open March 9-11.

Green Truck Summit brings together government, educators, fleets and innovators to provide updates on the work truck industry’s path to zero emissions. Sessions offer operational insights for vocational truck fleet managers as well as perspectives on the evolution of commercial vehicles and advanced technology development.

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Kate Wade

Tech Tips from Terex Utilities


Terex Utilities regularly distributes Tech Tips about troubleshooting, inspecting and maintaining aerial devices and digger derricks. In 2021, the Terex Utilities Services Department shared 26 new tips, making a total of 169 Tech Tips available on the company’s website. The 26 new tips were downloaded more than 1,000 times.

Each Tech Tip identifies what the service call is, the tools required and which Terex Utilities models it applies to. In many cases, photos are also provided.

The seven most downloaded Tech Tips of 2021 were #138 Troubleshooting TM Leveling with Generator Style Leveling; #148 A Popping or Cracking Noise that Appears to be Coming from the Mast or Pedestal Area; #89 Removal of Stuck/Frozen Outrigger Pins; #135 Setting HOP on General Digger Derrick; #151 Ways to Attach Non-Conductive Hoses to Pull Through a Boom; #157 Fitting Torque Chart; and #91 Planetary Slip Brake Rotation.

These and other technical support documents are available online at the Technical Support tab at, or users can sign up to receive email notifications at

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Kate Wade

Brigade Mobile Digital Recording Systems


Brigade’s Mobile Digital Recording (MDR) systems capture footage from up to eight vehicle-mounted cameras. The MDR range includes models with 4G-connectivity capabilities, allowing data to be accessed from the recorder without having to physically go to the vehicle. In order to take full advantage of the benefits of 4G connectivity, Brigade now provides Bridge, a fully managed service for 4G-enabled systems so that operators do not have to set up and maintain their own servers and manage SIMs and mobile data.

The benefits of having remote access to the MDR can include playback of historical footage and metadata from the MDR or server; vehicle tracking; live view of vehicle cameras and metadata; downloadable footage; geo-fencing; and optional email notifications of triggered alarms.

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Kate Wade

Hot Shot’s Secret Blue Diamond Engine Oil


Hot Shot’s Secret, a leading brand of high-performance additives and specialty oils developed with nano-lubricant technology, has expanded their Blue Diamond PAO diesel engine oil line with a new 10w-30 offering for heavy-duty-use diesel-powered vehicles

All Hot Shot’s Secret Blue Diamond Oils utilize 100% poly-alpha-olefin (PAO) Group IV synthetic oil and high-quality Group V esters for a 100% synthetic formula. Previously introduced in two viscosities, 15w-40 and 5w-40, this new 10w-30 viscosity expands the Blue Diamond oil line to meet additional engine oil specifications.

By using 100% synthetic Group IV and Group V base oils, a robust CK-4 additive package and the infusion of patented FR3 nano-lubricant technology, Blue Diamond PAO 10w-30 oil provides an unsurpassed level of longevity and performance unlike other synthetic oils. Benefits include improved starting, increased power and fuel economy, reduced soot, extended engine life and reduced friction.

With improved oxidation, shearing and thermal stability, Blue Diamond 10w-30 is a more fortified oil than competitive brands. It resists breakdown, allowing for longer drain intervals, while reducing engine wear up to 71% better than CJ-4 specifications. Oil change intervals can be extended up to every 50,000 to 100,000 miles if the oil is monitored every 10,000 miles for the total base number.

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Jim Vaughn, CUSP

Containing Contagions in Close Quarters

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

The United States has been researching pandemic responses since a swine flu outbreak in 1976, but few if any publications back then addressed workforce contagions. The earliest literature on organized pandemic responses appeared around 1976 when the U.S. government established formal research panels to develop a nationwide response to a pandemic threat. The panels performed research and modeling activities and revised and expanded both research and national immunization programs in response to new threats, such as the avian flu in 1997, anthrax in 2001 and SARS in 2003. Even though U.S. government literature mentioned bioterror as a concern following the avian flu outbreak, the anthrax event was a homegrown bioterror event that raised the stakes.

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Sean M. Lyden

What Utility Fleets Can Do to Improve Driver Safety Performance


How much does a vehicle collision cost your company in property damage, health care expenses, lost worker days, legal fees, and other direct and indirect costs?

According to the latest report by the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety, available at, U.S. employers across various industries paid:

  • $26,081 per crash in property damage.
  • $78,418 per injury.
  • $751,382 per fatality.

These numbers may or may not reflect your company’s data. But they do provide a useful frame of reference to drive home the fact that a strong commitment to driver safety protects not only drivers but also your company’s reputation and bottom line.

After all, when a truck displaying a utility’s logo hits another vehicle or a pedestrian, it becomes a prime target for media attention and legal action.

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Sean M. Lyden

An Electric Pickup to Watch: The 2022 Rivian R1T


In recent months, Ford and GM have unveiled their concept models with plans to build an all-electric full-size pickup truck beginning next year.

But there’s one OEM with actual electric truck production models on the roads right now.

It’s Rivian (, an Irvine, California-based startup that raised $10.5 billion and recently filed to go public.

And the company’s first R1T electric pickup truck, offering a range of about 300 miles, rolled off the assembly line in Normal, Illinois, on September 14.

The price tag starting at $67,500 is a barrier to widespread fleet adoption. But the capabilities of this first-to-market electric truck offer a glimpse of what’s possible for utility fleet applications in the coming years.

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Sandy Smith

Using Telematics to Drive Fleet Safety Improvements


As director of product strategy and telematics at Element Fleet Management (, Kimberly Clark knows exactly how her utility fleet clients are using telematics to improve safety.

In a recent interview with UFP, Clark described a couple of scenarios that have benefited those clients. One – a 4,000-unit energy utility fleet – uses “in-cab feedback and beeping alerts to notify its drivers when they have exceeded a client's defined threshold for risky driving and provides the driver with immediate and tangible feedback on unsafe driving,” she said. Those same drivers are rated on several risky behaviors, such as hard acceleration, braking, cornering and speeding, as well as seat-belt use.

Another fleet opts to get information in real time. That client’s 1,400-unit utility infrastructure fleet uses telematics to notify managers when a driver violates the company’s predetermined threshold.

Clark said she believes most fleets today use some type of telematics and that safety is a top priority, especially for utility fleets, followed by reducing operating costs, assuring compliance and improving productivity.

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Gary L. Wollenhaupt

14-Point Checklist for Spec’ing Impact Attenuators


Work zone intrusions are a fact of life, and utility fleets are turning to attenuators to protect employees.

One utility recently bought a truck-mounted attenuator vehicle from Royal Truck & Equipment after two of the utility’s employees were injured in an accident.

“Unfortunately, sometimes it takes an incident for people to realize they need protection for their work zones,” said Theresa Delgado, marketing manager for Royal Truck & Equipment (, an attenuator dealer based in Coopersburg, Pennsylvania.

In a recent survey, 60% of highway contractors reported motor vehicle crashes in a work zone in 2020. As distracted driving incidents rise, even though overall traffic has been lower due to the pandemic, utilities are investing in attenuators to safeguard their employees.

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David Cullen

Power Ahead: The Coming of Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Trucks


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

Thanks to several key advantages of FCV design, expect to see heavy-duty trucks powered by fuel cells arrive on the market in the U.S. within the next five years – and maybe as soon as 2022.

The power drawn from a BEV’s onboard batteries is recharged by plugging in the vehicle as well as by regenerative braking. In contrast, a fuel cell generates electricity via an internal electrochemical reaction. When hydrogen and oxygen are combined, electricity, heat and water are generated. Because of that advantage, fuel-cell power is being developed for a wide range of vehicles, from forklifts to trucks.

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Grace Suizo

Winterizing Your Crews


There’s no need to wait until winter to start getting your fleet ready for the season, according to Ben Langley, director of training and development innovation for Driving Dynamics (, a provider of fleet driver safety training and risk services.

In a recent interview with UFP, Langley encouraged fleets to immediately develop a winter driving plan with their teams that aligns with company safety policies and includes an in-depth inspection and service for each vehicle.

Steve Bufton, vice president of maintenance, telematics and safety for Donlen (, a provider of financing and fleet management solutions, agreed, noting that it’s important to have in place a pre-trip vehicle inspection form, process and closed-loop procedure. The inspection should include checking tire pressure, fuel and washer fluid levels, and appropriate safety items.

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Sean M. Lyden

Stocking Critical Parts in a Supply Chain Crisis


A semiconductor shortage has crippled production in the automotive sector, forcing many utility fleets to extend the service life of their existing vehicles until new units arrive, whenever that may be.

And that could be a problem.

That’s because as the global economy emerges from the pandemic, the combination of increased consumer demand and constrained shipping capacity means that it could take longer than usual to get the necessary parts to keep your fleet up and running.

So, what can you do right now to ensure your shop has the critical parts you need, when you need them, to minimize disruption to your fleet operations?

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Sean M. Lyden

Win Them Over

As a fleet manager, your role is about more than managing assets; you also must manage and work with people to get things done.

Think about it. No matter how bulletproof you believe your proposal might be for, say, why the fleet department should receive a larger budget this year, you can expect some pushback from senior management.

That’s a given because people tend to resist change. The key is to win them over at their point of resistance. But how?

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Kate Wade

Polaris Expands Pro XD UTV Lineup


Polaris Commercial, a division of Polaris Inc., has introduced the new midsize model of the Pro XD UTV. Designed for lighter payloads, tighter spaces and remarkable comfort, the vehicle comes in two- and four-seat versions with a capable 500-pound-capacity cargo bed. Uses for the midsize model include all-terrain and all-weather utility or people movement for applications like construction, events setup, landscaping, and facilities and grounds maintenance.

Built to withstand tough duty cycles and daily work site use, the Pro XD lineup boasts durability, serviceability and safety features that differentiate it from other work UTVs. Full-size Pro XD models are offered in both gas and diesel and have industry-leading payload and towing capacities. The all-new midsize model takes the same purpose-built features in the full-size Pro XD and delivers them in a more compact profile, with capable payload and towing capacities at a lower price point.

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Kate Wade

Ditch Witch RT70 Ride-On Trencher


Ditch Witch has introduced the RT70 ride-on trencher, which is equipped with features that increase operator comfort and visibility, helping to boost efficiency and profitability on the job site.

For example, the ergonomically designed operator station features an open layout with a 90-degree swivel seat, more legroom and intuitive controls. This enhanced visibility provides a full view of the machine – from front tire to back tire and the attachment – helping operators of any experience level increase productivity. The RT70 also includes a patented cooling fan to reduce temperature levels in the operator station by moving hot, uncomfortable exhaust out of the side of the machine rather than toward the operator like traditional fans. This helps keep workers safer and more comfortable during long days.

Powered by a 72-horsepower Yanmar Tier 4 Stage V Compliant diesel engine, and built with a narrow footprint of 73 inches wide, the RT70 rubber-tire trencher can handle heavy-duty jobs and still easily maneuver around tight job sites, corners and cul-de-sacs with ease. It is also the only ride-on trencher available with crab and coordinated steering modes, allowing operators to turn the machine with a steering wheel instead of using two separate levers.

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Kate Wade

Bigfoot Construction Equipment Twilight Pad


The Twilight Pad features a magnet-held light with multiple options for working at night. This will bring attention to the setup, equipment and personnel working, plus eliminate tripping hazards. The light is waterproof with a rechargeable battery.

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Kate Wade

Dejana Hub Drive Cable Trailer


Dejana’s all new galvanized Hub Drive Cable Trailer stands up against the elements and is specifically designed for areas where conditions can cause premature deterioration and equipment fatigue.

This self-propelled cable-pulling machine utilizes patented technology and can deliver up to 400,000 in-lbs. of pulling power. The 24-inch lateral movement of the arms makes spooling cable in difficult locations quick and easy. This feature gives greater flexibility on the job site by allowing obstacle avoidance with the reel unit and facilitates even spooling, providing offset or side-pull capability when removing or installing cable. The trailer also features a self-propelled and steerable nose wheel that is capable of being driven by remote control at speeds of up to 2 mph. The system is designed for both underground and overhead cable-pulling applications and has a lift arm capacity of 16,000 pounds. The patented reel drive system is unique in that it is all hydraulic with a direct drive crankshaft powered by two hydraulic cylinders on each arm. The hydraulic lifting cylinders are directly connected to the arms without any linkage, which means fewer parts, less breakage and longer service life.

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Jim Vaughn, CUSP

Who is Your Customer?

But first, this public service announcement.

If your organization doesn’t already have a policy on energy drinks, you should do the research and develop one. I had long been skeptical of energy drinks because I know that anything that artificially enhances body function always comes with consequences, especially if it’s overused. It’s no different than any prescription drug that supplants the body’s failed functions. There are always side effects. With heat stress or any other kind of stress, the body gets tired, which is how it tells you that it’s exhausted and needs rest to repair itself. If we artificially stimulate the body to ignore those signals, the outcome is not just bad – it can and has become deadly.

In the years of the energy drink boom, I was a contractor. On two occasions, I had healthy 20-somethings helicoptered to hospitals from remote areas after they collapsed and displayed symptoms of a heart attack or stroke. Both instances occurred in over 100-degree work environments. On each occasion, at the paramedics’ request, we looked for and found a cooler full of energy drinks. The victims couldn’t answer questions, but the paramedics had already seen the symptoms and needed to know if that was what they were dealing with.

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Sean M. Lyden

Planning Your Fleet’s Transition to EVs


All major automakers have recently announced their commitments to selling only electric-drive vehicles by 2035. And that shift will bring new opportunities and challenges for utility fleets.

It will force you to change how you spec vehicles, manage “fueling” infrastructure, train your technicians and support crews in storm response situations.

So, where do you start? How do you plan for such a large-scale change effort? What should you be thinking about today to set up your fleet for success in the next decade?

UFP recently spoke with Brent Johnson, principal and co-founder at Sage Energy Consulting Inc. (, an energy planning and project management firm. He offered these six factors to keep in mind as you prepare your fleet for an all-electric future.

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Sean M. Lyden

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


Lifting height, capacity, stability and range – these are all critical factors utility fleet professionals consider when spec’ing aerial platforms, cranes and other heavy-lifting equipment. They’re also looking for enhancements to machine safety, longevity and efficiency.

So, what new products in the lifting equipment space have emerged in the past year to help fleet managers improve their fleet’s performance? Here are seven developments to watch.

Terex Utilities
What’s New: Hi-Ranger TL48 telescopic aerial device for trouble truck applications

Terex Utilities’ new Hi-Ranger TL48 telescopic aerial device achieves a 53-foot maximum working height on a medium-duty chassis for utility trouble trucks.

“Utility customers were looking for material-handling capability throughout the work zone to accomplish switch work, small transformer replacements, insulator maintenance and other tasks without having to reposition the truck. This need was not being met on super-duty class vehicles and current products that were in the market – until now,” said Joe Caywood, Terex’s marketing director.

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