UFP Magazine

Kate Wade

ASA Proximity Sensor System

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ASA Electronics has expanded its line of sensor systems with the CVPS18 four-channel system. The CVPS18 is an easy, economical way to outfit virtually any vehicle with the latest safety technology. The four ultrasonic, weatherproof sensors are easy to install and can be painted to match the color of the vehicle, making them a universal solution for aftermarket application.

The CVPS18 sensors are designed to detect objects within a 5-foot range of the rear bumper without requiring any calibration to aid in backing up or parking the vehicle. When the vehicle is in reverse, the sensors will trigger a speaker in the cab to emit an audible alert if an object should happen to get too close.

As the vehicle continues to back up, or as the object moves closer, the beeping will become more frequent. If the object comes within 16 inches of the bumper, a solid tone will sound. The audio speaker has three volume levels – low, high and off – to suit driver preferences. 

The CVPS18 sensor system can be used in conjunction with other Voyager observation products, like backup cameras and monitors, to create a comprehensive safety system. www.asaelectronics.com

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Kate Wade

Transfer Flow Replacement Fuel Tank System

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Transfer Flow has introduced a 50-gallon high-capacity midship replacement tank for 2018-19 Ford F-150 Power Stroke diesel crew cab short-bed trucks.

The 50-gallon replacement tank is perfect for F-150 Power Stroke owners who want to maximize their fuel capacity and driving range without sacrificing truck bed space. It is crafted from ReliaSteel 12-gauge U.S. high-yield aluminized steel and includes internal baffles for strength and reduced fuel slosh. Installation is easy: Drop the plastic stock fuel tank, replace it with the larger steel fuel tank in the same location, fill up and hit the open road. Transfer Flow has more than 300 qualified installers throughout the U.S. and Canada who are ready to install your new tank.

All Transfer Flow fuel tank systems ship complete with every component needed for installation and are covered by a six-year, unlimited mileage warranty. The F-150 diesel replacement tank is powder-coated for a durable black finish, with the optional upgrade to add a spray-on textured coat for extra durability. www.transferflow.com

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Kate Wade

Bar’s Leaks Professional-Strength Hydraulic Seal

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Bar’s Leaks, the market leader in stop-leak products for over 70 years, has introduced Hydraulic Seal (P/N H60), a professional-grade formula to repair leaks, reduce friction and wear, and renew seals and O-rings in hydraulic systems. It’s designed to work in trucks, tractors, construction and agricultural equipment, as well as industrial applications.

Developed for both low- and high-pressure hydraulic systems, Hydraulic Seal Stop Leak and Conditioner contains a high-quality, durable, field-proven zinc-based additive package along with viscosity modifiers to restore thermal stability and anti-wear additives in the hydraulic system.

Bar’s Leaks Hydraulic Seal works with 32, 46, 68 and all other petroleum and synthetic hydraulic fluids, pump seals, control valve seals, actuators, rams, cylinders, O-ring boss fittings and hydrostatic transmissions.

The product is available in 32-ounce, 1-gallon, 5-gallon and 55-gallon sizes. For normal usage, add 1 ounce of Bar’s Leaks Hydraulic Seal for every quart of hydraulic fluid capacity. In extremely worn systems, use up to 2 ounces per quart of fluid capacity. For preventive maintenance, use a half-ounce per quart of fluid capacity.

Bar’s Leaks Hydraulic Seal starts working right after installation. Most leaks are sealed within a few hours of application and usage. Some leaks can take up to a few days to stop. https://barsleaks.com

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Jim Vaughn, CUSP

If it’s Not About Trucks, Does it Concern Me?

If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you work in a fleet management role. Your mechanics and drivers don’t do line work, install phone lines, bury gas lines or dig up high-pressure water lines. But what if they service equipment in the vicinity of craft workers who do perform those tasks? Are they exposed to hazards not related to their direct responsibilities? If so, what is your responsibility as their manager? This article is about educating supervisors regarding hazard evaluation. Where your people work and the hazards they face while on the job are your responsibility. So, following is an example that demonstrates how OSHA’s expectations with regard to your responsibility to your employees may exceed the agency’s written rules in ways you may not be aware of.

There is an employer who is a transmission-distribution contractor; the business also has a telecommunications (telcom) division. The employer’s lineworkers must wear arc flash protective clothing required by OSHA, but as far as he knows, his telcom employees are not required by the OSHA rules to wear arc flash protective clothing. However, because of an incident involving some of his telcom employees, the employer became concerned. He wondered, why don’t telcom employees have to wear arc flash protective clothing, and should they be wearing it? Keep in mind that arc flash protective clothing is not the same thing as flame-resistant (FR) clothing. Welders, wrecker operators and traffic control professionals wear safety vests and bibs that are considered flame-resistant. Flame resistance is the quality of a material designed for protection from exposure to fire or flame, not electrical arcs. OSHA requires that arc flash protective clothing also must be flame resistant to ensure clothing does not continue to burn after exposure to an electrical arc. In addition, flame resistance is required for the outer layer of clothing worn by a worker who could be exposed to a heat source that could ignite that outer layer. There has been confusion over the years, so it is important to recognize that use of the term “FR” on a traffic vest label does not mean the vest is arc protective; it is only flame resistant. It’s a habit to use the term FR when referring to arc flash protective gear, but we all need to understand the difference in labeling.

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Sean M. Lyden

New Truck and Van Upfits for Utility Fleets in 2019

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As you review the current specs for your truck and van fleet, where are your best opportunities for improvement? Could you decrease the size of your fleet vehicles while improving functionality and usability? Could you upgrade your service bodies for enhanced fuel efficiency and more eco-friendly operations? Or, could you add more versatile service tool storage options to boost accessibility and safety for your crews?

Here are eight new developments from truck and van equipment manufacturers that could help you find and maximize opportunities to strengthen your fleet specs and performance.

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What’s New: PHEV System for Ford F-250 Pickup
URL: www.xlfleet.com

XL has introduced a new plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) system for the Ford F-250 pickup truck. This product expands the company’s PHEV line that also includes the PHEV Ford F-150, which the company began shipping in 2018 to utilities such as CPS Energy, Tacoma Public Utilities and City of Palo Alto.

The PHEV F-250 includes a driveshaft-mounted electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery pack that can be charged using standard Level 2 and Level 1 plugs. The system also features regenerative braking, enabling the vehicle to store energy while stopping and transfer that energy back into the drivetrain to assist the vehicle during acceleration.

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Sean M. Lyden

Budget Talks: Why Fleet Needs a Seat at the Table – And How You Can Earn It

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When it comes to fleet, senior leadership may not fully appreciate all that the job entails.

"What I would often hear from folks either in finance or in the senior leadership groups was something along the lines of, ‘Every year, fleet costs go up. But I have a 2004 Honda with 300,000 miles on it. It costs me 421 bucks a year to operate. How come you can't do the same thing?’” said Chris Lindquist, a 30-year fleet veteran from Colorado Springs Utilities and Xcel Energy, who retired in 2018.

Sound familiar?

“People think they understand fleet, but they really don't,” Lindquist said. “The reality is that most folks in the higher echelons of utility companies tend to view fleet strictly as an expense that's large and assume that their fleet must be underperforming because, well, the costs keep going up.”

If leadership doesn’t understand the value that your department brings to the overall business, your budget becomes a prime target for cuts.

“At the beginning of the year, that budget you fought for the previous year would be set in stone,” Lindquist said. “But in the spring, all of sudden there would be an edict that came from the budget officer or the finance department that basically said, ‘Budgets are X. We're going to have to start cutting from Y.’ Fleet was always one of those departments on the cut side of the budget.”

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Kate Wade

Work Truck Week Keeps Growing

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Over the years, Work Truck Week has grown bigger and more robust, providing those in the vocational truck industry with more and more opportunities to discover new products, attend industry-focused educational courses and gain access to professionals who can help them answer pressing questions.

2019 is proving to be no exception. This year’s Work Truck Week – which takes place March 5-8 in Indianapolis – will include The Work Truck Show, Green Truck Summit, Fleet Technical Congress and the very first Manufacturer and Distributor Innovation Conference.

In total, more than 100 companies have already announced plans to introduce new work trucks and equipment at Work Truck Week, and at least 15 OEMs will deliver chassis updates. During these update sessions, company representatives will provide insights into future plans, share technical information, and review body and equipment installation options.

Ninety exhibitors are showcasing new products online prior to the event as part of The Work Truck Show’s New Product Spotlight and Green Product Showcase programs. Offerings range from transmissions and suspensions to trucks and bodies. To learn more, visit the featured exhibitor section at www.worktruckshow.com/floorplan.

Fleet Technical Congress – designed for both established fleet managers and those moving into more senior fleet management roles – will help fleet professionals learn how to leverage new technologies and processes to find sustainable, creative solutions to enhance fleet operations. General education session topics include restoration and disaster recovery planning, work truck design and securing fuel during supply disruptions.

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Fiona Soltes

Making the 5G Connection

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In late 2018, AT&T announced a standards-based, mobile 5G network in parts of 12 U.S. cities, with seven more areas to follow. The company also said it was on the verge of bringing 5G Evolution technologies to 400 markets, enabling faster speeds, wider coverage and lower latency, which improves streaming capabilities. Verizon, meanwhile, has been making strides of its own, announcing Verizon 5G Home – billed as “the world’s first commercial 5G broadband internet service” – last fall.

Some have eagerly awaited these advances and their impact on connectivity, communication and possibility. Others? They may be impressed that what’s long been talked about appears to finally have arrived.

Lou Vella, telematics product development manager for fleet management company ARI (www.arifleet.com), said it’s still difficult to say how 5G will impact operations for utility fleets. But possibilities are beginning to emerge – and not just in terms of autonomous and semiautonomous vehicles.

“As the technology continues to evolve, companies are finding new, innovative ways to leverage increased network speeds,” Vella said. “These higher speeds make it viable and affordable to implement technology, such as in-cab video, as a means to supplement traditional telematics data and provide further insights into driver performance. As 5G networks become more widely available, I believe the immediacy of data, combined with the amount of data available, will fuel further innovations that will be leveraged to improve performance of both the vehicles and their drivers.”

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Grace Suizo

What to Consider When Spec’ing Onboard Scales

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Operating an overloaded truck is categorized as a misdemeanor in most U.S. states. Aside from putting the safety of the operator and the public at risk, overloading also can increase fines and lead to premature vehicle wear and tear.

Fortunately, the availability of today’s onboard scale technology can help utility fleet managers ensure trucks operate at a safe weight.

So, what exactly should fleet managers consider when spec’ing onboard scales? Utility Fleet Professional connected with industry professionals who shared insight into selecting the right applications for your fleet.

Benefits of Technology
Nebraska Public Power District has been using onboard scale systems for more than 10 years and currently has approximately 20 scale systems in use between tractor-trailer units and dump trucks.

NPPD’s primary reason for installing the scale systems was to verify loaded axle weights to ensure they were compliant with DOT bridge laws.

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Sandy Smith

Where are EVs Headed in 2019?

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Even if you closely follow the news, it’s difficult to pin down which direction electric vehicles (EVs) will be heading over the coming year. Production of certain hybrid models is ending, while other OEMs have promised to roll out more all-electric vehicles. Some car enthusiasts have proclaimed 2019 as the “year of the electric.”

Scott Shepard, senior research analyst/energy for market research and advisory company Navigant Research (www.navigantresearch.com), believes there’s plenty worth watching in the coming year – but not necessarily for fleets. “It looks like most of the conversation is going to be around long-range SUVs coming onto the market,” he said.

Jaguar, Audi, BMW, Hyundai and Kia are among the automakers with a U.S. presence that will be introducing new electric SUVs in 2019. A number of Chinese startup manufacturers also are expecting a big year ahead. “That’s all a big deal,” Shepard said. “These are the first vehicles that are competitive with a Tesla, with similar range characteristics as well as purchase price characteristics.”

For his part, Ted Davis, vice president, North American supply chain for fleet management company ARI (www.arifleet.com), pointed to California OEM Chanje Energy, which is “already taking orders for its Euro-style electric van.” Others, like ROUSH CleanTech, with its all-electric Ford F-650, and Mitsubishi Fuso, with its eCanter, should be taking orders later this year, pending road tests. Shepard pointed to Rivian, the talk of the Los Angeles Auto Show, for its sport pickup truck. “As the first models hit the road, we’ll begin to see how these units perform in real-world scenarios, and hopefully this insight will encourage more fleets to embrace this ever-evolving trend,” Davis said.

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Sean M. Lyden

To Lease or Not to Lease

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The conventional wisdom for most utility companies is to purchase their fleet assets outright.

And there are some advantages to that approach: potentially lower vehicle acquisition costs, no debt added to the balance sheet, and greater control over resale timing and pricing.

But as utilities see their profit margins getting squeezed, their fleet departments are becoming bigger targets for budget cuts.

So, when you’re under mounting pressure to do more with the same money as last year – or even less – how do you manage? How can you work within tighter financial constraints without sacrificing your fleet’s performance and reliability?

One option is leasing at least a portion of your fleet. But how do you decide which assets to lease? When does leasing make financial sense? And when doesn’t it?

UFP recently spoke with Charlie Guthro, vice president of global strategic services at ARI (www.arifleet.com), a fleet management company that works with several utility companies in North America, to get his perspective. Here is an edited version of our conversation.

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Jim Galligan

ADAS May Be a Mixed Bag in Your Shop

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More vehicles with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are showing up in utility fleet maintenance shops as vehicle manufacturers accelerate the introduction of these safety technologies into new models.

While there is little doubt that ADAS features – such as adaptive cruise control, radar-based collision avoidance systems and other technologies – can lower fleet costs by improving safety and reducing collisions, the issue for fleets is what effect these components will have on maintenance. Will these technologies increase maintenance costs by requiring more training or new equipment?

The early answer from fleet and industry consultants is that it is too soon to know definitively. Much depends on which components and features the fleet adds. In some cases, the technologies build on well-known foundation systems, so the need for training or additional equipment may be minimal, one supplier said. Some technologies, like radar, self adjust.

“Right now, it’s truly unknown what the expectations are,” said Darry Stuart, principal with DWS Fleet Management (www.darrystuart.com), a maintenance consulting firm. “It’s going to be challenging in the early days until it’s figured out.”

San Diego Gas & Electric added 10 small SUVs with adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and emergency (crash avoidance) braking systems in early 2018. It’s still early, but so far results in the shop have been good, said Clint Marsh, fleet asset manager. “Maintenance for the radar-based systems is minimal and has not affected maintenance/parts costs for vehicles with this technology.”

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Sean M. Lyden

Your Job Title Says ‘Fleet,’ But You’re Actually in Sales

Whatever position we’re in, we’re all selling something – an idea, a point of view or a proposal – whether we want to call it “sales” or not. That goes for fleet professionals as well.

In his book “To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others,” best-selling author Daniel H. Pink put it like this: “Physicians sell patients on a remedy. Lawyers sell juries on a verdict. Teachers sell students on the value of paying attention in class. … Whatever our profession, we deliver presentations to fellow employees and make pitches to new clients. We try to convince the boss to loosen up a few dollars from the budget or the human resources department to add more vacation days.”

But far too many fleet managers believe a myth that’s putting their careers at risk: “My work should speak for itself.” The truth is that, even in fleet, perception is reality. And if you don’t intentionally shape the perception of senior leadership to match the reality of your work, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

Think about it: Your fleet could be one of the top performers in the utility industry. But what if leadership doesn’t know what top performance should look like? All they see is that fleet costs keep going up. So, from their perspective, you must be bad at your job, right?

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Kate Wade

Peterbilt All-Electric Medium-Duty Model

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Peterbilt Motors Co.’s all-electric medium-duty Model 220EV joins the previously announced Model 520EV and the Model 579EV in the Peterbilt electric vehicle lineup. In all, Peterbilt will have more than 30 electric vehicles in operation by the end of 2019, with customers representing the refuse, regional haul and city delivery applications.

The zero-emission 220EV is powered by two TransPower battery packs with a total of 148 kWh and a Meritor Blue Horizon two-speed-drive eAxle. It features a range of 100 miles and a recharge time of one hour when using a DC fast-charging system.

Peterbilt will begin delivering the 220EV in the summer of 2019 and will put a total of six into service this year with a major customer. www.peterbilt.com

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Kate Wade

ATSSA’s 49th Annual Convention Puts a Spotlight on Roadway Safety

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For the 49th year, the American Traffic Safety Services Association will produce the ATSSA Convention & Traffic Expo.

The 2019 event – which takes place February 8-12 at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida – is being billed as the premier roadway safety event in the U.S. It is expected to draw an estimated 3,500 roadway safety professionals and transportation officials from around the globe, who will have the chance to walk more than 200,000 square feet of exhibit space featuring the industry’s latest products and services. A wide variety of traffic safety solutions, roadway safety vehicles and heavy equipment, ranging from striping trucks to truck-mounted attenuators, will be on display. ATSSA’s New Products Rollout – which attendees can check out on the exhibit floor – also is back, this time with some changes from years past.

Beyond products and services, the convention is set to offer a variety of educational options, including hour-long concurrent sessions on February 11 and 12, for which attendees can receive continuing education units; Traffic Talks delivered by roadway safety experts and ATSSA staff on the exhibit floor; and ATSSA training courses available before the convention and expo begins. Visit http://expo.atssa.com/education.html to review the full education schedule.

Another highlight of the annual ATSSA Convention & Traffic Expo is attendees’ opportunity to meet and network with industry leaders, business professionals and peers. Among the special events planned for the 2019 event are the Chairman’s Reception, the Opening General Session and Breakfast, the New Member and First-Time Attendee Welcome, and the Circle of Innovation, Solutions Edition. The Opening General Session will feature several industry guest speakers, including John Corbin of the Federal Highway Administration and Amy Ford of the Colorado Department of Transportation. The Solutions Edition of the Circle of Innovation is new for 2019; according to ATSSA, the event will focus on solutions that state departments of transportation have implemented to improve safety.

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Kate Wade

Goodyear Storm Priority Program

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As utility crews and their trucks spring into action during and after hurricanes and other severe weather incidents, the risk of tire damage due to storm-related debris increases exponentially. During these times, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.’s Storm Priority program helps get utility trucks up and running quickly so utility crews can continue their power restoration efforts.

Goodyear Storm Priority is offered through the 24/7 Goodyear-Fleet HQ Emergency Roadside Service program, which helps trucks that have been immobilized by tire issues return to service.

To access Goodyear Storm Priority during and after severe weather incidents, utility truck drivers call a dedicated line: 1-855-STORMHQ. Calls that come in through the line are given high priority and immediately routed to the 24/7 Goodyear-Fleet HQ Solution Center, where trained agents capture vital information, including the location of the caller’s vehicle. Goodyear agents will then locate and dispatch a service technician from the nearest Goodyear Commercial Tire & Service Center or independent, authorized Goodyear commercial tire dealer to the truck. The technician will evaluate the vehicle’s tire situation and help return it to service quickly and efficiently.

Goodyear Storm Priority is available to utility fleets of all sizes, configurations and vocations. www.goodyeartrucktires.com

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Kate Wade

TravelCenters of America Dominates Driver Satisfaction Survey

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TravelCenters of America LLC (TravelCenters) – operator of TA, TA Express and Petro Stopping Centers travel center brands – recently announced the results of the 12th annual “Voted Best” survey. The survey was commissioned by TravelCenters and conducted by an independent agency in October 2018 to garner professional driver feedback on truck stop services and amenities.

Individuals surveyed rated their preference for TA and Petro versus the next closest truck stop brand. In the Overall Area, driver preference for TA and Petro was 6 to 1 for best truck stop experience and 7 to 1 for most comprehensive driver services. In the Employees Area, TA and Petro had the best employees 2 to 1 over the next closest truck stop brand; the best employee understanding of drivers 3 to 1; the friendliest maintenance and repair write-up staff 3 to 1; and the maintenance and repair staff most trusted to perform the job right 6 to 1. In the Fuel Area, driver preference was 2 to 1 for the quickest fueling time, and drivers said TA and Petro had the largest parking lots (6 to 1) that also were the easiest to maneuver (5 to 1).   

When it came to the Truck Repair & Maintenance Area, TA and Petro achieved high scores in categories including Most Complete Services (7 to 1), Most Competent Technicians (5 to 1), Most ASE Certified Technicians (8 to 1) and Best Roadside Assistance (4 to 1).

Other categories that drivers were surveyed about included Showers & Restrooms, Restaurants, Driver Comforts and Community Outreach. www.ta-petro.com

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Kate Wade

Polaris PRO XD Line

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Polaris Commercial has designed the all-new PRO XD, a breakthrough line of utility task vehicles (UTVs) purpose-built for work. The PRO XD line offers three diesel-powered models built to withstand the tough duty cycles and usage on the worksite, boasting industry-leading payload and towing capabilities and unmatched durability, serviceability and safety tailored to the commercial working customer.

The PRO XD provides payload of 1,930 pounds, towing of 2,500 pounds and world-class mobility that’s expected from a world leader like Polaris. Extensive research with rental, government and construction industry leaders showed that customer productivity and profitability in work environments that use UTVs are driven by vehicle durability, serviceability and safety – which is exactly what the PRO XD provides. The vehicle models are the two-passenger PRO XD 2000D, which is available in either two-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, and the four-passenger PRO XD 4000D, which is available in all-wheel drive. https://commercial.polaris.com

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Kate Wade

Hino Towing and Recovery Trucks

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This past spring, Hino Trucks announced the expansion of its product lineup with the introduction of the all-new XL Series. The Hino XL7 and XL8 models are powered by Hino’s legendary A09 turbo-diesel 8.9-liter inline six-cylinder engine boasting a B10 life of 1 million miles.

Production of the new Hino XL7 and XL8 trucks will start in early 2019, and the trucks will be assembled in Mineral Wells, West Virginia, at Hino’s new 1-million-square-foot state-of-the-art production facility. The Hino XL Series has been coupled with the versatile Century 3212 G2 that is designed with the capability of towing a wide range of vehicles, from passenger cars, vans, city tractors and motor homes. With multipositional rear jacks, dual 15,000-pound planetary winches and a 16-ton recovery boom, this unit was designed to handle a wide variety of recovery jobs.

In addition, the patented design of the Hino XL Series with a Miller Industries 16-Series LCG (Low Center of Gravity) carrier lowers the deck height 5 to 6 inches over conventional carriers. The lower height allows for the transport of taller loads, such as forklifts or manlifts, that may be overheight on a conventional carrier, as well as providing better stability during transport.

The Hino XL Series will be offered in a host of straight truck and tractor configurations with a GVWR range of 33,000 to 60,000 pounds and GCWR up to 66,000 pounds, with max performance of 360 horsepower and 1,150 pound-feet of torque. www.hino.com

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Kate Wade

Jarraff Quad-Track Brush Cutter

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Jarraff Industries has unveiled a new version of its recently rebranded brush cutter, the LineBacker (formerly Geo-Boy). The new LineBacker brush cutter features a four-quad-track undercarriage, an industry exclusive feature. The new quad-track configuration provides users with unparalleled mobility in the most challenging terrain. 

Jarraff Industries Director of Engineering and R&D Jake Schmotter said, “When it comes to heavy-duty brush cutters, arborists and ROW contractors have always been forced to make a choice between the low ground pressure and traction of a track machine, or the road-ability and flexibility of tires. The new quad-track brush cutter offers the best capabilities of a track and tire in one machine.”

In addition to the new quad-track configuration, the LineBacker offers an innovative touch-screen control center that gives the user unmatched operational input. The unit’s Cummins 260-horsepower, 6.7-liter Tier 4 diesel engine meets all EPA regulations, while improving overall fuel efficiency and roading speed. www.jarraff.com

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