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DICA Cribbing and Pad Products

DICA Cribbing and Pad ProductsDICA recently debuted a new addition to the ProStack Cribbing product line designed for the types of equipment used in the electrical utility industry.

The new ProStack Cribbing product is a lighter-weight and lower-cost solution that was developed with customer input to meet the specific needs of this market. Utility crews often need additional height under stabilizers and outriggers to level equipment during operations. ProStack Cribbing Blocks are an engineered, integrated solution that resolves this critical problem. The interlocking blocks can be stacked for additional height to create a safer setup than traditional methods. ProStack Cribbing is made from a combination of post-consumer recycled and new materials to produce a strong and reliable finished product that interlocks into a SafetyTech Outrigger Pad.

SafetyTech engineered thermoplastic outrigger pads deliver proven performance, durability and ease of use for setting up mobile cranes, concrete pumpers, aerial lifts and digger derricks.

For situations that require greater outrigger pad rigidity and stability in a lighter-weight solution, the company’s FiberMax fiber-reinforced polymer outrigger pads provide an engineered alternative to heavy steel plate or excessive matting materials.

For higher-capacity cranes, FiberMax Crane Pads weigh 60% less than typical solutions and are designed for exceptional load distribution, stability and cost-effective operation. https://dicausa.com

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UFP Webmaster

Terex Spin Bottom Drill Bucket

Terex Drill BucketTerex Utilities has announced a new Spin Bottom Drill Bucket for use with digger derricks. It is designed to improve productivity when drilling in unstable ground conditions, such as wet or sandy environments.

As the tool drills into the ground, barrel teeth cut through the material while the bucket captures it, allowing the operator to dump the material outside of the hole. The spin bottom is simple to control with forward and reverse motions to open and close the tool.

While Terex Utilities has offered similar tools for auger drills, this is the first time this type of tool has been available for digger derricks.

The 18-inch-diameter Spin Bottom Drill Bucket recently was on display at the 2019 International Construction & Utility Equipment Exposition. Additional sizes up to 36 inches in diameter are available. The tool features 5/8-inch wall thickness, 30-inch barrel length and 104-inch overall length. Dirt teeth and pilot bit are standard. Hex hub options include 2 inches, 2.5 inches and 2.63 inches. www.terex.com/utilities

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Jim Vaughn, CUSP

Rigor and Discipline

The date was January 28, 1986. The event was the tenth and final flight of the Space Shuttle Challenger. Seventy-three seconds into flight, the booster rocket that was lifting Challenger into space exploded, killing all seven astronauts aboard.

When events like the Challenger explosion happen, you never forget where you were at the time. You remember the iconic photos and the national days of mourning for those lost. After the Challenger explosion, President Reagan appointed the Rogers Commission to investigate the disaster, and some of you may remember the news commentary on the Rogers Commission Report. If you didn’t study the reports from the incident, you likely aren’t aware of the stunning findings, the changes that were called for and, even more importantly, the effect the changes at NASA have had on industry – including the utility industry. It’s worth taking a look. You can read about lessons learned from the incident at https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/aeronautics-and-astronautics/16-891j-space-policy-seminar-spring-2003/readings/challengerlessons.pdf.

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Sean M. Lyden

Fairfax Water: Overhauling Crew Truck Specs to Improve Safety and Productivity

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In his classic bestseller, “Thriving on Chaos,” management expert Tom Peters put it best when he wrote, “Excellent firms don’t believe in excellence – only in constant improvement and constant change.”

Perhaps the same could be said about excellent fleets, where you never ultimately arrive at a destination called “excellence.” Instead, you remain on a journey of continuous improvement, making changes along the way to produce better results for your customers and the company.

This philosophy of constant improvement is what has driven Dale Collins, fleet services supervisor at Fairfax Water in Virginia, and his team to make significant changes with their new generation of crew trucks – to increase storage capacity, improve safety, boost productivity and reduce operational costs.

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Dan Brenden

Using Technology to Eliminate Aerial Device Overloads

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Knowing bucket capacity and understanding how to read a jib load chart are two critical elements of aerial device operation. While both tasks are fairly straightforward, it is crucial to stay within the allowable capacity of the unit. The platform capacity and material-handling capacity provided by the manufacturer are not recommendations – they are absolute maximum capacities that ensure the machine is not overloaded. Overloading equipment can result in overturning or boom failure. Equipment damage also may occur, resulting in costly repairs and a shortened usable life for the aerial device.

A fully equipped lineworker with PPE plus tools and materials for typical line maintenance can quickly add up to 700 pounds or more for distribution work, and upward of 1,000 pounds for transmission work. Bucket capacity is identified on the ID plate and inside of the basket on most aerial devices. In addition, be aware of dual-rated buckets with different capacities based on configuration and use as a material handler; these types of buckets are available from some manufacturers. Before climbing in, lineworkers should verify that their weight – in addition to the platform liner, if used, and all of their tools and equipment – doesn’t exceed the bucket’s capacity.

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Kate Wade

ICUEE 2019 Set to be the Largest Demo Expo Ever

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The International Construction and Utility Equipment Exposition – also known as ICUEE – The Demo Expo – heads back to the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville October 1-3. Owned and produced by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, ICUEE is the largest event for utility industry professionals seeking insight into the latest technologies, innovations and trends affecting the industry.

This year’s event features a number of new and noteworthy offerings for attendees. The UTV Test Track will put individuals in the driver’s seat with the opportunity to compare several models of utility terrain vehicles from Bobcat, Caterpillar and John Deere. In addition to the expanded Safety and Fleet Management pavilions on the indoor show floor, ICUEE 2019 attendees will also have access to a new Emerging Technologies Pavilion. Plus, more than 200 new exhibitors will be at the show to demonstrate their products and services.

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Sandy Smith

Investing in Garage Management Software

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Before the City of Springfield, Illinois, merged all of its fleet operations and implemented garage management software, the utility fleet used to log important information via a low-tech method.

“The utility garage relied on Post-it Notes,” said William McCarty, director of the Office of Budget and Management for the City of Springfield. “There were vehicles that were being missed in maintenance, including a brand-new vehicle that went 50,000 miles without ever being serviced.”

Opting to implement garage management software, then, was a relatively easy decision to make, especially as all five of the city’s fleet garages were brought into one centralized fleet operation. The fleet now has approximately 1,200 units, about one-third of which are utility assets. Utility is the largest aspect of the city’s fleet, McCarty said, and includes water, power generation and power distribution.

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Grace Suizo

What to Know When Spec’ing Service Vehicles for Utility Applications

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When it comes to spec’ing vehicles, the absence of an effective, proactive strategy often results in a significant number of units being purchased from dealer stock, rather than ordered from the factory. That drives up acquisition costs, delays delivery and hampers efficiency, according to Ted Davis, vice president of North American supply chain for fleet management company ARI (www.arifleet.com).

“Additionally, without a proactive approach to spec development, you may not be able to acquire units with the ideal upfitting in a timely manner, which may result in a wide range of operational challenges for your frontline employees,” he said.

So, what are the basics you need to know when spec’ing service vehicles – such as vans – for your fleet? Industry experts recently shared some tips to ensure both an efficient and quality specification process.

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Fiona Soltes

Bucket Trucks, Powered Up

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New Jersey-based Public Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G) has a little over 500 bucket trucks in its fleet. Of those, 327 have some degree of electrification. That might mean an original Bohlinger electric drive system from decades back, or perhaps a more current and elaborate work-up that operates the boom and provides climate control of the cab and exportable power for the crew.

“A lot of the technology [crews were] using, years ago, it would have been very hydraulically driven,” said Jay Marchitello, PSE&G transportation supervisor. “For instance, up at the pole top, they would use hydraulic tools to drill holes, screw conductors together and what have you. Now, however, that’s changed to battery-powered tools; they’re lighter, there’s less impact on the people, and less impact on the truck.”

The exportable power of the complete system, then, allows the crews to charge and use these battery-powered tools at the top.

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Sean M. Lyden

Recruiting for Fleet in a Tight Labor Market

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Ask utility fleet professionals about their biggest challenge, and many will say that it’s recruiting – and keeping – good, young mechanics.

That's because you have to compete with OEMs, local truck centers and other types of fleets for access to a shrinking pool of highly skilled mechanics.

So, how do you gain an edge in attracting top talent in a tight labor market?

Tell the best story.

That’s the advice from Paul Smith (http://leadwithastory.com), the bestselling author of several books on business storytelling, including his latest, “The 10 Stories Great Leaders Tell.” The 10th story deals specifically with recruiting.

UFP recently caught up with Smith to get his take on how fleet managers can use stories to attract the best technicians. Here’s an edited version of our conversation.

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Jim Galligan

Winterizing the Shop

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Winters in the northern latitudes can be brutal. A utility fleet’s winter preparedness plan for the maintenance shop can improve safety for its technicians and helps to ensure that fleet equipment is ready to go when needed.

UFP spoke with Les Faul, operations manager with Commonwealth Edison Co., to find out how the Chicago-based utility has kept its 22 maintenance shops operating during winter. This was the second of two recent UFP interviews with Faul about utility operations. Visit https://utilityfleetprofessional.com/departments/fleet-profiles/the-low-hanging-fruit-for-greening-your-fleet for a discussion of biofuels.

UFP: What does winterizing a maintenance facility entail?

Les Faul: There are a few things that we do. Beginning in October, we have a winter preparedness plan that assigns certain corrective actions to different organizations. In the shop, we increase our stock of high consumables, such as snow brushes, scrapers, wiper blades, filters – those winter items.

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Sean M. Lyden

What are Your Stories? Share Them.

A couple of months ago, Dale Collins, the fleet services supervisor at Fairfax Water in Virginia, emailed me about four new crew trucks he had ordered. He and his team were proud of the final product – and of the nearly three-year process they went through to get the spec right.

Collins thought there might be a story to tell to UFP readers, but he wasn’t sure what that story would be or look like. He reached out to me anyway. And I’m glad he did.

That’s because I’m always on the hunt for real-world fleet stories that can inform, educate and inspire you to do more, be more and achieve more in your career.

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Kate Wade

Bigfoot Layered Outrigger Pad

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Bigfoot Construction Equipment now offers an outrigger pad made of their custom composite beneath a strong wooden pad. This layering process enables the wood to last longer since the plastic composite keeps the upper wooden pad away from water.  

Other benefits of the layered outrigger pad include: wood will stop the composite from cupping in poor soil conditions; wood provides a lesser point of contact to the composite beneath, which most often is the cause of cupping; and Bigfoot’s custom composite will take the impact and moisture from the ground and extend the life of the company’s premium birch. 

Bigfoot’s new outrigger pad has been designed to meet the needs of tree trimmers and others in the field. It also is suitable for 40- to 100-ton cranes. Bigfoot offers the pad in different sizes and shapes, and the custom composite can be installed with safety orange. www.outriggerpads.com

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Kate Wade

Go Industries’ Grille Guard

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The Go Industries Grille Guard for the C4500-6500 (ET005) features no cutting or drilling. Designed with the tilt body in mind, this piece will articulate forward for easy hood access. Our locking mechanism has two OEM-style latches (one per side) and safety pins, ensuring a snug, secure mount. The grille guard is fully welded together with headlight brush guards constructed out of 1.9-inch, 14-gauge tubing and 2.5-inch center cross tubes. The center screen is laser cut out of 18-gauge material. This part comes in a black textured powder-coat finish and is made in the U.S.A. www.goindustries.com

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Kate Wade

Hino Trucks’ Transmission Warranty

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Hino Trucks is taking ownership value to new heights with an unprecedented move in warranty.

Effective immediately, 2020 model year Hino vehicles equipped with an Allison transmission will include a five-year unlimited-mile transmission warranty. This new standard gives customers up to two additional years of coverage and does away with mileage limits at no additional cost to customers. All Allison transmissions offered by Hino Trucks are included as well as all vocational applications. This base transmission warranty extends to classes 6-8 and includes Hino models 238, 258, 268 and 338, as well as the all-new Hino XL Series. www.hino.com

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Kate Wade

Jarraff All-Terrain Tree Trimmer

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Jarraff Industries has unveiled a new version of its Jarraff All-Terrain Tree Trimmer. The new Quad Track Jarraff features a four-quad-track undercarriage, an industry-exclusive feature. The new quad-track configuration provides an option that users in the right-of-way maintenance industry have not seen before.

The quad-track design provides low ground pressure and excellent traction, as well as road-ability and maneuverability in a single machine. In addition to the extreme mobility, the new Jarraff features all of the latest upgrades that existing Jarraff models offer, including a patent-pending rotating saw head design that allows the operator to rotate the blade assembly 180 degrees, another industry exclusive. The recently added touch-screen information center gives the operator unmatched control, engine monitoring, high-definition camera display and more. A Cummins 130-horsepower, Tier 4 engine meets all environmental emission standards and mandates.

The new Quad Track Jarraff joins the four-wheel-drive and LGP steel/rubber track models in providing a dynamic field of operation for tree-trimming applications. A rotary manifold offers a 360-degree-plus range of motion as a standard feature. The unit also provides lateral tilt and 75-foot cutting height. Two four-way joysticks and fingertip controls offer optimal precision.

In addition, each Jarraff model’s cab is completely ROPS, FOPS and OPS certified. The Jarraff adds safety to every job because operators never leave the ground. www.jarraff.com

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Jim Vaughn, CUSP

OSHA, Training and Certification

The occupational safety and health industry and civil authorities require that employers provide training to employees. In the U.S., OSHA mandates safety training related to tasks assigned to employees. The agency often also requires the employer to certify that the training has been completed. In fact, if you have an incident requiring OSHA notification, the first question that will be asked is, “Was the employee trained for the task?” The second inquiry will be a request for documentation of the training, usually followed by an enforceable subpoena for those training records.

Training and certification of training are important for two reasons. The first is that training has clearly been demonstrated to reduce incidents and injuries to workers. Second, OSHA will hold employers accountable for the training they conduct. The penalties for willful violation of training requirements are rarely discussed, and I hesitate to do it here, but the record shows that if an employer does not train, and OSHA can show the employer knew training was required, the penalties are based on willful violation. Penalties for willful violations that result in fatalities can include jail time for the employer. In addition, if OSHA wins a willful violation case, the employer can expect charges of negligence under both civil and criminal liability standards. Don’t take this training responsibility lightly. I, like OSHA, would prefer employers be compliant for the welfare of the workforce because they are ethical and care about their employees. But if the threat of prosecution works, we still accomplish the desired outcome: a safer workplace.

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Jason Julius

Pole Removal and Setting Techniques to Prevent Digger Derrick Damage

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Digger derricks are among the most versatile tools on a utility line construction project. They are built to tackle a myriad of tasks, from digging holes and lifting and setting poles to turning in screw anchors, putting lineworkers in the air and setting transformers. In short, digger derricks are hardworking tools used to solve a variety of challenges.

However, given the versatility of a digger derrick, there are specific work practices that need to be followed, such as those for removing and setting poles. When work practices are not performed correctly, equipment can be damaged. If you’ve ever used a digger derrick boom to rock a pole loose or used the load line to forcibly remove a pole, you should know both practices are prohibited by manufacturers. They are prohibited because doing so can impose unknown loads and forces on the digger derrick that its key components are not designed to withstand.

Among the main components of a digger derrick that can sustain damage due to pole rocking are the pedestal, turntable, boom, cylinders, pole guides, subframe, outriggers and winch. All of these are costly to repair or replace if damaged, plus downtime for repairs can put the equipment out of service for extended periods.

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Sean M. Lyden

Women in Utility Fleet: Holly Giffrow-Bos

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In 2006, when Holly Giffrow-Bos applied for the open fleet position at East Central Energy in Braham, Minnesota, she wasn’t exactly sure what she was getting into.

“Automotive is what I knew, but I really didn’t know what fleet was all about because it’s a completely different animal than the retail automotive business,” she said.

Giffrow-Bos knew the automotive business because she worked in dealerships for nearly two decades. She started in the accounting department at a small Ford dealership in Cambridge, Minnesota, after graduating high school. About a year later, she moved to Northern California, where she took a job at another Ford dealership, starting at the service department appointment desk.

“And then I just became a sponge,” Giffrow-Bos said. By the time she left that company in 2004, after about 14 years, she had worked her way up to fixed operations manager for the company’s two dealerships.

Today, Giffrow-Bos is the fleet supervisor at East Central Energy, overseeing about 200 fleet assets and four technicians.

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Kate Wade

PWX 2019 to Draw Thousands of Public Works Professionals to Seattle

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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.”

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