UFP Magazine

Seth Skydel

Environmentally Friendly Oils & Lubricants

Maintenance-XL-Henley-2-WebFor fleets interested in using alternatives to petroleum-based lubricants, biodegradable, nontoxic, ecologically friendly products for vehicles and equipment are available. These bio-based solutions offer excellent performance in a variety of applications and can be used as a replacement for conventional petroleum oils.

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Seth Skydel

Green Shops

Maintenance-WebNicor Gas
Nicor Gas, headquartered in Naperville, Ill., is one of the nation's largest gas distribution companies. Owned by Nicor Inc., a holding company, Nicor Gas serves 2 million customers in a service territory that encompasses most of the northern third of Illinois, excluding Chicago.

“We look at environmental compliance as an opportunity for continuous improvement,” said Jeff Price, manager, fleet operations at Nicor Gas. “We are always seeking out best practices and applying them whenever feasible. For example, as shop equipment becomes dated, we look at the environmental benefits as well as the functionality of replacement technologies.”

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Seth Skydel

Proven Practices

EUFMC-2During the 2011 Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference, fleet managers detailed the successful approaches they’re employing for acquisition, maintenance and parts strategies in their operations.

Baltimore Gas & Electric
An affiliate of Constellation Energy, Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE) provides electric and gas service in a territory of about 2,400 square miles surrounding the Baltimore metropolitan area of central Maryland. BGE Fleet Services, with 80 employees, including 46 technicians, manages a fleet of more than 1,500 vehicles and 400 pieces of equipment. The operation has a central shop at its headquarters location where all major repairs, new vehicle preparation and maintenance on local units is performed, as well as seven shops located throughout its service territory.

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Seth Skydel

Ensuring Fleet Readiness

Maintenance-5-WebImproving communication and access to information during service events leads to less downtime.

Whether you outsource some or all of your fleet’s maintenance and repair work or handle everything in-house, an efficient and accurate exchange of pertinent information is vital to success. One solution that is steadily growing in use among fleets is the Web-based Decisiv Service Management Platform.

The Decisiv platform was designed to connect fleet managers with internal and external service locations. “The platform pulls together historically separate silos of information and places them within a single Web portal,” explained Dick Hyatt, president of Decisiv. “With the platform, fleet, service location, mobile service and call center personnel can all share information and effectively communicate throughout a service event. The result is the ability to save hours per service event, getting trucks back in service faster.”

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Seth Skydel

Benchmarking Success

benchmarking-3-web“The challenge of operating on a flat budget requires us to look for cost-saving measures on an annual basis,” says Richard Dwornik, business manager for transportation and equipment services at We Energies. “That and other management challenges lead to the need for a comprehensive process of benchmarking our fleet. Equipment utilization and staffing issues, for example, are among the things that drive us to see what other utilities are doing and to identify best practices that we can incorporate into our fleet management processes.

“We’re evaluating data on our operation and comparing it to the industry average as well as to historical and current internal benchmarks,” Dwornik continues. “We look at measurements of vehicle utilization, cost per unit, work order touches per unit, fuel usage, operating costs and staffing levels.”

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Seth Skydel

Doing It Right

dsc01553Central Vermont Public Service (CVPS), headquartered in Rutland, is one of the largest businesses in Vermont and the state’s largest electric company. The utility, which was organized in 1929 with the consolidation of eight electric companies, traces its roots to more than 100 companies, including one dating back to 1858.

A shareholder-owned electric utility, CVPS serves one of the most rural territories in the country, with just 18 customers per mile of line. Its customer base, however, numbers more than 159,000 in 163 communities. Due to the size of its operating territory, CVPS utilizes 617 miles of transmission line and 8,806 miles of distribution line to meet customer power needs.

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UFP Staff

Goodyear fleetHQ Solution Center

goodyear-fleethqIntroduced three years ago, the Goodyear fleetHQ Solution Center combines emergency road services with a portfolio of business solutions. Included are online information systems providing 24/7 access to service in progress, retread history, repair data and tire purchase history.

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UFP Staff

GM FleetTrac

GM FleetTrac offers fleet managers an opportunity to dramatically simplify the vehicle maintenance process. The new solution from General Motors offers the convenience, flexibility and reduced administrative costs of a system that consolidates vehicle maintenance invoices, documents vehicle repair history and minimizes the repair authorization process.

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UFP Staff

Green Fleets

peterbilt-hybridAround the Industry
The National Clean Fleets Partnership, a Department of Energy (DOE) initiative, has set its sights on helping companies reduce diesel and gasoline use in their fleets by incorporating electric vehicles, alternative fuels and other fuel-saving measures into their daily operations. Through the partnership, the DOE will assist in efforts to reduce fuel use and achieve greater efficiency and cost savings by offering specialized resources, technical expertise and support.

Part of the DOE Vehicle Technology Program’s “Clean Cities” initiative, the National Clean Fleets Partnership includes opportunities for technical assistance and collaboration, such as peer-to-peer information exchange, and access to expertise at DOE and national laboratories where related research and development initiatives are underway. Also possible is assistance in pursuing group purchasing so smaller companies realize the benefits of purchasing advanced technology vehicles.

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