UFP Magazine

Kate Wade

Terex Stand Alone Core Barrel

Terex Stand Alone Core Barrel

Terex Utilities recently announced a new auger tool for digger derricks: the Terex Stand Alone Core Barrel. It fits directly onto a standard Kelly bar and can be stowed like a standard auger on the boom. When a flighted auger will no longer do the job, the new Terex Stand Alone Core Barrel can increase productivity when drilling hard rock, such as limestone material.

For applications that require drilling to begin at ground level, a removable pilot bit can be used to stabilize the Stand Alone Core Barrel in order to start a hole. Once initial penetration is achieved, the pilot bit can be removed. The optional pilot bit is important for achieving a straight starter track.

In addition, the Stand Alone Core Barrel is designed for easy plug removal, increasing drilling productivity. A unique tooth pattern allows the rock plug to easily fall out of the barrel when the operator ratchets the rotation of the tool. Other core barrels require workers to physically hammer the core out of the barrel.

The Stand Alone Core Barrel is available in various diameters ranging from 18 to 30 inches and features a barrel wall of 5/8 of an inch. The heavy-duty hex hub is either 2-1/2 inches or 2-5/8 inches, and it comes with a Dom ST5 2-3/4-inch shaft. The overall length of the tool is 104 inches. Access to the C-10 bullet teeth provides for easy removal and replacement. www.terex.com/utilities

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Kate Wade

Leece-Neville Starter Motor

Leece-Neville Starter Motor

Prestolite Electric’s Leece-Neville Heavy Duty Systems brand now offers a powerful and highly robust new in-line gear-reduction starter motor – the M110608 – for PACCAR MX-11 and MX-13 engines and Peterbilt and Kenworth 2010 and newer applications up to 16 liters.

The new starter brings superior performance and reliability – along with quick, bolt-in replacement – to engines today served by PACCAR, Mitsubishi and Delco Remy 39MT units. The in-line gear-reduction design helps ensure greater power from a lighter unit that can easily fit within tighter spaces.

Leece-Neville starters and alternators are manufactured by Prestolite Electric, a leading original equipment and aftermarket manufacturer serving customers in the trucking, construction, agriculture, mining and other markets.

The new Leece-Neville 12-volt (7-kilowatt) M110608 starter motor features Prestolite’s Integral Magnetic Switch/Soft Start Relay technology, which helps eliminate voltage drop issues by minimizing wiring between the relay and solenoid. Other key enhancements include a next-generation commutator with oversize copper cross-section, enlarged armature to minimize air gap losses, heavy-duty brush plate for best-in-class conductivity and an advanced e-coating on the housing for exceptional resistance to corrosion. www.prestolite.com

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Kate Wade

Bendix Fleet MetLok Brakes

Bendix Fleet MetLok Brakes

MAT Holdings Inc. has announced the relaunch of the Bendix Brakes brand Fleet MetLok product line, a line of automotive disc brake pads and rotors designed specifically for use in severe-duty applications, as well as service and pursuit vehicles.

A trusted industry name for over two decades, the Fleet MetLok product line has been enhanced to provide even better friction performance and coverage, and expanded to include rotors and pads.

Bendix Fleet MetLok semi- and low-metallic brake pads feature friction formulations proven to provide noise-free performance, fade and heat tolerance, outstanding durability and excellent stopping in demanding applications. They also feature a three-layer shim, burnishing compound to reduce break-in time and a hardware kit when applicable.

The Fleet MetLok rotors are built with alloyed carbon performance castings, which provide superior thermal stability and strength, and ensure safe operation in all driving conditions. Additionally, they are coated with the Bendix proprietary heat-resistant SurfaceLok coating, which extends rotor life by reducing corrosion.

The Fleet MetLok product line is ideal for use in heavy hauling, towing, frequent stopping and pursuit applications, such as in work vans, construction pickup trucks and more. www.bendix-brakes.com/bendix_fleet_metlok.php

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Kate Wade

Ditch Witch Air Saber Lance

Ditch Witch Air Saber Lance

Ditch Witch, a Charles Machine Works Company, has introduced the Air Saber lance, a new excavation accessory for the company’s FXT air-excavator equipment line.

As one of the highest-rated air lances on the market, the Air Saber is rated for operation at 250 psi, empowering operators to dig faster and more efficiently. The lance’s innovative design increases airflow for users while maintaining safe operation. A spring-lock, quick-connection system prevents the air hose from inadvertent separation, giving operators direct command of the lance while supporting overall project safety.

The lance’s fiberglass body is rated for higher air pressures and is constructed from nonconductive material. This helps increase operators’ safety for a variety of utility installation projects. The lance’s ergonomic, full-hand squeeze trigger is located in a natural position, resulting in improved comfort and ease of use compared with other air lances on the market.

The Air Saber is compatible with the Ditch Witch FXT Air series (FXT30 Air, FXT50 Air and FXT65 Air) along with other air-excavator models on the market. The Air Saber also features a 36-inch extension for improved digging depths. The extension is quickly connected with union couplings to save operators time and increase job uptime. www.ditchwitch.com/vacuum-accessories

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Sean M. Lyden

Mobile Command Centers Accelerate Emergency Response for Consumers Energy

Mobile Command Centers Accelerate Emergency Response for Consumers Energy

Utility companies can’t control Mother Nature. When an ice storm, high winds, torrential rain or any major weather event knocks out power for hundreds of thousands or even millions of customers, a lot is at stake to get power back online fast – from the health and safety of residents to the economic impact of lost power and revenues on local businesses.

However, utilities can control how they prepare for and respond to Mother Nature’s wrath. And that’s precisely what Consumers Energy, the largest electric and gas utility in Michigan, has sought to do with its recent purchase of two 30-foot mobile command centers: provide better coordination between utility management, crews and first responders in the field, so they can restore power as quickly and safely as possible.

Each of the vehicles is built on a 2016 Ford F-59 stripped chassis with a Utilimaster step-van body, and the cargo area is furnished with workstations and state-of-the-art communications systems.

But what exactly is a mobile command center? What are its advantages for utility companies? UFP spoke with Aaron Kantor, director of emergency management and public safety for Consumers Energy, to get the utility’s story.

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Sean M. Lyden

What’s New in All-Terrain Vehicles for the Utility Market

What’s New in All-Terrain Vehicles for the Utility Market

When it comes to all-terrain utility vehicles (UVs), there’s a wide range of capabilities available on the market. Some models are designed to haul people and heavy equipment over rugged, hilly terrain. Others are built to hover over swamplands or float and power across waterways in remote areas. And then there are lighter-duty UVs that handle both on- and off-road conditions at higher speeds.

So, what’s new in the UV market to help get utility crews, supplies and heavy equipment across various terrains with maximum efficiency and safety? Here are five developments to watch.

New Model: ARGO Conquest 8x8 Lineman XTi
http://argoutv.com/lineman

In July, ARGO unveiled its new Lineman model built specifically for utility workers. Whether the job is replacing utility poles, mending cables or laying underground pipe, the ARGO Lineman includes several custom enhancements to provide the optimal power, payload capacity, versatility and safety that best fit most utility applications.

With a payload capacity up to 1,340 pounds, the Lineman can haul transformers, pull cables or bore footings across a wide range of terrain, including rocks, hills and sand dunes, to reach the most remote worksites.

The machine is engineered to reduce risk of underbody damage, overheating and hang-ups on obstacles, resulting in less downtime for the vehicle – and for crews.

With add-on attachments ranging from cranes and augers to welding kits and hydraulic power supplies, crews can now bring their tool shop with them anywhere, across the most extreme terrains.

New Model: Terramac RT14R 360-Degree Rotating Carrier
www.terramac.com/rt14r-crawler-carrier

In April, Terramac – a manufacturer of rubber track crawler carriers – introduced the RT14R, a rotating crawler carrier.

Built with a heavy-duty upper frame that rotates a full 360 degrees, the Terramac RT14R crawler carrier hauls and dumps up to 28,000 pounds of material at any position, even while driving. The 360-degree rotation capability allows the RT14R to offload materials faster than a standard straight-frame unit because the machine’s tracks don’t need to be counter-rotated to drive another direction.

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Sean M. Lyden

Anti-Theft Technologies to Protect Your Heavy Equipment

Anti-Theft Technologies to Protect Your Heavy Equipment

In 2014, heavy equipment theft cost U.S. companies about $400 million, and only 23 percent of stolen machines were ever recovered, according to a report by the National Equipment Register and National Insurance Crime Bureau.

Beyond a utility fleet’s loss of a machine itself, the fleet manager also has to factor in the costs associated with short-term equipment rentals, project delays and valuable personnel time consumed by dealing with the incident.

So, what can you do to protect your equipment and your organization’s bottom line? Here are three anti-theft technologies to consider.

1. Keyless Ignition System
Equipment manufacturers have traditionally opted for a one-key-fits-all approach that makes it convenient for equipment operators at job sites to operate any one of a number of similar machines without having to carry numerous unique keys. But this approach also makes it much more convenient for thieves, who can easily purchase these keys online (see www.ebay.com/bhp/heavy-equipment-keys as just one example). Then they can go to the nearest job site, find an accessible machine and drive it onto a trailer to haul it away.

How can you make it tougher for thieves? Consider a keyless ignition system.

One example is Start-Smart by Keytroller (www.keytroller.com), which provides a hidden wireless relay installed in the starter circuit that – when the relay is disabled – cuts off power to the starter, preventing a key or even an attempted hot-wire of the machine from being able to start the engine. The operator then uses the Start-Smart programmable keypad ignition to input a valid code or radio-frequency identification card, which enables the wireless relay and provides power to the starter circuit. At that point, the user can press start on the keypad and the engine will fire up.

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Seth Skydel

Meeting Utility Fleets’ Mobile Demands

Meeting Utility Fleets’ Mobile Demands

It’s hard to imagine a more demanding job site than a battlefield. Beyond combat environments, however, utility operations often top the list when it comes to putting demands on crews and vehicles.

One brand of vehicle that both military and utility personnel may find extremely useful in the field is the Jeep, which – according to the company’s slogan – can “go anywhere” and “do anything.” Since the early 1940s when the first Willys models were commissioned by the U.S. military, Jeep’s product line has grown significantly. For 2017, the company will offer several versions of the Compass, Patriot, Cherokee, Wrangler and Renegade models.

For utilities, Jeeps offer an array of options, including off-road capabilities that can bring crews, tools and equipment to nearly any location. Modern Jeep models also feature advanced technologies that allow them to serve as mobile offices in utilities’ increasingly data-driven and interconnected work environment.

The Uconnect phone, for example, is a hands-free voice-recognition communication system that links a Bluetooth wireless phone to a Jeep's audio system. This system delivers a variety of solutions for business use, including GPS navigation with spoken street names as well as real-time geographical and traffic information.

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Fiona Soltes

Getting Utility Fleet Drivers to Embrace Idle Reduction

Getting Utility Fleet Drivers to Embrace Idle Reduction

Regardless of how cutting-edge a type of technology may seem, getting buy-in from prospective users often requires a pragmatic approach: They need to be convinced it works.

Such is the case with anti-idling technology. Today’s tools – aimed at reducing emissions and wasted fuel – include automatic shut-off systems, real-time alerts and plug-in hybrid vehicles that allow systems to work when the engine is off. But the only way utility fleet operators will fully embrace such tools, experts say, is when they grasp the difference that can be made, in terms of both the environment and their organization’s financial bottom line.

“It’s very spotty,” said Linda Gaines, transportation system analyst at Argonne National Laboratory (www.anl.gov) and a recognized idling authority. “You’ll go to some meetings and talk to some fleets, and they’re on board. It’s like your job is done, and the information is all out there. A lot of states have regulations, and it seems like we’ve made a lot of headway. And then you go and visit some company and see how far there still is to go.”

Gaines referenced one organization that is interested in idle reduction and went through the process of installing telematics, but, she said, was still “absolutely shocked by how much idling their trucks were actually doing. I think that’s not an unusual occurrence. Just by sharing that information with the drivers, without any kind of threat or any kind of reward, either way, just by being aware, the drivers reduced their idling by some very significant fraction.” That fraction was near 30 percent.

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Grace Suizo

3 Mistakes to Avoid When Managing Vendor Relationships

3 Mistakes to Avoid When Managing Vendor Relationships

Maintaining strong working relationships with vendors is critical to running a smooth fleet operation.

To find out what makes and breaks these relationships, UFP recently spoke with Ron Henne, transportation supervisor for Eversource in Connecticut and Western Massachusetts; Matt Gilliland, director of transportation and facilities for Nebraska Public Power District; and Mel Holloway, product manager for global fleet management company ARI.

For all three men, customer service stands out as a major factor in determining if a vendor is going to be a short- or long-term partner.

Nebraska Public Power District has been working with several suppliers for 10 to 20 years because they continue to meet the fleet’s customer service expectations, according to Gilliland.

“We look for a vendor who will fix or supply it right the first time, on time, and at a fair price,” he said.

In addition to great customer service, vendors that provide total support – including post-sales support such as training – help seal the deal for Henne.

But what prevents fleet managers and vendors from establishing effective relationships? Be cautious of these three pitfalls.

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Sandy Smith

Best Practices for Winterizing Your Fleet

Best Practices for Winterizing Your Fleet

A 70-inch snowfall in Buffalo, N.Y. A polar vortex. An ice storm in the South. The last few winters certainly have been memorable, and this coming season looks to be more of the same. The National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center (www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov) is forecasting below-normal temperatures for much of the U.S., with some locations experiencing more precipitation than average.

While this may be good news for skiers and those who like to build snowmen, it can wreak havoc for utility fleets – those pressed to keep services operating no matter the weather.

“When you’re in our business, the power has to be on 24/7,” said Michael Donahue, manager of transportation and construction equipment for Omaha Public Power District (www.oppd.com). “The crews and vehicles and equipment have to be ready to respond for normal maintenance and when there is an emergency.”

Given that the average high temperature in Omaha, Neb., hovers around the freezing mark during the winter months, winterizing the utility’s fleet is a given. Historically, the OPPD fleet maintained its 1,000 licensed vehicles and 300 pieces of construction equipment by issuing preventive maintenance orders each September 1. “But what that did was put 1,000 PMs due on our list,” Donahue explained. Now the fleet garage incorporates winterization into the normal maintenance schedule. “It eases up on the guys in the shop and the crews, too,” he said.

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Sean M. Lyden

Finding the Opportunity in Every Obstacle

A top mechanic suddenly quits when your shop is already overwhelmed with a huge backlog. Or, your upfitter falls several weeks behind schedule, delaying delivery of trucks that your customers needed yesterday.

As a fleet manager, you’re confronted with numerous obstacles that knock you off kilter, causing you to feel overwhelmed and unsure about how to best proceed. But what if you could grow your capacity to keep calm under pressure to find the best way to solve your problems?

That’s precisely what Ryan Holiday teaches in his best-selling book “The Obstacle is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph” ($14.85, Amazon.com). The book draws from the ancient Greek philosophy of stoicism to show today’s leaders how to overcome adversity with greater perseverance and resilience.

Here are my three takeaways – with relevant quotes from Holiday – that I think can help you navigate the obstacles you face every day in fleet.

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Sean M. Lyden

The Final 3

The Final 3

Each issue, we ask a fleet professional to share three keys to fleet success.

This issue’s Final 3 participant is Pete J. Matrunola, director of fleet services at Consumers Energy (www.consumersenergy.com), Michigan’s largest electric and gas utility with 6,227 assets in its fleet.

#1. Make safety the No. 1 priority.
“Safety is the most essential component of a successful utility fleet. So, take the time to invest in safety initiatives and programs that instill a culture around providing a safe work environment and excellent service for your employees and your customers. Safety must not simply be something that is done when it is convenient – it must be a core value and the only way to perform your work.”

#2. Build relationships.
“At work and in life, it is always easier to accomplish tasks and goals when everyone is working together. Spend time with your employees, customers and vendors to fully understand them and their needs, wants, limitations, abilities and so forth. By forging those relationships with your employees and business partners, each becomes engaged to achieve the common goal – to build a safe, reliable, cost-effective and compliant fleet operation.”

#3. Know your finances.
“Your fleet department will always be asked to do more with less. As such, it is critical to fully understand your finances and be flexible enough to quickly adjust to the growing needs of the business. Also, be receptive to change and look to instill a culture of continuous improvement. This will stimulate an efficient fleet that drives consistent financial performance.”

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Kate Wade

Air-Weigh Work Truck Scale

Air-Weigh Work Truck Scale

In the past, onboard scales for commercial work trucks have not been available. That just changed with the new LoadMaxx Work Truck Scale released by Air-Weigh.

Available now, it is the industry’s first onboard axle scale that will improve your safety record while making you more efficient. For example, overloading remains one of the top three causes of crane and hoist accidents on work trucks. At least one vehicle overturns for every 10,000 hours of crane use, and 80 percent of these incidents stem from excess weight.

The new LoadMaxx Work Truck Scale warns the driver when a vehicle’s weight approaches its safety threshold, allowing operators to load every truck safely, every time. www.air-weigh.com

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Kate Wade

JackJaw Ground Rod and Gas Probe Puller

JackJaw Ground Rod and Gas Probe Puller

The JackJaw model JJ0400 is a new favorite tool for a number of utilities across the country. It enables operators to pull ground rods and gas probes effortlessly and quickly with no back strain. The tool’s folding lever arm design allows it to be stored in drawers and cabinets on service trucks for easy, quick access when needed. Check out the JackJaw model JJ0400 in person at the iP Utility Safety Conference & Expo November 2-3 in Glendale, Ariz. (www.utilitysafetyconference.com). For more information about the tool, contact Bob Anderson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (937) 609-8937. www.jackjaw.com 

 

JackJaw Ground Rod and Gas Probe Puller
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Kate Wade

Havis Installation and Upfit Guide

Havis Installation and Upfit Guide

Havis Inc. has released a new white paper to guide fleet managers through the process of upfitting and installing in-vehicle equipment to maximize driver comfort and safety, and increase productivity for a positive return on investment.

“Professional Installation and Upfit Guide for Fleet Mobility” details steps for planning and executing an in-vehicle upfit, including selecting equipment to build a custom mobile office solution that fits a fleet’s needs and budget; choosing a professional installation partner to provide expertise through the process; and best practices for project management so that equipment is installed both correctly and efficiently.

The guide – available for free download at www.havis.com – provides the framework needed to create customized fleet strategies. The new white paper is designed to help professionals better understand and communicate their needs, and develop a strategic plan for new vehicles, fleet refresh or equipment upgrades. www.havis.com

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Kate Wade

Elliott Equipment Co. D105 Digger Derrick

Elliott Equipment Co. D105 Digger Derrick

Elliott Equipment Co. has introduced the D105, a new ANSI 10.31 digger derrick specifically designed for transmission and heavy-duty construction projects. Mounted on a tandem axle chassis, the D105 boasts a 107-foot sheave height, 20,000 foot-pounds of torque and a 41-foot digging radius. The unit is equipped with Elliott’s high-boom pin-point geometry, allowing for maximum power out of the hole, a variable displacement piston pump and a new ergonomic seated control console.

Other key features of the D105 include auger spin speeds of 35 rpm (low) and 80 rpm (high); digging depth of up to 16 feet; heavy-duty tilting pole claw attachment and pole guide designed for gripping large poles; new front-entry seated pedestal control station; ability to handle augers up to 48 inches in diameter; 12,000-pound single line pull main winch with synthetic rope and 30,000-pound maximum lift capacity at a 10-foot radius; mounts on tandem axle chassis; radio remote control boom and digger operation; and optional out and down EZ-CRIB high-penetration two-stage vertical outriggers with full- or mid-span operation. www.elliottequip.com

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Kate Wade

WEATHER GUARD Defender Series

WEATHER GUARD Defender Series

The Defender Series from WEATHER GUARD offers the latest in affordable truck box solutions designed specifically for professional-level protection. Ideal for keeping tools safe and secure, the truck box offers heavy-duty security, including push-button locks, a reinforced front panel and two dual-stage rotary latches with looped strikers. It is available with more than 20 products across five categories, including Saddle and Cross Boxes, All-Purpose Chests, and Lo-Side and Hi-Side boxes. www.weatherguard.com

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Kate Wade

Bose Ride System

Bose Ride System

Utility trucks need stiff suspensions for stability on the job. Lineworkers pay for stiff suspensions with back pain and fatigue, and companies pay with lost productivity. The Bose Ride system solves these problems by actively counteracting unwanted road vibration to improve ride quality.

In a recent evaluation conducted at a major utility company, lineworkers unanimously rated the Bose Ride system as providing a smoother ride in bucket trucks previously rated as rough-riding. Objective engineering measurements from that evaluation demonstrated that the Bose Ride system greatly reduced road shock and vibration felt by drivers in utility trucks. www.boseride.com/utility

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Kate Wade

AEM/AEMP Telematics Standard Earns ISO Approval

AEM/AEMP Telematics Standard Earns ISO Approval

The mixed-fleet telematics standard from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) and Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP) has received approval from ISO, the International Organization for Standardization, to be accepted as a global standard.

The new ISO mixed-fleet telematics standard enables equipment users to gather more OEM equipment data into their preferred business or fleet management software, providing easier access, improved ability to manage and analyze information across their fleets, and help saving time and money on the job site or within their operations.

While ISO is preparing the standard for final posting to its website, AEM and AEMP suggest three steps equipment users can take now to prepare for final publication of the ISO mixed-fleets standard.

First, equipment users are advised to check with their manufacturers to determine if and when they plan to comply with the standard and offer data through the standard’s application programming interface (API) format.

Second, equipment users are advised to check with the supplier of their preferred business or fleet management software for its plan to support integration of the new API to enable retrieval of their machine data. A helpful reference source is the "AEMP Telematics for Fleet Managers" primer.

Third, equipment users can bookmark the expected landing page for the standard and check back periodically to see when it is posted.

The ISO mixed-fleet telematics standard will be part of IS0 15143 (“Earth-moving machinery and mobile road construction machinery – Worksite data exchange”) as a new section – “Part 3: Machine data.” www.aem.org

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