UFP Magazine

Sean M. Lyden

Never Split the Difference

Negotiation is a significant part of your job as a fleet professional. You have to negotiate new supplier contracts, the fleet budget with senior management and job offers with top talent.

So, if you haven’t read “Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It” by former FBI hostage negotiator Chris Voss, I recommend it.

I first listened to the book on Audible and got so much out of it that I bought the hard copy for a deeper dive. Here are my three biggest takeaways.

Continue reading
  493 Hits
  0 Comments
Kate Wade

Air-Weigh Trailer Scales

Air-Weigh-Trailer-Scales

Air-Weigh, a global leader in electronic onboard scales, is launching a new generation of trailer-specific onboard scales. Advanced communication and integration capabilities along with increased durability are key elements of the new LoadMaxx Plus and QuickLoad Plus product lines. 

The LoadMaxx Plus model allows for third-party onboard software integration options when connected to a LoadMaxx Tractor Scale. In addition, both the LoadMaxx Plus and QuickLoad Plus scales are Bluetooth enabled and allow for communication to any smart device with the Air-Weigh app.

Utilizing the Air-Weigh app, drivers can view weight data on their smart device or easily email weights and location to a fleet manager or any email address. The scale features a user-friendly, icon-based touch-screen display and alarm functions that can be programmed for a warning and overweight trigger.

The new scales also feature a redesigned body and mounting system that provides increased durability and easier installation. The LoadMaxx Plus and QuickLoad Plus will be available for air-ride and most mechanical suspension axle options. Shipments of the new scales are slated for the end of the year. www.air-weigh.com

Continue reading
  787 Hits
  0 Comments
Kate Wade

Hino Trucks Introduces New Models and Cab Configurations

Hino-Models-and-Cabs

Hino has unified its entire lineup of trucks, including model names, to make it even easier for you to match the perfect Hino to you and your business’ needs. The company is excited to announce their new M Series Class 4/5 COEs and new L Series Class 6/7 Conventional trucks, which – combined with Hino’s recently launched XL Series Class 7/8 vehicles – create a cohesive family of commercial trucks.

The badges are not the only updates. Each vehicle now contains larger cab configurations and a full suite of features, adding safety, fresh designs, durability, flexibility and connectivity options.

The new COE truck models carry Hino M4 and M5 badging, with the number in the naming scheme representing the GVW class. For 2021MY, these trucks have been upgraded with an all-new grille design complete with optional LED headlights and HD six-speed Aisin automatic transmission with gear hold feature. They are available with the industry’s first OE fully integrated lane departure warning system in this vehicle segment. Interior upgrades include a new shifter layout, steering wheel controls, an all-new gauge cluster including a 4.2-inch LCD multi-information display, and a driver’s seat belt sensor.

The new Conventional line is represented by the Hino L6 and Hino L7 models, boasting a bolder front fascia with optional LED headlights. The cab interior has been re-engineered with an automotive-grade finish designed for commercial use and improved functionality, steering wheel controls, a large 7-inch LCD multi-information display, and more storage and leg room. There is now an array of safety systems available on the Hino L Series, including electronic stability control, collision mitigation system, lane departure warning, active cruise control and driver’s seat belt sensor. New wheelbase options and extended and crew cab configurations also are available. www.hino.com

Continue reading
  721 Hits
  0 Comments
UFP Webmaster

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

Continue reading
  1115 Hits
  0 Comments
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

Continue reading
  968 Hits
  0 Comments
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.

Continue reading
  1187 Hits
  0 Comments
Sean M. Lyden

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

Web-New-Truck-3

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.

Continue reading
  1664 Hits
  0 Comments
Dan Brenden

Using Technology to Eliminate Aerial Device Overloads

Web-Terex-JOBSIT-2_PM_5in-new-logo

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.

Continue reading
  1702 Hits
  0 Comments
Kate Wade

ICUEE 2019 Set to be the Largest Demo Expo Ever

Web-36843069343_dd35d96519_o

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.

Continue reading
  1062 Hits
  0 Comments
Sandy Smith

Investing in Garage Management Software

Web-shutterstock_766708243

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.

Continue reading
  996 Hits
  0 Comments
Grace Suizo

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

Web-shutterstock_1062149624

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.

Continue reading
  816 Hits
  0 Comments
Fiona Soltes

Bucket Trucks, Powered Up

Web-HyPowerIM

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.

Continue reading
  1189 Hits
  0 Comments
Sean M. Lyden

Recruiting for Fleet in a Tight Labor Market

Web-cover-image---The-10-Stories-Great-Leaders-Tell

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.

Continue reading
  912 Hits
  0 Comments
Jim Galligan

Winterizing the Shop

Web-COMED-TRKS-HEATER-LINE

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.

Continue reading
  681 Hits
  0 Comments
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.

Continue reading
Tags:
  582 Hits
  0 Comments
Kate Wade

Bigfoot Layered Outrigger Pad

Bigfoot-Outrigger-Pads

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

Continue reading
  768 Hits
  0 Comments
Kate Wade

Go Industries’ Grille Guard

Go-Industries-Grille-Guards

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

Continue reading
  762 Hits
  0 Comments
Kate Wade

Hino Trucks’ Transmission Warranty

Hino-Transmission-Warranty

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

Continue reading
  928 Hits
  0 Comments
Kate Wade

Jarraff All-Terrain Tree Trimmer

Jarraff-Tree-Trimmer

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

Continue reading
  1027 Hits
  0 Comments
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.

Continue reading
  955 Hits
  0 Comments

KNOWLEDGE, INSIGHT & STRATEGY FOR UTILITY FLEET LEADERS

Utility Fleet Professional is produced by Utility Business Media, Inc.

360 Memorial Drive, Suite 10, Crystal Lake, IL 60014 | 815.459.1796 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
© 2011 - 2020 Utility Fleet Professional. All Rights Reserved.