Get Custom Virtual Training the Way You Need It!   Learn More

UFP Magazine

Sean M. Lyden

Stocking Critical Parts in a Supply Chain Crisis

Web-shutterstock_1929506309

A semiconductor shortage has crippled production in the automotive sector, forcing many utility fleets to extend the service life of their existing vehicles until new units arrive, whenever that may be.

And that could be a problem.

That’s because as the global economy emerges from the pandemic, the combination of increased consumer demand and constrained shipping capacity means that it could take longer than usual to get the necessary parts to keep your fleet up and running.

So, what can you do right now to ensure your shop has the critical parts you need, when you need them, to minimize disruption to your fleet operations?

Continue reading
  2411 Hits
  0 Comments
Sean M. Lyden

Win Them Over

As a fleet manager, your role is about more than managing assets; you also must manage and work with people to get things done.

Think about it. No matter how bulletproof you believe your proposal might be for, say, why the fleet department should receive a larger budget this year, you can expect some pushback from senior management.

That’s a given because people tend to resist change. The key is to win them over at their point of resistance. But how?

Continue reading
  767 Hits
  0 Comments
Kate Wade

Polaris Expands Pro XD UTV Lineup

Polaris-UTV

Polaris Commercial, a division of Polaris Inc., has introduced the new midsize model of the Pro XD UTV. Designed for lighter payloads, tighter spaces and remarkable comfort, the vehicle comes in two- and four-seat versions with a capable 500-pound-capacity cargo bed. Uses for the midsize model include all-terrain and all-weather utility or people movement for applications like construction, events setup, landscaping, and facilities and grounds maintenance.

Built to withstand tough duty cycles and daily work site use, the Pro XD lineup boasts durability, serviceability and safety features that differentiate it from other work UTVs. Full-size Pro XD models are offered in both gas and diesel and have industry-leading payload and towing capacities. The all-new midsize model takes the same purpose-built features in the full-size Pro XD and delivers them in a more compact profile, with capable payload and towing capacities at a lower price point. https://commercial.polaris.com

Continue reading
  1082 Hits
  0 Comments
Kate Wade

Ditch Witch RT70 Ride-On Trencher

Ditch-Witch-RT70

Ditch Witch has introduced the RT70 ride-on trencher, which is equipped with features that increase operator comfort and visibility, helping to boost efficiency and profitability on the job site.

For example, the ergonomically designed operator station features an open layout with a 90-degree swivel seat, more legroom and intuitive controls. This enhanced visibility provides a full view of the machine – from front tire to back tire and the attachment – helping operators of any experience level increase productivity. The RT70 also includes a patented cooling fan to reduce temperature levels in the operator station by moving hot, uncomfortable exhaust out of the side of the machine rather than toward the operator like traditional fans. This helps keep workers safer and more comfortable during long days.

Powered by a 72-horsepower Yanmar Tier 4 Stage V Compliant diesel engine, and built with a narrow footprint of 73 inches wide, the RT70 rubber-tire trencher can handle heavy-duty jobs and still easily maneuver around tight job sites, corners and cul-de-sacs with ease. It is also the only ride-on trencher available with crab and coordinated steering modes, allowing operators to turn the machine with a steering wheel instead of using two separate levers. www.ditchwitch.com

Continue reading
  885 Hits
  0 Comments
Kate Wade

Bigfoot Construction Equipment Twilight Pad

Bigfoot-Twilight-Pad

The Twilight Pad features a magnet-held light with multiple options for working at night. This will bring attention to the setup, equipment and personnel working, plus eliminate tripping hazards. The light is waterproof with a rechargeable battery. www.outriggerpads.com

Continue reading
  977 Hits
  0 Comments
Kate Wade

Dejana Hub Drive Cable Trailer

Dejana-Trailer

Dejana’s all new galvanized Hub Drive Cable Trailer stands up against the elements and is specifically designed for areas where conditions can cause premature deterioration and equipment fatigue.

This self-propelled cable-pulling machine utilizes patented technology and can deliver up to 400,000 in-lbs. of pulling power. The 24-inch lateral movement of the arms makes spooling cable in difficult locations quick and easy. This feature gives greater flexibility on the job site by allowing obstacle avoidance with the reel unit and facilitates even spooling, providing offset or side-pull capability when removing or installing cable. The trailer also features a self-propelled and steerable nose wheel that is capable of being driven by remote control at speeds of up to 2 mph. The system is designed for both underground and overhead cable-pulling applications and has a lift arm capacity of 16,000 pounds. The patented reel drive system is unique in that it is all hydraulic with a direct drive crankshaft powered by two hydraulic cylinders on each arm. The hydraulic lifting cylinders are directly connected to the arms without any linkage, which means fewer parts, less breakage and longer service life. https://dejana.com

Continue reading
  953 Hits
  0 Comments
Jim Vaughn, CUSP

Who is Your Customer?

But first, this public service announcement.

If your organization doesn’t already have a policy on energy drinks, you should do the research and develop one. I had long been skeptical of energy drinks because I know that anything that artificially enhances body function always comes with consequences, especially if it’s overused. It’s no different than any prescription drug that supplants the body’s failed functions. There are always side effects. With heat stress or any other kind of stress, the body gets tired, which is how it tells you that it’s exhausted and needs rest to repair itself. If we artificially stimulate the body to ignore those signals, the outcome is not just bad – it can and has become deadly.

In the years of the energy drink boom, I was a contractor. On two occasions, I had healthy 20-somethings helicoptered to hospitals from remote areas after they collapsed and displayed symptoms of a heart attack or stroke. Both instances occurred in over 100-degree work environments. On each occasion, at the paramedics’ request, we looked for and found a cooler full of energy drinks. The victims couldn’t answer questions, but the paramedics had already seen the symptoms and needed to know if that was what they were dealing with.

Continue reading
  1041 Hits
  0 Comments
Sean M. Lyden

Planning Your Fleet’s Transition to EVs

Web-shutterstock_1284148144

All major automakers have recently announced their commitments to selling only electric-drive vehicles by 2035. And that shift will bring new opportunities and challenges for utility fleets.

It will force you to change how you spec vehicles, manage “fueling” infrastructure, train your technicians and support crews in storm response situations.

So, where do you start? How do you plan for such a large-scale change effort? What should you be thinking about today to set up your fleet for success in the next decade?

UFP recently spoke with Brent Johnson, principal and co-founder at Sage Energy Consulting Inc. (www.sagerenew.com), an energy planning and project management firm. He offered these six factors to keep in mind as you prepare your fleet for an all-electric future.

Continue reading
  1134 Hits
  0 Comments
Sean M. Lyden

What’s New in Lifting Equipment for Utility Fleets in 2021

Web-TEREX_-TL48-inField

Lifting height, capacity, stability and range – these are all critical factors utility fleet professionals consider when spec’ing aerial platforms, cranes and other heavy-lifting equipment. They’re also looking for enhancements to machine safety, longevity and efficiency.

So, what new products in the lifting equipment space have emerged in the past year to help fleet managers improve their fleet’s performance? Here are seven developments to watch.

Terex Utilities
What’s New: Hi-Ranger TL48 telescopic aerial device for trouble truck applications
Website: www.terex.com/utilities

Terex Utilities’ new Hi-Ranger TL48 telescopic aerial device achieves a 53-foot maximum working height on a medium-duty chassis for utility trouble trucks.

“Utility customers were looking for material-handling capability throughout the work zone to accomplish switch work, small transformer replacements, insulator maintenance and other tasks without having to reposition the truck. This need was not being met on super-duty class vehicles and current products that were in the market – until now,” said Joe Caywood, Terex’s marketing director.

Continue reading
  1425 Hits
  0 Comments
Sandy Smith

Top Trends to Watch in Commercial Truck Tires

Web-IntelliTIre2

As director of strategic alliances for Element Fleet Management (www.elementfleet.com), Kerry Wenthin often hears concerns about tire performance.

Ask him what he’s hoping to see in terms of innovation, and it comes down to value. “Longer-lasting and cost-conscious products for the high mileage and demanding usage patterns in the light-truck service and delivery segment will always be welcome,” Wenthin said.

He gives credit to tire manufacturers, who he says have “done a great job launching new products and product line extensions to fill gaps and provide additional offerings in high-demand sizes and at various price points.”

But there is always room for improvement, and manufacturers like Bridgestone Americas (www.bridgestoneamericas.com) and The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (www.goodyear.com) continue to innovate. UFP recently spoke with representatives from both companies, who shared emerging trends that they suggest fleet professionals keep an eye on.

Continue reading
  1477 Hits
  0 Comments
Grace Suizo

What’s New in All-Terrain Vehicles for Utility Fleets

Web-Hydratrek-2

Utilities have a number of different options available to help their crews get work done in hard-to-reach areas, in harsh weather conditions and on rough terrain. Since new equipment is regularly being introduced to the marketplace, it’s important for utilities to stay up to date about what they have to choose from. Check out these new developments from four manufacturers in the all-terrain vehicle space.

Hydratrek
What’s New: Engine and system updates for the D2488B and XTB66
Website: https://hydratrek.com

Built for the power, oil and gas, and public safety industries, the D2488B recently had its engine updated to the 115-horsepower Kubota V3800-TEF4. The Tier 4 Final diesel engine is controlled by a Murphy PowerView 485 LCD display that allows the operator to access a multitude of information for the engine system, including maintenance intervals.

Continue reading
  1410 Hits
  0 Comments
Gary L. Wollenhaupt

Best Practices for Training Utility Fleet Drivers to Cut Engine Idling

Web-shutterstock_358772042

Most fleet professionals understand the benefits of idle reduction. It's the lowest of the low-hanging fruit.

Unfortunately, too many fleet managers and drivers still believe certain old-school conventional wisdom, like starting a truck uses more fuel than letting it idle.

Up-to-date research pokes holes in those old beliefs, but it can be hard to change minds. Various programs are available to help fleets build new policies and procedures to make the training stick. Yet it's difficult to break old habits and create new ones.

For fleet managers, there doesn't seem to be a downside to reducing idling. There's a direct correlation between reducing carbon dioxide pollution and fuel use. Each gallon of fuel burned produces about 20 pounds of CO2. Reducing emissions also lowers fuel costs.

Continue reading
  1565 Hits
  0 Comments
David Cullen

How to Retain Technicians in a Tight Labor Market

Web-New-Truck-3

Exactly when we can state with certainty that America has emerged from the coronavirus pandemic is yet unknown. But much of the country is opening again, albeit cautiously.

Businesses are taking stock of what they must do to get back up to speed. In some cases, that means looking to hire new workers to replace those who were laid off at the peak of the pandemic or who left jobs voluntarily for their health or to care for family members stricken with the virus.

As utility fleet managers know, well before the pandemic roared into the U.S., there was a technician shortage already impacting every type of truck operation, from bucket trucks to highway rigs. A good tech is hard to find, and once they’re on board, keeping them there is a constant responsibility for managers.

So, what can you do now to keep more techs happily employed – working for you, that is? The answer is that, if fleet managers pay attention to the individual concerns and attitudes of all techs in their shops and respond to any issues that arise, it’s highly likely the fleet department will not have retention issues.

Continue reading
  1137 Hits
  0 Comments
Karen Scallly

How a Major Utility Fleet Moved to Predictive Maintenance

Web-Predictive-Maintenance-3

At first, Entergy’s plan was fairly simple.

Chris Morrow, fleet assets superintendent for the New Orleans-based electric utility, said the company knew they wanted to move away from time-based preventive maintenance for their 6,000-unit fleet to a service program that was more usage-based.

What they have since discovered is that the power of telematics and data analysis can unlock a predictive model for fleet maintenance.

Predictive maintenance has helped them flag problems prior to major equipment failures, reduce unplanned downtime and parts spending, and refocus technicians on diagnostic work instead of lengthy repairs. All of these benefits have resulted in significant savings.

Continue reading
  413 Hits
  0 Comments
Sean M. Lyden

Making the Best of the Way Things Turn Out

The delta variant. Automotive plant shutdowns. Order-to-delivery delays.

So much is in flux right now. And that’s when uncertainty and anxiety often begin to deplete our energy and cloud our judgment.

But in times like these, I’m reminded of a powerful quote by the legendary basketball coach John Wooden, who said, “Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.”

Continue reading
  1001 Hits
  0 Comments
Kate Wade

Elliott E150i Aerial Work Platform

Elliott-Aerial-Platform

Elliott's new E150i is five machines in one. Designed to maximize utilization and versatility, the E150i can be configured as follows: a 130-foot telescopic material-handling aerial; a 150-foot articulating steel construction aerial; a 150-foot articulating 500-kV live-line aerial; a 60-degree over-center articulating substation aerial; and a main boom material handler.

Key to this is Elliott's hot-swap technology, which allows the user to interchange booms and platforms depending on the application. This enables users to literally turn a 500-kV articulating aerial work platform into a telescopic material handler in a matter of minutes. The ability to swap a fiberglass 500-kV boom with a steel boom allows crews to configure the machine for proper use each day. This flexibility maximizes utilization and minimizes the user's capital cost.

The E150i is also loaded with other features, such as EZ Crib outriggers to reduce the need for cribbing, Bluetooth remote diagnostics and hydraulic tool circuits. It is backed by a lifetime structural warranty. https://elliottequip.com

Continue reading
  1400 Hits
  0 Comments
Kate Wade

Tessco Fleet Solutions

Tessco_Logo

Providing fleet teams with the tools to efficiently do their jobs while in the field is a must. A well-constructed, ergonomically designed mobile environment built with best-in-class products ensures a high-performing and productive outcome.

Whether you’re looking for an all-in-one solution built with the highest safety and quality standards, enhanced user comfort, or portability and on-the-go flexibility, Tessco has the products – including rugged laptops and tablets, consoles and mounting equipment, and mobile antennas – needed to keep fleets powered, connected and productive. www.tessco.com

Continue reading
  1190 Hits
  0 Comments
Kate Wade

Miller EnPak A60 Solution for Class 5-7 Work Trucks

Miller-EnPak

Miller Electric Mfg. LLC, a leading worldwide manufacturer of Miller brand arc welding equipment, has announced the release of the new EnPak A60 solution. The EnPak A60 power system provides integrated multiprocess welding, battery charge/crank assist, compressed air, hydraulic power and electric power.

It also includes an industry-exclusive turbocharged diesel engine, which delivers high torque at lower speeds. This delivers performance in every environment – even at high elevations – so operators have the power they need to work anywhere.

In addition, the EnPak A60 features an LCD control panel that improves the user experience, gives full visibility to the system and empowers technicians to manage power needs. The intuitive dashboard shows key performance indicators of all EnPak A60 systems and lets operators change settings and configurations quickly and easily. Power Priority also enables operators to maximize available power by prioritizing the air compressor or hydraulic system based on what’s important for optimal tool performance. www.millerwelds.com

Continue reading
  1500 Hits
  0 Comments
Kate Wade

Pettibone Launches X-Command Telematics

Pettibone-Telematics

Pettibone has introduced X-Command, a new telematics program available for the company’s X-Series telehandlers, Cary-Lift pipe and pole handlers, and Speed Swing rail maintenance machines. The system offers real-time access to machine data, saving time, money and hassle for equipment owners, fleet managers, rental centers and maintenance technicians.

X-Command allows users to remotely track a machine’s location and observe data points such as engine hours, fuel rate and usage, diesel exhaust fluid level and battery voltage. By obtaining accurate and current performance information, users can quickly identify and address minor mechanical issues before they become serious.

Equipment owners can access data and generate reports using the online X-Command dashboard on their computer or mobile device. The platform allows for quick and simple remote diagnosis of a telematics-equipped machine, potentially eliminating the need for certain field service calls. By ensuring maintenance is up to date, users can consistently increase equipment uptime and improve their overall return on investment. www.gopettibone.com

Continue reading
  1139 Hits
  0 Comments
Jim Vaughn, CUSP

Writing an ATV/UTV Operating Safety Policy

This installment of “Focus on Fleet Safety” is a little bit different than usual in that we are going to write an operating safety policy. There are two goals here: to help you learn to develop policies that make a difference, and to prevent wrecked all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and utility task vehicles (UTVs) on your job sites.

Over the last few decades, ATVs and UTVs have taken on a significant role in remote site access and large yard transportation. What have also occurred over the last few decades are serious and occasionally fatal injuries from the operation of ATVs and UTVs. In my own experience as a former transmission line contractor, we only had a few incidents with UTVs, but it was on every job where we used them. In my time since, I have received calls every year regarding incidents related to UTVs. They are probably involved more often because ATVs are not as useful on rights-of-way as they are in yards where managers employ them to get around more efficiently. In this article, we are going to discuss the elements of an ATV/UTV policy designed to address the most common issues related to ATV/UTV wrecks and how they can be prevented.

Continue reading
  1280 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 - 2022 Utility Fleet Professional. All Rights Reserved.