In order to keep up with the evolution of your fleet, it may be time to analyze the layout of your current shop to determine if you need to upgrade the facility or design and build a new facility.
Service bodies, also known as utility beds, mounted onto light- and medium-duty truck chassis provide utility contractors with easy and secure access to their tools, equipment and parts to do their work more efficiently – and profitably.
Ford Motor Co.
The 2013 Ford F-150 is available with several engine choices, each mated to an electronic six-speed automatic transmission with tow/haul mode. Included are:
• 3.7-liter four-valve Ti-VCT V-6, 302 HP at 6,500 rpm, 278 lbs./ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm.
• 5.0-liter four-valve dual-overhead-camshaft Ti-VCT V-8, 360 HP at 5,500 rpm.
• 6.2-liter two-valve single-overhead-camshaft V-8, 411 HP at 5,500 rpm, 434 lbs./ft. of torque at 4,500 rpm.
• 3.5-liter Ti-VCT EcoBoost engine, 365 HP at 5,000 rpm, 420 lbs./ft. of torque at 2,500 rpm.
Wiregrass Electric Cooperative Improves Safety and Efficiency with Telogis
Wiregrass Electric Cooperative provides electric services to 24,000 members across six counties in southeast Alabama. Technicians are responsible for keeping the electricity flowing across the region, each one assigned to cover a specific area or zone. Unfortunately, in order to keep track of where the technicians were during the course of the day, the dispatch team had to constantly communicate with them via two-way radio.
A valuable resource for utility fleet managers, the industry’s providers of rental and leasing services use their understanding of each fleet’s unique needs and objectives to match the most appropriate financing and acquisition strategies to particular operations.
For most fleets, a balance of ownership, rental and leasing is an effective choice. Utility Equipment Leasing Corporation (UELC) points out that understanding the benefits of those options is an effective way to run a fleet. Ownership is the clear choice for fleet managers, but gaps in fleet portfolios are a reality. Rental units maximize the immediate demand necessary to fill current gaps while leasing can be structured for longer-term, fixed and potentially lower payments that preserve capital for investment in a business and may not impact existing lines of credit. Depending on their structure, lease payments may offer a tax advantage and leasing can also avoid the risk of equipment obsolescence that comes with ownership through upgrade, trade-in and return provisions designed to provide flexibility.
During 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.
North America’s largest gathering of vocational trucks and transportation equipment, The Work Truck Show 2012 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis features more than 550 exhibitors showcasing Classes 1-8 trucks, chassis, bodies, components and accessories.
Thousands of work truck professionals, including fleet managers, equipment buyers, maintenance personnel, manufacturers, distributors and dealers attend the annual Work Truck Show to interact with peers, meet with suppliers, get answers to technical questions and visit exhibits. Industry suppliers also use the event to introduce new product innovations.
Successfully implementing new technology into fleet operations is a major challenge for managers. In the past few years, perhaps no greater challenge has been faced than the adoption of 2010 emissions-compliant diesel engines. During the 2011 Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference (www.eufmc.com), two fleets detailed their programs and the performance of these engines in their operations.
Since the most recent diesel engine emissions standards took effect at the beginning of 2010, trucks equipped with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) engines have been fitted with diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) tanks. DEF is a necessary component of emissions compliance using SCR technology.
An important part of any fleet manager’s responsibility is the remarketing of used vehicles. For a growing number of fleets, the highest used values are being realized by turning to auction companies that specialize in the disposal of used utility vehicles and equipment.
In a recent roundtable discussion with Utility Fleet Professional Editor Seth Skydel, representatives of three leading auction companies discussed the trends that are impacting their remarketing choices and success, and the reasons that utility fleet managers should consider auctions as they manage their fleets’ remarketing efforts.
Louisville Gas and Electric Company (LG&E) and Kentucky Utilities Company (KU) are well known in the industry for creative approaches to continuous improvement and outstanding performance in many respects – including the operation and maintenance of their vehicle and equipment fleet. The companies’ fleet is recognized as one of the most reliable and efficient in the industry. It consistently ranks in the top quartile in overall cost management, cost per mile, fuel costs and other components when benchmarked against other utilities. But that’s not good enough. Keeping with LG&E and KU’s style of being the best they can be, the companies continue to search for safety enhancements and operating efficiencies that will benefit their operators and customers.
The LG&E and KU fleet consists of about 1,600 units, including light- and heavy-duty vehicles, trailers, heavy-duty and power equipment, and a small number of hybrids. The fleet is managed by the Transportation Department in Energy Delivery (E.D.), the business unit that distributes natural gas and electricity and provides services to the company’s 1.2 million customers. The bulk of the fleet is utilized by E.D. employees who drive about 13 million miles per year across the Kentucky and Virginia service territory.