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NAFA Institute & Expo, April 25-28, 2017 in Tampa, FL

 

NAFA’s annual Institute & Expo is the largest event of the fleet management industry! The perfect opportunity to increase your networking power, I&E is the largest community of fleet professionals who attend year after year because they experience I&E’s hands-on value.

Learn more at http://www.nafainstitute.org/

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Kate Wade

DewEze Releases Battery-Powered Electric System

DewEze Releases Battery-Powered Electric System

Reduce, reuse and recharge with the battery-powered electric (BEH) driven system by DewEze Hydraulics. Known for its innovative roots, DewEze continues that tradition with the release of this BEH package for medium-duty truck applications.

The steel-constructed cabinet houses a 12-volt motor, two 100/110-amp class batteries and a charge monitoring system to power hydraulic needs. This green technology offers a turnkey solution for no-idling regulations that improves noise reduction, decreases operator fatigue and reduces costs for utility fleet trucks.

The BEH power house is available in two packages: Lithium Ion at 200 amp hours and AGM at 220 amp hours. The DewEze-designed package – 24 by 16.5 by 11.5 inches – conveniently fits into any tail shelf frame rails. www.deweze.com

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Kate Wade

BrandFX Launches UltimateFX and UtilityFX

BrandFX Launches UltimateFX and UtilityFX

BrandFX, a leader in lightweight composite work truck bodies, launched the all-new UltimateFX and UtilityFX at the NTEA Work Truck Show 2017. The UltimateFX is the industry’s first all-composite body and understructure for the work truck market. The UtilityFX is the all-composite body for cutaway work van applications.

A crash test video was screened at the event, revealing no permanent deformation or structural damage to the UltimateFX body/understructure after a simulation of a frontal crash in excess of 30 mph.

Like other advanced composite bodies from BrandFX, the UtilityFX was built to withstand up to 20 years of continual use. The engineered space in the UtilityFX allows for an increase in mobile operation efficiency by providing optimal access to all storage areas and organizational compartments.

Both products use advanced composite construction that is lighter than aluminum, designed to withstand the same rigors and working conditions of a steel body, and ultimately corrosion and oxidation free. The UltimateFX and UtilityFX are the first of their kind on the market. www.brandfxbody.com

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UFP Webmaster

Mid-America Trucking Show 2017 in Louisville, KY

 

The Mid-America Truck Show is the largest annual heavy-duty trucking industry event in the world. Held each year at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, KY. The show attracts 70,000 attendees and 1,000+ exhibitors from throughout the United States and abroad.

Learn more at http://www.truckingshow.com

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UFP Webmaster

Work Truck Show March 14-17, 2017 in Indianapolis, IN

 

The Work Truck Show, held March 14-17 this year in Indianapolis, is North America's largest work truck event and your once-a-year chance to see all of the newest industry products, choose from dozens of industry-focused training courses, and gain access to technical engineering representatives from hundreds of exhibiting companies.

Learn more at http://www.worktruckshow.com/

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Kate Wade

Fleet-Ready Truck Solution from XL Hybrids

Fleet-Ready Truck Solution from XL Hybrids

Utility fleets have been seeking a reliable, fleet-ready plug-in hybrid electric pickup truck for years. XL Hybrids Inc. will begin production of its new XLP plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) upfit solution in the fourth quarter of 2017. XLP, rolling out on the Ford F-150, will be an industry-first, Fleet-Ready solution offered as a ship-thru upfit on half-ton pickup trucks. The system will provide a 50 percent improvement in miles driven per gallon for major fleets across the U.S., as well as significant reductions in CO2 emissions.

Benefits for utility fleets include a PHEV pickup truck with immediate applications across a wide range of drive cycles; based on proven technology with 40 million road miles; plug-in technology to meet EEI mandates for investment in fleet electrification; by adopting PHEV pickups, utility fleets set an example for rate-paying constituencies, encouraging them to use the increasing number of public, utility-installed vehicle charging stations; allows utility fleets to use the increasing amount of charging infrastructure being installed; and increases sustainability by offsetting fossil fuel use to reduce CO2 and NOx emissions.

NV Energy and DTE Energy are among the newest utility and municipal fleets who say they intend to purchase XL Hybrids’ XLP PHEV system. They join previously announced fleets San Diego Gas & Electric Co., Liberty Utilities and Hawaiian Electric Co. www.xlhybrids.com

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Kate Wade

PRINOTH PANTHER T22 Now Available with Altec Cranes

PRINOTH PANTHER T22 Now Available with Altec Cranes

Altec Industries recently announced that two of their biggest cranes – the AC40-152S and AC45-127S – are now available mounted on the PRINOTH PANTHER T22. This provides customers access to hard-to-reach areas and employ the unit in the aerial mode of operation with 222 feet of working height and 1,200 pounds of platform capacity.

PRINOTH and Altec worked closely together on developing the unit to ensure both systems, the carrier and the unit, would have best-in-class safety, reliability and off-road performance. The quick-attach platform can be used on the main boom, the 49-foot telescopic jib or the 6-foot composite reach extension. The unit was designed to optimize deck space and allow easy access to the cab from anywhere in rotation. The workhorse AC45 is also available on the T22. More specifications can be obtained by contacting Altec directly.

The PANTHER T22 is Tier 4 Final, offers 46,000 pounds of payload and is undoubtedly one of the largest tracked carriers on the market. Equipped with the innovative Rapid Attach Design chassis, a PRINOTH exclusivity first designed specifically for the power utility industry, this vehicle can receive large cranes or other sizable implements. With a ground pressure of only 4.39 psi at the maximum GVWR, the unit will easily travel through mud or other soft soils to allow power utility companies to reach even the hardest terrains. www.prinoth.com, www.altec.com

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UFP Webmaster

ATSSA - February 12 - 14, 2017 in Phoenix, AZ

 

The 47th Annual AMERICAN TRAFFIC SAFETY SERVICES ASSOCIATION (ATSSA) Conference and Expo was held February 12 - 14, 2017 at the Phoenix Convention in Phoenix, AZ

Learn more at http://expo.atssa.com/

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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 Todd Carlson, principal manager for fleet asset management at Southern California Edison (www.sce.com), one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving nearly 15 million customers in Central, Coastal and Southern California, with about 6,100 assets, including trailers, in its fleet.

#1. Learn from other utility fleet professionals.
“Leverage your peers in the industry to benchmark how they configure and utilize their utility trucks. And study their best practices and alternative work methods for crews. This way, you can shorten your own learning curve and put your fleet in the best position to succeed.”

#2. Avoid excessive customization.
“While most utility trucks are custom-configured for the buyer and their work methods, new fleet managers should be aware of all the costs of excessive or unique customizations not typically offered by OEMs. These costs can include longer lead times, engineering issues, trade-offs and unintended outcomes.”

#3. Track fleet performance so you can make smart business decisions.
“A good telematics solution can help you capture performance data – such as days utilized, idle time, boom utilization and driver performance – to equip you with the insight you need to make informed business decisions about your fleet.”

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Kate Wade

Havis Mobile Solutions

Havis Mobile Solutions

Havis Inc. has announced the launch of vehicle-specific and universal mobile office mounting solutions for a wide range of 2017 vehicles. Havis consoles, equipment mounting and computer device docking solutions are specifically designed with vehicles and mobile professionals in mind to create a comfortable mobile office built to the highest safety standards.

Havis’ broad portfolio of rugged products provides secure mounting solutions for 2017 vehicles across a variety of markets, including utility and energy services, public safety and material handling. Mounting solutions are available for Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, Freightliner, GMC, International, Isuzu, Jeep, Honda, Nissan and more. Havis works directly with OEM partners to develop vehicle-specific equipment mounting and computing solutions that maximize productivity in mobile offices.

Havis equipment mounting solutions are tested to the industry’s highest safety standards, including vibration and environmental testing to ensure quality performance in the most rugged conditions. www.havis.com

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Kate Wade

Bigfoot Internal and Plastic Handles

Bigfoot Internal and Plastic Handles

Bigfoot Outrigger Pads is now offering their new Internal Handles, which are machined out of solid plastic. The company also is offering their all-new Plastic Handles that never get sopping wet. Founded in 1995 and incorporated in 1996, Bigfoot has grown from building wood outrigger pads for a few local concrete pumping and crane companies to being a leading wood and plastic outrigger pad manufacturer for OEMs, machine dealers and end users throughout the U.S. and Canada. www.outriggerpads.com

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Sean M. Lyden

3 Takeaways from Southern California Edison’s Fleet Electrification Initiative

3 Takeaways from Southern California Edison’s Fleet Electrification Initiative

Conventional wisdom says that as fuel prices drop, so does market demand for alternative-fuel vehicles – such as those powered by compressed natural gas, propane autogas and plug-in electric systems. That’s because the lower the price of gasoline and diesel, the longer it takes to recoup the premium for alt-fuel technologies through fuel-cost savings.

Yet despite fuel prices in the low two-dollar range per gallon as of press time, a growing number of electric utilities in the U.S. are making substantial investments to green their fleets – specifically in plug-in electric vehicle (EV) systems.

A major driver of this trend has been Edison Electric Institute’s (EEI) Transportation Electrification Initiative, which in late 2014 garnered commitments from more than 70 investor-owned electric utilities to devote at least 5 percent of their annual fleet acquisition budgets to purchase plug-in EVs and equipment.

But for one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, Southern California Edison (SCE), the push for fleet electrification began nearly two decades ago, in 2000. And today, SCE (www.sce.com) operates 644 electrified units, comprising 11 percent of its total fleet. Last year, the utility invested 18.7 percent of its fleet spend in EVs, nearly quadruple the EEI annual target.

UFP recently spoke with Todd Carlson, principal manager for fleet asset management at SCE, to get more details about their fleet electrification initiative and uncover some of the lessons that Carlson and his team have learned in the process. Here are three takeaways that emerged from our conversation.

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Sean M. Lyden

What’s New in Truck Bodies for Utility Fleets

What’s New in Truck Bodies for Utility Fleets

Some of the industry’s leading truck body manufacturers are developing new products that equip your crews to get more work done, with less strain and greater safety. They’re incorporating more advanced lightweight materials in their product designs so you can reduce fuel costs or increase a truck’s legal payload without bumping up to a larger vehicle. And they’re offering more electrified options so you can cut engine idle – and your fleet’s carbon footprint.

Who are these body companies and what are some of the products and design enhancements they’ve recently brought to market to help you achieve your business objectives? Here are five new developments to watch.

Terex
What’s New: HyPower IM
Website: www.terex.com/utilities/

Introduced last fall, the HyPower IM is a plug-in electric power takeoff (ePTO) efficiency system that manages the chassis engine for the greater horsepower required to operate the boom. It does this by automatically switching from plug-in battery-stored power when the truck is idling to engine-supplied power when hydraulic controls are engaged.

“Throughout an eight-hour workday, on a typical trouble truck, the aerial’s hydraulic controls are engaged about one hour total run time. By allowing the hydraulic system to switch to engine power during those brief intervals, HyPower IM is still able to provide emissions efficiencies plus optimum hydraulic control function,” said Tyler Henderson, product development manager with Terex. “The transition is seamless. Operators will experience no lag time in hydraulic responsiveness.”

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Fiona Soltes

Putting a Lock on Lost Keys

Putting a Lock on Lost Keys

Keeping track of keys in a utility fleet environment – which may have thousands of assets, from pickups to bucket trucks and beyond – can be a costly endeavor. In fact, the price tag associated with maintaining fleet vehicle keys and replacing those that are lost can hit well into five figures each year.

“Keys are pretty much a nightmare for every utility,” said Gary Lentsch, CAFM, fleet manager at Eugene (Ore.) Water & Electric Board. With roughly 350 pieces of equipment, he has a lot to keep up with. Two keyboards – one master with keys that never leave the property and another keyboard for the shop to use – help some. In addition, two more keys for each vehicle go directly to the department receiving the equipment. But problems still arise.

The biggest culprit? When departments make their own additional keys, not realizing that for some vehicles, OEMs will only allow eight keys to be programmed the same.

“And if you’ve got four, and then someone goes back and makes a couple more, you’re at five and six, then we hit seven and eight, and when you go to make the ninth key, the number one key drops off,” Lentsch said. “It’s deactivated. That could be the one on your master keyboard. … It’s actually happened quite a bit.”

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Sandy Smith

3 Ergonomic Upfits to Combat Work-Related Injuries

3 Ergonomic Upfits to Combat Work-Related Injuries

When Dan Remmert, manager of fleet services for Ameren Illinois Company, explored the reasons behind his group’s work-related injuries, one issue kept coming up: getting in and out of a vehicle or piece of equipment.

“We’ve had many issues over time related to getting to the back of a bed, a bucket or aerial device,” he said. He also noted that recent vehicle changes have resulted in chassis being taller, “which causes ergonomic challenges for loading, moving and working.”

Complicating matters is the fact that his workers can choose the size ladder they prefer, but Remmert is expected to standardize the fleet’s trucks, including ladder racks. “We use some of the fold-down products on the market, but they just never seem to fit everybody.”

While combatting injuries caused by stepping out of or lifting materials from vehicles is a growing problem for utilities, there are several ergonomically friendly products now on the market that can help prevent some of the most common injuries. Here are three that may benefit your fleet operators.

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Sean M. Lyden

The State of Electrified Pickup Trucks in the North American Market

The State of Electrified Pickup Trucks in the North American Market

While a growing number of utility fleets are purchasing electrified passenger cars – like the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf – and bucket trucks with plug-in electric power takeoff capabilities, one vehicle segment still seems out of reach for electrification for most fleets: light-duty pickup trucks.

But there have been some new developments in this space that could have important implications for utility fleets. Workhorse Group says that it will unveil a concept electric truck this May at the ACT Expo in Long Beach, Calif. Earlier this year, Ford announced that it would offer a plug-in hybrid-electric version of the F-150 pickup. And XL Hybrids recently introduced a plug-in hybrid system designed for half-ton pickups.

So, what exactly are the prospects for electrified pickup trucks in North America? What are some of the key challenges to widespread fleet adoption? And when can we expect electrified pickups to become more cost-competitive with conventional-fueled trucks?

UFP recently spoke with Scott Shepard, senior research analyst with global market research and consulting firm Navigant Research (www.navigantresearch.com), to get his outlook.

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Partha Ghosh

Determining the Optimal Vehicle Replacement Cycle

Determining the Optimal Vehicle Replacement Cycle

Developing an effective approach when it comes to a strategic replacement cycle is a challenge that every fleet manager faces, regardless of the kinds of vehicles or equipment they may manage. The ability to gather and analyze data about your fleet and understand exactly how your fleet is performing has made the run-a-vehicle-into-the-ground approach not only woefully out of date, but it also has revealed just how expensive it is when compared to a well-designed replacement cycle.

The goal for every fleet should be to replace a vehicle before maintenance costs and downtime begin to rise, and at a time in the vehicle’s life when resale values remain meaningful. Determining how to reach that goal can vary from fleet to fleet, but by implementing an optimal replacement cycle for each vehicle or segment of vehicles in a fleet, a fleet manager can realize tremendous benefits and advantages, ranging from minimizing downtime and lowering operating costs, to keeping up with the fast-changing safety and technology features in more recent models, ensuring the safety and comfort of the fleet’s drivers in the process.

So, what considerations and best practices should you adopt in order to get the most from your replacement cycle strategy and experience the benefits of lower operating costs and optimal total cost of ownership?

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Grace Suizo

What CK-4 and FA-4 Engine Oils Mean for Your Fleet

What CK-4 and FA-4 Engine Oils Mean for Your Fleet

Manufacturers have stepped up their technology efforts to meet rigorous fuel-efficiency and emissions standards. In doing so, many next-generation engines will need higher-performing diesel engine oils to protect them. This requires changes in engine oil composition to withstand more heat without sacrificing engine protection.

A new generation of diesel engine oils was rolled out in December 2016. One of those oils is CK-4, a high-temperature, high-shear (HTHS) oil that can be used in both new and existing engines. It is available in the same viscosity grades and oil types currently being used in fleet operations.

According to the American Petroleum Institute (API), CK-4 can be used in high-speed, four-stroke-cycle diesel engines designed to meet 2017 model-year on-highway and Tier 4 non-road exhaust emission standards, as well as previous model-year diesel engines.

As much as possible, minimize exposure between new and old engine oils to ensure the benefits of CK-4 as well as continued OEM warranty support, advised Mark Betner, heavy-duty product line manager for CITGO (www.citgo.com).

A second oil type that debuted in December – FA-4 – has limited backward compatibility and is better suited for 2017 model-year engines and beyond. This “low-HTHS” oil is offered in lower viscosity grades and is not recommended for use with fuels having greater than 15 parts per million sulfur, according to API (www.api.org).


What Are the Benefits?
Benefits of the new CK-4 and FA-4 oils include increased fuel economy and lower emissions.

“Lower-viscosity engine oils will improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gases over [previous] engine oils,” Betner said. “FA-4 engine oils in an FA-4-compliant engine will offer even greater fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gases.”

In addition, “Today’s lighter weights can deliver the equivalent or even better wear protection than a CJ-4 15W-40 oil, along with significantly improved oil drain performance,” according to Len Badal, global Delo brand manager for Chevron Lubricants (www.chevronlubricants.com).

Betner agreed, noting the advanced technology of these two engine oils provides significant improvements in deposit control, shear stability and oil aeration control. “These engine oils will also have a 60 percent better oxidation resistance compared to API CJ-4, which aids in extended service intervals,” he explained.

Badal mentioned that off-road equipment would reap significant rewards from CK-4. “CK-4 oils deliver many benefits that directly address major issues with off-road equipment, including extended drain intervals, reduced engine wear and ability to extend rebuild intervals,” he said. “Off-highway equipment operators stand to gain a lot of benefits from the new API CK-4 oils, with a direct impact on reliability, productivity and profitability.”

Based on reduced fuel consumption, and extended oil drain and engine rebuild intervals, potential cost savings are expected.

Fleets surveyed by CITGO reported improved fuel efficiency after converting to its new API CK-4 oils, with improvement ranging from 1.6 to 3.2 percent after 50,000 miles.

What’s the Next Step?
Identify the units in your fleet that will be most impacted, and always check the owner’s manual for the proper lubricant recommendation.

One particular area of concern is for fleets comprised of various makes and models. Some automakers have indicated that neither one of the new engine oils should be used in certain vehicles at this time.

Nebraska Public Power District is one utility that has been proactively addressing that issue. Matt Gilliland, NPPD’s director of transportation and facilities, said he has been communicating with internal staff and servicing vendors to address the diversity of units in the organization’s fleet.

About the Author: Grace Suizo has been covering the automotive fleet industry since 2007. She spent six years as an editor for five fleet publications and has written more than 100 articles geared toward both commercial and public sector fleets.

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OEM Specs for API CK-4 and FA-4 Oils
Major diesel engine and truck manufacturers recently provided their own OEM specifications that connect with the new API CK-4 and FA-4 categories for their new model GHG 2017 diesel engines, with several also citing backward compatibility as well as upgrades to support longer oil drain intervals. These initial specs are mainly focused on CK-4 but should include more FA-4 data in the future.

OEM Specs

Source: Len Badal/Chevron Lubricants

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Sean M. Lyden

Self-Driving Systems Present Opportunities and Challenges for Fleets Today, Not Just in the Future

In early February, I moderated a panel of OEM reps from Ford Motor Co. and Daimler Trucks North America on the topic of “Connectivity, Autonomy and the Future of Mobility in Fleet” at the Washington, D.C. Auto Show. As I reflected on our discussion, this was my biggest takeaway: The emergence of self-driving systems is not just a trend to watch in the next five to 10 years; there’s a lot going on right now that utility fleets should be thinking about.

For example, the new 2018 Ford F-150 pickup, expected to go on sale this fall, will feature an available Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Warning system and an advanced adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality that uses radars and cameras to maintain a set distance behind a vehicle – and even follow that vehicle down to a complete stop.

Then there’s the new 2018 Freightliner Class 8 Cascadia, set to release this summer, which offers a full suite of semiautonomous technologies, including adaptive cruise control and collision mitigation with automatic braking. But perhaps the most interesting system is the fourth-generation Intelligent Powertrain Management that’s available on models equipped with Detroit Diesel powertrains. It operates like a predictive cruise control system, using GPS connectivity that enables the truck to anticipate upcoming road terrain and automatically adjust transmission shifting, engine acceleration and braking in a way that maximizes fuel economy as the vehicle approaches each hill, climbs it and coasts on the other side.

The bottom line is that, on some level, autonomous vehicles are already here – from cars and light-duty pickups all the way up to Class 8 tractors. But I’m curious: How are these developments impacting your fleet operations today?

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Kate Wade

Terex HyPower IM

Terex HyPower IM

Terex Utilities now offers customers another option to meet their green fleet needs with the new HyPower IM, the latest innovation in the HyPower hybrid solutions offering.

HyPower IM is an idle mitigation and cab comfort solution. It provides benefits similar to those of the HyPower Hybrid System, including reduced fuel usage and reduced exhaust emissions, but at a lower price point. The system automatically switches from plug-in battery-stored power when the truck is idling to engine-supplied power when hydraulic controls are engaged.

In addition, HyPower IM enables the truck cab to be heated or cooled without the engine running, utilizing the truck’s heating and cooling vents.

HyPower IM is currently available for Class 5 chassis – such as Ford, Dodge and GM trucks – used with Terex Hi-Ranger telescopic aerial devices, such as the LT, LTM and TL series aerial devices. http://info.terex.com/hypoweriminfo

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