Friday, June 13, 2014

Brandon Riley Joins Utility Fleet Team

Brandon Riley is coming on as the Territory Manager Southeast at Utility Fleet.  The former NESCO Manager will be helping Utility Fleet expand Utility Fleet’s rental devision throughout the southeastern U.S.  To learn more about Utility Fleet's newest hire see the press release detailing Mr. Riley's new role and background.

Utility Fleet continues to be the preferred U.S. supplier of commercial bucket trucks, digger derrick trucks, pressure diggers, cranes, stringing and related utility equipment.  Utility Fleet’s ability to provide Versatile Equipment Solutions allow it to quickly and effectively respond to the needs of its customers, job, and situation.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

For Utility Fleet Off-site Blog: Safety With Hydraulic Systems

Hydraulic systems are tremendously useful on a wide variety of equipment and vehicles, including bucket trucks and digger derricks, since they are able to facilitate the accomplishment of a great deal of heavy lifting and load-bearing work. It's crucial, though, if you regularly service or spend a great deal of time around machinery that makes use of hydraulics, that you learn proper safety protocol to avoid serious injury. 

Contents Under Pressure

Hydraulic systems are so powerful and effective because their contents, the hydraulic fluid, is under a tremendous amount of pressure, often 2,000 pounds per square inch, or even higher. In addition, the fluid is extremely hot. When a hydraulic system sustains damage, is improperly put together, or develops problems due to wear and tear, the potential for severe injury can be significant. Injuries can also occur when you neglect to release the pressure before performing repairs or making adjustments to the system.

Pinhole Leaks 

People can be seriously injured from mishaps with hydraulic systems, including burns that result when hydraulic fluid sprays on them or when hydraulic hoses fall or come loose. One of the most common ways people sustain dire injuries from hydraulic systems comes in the form of pinhole leaks in hoses. An injection injury is one of the most worrisome types of injury because often the person does not realize how badly he has truly been hurt. The injection site often looks no worse than a pinhole, but the reality of the situation is that when the hot, toxic fluid is injected into the body, it wreaks havoc in the system, and unless the person goes immediately to the emergency room, he risks severe damage and infection that could result in limb amputation or death.  

Safety Procedures and Proactive Maintenance 

 The best way to prevent injury from working with hydraulic systems is to pay close attention to safety procedures and always practice proactive maintenance. To avoid injection injuries from pinhole leaks, never touch a pressurized hose for any reason whatsoever. Having your hands or any part of your body near a pressurized hose that has a pinhole leak could be a recipe for disaster. Regular maintenance schedules should always include periodic replacement of all hose assemblies and close inspection of hydraulic systems to check for signs of wear and damage. Consistency and care are the keys to safety with hydraulic systems. By following sensible safety procedures as well as a regular schedule for hose replacement and system maintenance, and taking extra care with hose selection and choosing the proper fittings, you will be able to keep your hydraulic systems functioning efficiently and safely.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Biodiesel Fuels for Utility Fleet Applications

Fleet managers are hearing more and more about possibilities regarding biodiesel fuels for their utility vehicles. It is important to consider whether using these alternative fuels could provide benefit to utility fleets, whether by lowering fleet operating costs, improving the efficiency of the vehicles, or hopefully both of these improvements.

What Are Biodiesel Fuels?

Biodiesel fuels are produced from a number of sources, including recycled vegetable oil, animal fats, and soybean oil. Some biodiesel fuels are completely pure and do not contain any petroleum. Other biodiesel fuels are a blend of the biological source with petroleum. Since biodiesel blend fuels can be used in standard diesel engines without having to modify those engines or purchase completely new vehicles, their use has been increasing in fleets all over the country. Biodiesel blend fuels are most commonly available in blends that are comprised of five percent or twenty percent biodiesel mixed with petroleum.

Performance of Biodiesel

Biodiesel burns more cleanly, works to reduce emissions, and constitutes a low-cost measure to make fleets more “green.” The performance of biodiesel blends, when compared to that of regular diesel fuel, ranks very similarly with regard to fuel mileage, torque, and horsepower. In its pure form, biodiesel fuel supplies perhaps five to ten percent less energy than petroleum-based diesel fuel, but it is also the case that the performance of pure biodiesel can vary, depending on the supplier, and users of biodiesel blends notice very little difference, if any, between them and regular diesel fuel.  It in warmer climates such as the such as the Southwest, the warmer climate make it more practical to use on a regular basis.  Companies like Utility Fleet Sales, LTD in Byran, TX carry a large line of diesel trucks and equipment and could be the perfect climate to utilize biodiesel.


Other Benefits of Biodiesel

Diesel engines require lubrication, and biodiesel offers a high degree of lubricity for fuel injection systems. Regular diesel fuel does not provide as much lubricity for engines, but blending regular diesel with biodiesel can help extend engine life. Another benefit of biodiesel is that it releases fewer harmful emissions into the atmosphere such as carbon monoxide, sulfates, and particulates. In biodiesel blends, emissions benefits are proportional to the amount of biodiesel that is blended with regular diesel.
Terex used bucket trucks for sale 
The Environmental Protection Agency has classified biodiesel as an advanced biofuel, which means that it is recognized as a fuel that is better for the environment. Biodiesel has been around for over twenty years, but it's been particularly in the last ten years or so that its usage has really been taking off. Its benefits, cost-effectiveness, and performance are being recognized and put to use by a great many industries, and utility fleets are increasingly putting it to work for them in their vehicles.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

What Linemen Like to Have In Their Bucket Trucks

When linemen are on the job, one of their most important tools is the bucket truck. It enables them to work on power lines with efficiency and productivity. Bucket trucks have become indispensable to the utility industry as a whole. They are used to convey workers to the job sites and let them do their jobs, and they also make it a lot easier for linemen to use the various tools of their trade. On any given day, linemen need to consider what kinds of equipment they want to carry in their bucket trucks.

Weight Limits

The Department of Transportation sets weight limits on bucket trucks which must be heeded by utility fleets, so electrical workers need to decide what equipment to use that won't exceed the limits. Linemen carry toolboxes filled with an assortment of items like bolts and fasteners, tools for climbing, inverters, and steel grips.
The trucks themselves carry equipment such as jumpers, insulators, hoists, and rubber blankets to cover various electrical components. Sometimes utilities purchase bucket trucks which have bodies made of fiberglass instead of metal to lessen the weight of the vehicles themselves. Other times, utility fleets allow trailers to be attached to the trucks to help haul equipment.

Organizational Capability

In the past, bucket trucks did not have storage bins, but today's bucket trucks offer linemen more flexible organizational capability. They have compartments in which linemen can store their tools or other items they might need while on the job for a day's work. Linemen also use bins that feature individual compartments, which are great for storing tools that they need either in the vehicles themselves or while they're in the buckets.
Some bucket trucks have compartments that are lined with plywood in order to keep tools dry and clean. Other favorite organizational tools of linemen include holsters for hydraulic tools and fiberglass boards that have individual storage slots for tools. Some utility companies encourage their linemen to store different kinds of tools in different areas of a bucket truck, which can translate into extra swiftness and efficiency since they can quickly get to what they need with a lot less hassle.
Linemen have to be very mindful of what they need to do their jobs on a day-to-day basis and the best ways to organize that equipment and still stay within weight limits. The manufacturers of bucket trucks endeavor to keep uppermost in mind the needs of the workers who will use these vehicles, and they continue to innovate new improvements in utility vehicles to help linemen do their jobs.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Repair and Maintenance of Fiberglass Components on Bucket Trucks

When it comes to the repair and maintenance of the bucket and the fiberglass components on the boom arm of a bucket truck, it's vital to choose a company that's experienced and knowledgeable in these matters. On electrical utility vehicles, in particular, these fiberglass components help keep linemen safe. Those who repair such important components must do their work with an eye toward making sure these components remain as safe as possible for use in aerial lifts.

Considerations for Repairs

In choosing a company to make repairs on aerial lift fiberglass components, it's important that utility fleets consider which company has the expertise to make sure that these components are as safe as they need to be for use by electrical linemen. Insulation capability is a vital part of these components, and a company must know how, when making repairs, to retain the effectiveness of the insulation as well as the structural ability of the various lift components to handle stresses that are specific to electrical utility tasks. 

Choice of Company


The company that's best suited for repairing fiberglass components will be one that carries product liability insurance and whose technicians are familiar with and are capable of meeting the requirements of repairing components used in aerial lift equipment, with regard to insulation capability and material strength. The company must be capable of analysis and testing to ensure that their repairs will meet standards, including dielectric testing as needed.

Repair Procedure


The repair procedure will depend on the particular component needing work and its condition. In general, though, when an item is received for repair, the company entrusted with the work should first carefully inspect the damage to ascertain what the next steps should be. The company should refer to a manual from the manufacturer as well as knowledge and experience gained from similar repairs, and manufacturer recommendations should be utilized. The company should discuss with the owner the specific problems and present possible solutions. Once repairs are made, the company should conduct appropriate testing to determine that the component meets standards regarding structural strength and insulation capability.

Companies that repair fiberglass components used on bucket trucks must be diligent in meeting safety standards, since it's these components that do so much to protect electrical linemen while they're on the job. Utility fleets need to carefully choose the companies to whom they entrust these crucial repairs.