Author: Seth Skydel

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Environmentally Friendly Oils & Lubricants

For fleets interested in using alternatives to petroleum-based lubricants, biodegradable, nontoxic, ecologically friendly products for vehicles and equipment are available. These bio-based solutions offer excellent performance in a variety of applications and can be used as a replacement for conventional petroleum oils.

AMERIgreen offers its line of lubricants for vehicles and a wide array of tools and equipment exposed to demanding environments. The company’s lubricants combine highly stable vegetable base oils with unique additive technologies to create products that provide excellent thermal and oxidative stability, according to AMERIgreen, while delivering anti-wear and anti-corrosion protection. Visit for more.

Hydro Safe Inc. offers hydraulic oils, lubricants and gear oils, among other products, that use vegetable-based oils as base fluids. The Hydro Safe line, according to the company, exhibits excellent thermal and oxidative properties, and improved performance characteristics over mineral-based oils, including low volatility, high flash points, lubricity, biodegradability and low toxicity. The high viscosity index of the products allows for operations in winter and summer without the need for fluid changes or equipment modifications. Visit for more.

Hybrid Service
A new partnership between XL Hybrids and Henley Transmission Services, the largest franchise holder of AAMCO automotive service centers, has certified AAMCO technicians to install and service the manufacturer’s hybrid electric powertrains for Class 1-3 commercial vehicles.

The XL Hybrids’ powertrain technology is available for Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana cargo and passenger vans. The company is also expanding its product line to include other makes and models, including Chevrolet and Ford vans and pickup trucks. Designed for aftermarket installation, the XL Hybrids’ powertrain installation takes fewer than four hours without modifying or removing the OEM engine or transmission. AAMCO service center technicians will also be trained to provide warranty service and maintenance on the hybrid vehicles. Visit and for more.

Lift Safety
Heavy-duty vehicle lift manufacturer Stertil-Koni USA Inc. is emphasizing the importance of product certification by the Automotive Lift Institute combined with a regular program of scheduled maintenance and annual lift inspections to ensure maximum performance and operational safety.

“The ALI Gold Label, indicating product certification, is fundamental to ensuring the highest quality standards in the lift industry,” said Dr. Jean DellAmore, president of Stertil-Koni USA. “ALI does not issue conditional or partial certifications. It assures the customer that a particular lift model is in electrical and mechanical compliance with established and agreed-upon standards.”

Stertil-Koni also stresses that heavy-duty vehicle lifts should be serviced regularly in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommended schedule. “Safety is paramount and routine servicing is the way to go,” DellAmore added. “We also support ALI’s recommendation that vehicle lifts be inspected at least once per year, or more frequently if specified.”

Stertil-Koni lift products include mobile, two-post, four-post, in-ground, parallelogram, half-scissors, and the axle-engaging, in-ground, scissor-style heavy-duty hydraulic lift configuration. Visit for more.

Ditch Witch Parts Now Interactive
Detailed information about Ditch Witch parts is now more readily accessible in the parts section of the company’s website. Redesigned for easy navigation and updated with new photos and information about digging system components, electronic guidance and locating equipment, vacuum excavation system components, drill pipe and replacement parts, the section features an interactive tool selector that helps users quickly and easily identify types of Ditch Witch tools. The parts section also has a tab to access and download Ditch Witch parts catalogs. Visit for more.

Keeping Pace

Regulatory and legislative concerns can certainly take up a considerable amount of a fleet manager’s time and energy. During the 2012 Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference, nearly 100 fleet executives from about 60 investor-owned electric utilities, electric cooperatives and electrical contractors across the U.S. and Canada heard firsthand about the latest issues that could impact their operations.

Pat O’Connor of Kent & O’Connor, legislative counsel for NAFA Fleet Management Association, provided EUFMC attendees with a comprehensive update on a wide range of topics. Three in particular could impact technology on vehicles.

Distracted Driving
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has restricted the use of handheld mobile phones by drivers of commercial motor vehicles and the National Transportation Safety Board has recommended a prohibition on the use of handheld and hands-free cellular telephones by all commercial drivers while driving in commercial operations.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has proposed voluntary guidelines calling on auto manufacturers to integrate technology in cars that automatically disables built-in phone calling, texting and other distracting devices unless the vehicle is parked. This rule would apply to vehicles under 10,000 pounds GVWR and cover communications, entertainment, information gathering, and navigation devices or functions that are not required to safely operate the vehicle. Approaches could include locking out electronic functions unless the vehicle is stopped and in park. At a later date, NHTSA will issue guidelines for mobile devices that are brought into the vehicle and address voice-activated controls.

OSHA is also addressing this subject by partnering with the DOT to focus on texting, including advising employers to prohibit any work policy or practice that requires or encourages workers to text while driving. When OSHA receives a credible complaint that an employer requires texting while driving or organizes work so that texting is a practical necessity, it will investigate and issue citations and penalties when necessary to end this practice.

Rear Vision
NHTSA is delaying a final rule until late this year that would expand the required field of view for all passenger cars, pickup trucks, minivans, buses and low-speed vehicles with a GVWR up to 10,000 pounds so drivers can see directly behind the vehicle when in reverse. NHTSA believes automobile manufacturers will install rear-mounted video cameras and in-vehicle displays to meet the proposed standard, but manufacturers have raised technical concerns.

Brake Throttle Override
A proposed regulation by NHTSA is intended to minimize the risk that drivers will lose control of their vehicles as a result of accelerator control system disconnections, accelerator pedal sticking or floor mat entrapment.

Other legislative and regulatory issues that utility fleet managers may want to monitor include those concerning hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid electric, neighborhood electric, and natural gas vehicles and refueling properties, as well as biodiesel and ethanol blends. Regulations covering underground storage tanks are also undergoing review and updating.

The focus on regulatory and legislative issues at EUFMC was a direct result of the interest in that information among fleet managers. “EUFMC this year was the largest ever,” said Gerald Owens, senior vice president of Oncor Electric Delivery and the new EUFMC president. “The Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference continues to hold great interest for fleet managers because the subjects we address help them meet the challenges they face every day in their organizations.”

The 60th annual Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference will be held June 2-5, 2013, at the Williamsburg Lodge and Conference Center in Williamsburg, Va. For more information, visit

Seth Skydel


Truck-Lite LED Headlamp

Truck-Lite has unveiled a 5-inch-x-7-inch LED headlamp. Designed with two LED arrays and a complex reflector, the lamp meets and exceeds FMVSS-108 and CMVSS-108 DOT requirements for both low- and high-beam performance. The LED headlamps feature a solid-state, bulb-free system that is impervious to damage caused by shock and vibration. The military grade, die-cast aluminum housing and nonyellowing polycarbonate lens offer optimum protection against damage from impact, roadside debris and other hazards. The lamp’s multivolt design works with both 12- and 24-volt systems. Truck-Lite’s LED headlamps are drop-in replacements for Nos. 6052, 6053, H6054 and HP6054 lamps utilizing a standard H4 three-blade connector.


Navistar Severe Service Low Cab Forward

Navistar International has rolled out the new International LoadStar severe service low cab forward work truck. The new truck features a stainless steel cab, variable depth frame rails and lower frame rail heights. The truck will be available with 10-, 11- or 13-liter MaxxForce diesel engines, and a Cummins Westport ISL G compressed natural gas engine will be offered in spring 2013.



Isuzu Commercial Truck of America Inc. announced the start of production for its 2013 NPR-HD, NQR and NRR models, as well as the 2012 NPR ECO-MAX. Powered by Isuzu turbocharged diesel engines, these models join the 2012 NPR and NPR-HD gasoline-powered trucks and 2012 Reach commercial van already in production. The NPR-HD is available in standard cab and crew cab models, both powered by the Isuzu 4HK1-TC 5.2-liter turbocharged diesel engine and posting GVWRs of 14,500 pounds. The NQR is also available in both standard cab and crew cab models with a GVWR of 17,950 pounds. The NRR, available in a standard cab configuration, has a GVWR of 19,500 pounds. The overhead cam, turbocharged 4H engine is equipped with an electronic high-pressure common-rail direct-injection system and a water-cooled exhaust gas recirculation system. It is rated 215 HP for trucks equipped with automatic transmissions, and 195 HP for manual transmission models. The NPR ECO-MAX is a 12,000-pound GVWR standard cab truck featuring the Isuzu 4JJ1-TC 3.0-liter turbocharged diesel engine that produces 150 HP. New for 2012 is a power takeoff option for the NPR ECO-MAX’s standard Aisin six-speed automatic transmission.


Hannay Cable and Hose Reels

The Hannay Reels full line of industrial cable and hose reels includes the C16-10-11-DE portable storage cable reel. Equipped with a storage drum extension, this lightweight reel easily manages long lengths of cable. The versatile C16-10-11-DE also features an adjustable cam-lock drag device to brake the reel as well as a crank handle permanently attached to the disc. Hannay also offers the 800 Series Spring Rewind Reel with a roll-formed channel frame for heavy-duty fuel and liquid transfer applications; the N500 Series Spring Rewind Reel with a narrow frame and compact mounting base with a declutching arbor to prevent damage from reverse winding for use in high-pressure grease and lube and other applications; the Spring Rewind Truck Grounding Reel for fuel trucks in hazardous areas; and the N400 Series Spring Rewind Gas Welding Reel with its nonsparking ratchet assembly and narrow frame design.


Doosan Air Compressor

Doosan Portable Power has introduced the P125WJDU utility mount air compressor with an auxiliary drive option. The P125WJDU is powered by a Tier 4i-compliant engine and includes a separate gear set that allows operators to use the auxiliary drive for hydraulics and other resources. The new utility mount air compressor offers free-air delivery of 125 CFM and rated operating pressure of 100 psig. The P125WJDU compressor design offers easy access to all major service points and is equipped with full-sized, locking end doors that make for faster inspection of fluid levels, filters and battery access. Curbside access to all controls and monitoring gauges is standard on the compressor, and the P125WJDU can be customized with a remote control panel that displays discharge air temperature, engine oil pressure and temperature, and a voltmeter.


Ditch Witch Trenchers

The Charles Machine Works Inc. has introduced a new line of Ditch Witch compact walk-behind trenchers. The RT12, RT16, RT20 and RT24 units feature a stacked, in-line hydraulic pump configuration that effectively eliminates vertical shafts and the use of belts and flywheel reduction systems. The units also have fully hydrostatic ground drives with hydraulic, skid-steer-style steering and a solid, adjustable trail wheel that helps keep the unit stable and reduces breakover when loading, unloading, and traveling over curbs and other uneven terrain. Honda 12-, 20- and 24-HP engines power the Ditch Witch RT12, RT20 and RT24, respectively. The RT16 is equipped with a Vanguard Briggs & Stratton engine. Every walk-behind trencher from Ditch Witch comes with a choice of high-flotation tires or a heavy-duty DuraTrak track system.


Cummins Natural Gas Engine

Cummins has announced it will begin full production of the Cummins Westport ISX12 G in 2013. Based on the Cummins ISX12 diesel, the new engine will run exclusively on either compressed natural gas or liquefied natural gas, and will be offered in five ratings from 330 to 400 HP and 1,150 to 1,450 pounds per feet of torque. The ISX12 G will also be offered with an optional engine brake and a choice of manual or automatic transmission.

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