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Upper Midwest Utility Fleet Conference

I drove several hours from Chicago to Red Wing, MN because I had heard of a grassroots organization called the Upper Midwest Utility Fleet Managers Council (UMUFC) was having their annual Fall meeting and wanted to check it out.

The nucleus of the group is out of the Minneapolis area. But I met a utility fleet manager that came from as far as Springfield, MO. Many of the Midwest Co-op Utilities find this the most time efficient way to hear what new products vendors are offering and share ideas on problem solving from maintenance to complying with federal and state regulations.


Pictured L – R: UMUFC Officers Bernie Kolnberger – Chairperson, Curt Erickson – Program Coordinator, Steve Kallsen – Hospitality Coordinator, Doug Shoemaker – Membership Coordinator/Historian, Mike Donahue – Secretary/Treasurer, missing from picture Matt Gilliland – Vice Chairperson.

UMUFC meets on a bi-yearly basis to share information. There were about 50 utility fleet managers in attendance in a large ballroom. The managers come from some of the largest utilities in the upper Midwest as well as smaller cooperatives and district wide utilities to share information and learn from each other. In between vendor presentations there were “break out discussions” where a utility fleet manager would bring up a topic or challenge they were facing and the group would share information. For example: The group discussed how the current CSA 2010 regulations are impacting their day to day operations. They shared information on how each utility is dealing with complying with the regulations. It through this problem / resolution sharing format where the group bases its tag line “Promoting Better Fleet Management Through Mutual Exchange”.

Rather than smaller rural utilities or co-ops feeling like they might be on an island these meetings serve as a real opportunity to share solutions. One of the biggest questions the group had for me was, “are there any other regional organizations out there that are like us?” I had recalled meeting a Pacific Northwest utility fleet manager that had organized a similar group in the Seattle-Portland area but other than that was not aware of similar regional groups.

Certainly Utility Fleet Professional being the only publication 100% dedicated to the utility fleet market would encourage and support these regional grassroots meetings. I worked several years with a lumber association and saw first hand how these regional meetings could provide excellent education and networking opportunities. If you would like UFP to help organize and promote a regional utility fleet managers meeting? Please contact us.


(Photos of UMUFC provided by Kurt Moreland attached)


Isuzu Commercial Van

Isuzu Commercial Truck of America and Utilimaster have rolled out the Reach commercial van. Featuring a body designed by Utilimaster on a 12,000-pound GVWR Isuzu NPR ECO-MAX chassis, the Reach will be offered in 134- and 151-inch wheelbases and body lengths of 10, 12 and 14 feet. Resulting cargo area will measure 450, 540 or 630 cubic feet. The Reach van is powered by an Isuzu 4JJ1-TC 3.0-liter turbocharged engine rated at 150 HP, and is fitted with an Aisin medium-duty six-speed automatic transmission. In the design, the stripped chassis’ engine has been relocated to minimize protrusion into the cab and the driver seat position, and numerous component locations have been revised to accommodate the walk-in van body.

Isuzu Commercial Truck of America


Hino Trucks Class 4 and 5 Diesel and Hybrid Cab-overs

Hino Trucks has unveiled four models of its newly designed Class 4 and Class 5 cab-over-engine trucks. Included are the Class 4 155 diesel and the OEM’s first U.S. Class 4 diesel-electric hybrid, the 155h. Both 155 models have a 14,500-pound GVW rating. Hino is also offering the Class 5 195 diesel and the 195h diesel-electric hybrid with a 19,500-pound GVWR. All models are powered by the Hino J05E Series 5-liter engine rated at 210 HP and 440 lbs./ft. of torque and are equipped with Aisin’s A465 six-speed automatic transmission.

Hino Trucks


RUD Snow and Traction Chains

RUD manufactures a variety of snow/ice and traction chains. Its snow chains are available in various designs to fit both on- and off-road vehicles, from snow chains for snowblowers to rugged alloy steel chains that can meet the demands of large off-road equipment. RUD’s top-of-the-line conventional snow chains meet the highest demands for traction. Made of high-quality alloy steel, the tire chains are easy to mount and designed for maximum traction, smooth running performance and exceptional tire protection. The Grip is RUD’s starter model, an effective snow chain at an extremely attractive price. It is mainly recommended for front-wheel drives, and for use on cars, mini-buses and delivery vans. The ROTOGRIP® – RUD’s automatic snow chain system – features the proven universal mounting system. The patented design of the chain wheels allows for installation on either side in your choice of six-, eight-, 10- or 18-strand wheels. Designed for a wide range of vehicles and suspensions, the ROTOGRIP® system is easy to install and designed to work in forward and reverse, providing excellent traction at low speeds.



K&H Lights

New to K&H Industries’ line of remote-controlled spotlights, the Night Ray NR-955-20 now features a 50-watt high-intensity discharge (HID) xenon metal-halide arc discharge bulb with output of 750,000 candlepower. The lamp operates at less than half the power draw of a standard 100-watt lamp and provides light intensity five times brighter. Other Night Ray spotlight features include 370 degrees of rotation on the horizontal axis and 350 degrees of vertical tilt. The unit’s light housing and base are completely enclosed and weather-tight, and its motor assemblies, shafts, brackets and other mechanical components are made from marine-quality materials.

K&H Industries


Pelsue Umbrella Mount

With temperatures heating up, you can count on Pelsue to keep you cool. The company’s new umbrella mount utilizes two suction cups, giving you the ability to mount an umbrella for shade on any flat surface. Each suction cup can hold up to 75 pounds to ensure your shade isn’t going anywhere. Fabricated from zinc-plated steel, this mount will stand the test of time.



Reading Body Aluminum Classic Service Van

Reading Body’s line of truck bodies – including the Aluminum Classic Service Van (CSV) – is designed to improve productivity on the job with effective materials and equipment organizing systems. CSV models are designed with a high-strength alloy aluminum shell, a two-sided galvannealed steel diamond plate floor (patent pending) and a corrosion-resistant understructure joined with multiple grade-8 stainless steel hardened fasteners. This combination, according to the company, results in a 45 percent weight savings over steel.

Reading Body


Bigfoot Outrigger Pads

2011 marks Bigfoot Construction Equipment’s 15th year of manufacturing outrigger pads. The company offers wood and plastic outrigger pads in the widest range of sizes. All of Bigfoot’s plastic pads carry a full lifetime guarantee, plus you can choose from a large selection of stock pads or opt to have them manufactured in any size you need. To help celebrate Bigfoot’s anniversary, mention Utility Fleet Professional by name when placing an order and receive a 10 percent discount.

Bigfoot Construction Equipment


Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America Canter FE/FG Series Trucks

Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America (MFTA) has introduced its 2012-model Mitsubishi Fuso Class 3 through Class 5 cab-over model trucks. The line includes the Class 3 Canter FE125 rated at 12,500 pounds GVW, and the 15,995-pound GVWR Class 4 Canter FE160 and Canter FE160CC seven-passenger crew cab models. Also included are the Class Canter FG4X4 Class 4 four-wheel drive at 14,050 pounds GVWR and the Class 5 Canter FE180 rated at 17,995 pounds GVW. All new MFTA models feature a standard-width 33.5-inch straight ladder frame made with 56,565 psi-yield-strength steel designed with patterned holes at regular intervals along its length and height to make body mounting easier and to save weight compared to previous FE models. The trucks are powered by the OEM’s new 4P10 dual-overhead-cam turbocharged and intercooled four-cylinder diesel engine coupled to a Mitsubishi Fuso Duonic six-speed, dual-clutch automated manual transmission.

Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America


Terex L13i Series

Terex Utilities has added the L13i to its product family. The L13i is designed for installation on light-duty chassis in the 3,500-kg (7,700-pound) GVWR range. The L13i is descriptive of a 13-m working height insulated aerial.

Key product features include:
• Insulated articulating and telescoping aerial device
• Ability to mount on a variety of light-duty chassis
• Bottom-of-platform height of 11.1 m (36.5 ft.)
• Working height of 12.6 m (41.5 ft.)
• Optional two-person platform

The L13i Series will be a valuable addition to the product lineup. It provides users with increased chassis options for applications that vary from trouble truck work to tree trimming in urban applications.

Terex Utilities

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