2023 was filled with EVs, sustainable goals, and new training for the utility fleet industry.  -  Photo: Work Truck

2023 was filled with EVs, sustainable goals, and new training for the utility fleet industry.

Photo: Work Truck

As utility fleets prioritize ergonomics and operator experience, we delve into the evolving trends shaping bucket truck designs and accessory specifications.

From training solutions offered by CM Labs Simulations to Terex Utilities' commitment to sustainability through renewable energy certificates, this article aims to equip fleet managers with valuable insights.

Join us as we navigate the latest advancements, including anniversary celebrations, EVs, and new products.  

2023's Top Utility News

1. Trends for Specifying Utility Bucket Trucks

The utility industry is experiencing a transformation in bucket truck trends, with investor-owned utilities emphasizing ergonomics and an enhanced operator experience in their fleet selection.

This shift has influenced boom designs and accessory specifications to provide greater flexibility in personnel positioning, and utility companies are advised to consider these factors comprehensively to optimize productivity and ensure safe work practices in their operations.

2. New Training Solutions for Utility Fleets

CM Labs Simulations is set to unveil innovative training solutions catering to the utility market, providing organizations, employers, and line worker schools with tools to tackle workforce safety, training, and recruitment challenges.

The company's Smart Training Technology, utilizing proprietary algorithms and patented methods, offers simulation training based on authentic machine behavior and real-world data, ensuring a realistic and effective learning experience.

3. Sustainable Utility Equipment

Terex Utilities has achieved 100% renewable electricity for its South Dakota facilities by strategically purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates from local utilities.

The RECs, verified and tracked by the Midwest Renewable Energy Tracking System, not only help meet environmental standards but also enable customers to offset fossil fuels in their power supply mix, fostering investment in carbon-free energy production and promoting advancements in sustainable energy solutions.

4. SoCalGas to Create 4.5 Billion cu ft of RNG Annually

Southern California Gas (SoCalGas) has requested approval from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for a significant pilot project aimed at converting organic waste, including chipped wood and nut shells, into renewable natural gas (RNG).

If given the green light, this initiative would be California's largest RNG project, potentially producing 4.5 billion cubic feet of fuel annually from agricultural waste, significantly contributing to carbon reduction and offsetting emissions equivalent to removing up to 52,000 gasoline vehicles from the road each year.

5. Terex Utilities Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Hi-Ranger TM Series

The Terex Hi-Ranger TM Series, designed for transmission applications, marks its 20th year, offering three models with working heights of 87, 100, and 125 feet. Featuring advanced capabilities such as 78˚ of elevation above horizontal, 168° of upper boom articulation, and 90° of lower boom articulation, this non-overcenter aerial device allows line workers precise positioning for efficient work.

6. All-Electric Class 5 Bucket Truck

Zeus Electric Chassis showcased its all-electric bucket concept truck for the first time.

The 19,500 GVWR truck featured a custom-engineered Reading Truck Classic II service body and a Terex Hi-Ranger LT40 aerial device upfitted to the Class 5 Zeus Z-19 Electric Smart Chassis.

7. Stellar Industries Launches 3 New Products

Stellar Industries launched three new products and updates for utility fleets:

  1. Bale-style pull-handle toolbox system.
  2. Stellar LM220m poly lube skid.
  3. A cordless drill pump feature on several models of their self-loading single-reel cable trailers

8. PG&E Aims to Advance EV Tech

The Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) provided updates on its efforts to enhance technology, allowing electric vehicles (EVs) to function as virtual power sources, mitigating load growth, and promoting a sustainable energy future.

PG&E emphasized its commitment by showcasing resources, programs, and incentives to make EV ownership more economically accessible for all customers.

9. Compact Crawler Boom Lifts

JLG Industries now offers new a compact crawlers — X660SJ straight-jib (SJ) compact crawler boom lift — and new Bi-Energy technology on its X770AJ and X1000AJ compact crawler boom lifts.

10. Mobilizing Microgrid-Integrated Fleet Electrification

Duke Energy will build a first-of-its-kind performance center to model and accelerate the development, testing, and deployment of zero-emissions EV fleets.

It will be for light-, medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles.

The site will be located at Duke Energy's Mount Holly Technology and Innovation Center and will incorporate microgrid integration.

Stay informed, stay ahead — as we uncover the pivotal utility stories shaping the landscape in 2024. Sign up for our newsletters to never miss a beat. 

About the author
Hillary Weiss

Hillary Weiss

Senior Editor

Hillary Weiss is a former senior editor at Bobit. She has a decade of digital publishing experience and a passion for all things related to fleets.

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