Toward the end of 2013, Toledo Edison, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., rolled out 26 new vehicles to help line crews and other front-line service employees work more efficiently and safely across its northwest Ohio service area.
The new additions, an investment totaling more than $4 million, according to the utility, joined Toledo Edison’s existing 460-unit fleet (approximately 300 of which are driveable units, including trailers).
The new vehicles include bucket trucks, digger derricks, step vans, and pickup trucks. Among the new deliveries is a specialized bucket truck that extends to 125 feet for work on high-voltage transmission lines and two mini backyard diggers, which can assist with work in confined locations that standard service trucks cannot access.
The units also feature advanced technology, such as enhanced hydraulics to better handle heavy materials and more robust lighting to create a safer work area during night-time operations.
In addition, the new work trucks are equipped with laptops that connect workers in the field directly to the dispatch center and the utility’s outage reporting systems. “They can see where they’re needed and can also tell when work has been completed. This minimizes driving time per repair,” explained Christopher Eck, senior communications representative for FirstEnergy.
The 26 vehicles will be broken out among the following groups:
- Substation group: two pick-ups, five step vans, and five cutaway vans with walk-in bodies.
- Fleet Services: replacing 3 service trucks.
- Transmission department: two bucket trucks at 125 ft. and 75 ft.
- Line department: one pickup, three bucket trucks, three digger derricks, and two mini backyard diggers.
Toledo Edison serves more than 300,000 customers across northwestern Ohio. Its parent company, FirstEnergy, reported as one of the largest commercial fleets in 2013, operates a total of 4,100 units.