The escalation in severe weather across the country, coupled with the use of larger commercial vehicles has compelled utility fleet operations to reevaluate key systems in their maintenance shops.
“We have seen firsthand the rising number of powerful storms across the region causing widespread pressure on public and private utility companies. Their charge is to maintain 100 percent up time. That means vehicles need to be prepared and ready to deploy at all times,” said Alan Tye, owner and president of Alan Tye & Associates (ATA), a Stertil-Koni heavy-duty vehicle lift distributor in the Mid-Atlantic region.
As a result, more of Tye's utility customers are increasing their focus on preventive maintenance, and heavy-duty vehicle lifts are playing a larger role in the process. Over the past two decades, Tye and his colleagues have seen how utility vehicles themselves have become highly specialized and even heavier. And, for many of these fleets, larger vehicles lead to a growing need for heavy-duty vehicle lifts.
That in turn has led Tye to grow and transform his business. More specifically, ATA has increased the size of its team — notably installation and service — and takes great pride in providing technicians with the latest software and tools that allow them to schedule their time efficiently to respond to all customer needs. The company is headquartered in Fairfax, Va., and services Washington, D.C.; Maryland; Virginia; North Carolina; Pennsylvania; Delaware; Kentucky; and West Virginia.
According to Tye, Stertil Koni's Mobile Column Lifts are the most popular among utility fleets, though his utility customers also use the ECOLIFT scissor life, SKYLIFT platform lift, and DIAMONDLIFE telescopic piston lift.
“Frequently, these large trucks are deployed to emergencies where undercarriages can become caked with mud, salt, and other grime. The SKYLIFT water-resistant Wash Bay model features hot-dip galvanized platforms allowing the vehicles to be thoroughly cleaned, thereby keeping battery and engine systems cool and spotless – all contributing to increased engine efficiency,” Tye added.