Editor's Letter

Welcome to the February 2019 edition of Utility Products. Topics this month include: safety clothing; vehicles and accessories; asset tracking and management; safety and security; and much more.

Welcome to the February 2019 edition of Utility Products. Did you know that home laundering of arc-rated flame-resistant clothing is perfectly safe and acceptable? In fact, as Emily Keough points out on page 4, OSHA has never required special industrial laundering for FR clothing. But there are a few guidelines you’ll want to follow for safe, effective and convenient home care.

Many utility trucks are equipped with today’s high-performance and severe-duty drum brakes but the more demanding the condition, the more heat these brakes generate. And as Keith McComsey explains on page 8, heat is the enemy of braking performance. He examines some of the science behind heat transfer in braking to better explain the connection between temperature and brake friction.

Telematics can help keep tabs on vehicle and equipment locations, but the benefits go far beyond just location updates for utility businesses. Telematics provides the tools required to help businesses tackle their most significant business challenges, like improving driver safety fleetwide. Jenny Shiner explains on page 12.

Reliability is a top priority for Alaska Electric Light and Power Company in Juneau, and wildlife mitigation efforts have contributed to significant improvements. Eric Eriksen shares a story about a majestic yet pesky convocation of eagles that was causing outages at a substation near a tasty landfill. On page 14, learn how custom-designed cover-ups provided a solution.

On page 16, Adrian Bartha notes that nearly a third of workplace injuries are equipment-related. He explores how mobile asset tracking and management can help keep employees safe by providing a transparent way to keep tabs on high-risk, high-value, and critical assets — and it might be easier than you think.

Every year, hundreds of individuals are struck by electrical current, with often devastating results. On page 22, Brady Hansen describes these dangerous voltages and currents as “brooding vipers [lurking] throughout the modern workplace.” But a new, wearable voltage detector leverages the relationship between magnetic fields and current flow to give the wearer an ability to see and hear electricity, allowing him (or her) to perceive electricity before it’s too late.

Deploying technology can shorten restoration efforts by getting the right resources to the right place. But as Ted Schneider explains on page 25, it’s important to keep up with employees’ evolving skill sets. Individuals with gaming or drone piloting skills, for example, could be reassigned to different storm roles (like bucket truck controller or damage assessor) to help expedite restoration.

Outrigger pads can provide much needed support for heavy equipment but sometimes uneven ground or sloped terrain can present a difficult challenge. DICA offers a modular cribbing product designed to provide height and stability where significant changes in grade pose concerns. Turn to page 27 to learn more.

The IEEE PES 14th International Conference on Transmission & Distribution Construction, Operation and Live-Line Maintenance — also known as ESMO 2019 — is taking place in June. On page 29, AEP’s Jon Cronin offers a personal perspective on what the event has to offer attendees.

Don’t forget to check out our compilation of the latest and greatest utility products in our New Products Showcase, starting on page 31.

We hope you enjoy this edition of Utility Products. Thanks for reading!

– Angela Godwin, Chief Editor

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