When Terex Utilities (Watertown, South Dakota) introduced the industry’s first all-electric bucket truck in 2022, it represented more than just leading-edge technology. It is a solution that improves the work environment and presents opportunities for fleet owners to reduce their total cost of ownership.
The Terex Optima 55foot aerial device, powered by the HyPowerTM SmartPTO by Viatec, is mounted on an International® Class 6/7 Medium Duty electric chassis. It was displayed at both the 2023 TechAdvantage Expo in Nashville, Tenn., and at Work Truck Week 2023 in Indianapolis, Ind., equipped with Positive Attachment Lanyard (PAL) warning device. This Terex Utilities’ exclusive feature is designed to remind operators to connect their fall protection harness.
Finding the right fit for medium and heavy-duty fleet integration of EV bucket trucks was the focus of a presentation made by Joe Caywood, Terex Utilities Director of Marketing, during 2023 TechAdvantage. “Service, support, training, and charging infrastructure are factors that fleet managers must consider,” he said.
“While utilities are striving to reach net-zero carbon emissions goals by 2025 and a achieve 50% reduction in emissions in just seven years, there are other reasons why utilities and government fleet owners are interested in the EV Bucket Truck,” added Caywood.
First are the health and safety benefits. One of the most important reasons to consider an all-electric bucket truck is the improved work environment that it creates. “Because there is no idling engine, the worksite is quieter. This improves communication between the crew, but it also reduces noise pollution in the surrounding area. This is particularly appreciated when work is being done in or near residential areas and is especially appreciated by the crew that would otherwise be exposed to high decibel levels for hours a day,” said Robert Hasegawa, Product Manager. In addition, eliminating an idling engine also eliminates worker exposure to toxic gasses such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and other chemicals that are contained in diesel exhaust.
Next is the fuel savings. “The actual savings realized by owners varies greatly based on a number of factors, including diesel and electricity prices and driving characteristics, but in general EV costs are approximately 70% less per mile to drive.,” said Hasegawa. This can easily translate to tens of thousands of dollars saved over the course of a year.
And finally, not only does the Terex Utilities EV bucket truck cost less to drive, it also offers significantly lower maintenance costs. “There are no engine oil changes, no transmissions to service, no fuel filters to replace, and fewer brake jobs due to regenerative braking where the motor is used to slow the chassis, to name a few reduced maintenance items,” said Hasegawa. “We estimate that EV maintenance costs are approximately 1/5th that of an equivalent diesel chassis.”
“Through the years, many of our innovations came to fruition based on market need. The EV bucket truck is an example of that. But as the industry adapts to integrating this type of technology into real world fleets, we are learning lessons along the way,” said Caywood. “We started delivering units during the second half of 2022, and they are operating and going into service in most regions of the US and Eastern Canada.”
“Customers experiencing the greatest success have a clear understanding of their routes, duty cycles, and have proactively got in front of charging infrastructure to get the benefits of running EV bucket trucks,” added Caywood. Additional units are being built and delivered from Terex as 2023 progresses.
For more information, visit Terex Utilities
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