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Thread: New Fleet for USIC and Safety

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    Member Shadowcat's Avatar
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    Default New Fleet for USIC and Safety

    So USIC has a new fleet of trucks now. If you're a USIC employee and you don't have one yet, be prepared for the suckfest.

    First of all, they are 4 cylinder Ford Rangers. Makes sense with Corp wanting to save money on fuel, right? However, the suspension on these Rangers suck ass when you got 700 to 900 lbs of equipment and supplies in the back. No over load springs for us. Not even an add-a-leaf. These new trucks are not rated for this much weight. This makes them hard to control and you can forget taking a turn faster than 5 mph. GREAT JOB ON THE SAFETY FACTOR USIC DESK JOCKYS!!!!

    Get Home safe my ass. I'll be lucky to make it up this hill with only 4 hamsters under the hood. Guess I'll be laughing my ass off when this transmission drops out.

    Guess USIC decided to screw safety for more money once again.

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    Member Millertime's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Fleet for USIC and Safety

    Lovely, I'm in line for a new one sometime.....

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    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Fleet for USIC and Safety

    The four cylinder ranger is not bad unless overloaded, drove one.
    The get up and go from the engine is jusr fine. The people who complained about it were the ones with the lead foot that thought they were Bo Duke at a Nascar event.

    But then our fleet was not overloaded.

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    Senior Member sprayandpray's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Fleet for USIC and Safety

    You can't get near as much in the new trucks as the old ones. Just a tip. push the manhole guard cover all the way forward and put your blower in the rear next to the tailgate.
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    Member SouthPaw's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Fleet for USIC and Safety

    I'm the only left in our crew w/ one of the old trucks. I get to haul our trash pump around because it won't fit in any of the new trucks

    Don't know what we'll do when I upgrade

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    Default Re: New Fleet for USIC and Safety

    manhole guard, blower , water pump , what are all these things lol. dont have time for it got to pump out tickets

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    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Fleet for USIC and Safety

    Quote Originally Posted by 3in13notbad View Post
    manhole guard, blower , water pump , what are all these things lol. dont have time for it got to pump out tickets
    People not familiar with what locators do have no idea how much goes into a busy locators truck. Now some look at the list of company issued equipment but that is just the tip of the iceberg, locaotrs load up their trucks with many things not issued by the company and out of their own pocket.

    Shovel, digging bar, fish tape, various hand tools, jumper battery to start the truck, gas can for when too far from a gas station or the middle of the night on call, several flashlights and especially the large lanterns for on call night work, man hole pumps, wasp spray, ladders, pedestrian guards for manholes and whatever else we can get our hands on that will be useful.

    One thing that is a varying factor is paint. A busy locator can go through a case (box) of 12 cans daily. I have often done this and some days have used three cases. With laptop dispatch we do not go into the office daily and once a week we meet a supervisor or go into the office to restock the truck. A busy locator needs 8 to 12 cases of paint stocked on their truck weekly. A reserve of paint also allows a fellow locator who has run out of paint to call and meet up for a partial resupply. This saves driving all the way back to the office or having a supervisor make a trip just to deliver paint.

    A Ford Ranger is the minimal size and type of vehicle needed and some firms will need a larger vehicle due to the number and types of utilities they locate. A Dodge Dakota is a pretty good size for most firms, adequate room for most needs.

    When you get to the size of a Ford F-150 pickup and other equivalents the size works against most locating situations. First off the read bed sits too high and is awkward to reach across to get things. This can also lead to back strains. Plus if is more difficult to maneuver in many of the tight situations we get into.

    Buying the wrong vehicle, usually becasue someone thinks it will save money, costs a lot of money. Lost productivity is permanent and does not go away. Incompatible to the use also results in excessive wear and in the case of ground clearance, we frequently go off road, damages to the vehicle.

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    Member Shadowcat's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Fleet for USIC and Safety

    I forgot to also note that these new trucks are extended cab Ford Rangers. However, to get the extended cab you get to lose a good foot of bed length. As far as the suspension, the rear spring pack is only comprised of three springs. The main spring, one middle leaf spring, and the the bottom support spring. I would love to go to a Dakota. We have areas within our district that are 9 to 10 way areas. For people not used to this term, it means we locate 9 to 10 different utility customers on one (1) ticket. So we carry a ton of paint alone, minus the rest of our supplies and tools.

    Quote Originally Posted by ProfessionalLocator View Post
    People not familiar with what locators do have no idea how much goes into a busy locators truck. Now some look at the list of company issued equipment but that is just the tip of the iceberg, locaotrs load up their trucks with many things not issued by the company and out of their own pocket.

    Shovel, digging bar, fish tape, various hand tools, jumper battery to start the truck, gas can for when too far from a gas station or the middle of the night on call, several flashlights and especially the large lanterns for on call night work, man hole pumps, wasp spray, ladders, pedestrian guards for manholes and whatever else we can get our hands on that will be useful.

    One thing that is a varying factor is paint. A busy locator can go through a case (box) of 12 cans daily. I have often done this and some days have used three cases. With laptop dispatch we do not go into the office daily and once a week we meet a supervisor or go into the office to restock the truck. A busy locator needs 8 to 12 cases of paint stocked on their truck weekly. A reserve of paint also allows a fellow locator who has run out of paint to call and meet up for a partial resupply. This saves driving all the way back to the office or having a supervisor make a trip just to deliver paint.

    A Ford Ranger is the minimal size and type of vehicle needed and some firms will need a larger vehicle due to the number and types of utilities they locate. A Dodge Dakota is a pretty good size for most firms, adequate room for most needs.

    When you get to the size of a Ford F-150 pickup and other equivalents the size works against most locating situations. First off the read bed sits too high and is awkward to reach across to get things. This can also lead to back strains. Plus if is more difficult to maneuver in many of the tight situations we get into.

    Buying the wrong vehicle, usually becasue someone thinks it will save money, costs a lot of money. Lost productivity is permanent and does not go away. Incompatible to the use also results in excessive wear and in the case of ground clearance, we frequently go off road, damages to the vehicle.
    Safety First Or It's The Hearse.

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    Senior Member CableAvoidanceTool's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Fleet for USIC and Safety

    Quote Originally Posted by 3in13notbad View Post
    gas can for when too far from a gas station
    Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh!


    That sounds like a good idea! Might serve a, ah, different purpose too!

    :0

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    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Fleet for USIC and Safety

    Quote Originally Posted by CableAvoidanceTool View Post
    Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh!


    That sounds like a good idea! Might serve a, ah, different purpose too!

    :0
    A place to hide your beer?

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    Senior Member big boots mcghee's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Fleet for USIC and Safety

    My supervisor had been driving an extended cab Dodge Dakota for the past couple of years. He was pumped when told he'd be getting a new truck this year......until he found out he was downsizing to an extended cab Ford Ranger. He tried everything he could to keep his Dodge. I'll have to ask him if his new Ford is a four or six cylinder. The back of his truck is packed full of supplies and equipment and he drives with a lead foot, so he may be fueling up daily if he's rocking a smaller engine.
    My boots may be red but I'm no clown.

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    Junior Member stewie's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Fleet for USIC and Safety

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowcat View Post
    So USIC has a new fleet of trucks now. If you're a USIC employee and you don't have one yet, be prepared for the suckfest.

    First of all, they are 4 cylinder Ford Rangers. Makes sense with Corp wanting to save money on fuel, right? However, the suspension on these Rangers suck ass when you got 700 to 900 lbs of equipment and supplies in the back. No over load springs for us. Not even an add-a-leaf. These new trucks are not rated for this much weight. This makes them hard to control and you can forget taking a turn faster than 5 mph. GREAT JOB ON THE SAFETY FACTOR USIC DESK JOCKYS!!!!

    Get Home safe my ass. I'll be lucky to make it up this hill with only 4 hamsters under the hood. Guess I'll be laughing my ass off when this transmission drops out.

    Guess USIC decided to screw safety for more money once again.

    It could be worse...you could work for onevision and drive one of these

    2010-toyota-matri-.jpg


    try working in a rural county and drive this tin can around....My area has pot holes bigger than this car. And dont even think about going down a dirt road or some farmers long driveway after it rains because this thing will get stuck.

  13. #13
    Member Shadowcat's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Fleet for USIC and Safety

    Quote Originally Posted by stewie View Post
    It could be worse...you could work for onevision and drive one of these

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	2010-toyota-matri&#.jpg 
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ID:	509


    try working in a rural county and drive this tin can around....My area has pot holes bigger than this car. And dont even think about going down a dirt road or some farmers long driveway after it rains because this thing will get stuck.
    Wow....I really feel for you. I also work in a rural area and I couldn't imagine having to drive that roller skate on some of the so-called roads that I need to travel. I have that thing on a wrecker in a couple of days.
    Safety First Or It's The Hearse.

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    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Fleet for USIC and Safety

    Quote Originally Posted by stewie View Post
    It could be worse...you could work for onevision and drive one of these

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	2010-toyota-matri&#.jpg 
Views:	26 
Size:	18.6 KB 
ID:	509


    try working in a rural county and drive this tin can around....My area has pot holes bigger than this car. And dont even think about going down a dirt road or some farmers long driveway after it rains because this thing will get stuck.
    The locate companies are switching to cars like this to save money, around $4,000 to $5,000 less than a small truck. But you get what you pay for. These cars are going to make for some hard and costly lessons.

    An inappropriate vehicle has the immediate effect of lowering production wiping out the savings and even surpassing them. If the worker has to unload items to get to other currently needed items that is wasting time for the company, the locator still gets paid. If the vehicle cannot carry all the items needed then the job is delayed and another employee has to come to the scene with the needed equipment, more man hours spent on the job. In the locate industry reducing productivity is not a feasible option as the jobs have time constraints. The option to not do the work on OT does not really exist and work not done on straight time just gets done on OT.

    There is one maintenance cost that we have previously not covered, higher repair bills. All these cars are front wheel drive and which is more the more expensive transmission to repair? The front wheel drive transmission costs around $500 to $1,000 more than a rear wheel drive transmission.

    The front wheel drive front suspension and steering gear is also more complex and more expensive to maintain than a rear wheel drive.

    Ground clearance is a major problem as these vehicles will be going both off road and onto very crude dirt roads. Damaging the undercarriage and exhaust is more likely with these cars than a small truck.

    While four wheel drive is sometime desirable it is costly. A reasonably affordable option on many rear wheel drive trucks is the limited slip differential. I think these are now over $200 and costs around $300. I do not know if any comparable option exists for these front wheel drive cars.

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    Default Re: New Fleet for USIC and Safety

    oh oh oh ,dont for get stewie, how fun this past winter they were driving in the snow. the drifts were higher then the front of the car lol

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