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The Jacksonville Electric Authority (JEA) is pushing to modernize its fleet with direct input from its employees.
By Chris Petersen

As the provider of electric, water and wastewater services for Duval County and surrounding areas in Florida, the Jacksonville Electric Authority (JEA) has a significant responsibility to its customers. And, as Fleet Manager Alan McElroy explains, it also has a significant challenge when it comes to maintaining all of the nearly 1,300 vehicle and equipment assets the company needs to fulfill its duties. Because the company provides so many services, there’s no one “typical” vehicle in the fleet.

“One of the biggest challenges we have is the fact that we are such a diverse utility and therefore we have diverse [fleet] needs,” McElroy says. “Being a diverse fleet, you have some vehicles in common, but mostly you have many specialized assets to meet our customers’ needs.”

Fresh Direct

FreshDirect delivers everything carried in a grocery store directly to customers in the Northeast with an award-winning, green fleet.

By Russ Gager

Putting “fresh” in a grocer’s name demonstrates a commitment to obtaining food from its source in the shortest time possible. Helping to deliver on that promise is FreshDirect’s Director of Fleet Operations Mike Derrig.

FreshDirect delivers everything that can be found in a grocery store to the metro areas of New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia along with the southern Connecticut metro area and Delaware’s metro areas. “But that’s only to give us somewhere to jump off from,” Derrig says. “I live in the middle of cornfields. I’m surrounded by cornfields, and yet we have quite a good customer base near me. It’s the convenience.”

FreshDirect ‘s main distribution center is at the company’s headquarters in Long Island City, N.Y. Two more distribution centers – one in Hackensack, N.J., and the other in Philadelphia – are used for cross-docking. “We have deliveries direct into our Long Island City distribution center from different farms and providers – the whole gamut of what you would need – dry goods or fresh vegetables, we get them direct,” Derrig emphasizes.

As its name implies, FreshDirect emphasizes produce, organic and fresh prepared food. “We buy direct from the farms, so we don’t have to go through a broker or another distribution center,” Derrig points out. “It’s a way to keep our costs down while maintaining high quality standards.”

PPL Electric

PPL Electric Utilities implements the latest in fleet technology to stay on the leading-edge of innovation.

By Janice Hoppe

Utility companies are not often thought of as innovators, but PPL Electric Utilities is working to change all that as it utilizes the latest technology for fleet enhancements. “We are embracing innovation,” Transportation Manager John Adkisson says. “In the fleet department we implemented telematics, which is a big deal and innovative.”

The Allentown, Pa.-based utility is one of five companies under the PPL Corp. umbrella. PPL Electric Utilities maintains more than 48,000 miles of power lines in central and eastern Pennsylvania, serving about 1.4 million customers in 29 counties. The company operates 1,200 total vehicles and oversees 10,000 square miles of territory.

PPL Electric Utilities handles more than six million customer interactions each year and has consistently won awards and ranked highly among companies in the United States for customer service and satisfaction. The company has received 23 J.D. Power and Associates awards for top-quality service to its residential and business customers.

In addition to fleet enhancements, PPL Electric Utilities over the next five years will invest more than $5 billion to improve its electric delivery system. The company will replace aging facilities and build new ones to meet growth in demand and to make the network more reliable. “In the utility space, taking on new technology makes business better, and ultimately lowers our rates for our customers,” Adkisson says.

Keller Canada

Keller Canada’s equipment fleet enables the company to remain a leading provider of piling and geotechnical solutions.

By Jim Harris

Keller Canada is renowned across its home country for its ability to take on any project that requires piling or extensive ground engineering solutions. The company is often called upon to design and self-perform jobs ranging in size and complexity from single-pile projects that take less than a day to multi-year projects involving thousands of piles with multiple pile types and technologies.

“Where possible we like to engage in a partnership with our customers from the earliest stage of a project where we can apply our value added engineering excellence and innovation to find new and better ways to get the job done,” Senior Vice President Jeff Grieder says.

The company is part of the global geotechnical and ground engineering specialist Keller Group’s North American operations and relies on a fleet of roughly 800 pieces of heavy, mobile and support equipment to complete its jobs. This fleet, like Keller’s Canada’s projects, also varies in size and capabilities.  

“We have a diverse fleet of equipment and in-house technical expertise to design and perform the installation of most any pile type or geotechnical offering currently available,” Fleet Manager Craig Gramlich says.

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Don Parker Sales’ service-first culture allows it to provide comprehensive services for customers’ vehicle and car wash equipment needs.

By Stephanie Crets

As a provider of the leading manufacturers of vehicle maintenance equipment, Don Parker Sales Inc. is the largest distributor in the Pittsburgh market, serving customers in a 150-mile radius. The company’s services include a professional sales staff, factory trained installation crews and experienced service technicians handling a complete range of vehicle maintenance equipment. This includes such products as vehicle lifts, car and truck wash equipment, wheel service equipment, compressed air systems, lubrication and fluid handling systems and other tool and equipment products. Don Parker Sales’ customer base is characterized by large truck fleets, transit operations, car dealerships, public works maintenance shops and many other types of vehicle repair facilities.

“Over the years, we’ve brought on a full range of products within the service industry,” President Pamela Pitell says. “Compared to competitors, we can provide anything within the maintenance facility as a total turnkey project with sales, service, installation and post-installation services.

“In a similar manner to our commitment to technician education and training, we have invested into a professional well-trained sales team that supports our overall commitment to being the leader in our market,” she continues. “The commitment to customer service and investment in our people sets us apart from our competition.”

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