Deadlines are an expectation in the utility industry. Because time is money, streamlining operations and maintaining efficiency and jobsite productivity is important. There is always room for improvement when it comes to jobsite efficiency.
Three areas to consider when attempting to improve operational efficiencies are to have the right equipment for the specific project, incorporate upfits on fleet units to optimize workload, and take advantage of fleet technology. Doing so, says Adriene Horn, President and Co-owner of Premier Truck Rental (PTR), can maximize crew performance, saving time and money.
Based in Fort Wayne, IN, PTR is a family-owned and operated fleet truck rental business that provides customized work trucks and trailers to its nationwide customer base.
An optimized fleet many times performs at a higher level of efficiency, she explains. When you have an optimized fleet of units full of upfits that are custom selected based on one’s industry and project, crew members’ work is easier and it takes less time to meet deadlines.
“These specialty accessories are installed and serviced before hitting your jobsite, giving you fewer upfront expenses and the ability to optimize project productivity,” states Horn. “A wide variety of different types of upfit accessories can be installed on your fleet, like transfer tanks and pumps, lube skids, welders, generators, and more.”
“When you maximize your crew performance by having additional pieces of equipment to support your project, you’ll have the exact resources needed for your project at your disposal without investing in permanent assets that may not be required for the next jobsite.”
Types of equipment and upfits
To identify the correct types of equipment for various projects and incorporate upfits to optimize the workload, Horn advises assessing the length of the project, the location, crew size, budget, and key needs of the crew.
“Working with a knowledgeable rental team will help guide you to suggested recommendations for your projects,” she says. “Incorporating upfits – being custom selected based on the project details – will boost productivity.
“It is important to understand the type of work that will be completed throughout the project, as different accessories are applicable for various cases. Every project is unique and requires diverse types of equipment to reach optimal efficiency.”
Horn notes there are benefits to investing in fleet technology. Telematics, for example, saves both time and money by allowing a fleet to track its vehicles with real-time vehicle location and mileage and idling alerts, plus improves safety and security.
“Fleet technology gives you real-time insights into your rental units, allowing you to ensure that each unit is being utilized to the highest level,” she adds. “In addition, you will be alerted when vehicles are needing routine maintenance and helping avoid unit downtime while crews continue progressing on their projects.”
About the speaker
Adriene Horn was raised in the rental equipment world and learned a lot about equipment from her father, Rob Troxel, who has spent his entire career in equipment rentals.
Upon graduating from college, Horn joined her father at NESCO working in sales and marketing. In 2014, the two exited the company and started PTR (Premier Truck Rental) with the vision of providing custom equipment to nationwide utility contractors.
PTR has had three headquarter expansions, grown its team to 180-plus employees, and undergone three expansions in the last nine years. The company, which has multiple locations across the United States, has recently opened a state-of-the-art facility in Fort Worth, TX.
This year’s The Utility Expo – the largest event for utility professionals and construction contractors – will mark Horn’s first time speaking at the event. She has, however, been attending the event for many years.
“I have learned a lot by attending The Utility Expo and continue to learn more each year,” she says. “It is a must for those in the industry looking to understand new concepts and connect with the Utility Industry Community.”
While both of Horn's sessions on jobsite efficiency are sold out, that is just one of dozens of learning opportunities at The Utility Expo 2023. Discover new strategies and techniques while making lasting connections with your peers in the utility industry. Click here for more information on The Utility Expo's comprehensive education program.