Upgrading the Utility Service Vehicle: Optimized Performance from Power to Safety

Hi, I’m a utility services vehicle. I typically come in the form of a cherry-picker, a roadside assistance truck, or other sort of upfitted vehicle designed for serving telecom or electricity sectors. Making sure upfitted vehicles perform to the best of their ability requires being actively aware of idling conditions, where and when power should be allocated (especially when it comes to power take-off), as well as being as safe as possible. With Derive VQ, fleet managers have visibility into how vehicles are performing and have the ability to optimize areas to suit specific jobs or environmental factors.

It Takes Power

How power is distributed and managed is the primary concern of utility fleet vehicle managers. Upfitted utility vehicles are often performing tasks like heavy upward movement, off-road navigation, or moving a lot of mass in short bursts (all of which require selective use of power). Derive VQ delivers a level of customization to fleet managers so that a vehicle’s power settings can be set to the needs of the vehicle’s various tasks, ensuring that excess power is not being used when unnecessary. Perhaps a manager is interested in making sure that a vehicle capable of off-road use only hits its maximum power when in those situations, rather than when it is driven on public roads. Derive VQ allows the manager to tailor that performance as needed and provides direct visibility into those performance changes via the Derive Mission Control dashboard.

Safety in the field 

Given the range of functions that utility vehicles cover, safety should always be considered. Hazards can occur if precautions are not taken when operating powerful and upfitted vehicles. Instead of leaving fleet managers to rely on training for those driving and operating the vehicle and its upfitted components, the Derive VQ safety enhancements deliver improvements directly to the vehicle itself, intelligently making a safer environment for drivers behind the wheel and those on the road around them. By setting optimizations such as maximum speed and controlled power, managers can ensure oversized vehicles are always moving as safely as possible. Activating additional features such as, seat-belt dependent start and Distracted Driver Prevention™ can also assist with safety on and off site. Visibility into vehicle maintenance alerts and notifications are also easily accessed and clearly defined through the Derive Mission Control dashboard so that manager intervention can be taken when action to the vehicle is required, making safety management even more seamless.

Don’t Forget Fuel

Given that utility vehicles can come in a number of shapes and sizes, fuel consumption is an important factor to monitor and manage within this automotive sector. While some utilities vehicles are designed for prolonged off-road activity, others are often sitting for extended periods of time. Think cable maintenance cherry-pickers that can be parked for several hours, then are suddenly required to move to the next service location. Idling can eat up a lot of fuel, in turn costing money, creating headaches for managers who aim to control costs as much as possible. In addition to optimizing the bursts of power that a utility vehicle requires, the Derive VQ platform enables fleet managers to improve fuel use with reduced idle RPM settings so that less fuel is consumed without sacrificing power when needed. This is an easy way to see bottom line benefits quickly.

The Derive VQ platform is a fully integrated software, hardware, and smartphone solution that utilizes cloud-powered technology. Applying these upgrades to a utility vehicle - as well as getting a thorough understanding of its performance - is as easy as pulling up a phone app. Through this platform, Derive is equipping fleet managers with more control than ever before over how their vehicles (and drivers!) are managed.