Photo courtesy of MidAmerican Energy.

Photo courtesy of MidAmerican Energy.

Midwest electrical power provider MidAmerican Energy has begun rolling out bucket trucks that reduce idling by using a large battery pack that operated the boom and other vehicle features, the utility announced.

The JEMS AT40G uses a Ford F-Series truck with the JEMS (Jobsite Energy Management System), an idle elimination system developed by Altec that uses an electrified power takeoff (ePTO) to operate the boom. In conventional service trucks, the boom that raises and lowers the bucket is powered by the vehicle’s engine, which means the vehicle has to idle the entire time the bucket is in use at the jobsite.

“Every hour a truck idles, it uses one to two gallons of fuel,” said Brian Knights, fleet program manager for MidAmerican Energy. “According to industry figures, on average, service trucks idle about four hours per day on the jobsite. So by eliminating those four hours of idling every day, we will save four to eight gallons of gas per vehicle per day, which will add up to a significant reduction in emissions and significant fuel cost savings over the course of the year.”

Once the work shift is over, the vehicles are plugged in for eight hours of continuous charging. The trucks also are equipped with a second alternator that provides partial charging as the vehicles are driven between jobsites.

MidAmerican Energy is now using eight of these service vehicles, including five deployed in the Des Moines, Iowa, area and three based in the Quad Cities — a region of four counties in northwest Illinois and southeastern Iowa.The company will add to its green fleet over the next few years as service vehicles are replaced, Knight said.

Originally posted on Work Truck Online