PRB Articles


This-N-That

10 Tips for Selecting Utility Vehicles

Holding the line on expenses is a top priority for facilities maintenance and construction managers, and controlling fleet costs is one way to do that. But with so many utility transport vehicle (UTV) manufacturers and models to choose from, the selection process can be confusing. Here’s how to get the most for your money:

1. Shop for durability. Look for a vehicle built on a rust-proof, corrosion-resistant aluminum frame. Vehicles built on steel frames tend to rust and bow.

2. Buy a work vehicle, not a toy. Recreational UTVs are often marketed as work vehicles. But the suspension systems in these vehicles are designed for speed, not payload. When loaded, their independent rear suspensions tend to sag, reducing ground clearance and unbalancing the vehicle’s weight distribution.

3. Demand versatility. Vehicles that can move from job to job really boost productivity. Optional cooler holders, leaf blower holders, ladder racks, bucket holders and other inventive accessories boost adaptability while movable bed dividers and tie-down loops stabilize cargo and prevent shifting.

4. Choose the right powertrain. For facility maintenance managers who operate only one shift, electric vehicles can be a very good option. They get 30-40 miles per day and will do just about anything a gasoline vehicle will do. Yet they cost pennies a day to charge. For those with two shifts, gasoline may be a better option because it offers a longer range. Look for the largest gas tank you can find.

5. Increase performance with electronic fuel injection (EFI). Since there is no choke or carburetor on EFI engines, they start right up, even in frigid weather. This saves fuel at starting.

6. Take charge of charging! If you buy electric vehicles, look for a high-frequency, solid-state onboard charging system designed to reduce energy consumption and prevent user error. Make sure the charger issues an audible alert when charging begins and has a wide enough voltage range to keep juicing the car even during power fluctuations. It’s also important to get a charger programmed with multiple algorithms, so if you switch batteries you won’t have to buy new chargers.

7. Give careful thought to 4x4s. First, ask yourself if you really need a 4x4. A lot of 4x4 sales are driven by perception, not reality. 4x2s are often sufficient for facilities and grounds maintenance.

8. Stretch your dollars with custom solutions and accessories. A custom solutions department with decades of problem-solving experience can create vehicles for a specific purpose, such as dump trucks, trash trucks or on-site ambulances.

9. Consider seating. Carrying people in the back of a pickup is just no longer a safe option. As a result, multi-seating utility and transport vehicles are growing in popularity.

10. Add value with a strong warranty and reliable service. Look for the longest, strongest warranty you can find, and be sure to read the fine print and battery warranty.

Information provided by Kurt Meyer, Club Car Commercial Marketing Manager

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Survey Finds Increasing Public Restroom Dissatisfaction

A new national hand-washing survey reveals an increasing majority of Americans (63 percent) say they’ve had a particularly unpleasant experience in a public restroom due to the condition of the facilities. That’s up from 51 percent one year ago, according to the national survey conducted by Bradley Corporation, manufacturer of bathroom and locker room furnishings, including sinks, faucets, hand dryers, showers and lockers. Almost three-fourths (73 percent) of consumers believe a bad restroom indicates poor management. Another two-thirds say an unsavory restroom lowers their opinion of the company, shows the business doesn’t care about customers, and gives the impression the company is lazy or sloppy.

The top restroom complaints were:

  • A really bad smell (cited by 82 percent);

  • Toilets that were clogged or not flushed (79 percent)

  • An overall appearance that’s dirty, unkempt or old (73 percent).

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Field Notes

TRUBLUE LLC —the Boulder, Colo.-based manufacturer of the TRUBLUE Auto Belay and zipSTOP Zip Line Brake—is changing its name to Head Rush Technologies to reflect its growing breadth and depth of products. Head Rush will continue to sell its products directly through its sales team and website, online store, and through its global network of distributors. Its sister company, Eldorado Wall Company , will continue to operate separately under the Eldorado Climbing Walls brand.

Engineered Treatment Systems , a wholly owned subsidiary of Neptune-Benson, appointed Michael Low to Aquatic Regional Manager for the Western region of North America. He is responsible for all sales and market development in his territory.

Country Clipper , a manufacturer of zero-turn lawnmowers, announces Conniff Sales, Inc. as its Country Clipper 2013 Distributor of the Year.  Conniff Sales is located in Richmond, Ind., and currently serves dealers in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

Controlled Products, LLC , a manufacturer of synthetic turf, has hired Kevin Barker to serve as the corporation’s Vice President of Marketing and Sales. In this newly created role, Barker will make a significant contribution towards leading the company’s growth strategy and brand awareness. He has more than 25 years of expertise in sales, business development strategy and marketing.

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Coxreels Launches New Website

Coxreels, a manufacturer of industrial-grade hose, cord, and cable reels, has launched a new website: www.coxreels.com . It features a “Reel Selector” with filtering capabilities, access to the “Product” section showcasing every reel line the company manufactures, an “Industry” specific search to find the best reel solution per application, “Request a Quote” and “Quote Cart” tools, and upgraded “Contact Us” features.

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Aquionics UVSwim Now NSF/ANSI Certified

The UVSwim I line of pool and spa disinfection systems by Aquionics has become the first complete UV system range to achieve the new NSF/ANSI Standard 50-2012 certification. The certification applies to all seven models of UVSwim I from 100+ to 4500+. The standard certifies the design, construction and performance of the UVSwim I system, including the full inactivation of the parasite cryptosporidium.

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PlayTennis.com Open For Public Use

PlayTennis.com, an unbranded collaborative effort from major stakeholders in the tennis industry—hopes to reach more than 75-million people now that it has been released for public use. The free site allows consumers to search for a partner, find a place to play, find programs and events in their area, find a coach for instruction, and more. For more information, call (843) 686-3036, or visit info@playtennis.com .

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Cre8Play Creates Kidsburg Structures

Little settlers travel back to colonial times when they visit Kidsburg at Mid-County Park in James City, Va. A 17 th -century replica ship, cannon, and canoe transcends kids back to the Jamestown settlement, allowing them to explore the history of the first true English Colony. Play structures by Cre8Play are universally accessible and complete with custom sounds including a cannon that goes ‘BOOM’ and a ship with sounds of the sea.

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Calendar

December

6-10 American Sports Builders Association Annual Technical Meeting, San Antonio, Texas; www.sportsbuilders.org

2014

January

7-9 Northern New England Recreation & Parks Conference, Bartlett, N.H—Attitash Summit Hotel; www.northernnewenglands.com

13-16 Mid America Pool & Spa Show, Schaumburg, Ill.—Schaumburg Convention Center; www.midamericashow.com/ma

February

2-5 Ohio Parks and Recreation Association Conference, Sandusky, Ohio; opra@opraonline.org

Changing Course

Nobody Kicks a Dog When It's Down

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