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 4×4. A lot of 4×4 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 

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