Under the Hood: The Oshawa Power Fleet

Under the Hood: The Oshawa Power Fleet

Serving more than 61,000 customers across 145km2, the Oshawa Power fleet plays an integral part in the work we do each and every day to maintain, repair, and ready our grid for the future. For our field staff, their vehicles are their office and their workshop. With the specialized tools and equipment on board that allow our powerline technicians, substation electricians, inspectors, and more, to complete the work necessary to keep the lights on, our fleet plays an integral part in all that we do.

With more than 30 vehicles from a light duty electric vehicle (EV) to our largest double bucket trucks, our vehicles are often our most important tool. Let’s take a closer look at the vehicles that make up the Oshawa Power fleet and how we use them in our day-to-day operations.

9th Annual Touch-a-Truck Presented by Oshawa Power

Join us at the 9th Annual Touch-a-Truck presented by Oshawa Power on Friday, August 25th from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. to meet our team and see our trucks up close! Learn what it takes to keep the lights on for more than 61,000 customers across Oshawa, find out how we stay safe around high voltage, and jump in the bucket for a photo!

Bucket Trucks

The most recognizable member of our fleet, no local distribution company (LDC) could survive without their bucket trucks. As the ‘workhorses’ of our fleet, our 7 bucket trucks allow us to safely complete the work necessary to keep power flowing to each and every customer across our city.

Oshawa Power bucket truck

Our bucket trucks come in two distinct varieties; single bucket, 55-foot trucks and double bucket, 85-foot trucks. While these trucks have some key differences, the main features are the same. Both trucks feature hydraulic extension booms that allow our crews to safely work on overhead powerlines when completing scheduled maintenance and rebuilds or when responding to trouble calls and working to restore power when outages happen. Most day-to-day maintenance and trouble calls are taken care of using our 55-footers.

Outriggers, metal support posts attached to the trucks, provide stability for both trucks when crews are working overhead. These ‘feet’ help to level out our trucks and provide a stable base when our team members go up in the bucket.

Both trucks also feature hydraulic tool systems, providing our team with the necessary tools to maintain and make repairs to our grid. Storage compartments on the trucks are also used to store basic tools, replacement parts, and specialized equipment such as amp and volt meters.

For general safety, our trucks also feature flashing beacons and halogen spotlights. Beacons warn our community when our teams are hard at work, helping them avoid the area and potential electrical hazards, while spotlights allow our team the visibility necessary to work in all conditions, night or day, rain or snow, when we are called upon.

All of our bucket trucks now include portable defibrillators on board. While not a traditional safety requirement in the electricity distribution industry, all of our in-field workers are CPR-certified and able to operate a defibrillator, improving safety conditions for our staff and local community alike.

Our 85-foot, double bucket trucks are not often used in day-to-day operations but are an important asset when our team needs to work on higher voltage 44kV feeder lines. The higher boom length is necessary to reach these lines that are generally more elevated than more common lines around our city.

In addition to the higher boom, these trucks feature fully-insulated fiberglass buckets. This allows our crew to work ‘barehand’ on our 44kV lines.

What is ‘Barehand’ Work?

It is exactly what it sounds like! By operating inside of a fully-insulated bucket, our team members remain ungrounded allowing them to safely work on powerlines with their bare hands. This technique requires specialized training and is important for the maintenance of our 44kV lines. Possibly the most interesting part of barehand work is that our workers can feel the energy moving through their body, a very unique feeling that causes body hair to stand up straight.

Digger Trucks

Another integral piece of equipment for our field team, digger trucks have a similar cab to our bucket trucks but differ greatly in their purpose. In place of storage and an extendable boom on the rear, digger trucks feature a large auger designed to drill into the earth for underground work and pole installations.

These trucks may also be used to transport large equipment to its final location, such as transformers.

Oshawa Power digger truck

Station Vans

While you are less likely to see our station vans driving around Oshawa each day, these vehicles have a very important role to play in our fleet. These vehicles are primarily used by our substation electricians.

On board is all the equipment our substation electricians need to perform repairs and maintenance across Oshawa’s nine municipal substations.

Oshawa Power station van

Light and Medium Duty

Making up the largest portion of our fleet are our light and medium duty vehicles. From small sedans to specially outfitted ‘dump truck’ pick ups, these vehicles are used for general transportation and lighter duty work.

line of Oshawa Power pick up trucks

Tension Stringing Trailers

Have you ever wondered how the wires used to energize our city get from the spool to their final destination, high above our city streets? The answer is that this is a team effort between bucket trucks and specialized tension stringing trailers.

These trailers allow our team to quickly and safely string new powerlines, whether it is installing new infrastructure or performing maintenance on existing poles.

At Oshawa Power, we know an LDC can only be as effective as the tools they use to build and maintain the local power grid. As the most important tools in our industry, we take pride in our fleet and ensure each of our vehicles are kept in ideal shape to allow our team to provide our city with one of the most reliable power grids in our province.

Now, when you see our team around the city you will better understand the importance of the vehicles we use to continue providing a safe and reliable supply of power to our city.

See Our Team? Snap a Pic!

We love to see photos of our crews working hard around the city. When you see our team, snap a pic and share it with our team by tagging @oshawapower on social media!