CHICO – A low-emission trouble truck used by electric line workers and an emergency response vehicle were on display today (Dec. 11) for Chico firefighters while they took a break from PG&E’s first-responder training courses.
PG&E showcased a new hybrid diesel-electric trouble truck, which is being phased into the existing fleet of 600 trouble trucks. These vehicles are used to inspect, repair and maintain the company’s vast network of transmission and distribution power lines.
PG&E estimated that up to 30 percent of the fuel used by these older trucks was consumed while idling or using the vehicle’s hydraulic lift to operate the boom at a job site. But the hybrid version operates auxiliary systems with battery power – lights, hydraulic lifts and tools – and avoids the need to idle.
Less idling reduces fuel consumption, saves money, provides a safer work environment by reducing noise and prevents air emissions.
PG&E also displayed a 39-foot mobile command unit used to respond to emergencies and serve as an extension of PG&E’s Emergency Operation Center and incident command facilities.
The large mobile command centers, which are capable of supporting about 15 people, are fully equipped with digital, satellite and living capabilities for long-term deployments. On-board items include a generator, workstations, laptops, satellite phones, radios and a radio controller that allows the operator to connect PG&E radios of different frequencies together, and allows for other radios (such as police, fire and highway patrol) to connect with PG&E radio frequencies.
(Click here to watch a Currents video on a rally of mobile command vehicles held earlier this year.)