Safety Is the Number One Priority: Standard Utility
The Standish family knows that the relationship piece is one of the most important aspects when comes time to make a purchase. Our relationship started because of a great product but has lasted and grown because of the relationship and partnership. Together we help them #reachanything.
Setting Industry Standards
Standard Utility Snapshot
1984— was the year the first untethered spacewalk occurred. In the same year, another groundbreaking event happened, Standard Utility was born. Steve Standish left the communications arena and entered the electrical industry. After a few years, Steve and his wife, Glenna, started Standard Utility and were electric utility subcontractors for a couple of years. During this time, they strengthened their customer relationships and, in turn, increased the need for a service truck. They began to expand through the 80s and 90s and built a strong reputation as a company that can get the job done safely and efficiently. Their fleet grew with this reputation, starting with one truck and continuously increasing the need.
As they continued to expand, they became more innovative and bought their first bucket truck from Equipment Technology, LLC. (ETI) (now PALFINGER). Phil Statton introduced them to ETI and sold them their first demo truck. As they were still a small company then, this was the best solution to assist their growth while offering their customers more efficient services. They continued this process for five-six years to maximize their spending and increase their fleet.
The average jobs that Standard Utility deals with on a daily basis range from underground, utility, overhead and construction. Additionally, they have a specific department dedicated to troubleshooting for all customers and are on call 24/7 to address any issues. Their team also has a dedicated storm response program to ensure when things go out that, they can react and get things turned back on as quickly as they can.
For Standard Utility, safety is critical and their number one focus. Therefore, they typically will tap employees from lineman schools. Once these candidates graduate, Steve and his team will interview them and determine if they will be safe in their roles and follow all protocols. This is so paramount that Glenna, Steve's wife and the Head of HR, will still participate in orientation and meet everyone coming in. "There's been times when she has stopped orientation and has said 'Thank you, but no thank you' where folks would leave right then because they couldn't stay off their phone and pay attention as she's going over specific safety information," Steve mentioned.
This continues into all facets of their business, and John Harriff, Fleet Manager, stands by this. He works with the guys daily, and if any team has an issue or question, he is right there to address it. With the incredible growth that they have had, it is impressive to see that the relationship with their employees is just as strong as it was from day one. But, again, this speaks to the loyalty and the belief in what they do daily.
Justin Reschke DMS Serviceman 2
Joe Cardenas LS Street Light Maintenance Specialist
Tell me about how you like operating your bucket truck.
My experience with the bucket truck has been great; I feel confident using it and safe while on it. — J.C.
How much operating experience do you have?
3 years in the electric industry — J.R.
I have been at Standard Utility [for] 8 years in the street light department. — J.C.
How does it perform in terms of precision and control?
The precision and control is pretty good; the bucket is easy to control and get it where you want it. [It] could be faster going up and down and scoping in and out. — J.R.
The precision and control have been great; I have not had any issues with it. — J.C.
Do you see any benefits to using your bucket truck?
It's nice being able to control the entire boom from one handle instead of having different levers for your scoping in and out and your lower boom, although I feel like with it all on one handle, it slows it down a lot, if you're not holding the handle in a certain spot, it will slow it down a lot. — J.R.
It makes my job safer and able to complete the job faster. — J.C.
Do you notice any clear advantages of controllability with a PALFINGER bucket?
It is super easy to control, not real jerky. — J.R.
What types of jobs do you most commonly handle? Have you always used a bucket truck?
I do both overhead and underground work; I’ve been in both service bodies and bucket trucks. — J.R.
I do the maintenance on streetlights and guard lights; I have always used a bucket truck. — J.C.
What challenges do you experience on the job? Does the bucket truck help overcome these challenges?
If the job is overhead then the bucket truck absolutely helps. — J.R.
Some of the challenges I face in [my] job are the heights as well as poles that are not as safe to climb. With the bucket truck, I can be right where the fixture is needed without a fear. I am also able to move around as quickly and precise as needed. — J.C.
Have you been able to take on any new jobs that you would not have been able to previously?
I can enter different areas and fix lights that I wouldn’t have been able to climb. — J.C.
Do you see any benefits on the job?
It makes my job safer and able to complete the job fasters. — J.R.
Fast forward to 2009, Standard Utility went through a growth surge and hired over 100 employees. With these new employees being onboarded in 60 days, they needed 40 bucket trucks. ETI worked its magic and was able to fill this need for them. As 40 new build trucks weren’t an option in that short time frame, ETI thought outside the box and brought in all the buybacks throughout their sales area. This further cemented the partnership and relationship between Standard Utility and ETI. Steve said, “I believe in long-term relationships, you know, that’s how we’ve grown this business and our brand and our reputation. ETI is one of our valued providers.” This has continued into the transition from ETI to PALFINGER, and that same service still exists. If a truck needs to be retrofitted or there is a recall, they are not down for long. PALFINGER understands this critical need and will bring over a replacement while the work is being completed on their truck.
Team Solution and Growth
Over the years, their bucket truck fleet has grown to nearly 100, with an anticipated growth of 50 additional trucks. For the last four years, they have been trending for breaking records with setting meters and putting in underground services. So, there is a growth pattern that will continue to flourish. However, even with this growth, the service for Standard Utility has not changed. “[Anthony] knew us back when we were very small. We had a third of the employees that we have. We got the same service back then, and it has continued today even as we have [ordered] 25-30 trucks a year,” Steve said. Anthony has been there through thick and thin and is Steve’s go-to person for anything they need.
The relationships are critical to Standard Utility and PALFINGER, and as we have grown, we have never forgotten the importance of a reliable partner. We look forward to the years to come and the growth we will both see. With great partners like Standard Utility, the sky is the limit!