After working for 23 years upgrading Con Edison's electrical equipment in city streets, veteran employee Anthony F. Prettitore understood the need to develop new "green" vehicles while reducing the time city streets are closed during repair work. The outcome: A more powerful vehicle that pulls 13,000- and 27,000-volt cable more quickly and safely reducing the time streets are closed for construction work.

"In addition to making these trucks safer for our employees, all New Yorkers benefit since the vehicles expedite cable removal and installation, frequently eliminating the need to dig up streets that can inconvenience pedestrians and motorists," said John Miksad, Con Edison senior vice president, electric operations.

After learning of Prettitore's early suggestions, the company's automotive engineering departments quickly assembled a group of employees to research and improve current vehicles. The group's suggestions rose to a new level and the company teamed up with Dejana Utility Trucks of Long Island, N.Y., to launch a new model for a stronger and more efficient cable truck.

The twenty-first century vehicle boasts a 70-percent reduction in hydraulic fluid by incorporating a forced-air-cooled hydraulic tank and a variable-displacement pressure-compensating pump, to help create an environmentally friendly vehicle.

The new truck features wireless remote controls, giving the operator an unobstructed view between the truck and manhole, making the operation safer.

In addition, the newly designed vehicle has more pulling capacity and force (12,000 pounds for the old truck versus 20,000 pounds for the new), making it easier to bring the older cable out from underneath the street. It also can be more easily aligned with the manhole where the cable is to be pulled.

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