What’s yellow, has a long neck and likes munching on foliage in tall trees? A giraffe, yes … and also a Mini-Jarraff, an urban tree-trimming vehicle that’s making line clearance safer and easier for AEP Ohio’s forestry team.

The Mini-Jarraff isn’t difficult to use. Tree trimmers require two days of onsite training but, after that, they’re ready to operate the vehicle.

The Mini-Jarraff is designed for Right of Way maintenance in neighborhoods and city streets. It has a 55-foot reach, a 180-degree rotating saw head and, most importantly, a compact body that allows the vehicle’s operator to navigate it through tight backyard spaces.

Fallen trees and branches are one of the most common causes of power outages, so managing the limbs and brush that grow around our lines and equipment is critical to providing reliable service. Tree trimmers working near our customers’ power lines often climb and hoist themselves high in the air to execute precision cuts, so the option to perform the work from the ground is a big safety advantage.

Dale Hopkins, AEP Ohio’s region forestry manager, says the Mini-Jarraff is pretty easy to use. Tree trimmers require two days of onsite training but, following that, they are ready to operate the vehicle.

“It’s an incredible piece of equipment and a great tool for us,” says Dale Hopkins, AEP Ohio’s region forestry manager. “There’s a little joystick for operating it that our guys pick up pretty fast. We can get into tough spots so much easier, and the safety aspect is very important, too.”

AEP Ohio’s contractor Asplundh has three Mini-Jarraff vehicles working in the Columbus, Athens and Newark districts with one more on order. We’re hoping to add more to our fleet as budgets allow.

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