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OCTOBER 2011 • A BOBIT PUBLICATION • VOLUME 9 - ISSUE 7
FEATURES 16 FORT WORTH ESTABLISHES FIRST-EVER NATIONAL FUEL CONTRACT By creating and using a national fuel contract, the City of Fort Worth, Texas, saved $40,000 in its first year alone. The City expects savings to increase as more agencies join the cooperative. 22 CERTIFICATION SUCCESS HELPS ROCHESTER FLEET ‘TELL ITS STORY’ The City of Rochester, N.Y., Equipment Services team earned Certified Fleet Management Operation (CFMO) status with a nearly perfect score — 97 percent. The achievement validates the fleet’s industry competitiveness. 26 GOOD FLEET MANAGEMENT LEADS TO GOOD REMARKETING The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ revised remarketing plan has already led to positive results — an auction at a new location this year drew 600 bidders and brought in $715,000 in sales. 28 STATE OF UTAH VEHICLE UTILIZATION STUDY OPTIMIZES FLEET Through its vehicle utilization study, the State of Utah was able to reduce fleet size by 46 vehicles and save on depreciation, maintenance, and repair costs.
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E Q U I P M E N T //////////////////////////////////
30 CULTIVATING NEXTGENERATION OFF-ROAD EQUIPMENT EXPERTS With the current rate of technological change, training and developing a network of skilled off-road equipment technicians and operators is no small task. Universities, technical schools, and industry manufacturers are teaming up to train the equipment experts of tomorrow.
28 DEPARTMENTS 4 ON THE WEB 6 MAIL STOP 10 INDUSTRY NEWS 14 TECHNOLOGY SPOTLIGHT 36 PRODUCT SHOWCASE 40 PUBLIC FORUM ON THE COVER:
C Cooperative ppurchasing can lead tto cost savings for all aagencies involved.
Government Fleet (USPS 740) is published bi-monthly, with additional issues in June and October, by Bobit Business Media, 3520 Challenger Street, Torrance, California 90503-1640. Periodicals Postage Paid at Torrance CA 90503-9998 and Additional Mailing Offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Government Fleet, P.O. Box 1068 Skokie, IL 60076-8068. Please allow six to eight weeks for address changes to take effect. Please allow six to eight weeks to receive your first issue. Bobit Business Media reserves the right to refuse nonqualified subscriptions. Please address editorial and advertising correspondence to the executive offices at 3520 Challenger Street, Torrance, California 90503-1640. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced either in whole or in part without the consent of Bobit Business Media. All statements made, although based on information believed to be reliable and accurate, cannot be guaranteed and no fault or liability can be accepted for error or omission.
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9/28/11 1:29:45 PM
What You're Reading www.government-fleet.com w Fleet Toolbox is like having a fleet consultant in your office whenever you need it most. We offer online tools allowing you to benchmark your operation against others, connect with peer experts, share your accomplishments, find crucial document templates, ensure your competitiveness, and develop solutions to your challenges. It’s truly a complete fleet tool right at your fingertips. Visit fleettoolbox.com.
Government-fleet.com’s Top 5 most popular stories as of September 26, 2011.
2012 POLICE VEHICLES REACH 150 MPH AT MICHIGAN TESTS This year’s test saw the Michigan State Police Provision Driving Unit evaluating 12 fourwheel patrol vehicles and six motorcycles.
TENNESSEE’S DGS OUTSOURCES FLEET MAINTENANCE By outsourcing fleet maintenance, the State of Tennessee saved on maintenance costs and generated revenue by selling buildings used as maintenance facilities.
USPS’ 5-DAY DELIVERY PROPOSAL COULD AFFECT FLEET SIZE Eliminating Saturday delivery would likely reduce the current total of 215,000 postal vehicles that log four million miles per day.
GSA PROGRAM SAVES NEW BEDFORD $226K ON VEHICLE PURCHASES The City of New Bedford purchased 13 cars through the GSA’s Exchange/Sale Program for a total price of $131,000. MSRP for similar cars would be in excess of $357,000.
LYON COUNTY DEPT. CONSOLIDATION CREATES FLEET DIVISION The division will have a total of six staff members and will manage more than 500 pieces of rolling stock.
1 WHAT WE’RE W BLOGGING ABOUT BLO MARKET TRENDS By Mike Antich www.government-fleet.com/ Blog/GF-Market-Trends.aspx
THE FLEET CHANNELS Industry Trends
Use the navigator on the government-fleet.com home page to browse the latest articles from the channels. Enter a channel to view in-depth news, articles, tools, calculators, and more related to that specific topic. October’s Web Channel: FLEET EQUIPMENT Research, compare and view the latest equipment and vehicles for your public sector fleet.
• Cat Lift Trucks Launches Lift Truck Cost Calculator Tool • South Carolina Forestry Commission Says State Needs New Fire Equipment
• City of Sacramento to Purchase 53 LNG Refuse Trucks for $15.8M • Report: 19% of Stolen Equipment Recovered in 2010 • MEMA Meeting Highlights Leadership Skills
September 12: Celebrating ‘Green’ Successes August 24: Everything Fleet Does Revolves Around Money: The Problem is the Lack of it
FLEET BLOGS: The Voice of the Fleet Community (www.fleetblogs.com)
September 26: New Trucking Technology Hits the Road Soon
by Kate Harland September 15: The Powers of Sorcery
by Jennifer Sutherland September 9: R.O.I or B.S. (Part 2)
RECEIVE BREAKING NEWS WHEN IT HAPPENS
by Anonymous Public Fleet Manager
Sign up for Government Fleet’s bi-weekly eNewsletter for timely updates on the latest industry news in public sector fleet management, as well as research and trends, industry events, and current Government Fleet magazine articles and features. Subscribe at www.government-fleet.com.
September 6: Geo-Targeting in Telematics
by Mark Roberts Interested in starting your own blog? Go to www.fleetblogs.com for more information.
9/28/11 1:36:49 PM
Why choose autogas? Propane autogas is the best alternative fuel for ﬂeets Propane autogas powers more than 15 million vehicles worldwide. The reason why is clear: UÊÕÌ}>ÃÊÃÊViÀÌwÊi`ÊVi>ÊLÕÀ}ÊLÞÊÌiÊ * UÊ x¯ÊvÊ>ÕÌ}>ÃÊÃÊ` iÃÌV>ÞÊ«À`ÕVi` UÊ-}wÊV>ÌÞÊÜiÀÊ«iÀ>Ì}Ê>`ÊvÀ>ÃÌÀÕVÌÕÀiÊVÃÌÃ UÊÕ`Ài`ÃÊvÊ`i`V>Ìi`Ê>`ÊVÛiÀÃ Ài>`ÞÊÛiViÃÊ>Û>>LiÊ UÊ Ã«iÃiÀÃÊ>ÀiÊiÝ«iÃÛiÊÌÊÃÌ>]ÊÃ «iÊÌÊ«iÀ>Ìi UÊ*À}ÃÊÃiÀÛViÊviÊvÊÌiÊ>ÛiÀ>}iÊÛiViÊLÞÊÓÊÌÊÎÊÞi>ÀÃ *À«>iÊ«ÀÛ`iÃÊyÊiiÌÃÊÜÌÊ>ÊVÃÌ ivviVÌÛi]ÊVi> LÕÀ}]ÊÃ>vi]Ê>`ÊÀi>LiÊ >ÌiÀ>ÌÛiÊvÕi°Êi>ÀÊ ÀiÊ>ÌÊwww.ferrellautogas.com/ForYourFleet. Call us today to learn how easy it is to incorporate propane-autogas powered vehicles into your ﬂeet.
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VP and Group Publisher Sherb Brown (310) 533-2451 • Sherb.Brown@bobit.com Publisher Eric Bearly (310) 533-2579 • Eric.Bearly@bobit.com Editorial Director and Associate Publisher Mike Antich (310) 533-2467 • Mike.Antich@bobit.com Senior Editor Thi Dao (310) 533-2544 • Thi.Dao@bobit.com Web Editor Greg Basich (310) 533-2572 • Greg.Basich@bobit.com Advisory Board Paul Condran, Culver City, Calif. Richard Weston, Thurston County, Wash. Paul Starling, City of Gainesville, Fla. Pete Scarafiotti, City of Mesa, Ariz. Steve Weir, New York City Barb Bonansinga, State of Illinois J.Darryl Syler, City of Little Rock, Ark. Mark Crawford, Sandia National Laboratories Chris Hoffman, Oklahoma State University Mike Powell, Skookum GSA Carey Picklesimer, AssetWorks Cheryl Graham, ARI Jett Kuntz, NAPA Integrated Business Solutions Scott Brockelmeyer, Ferrellgas Tony Gratson, Ford Motor Company Elliott Benson, General Motors Mary Jaye, Chrysler Group Production Director/Manager Kelly Bracken (310) 533-2574 Brian Peach (310) 533-2548 Art Director Vince Taroc Editorial Consultant Howard Rauch DISTRICT ADVERTISING MANAGERS Publisher/Sales Manager Eric Bearly (310) 533-2579 • Eric.Bearly@bobit.com Great Lakes Robert Brown Jr. (248) 601-2005 • Robert.Brown@bobit.com Sales & Marketing Coordinator Tracey Tremblay (310) 533-2518 Chairman Edward J. Bobit President & Chief Executive Officer Ty F. Bobit
Submitted via e-mail by Bill Malcolm
Chief Financial Officer Richard E. Johnson Business and Editorial Office Bobit Business Media 3520 Challenger Street Torrance, CA 90503-1640 FAX: (310) 533-2503 Change Service Requested Return Address Government Fleet PO Box 1068 Skokie, IL 60076-8068 Printed in USA
IT’S UNCANNY Were you writing about the organization where I previously worked? (See Public Forum editorial entitled “Message to Management: Listen to Your Fleet Manager in the July/August issue.) Everything you noted holds true so well that it was uncanny how your article cut to the chase regarding how fleet managers are viewed. From personal experience, it doesn’t matter how well you perform, the savings you achieve, or the excellent service provided. Government leaders strike out at fleet when budgets get tight, assuming fleet is just another overhead cost and not taking into consideration that operating departments cannot perform their core functions without fleet vehicles and equipment. Fleet managers must be mindful of the support (or lack of) from their supervisor (department head, director, etc.). If he/she does not support the initiatives required to improve the efficiencies of fleet operations, it matters not how much you communicate performance measures, cost savings, technical competence (i.e., ASE Blue Seal for seven years), or develop policies, programs, or procedures. You will never be successful because these are never communicated to senior leadership. I don’t know how much more we can do to improve our lot with executive leadership other than continue to be the professional fleet managers we are.
HOLDING TRUMP OVER FLEET You made another fine observation in the Public Forum editorial entitled “Message to Management: Listen to Your Fleet Manager.” Adding to the mountain of
evidence for “listening to your fleet manager,” I’ll add the following: I find certain departments holding trump over fleet. Specifically, police and fire. Seems fleet managers are asked to hold the line on expenses while police department (PD) and fire department (FD) requests are summarily approved. Presenting an austere budget, then being grilled for specific line items relating primarily to PD and FD is like scraping your fingernails across a blackboard. I hear the squealing all the way to the bank — the agency bank. Management needs to look critically at specific departments that rely on fear of some apocalypse happening at their front door and weigh the reality of such an event actually occurring. I’m all for controlling risk. However, what is the reality of the risk ever coming to fruition? Stephen DeCarlo Fleet Manager Township of Lower Merion, Pa.
STAYING OUT OF POLITICS Your editorial — “Message to Management: Listen to Your Fleet Manager” — hits the nail right on the head. We have people above us making decisions who have no idea how fleet works or what struggles we face daily. We are simply seen as a “Quick Lube” operation. I personally do not tout my victories because I prefer not to deal with the politics involved “downtown.” To your point though, that does foster the environment where “others” paint the picture for the power-wielders, and that is a major issue. Author wished to be anonymous
WHEN YOU WIN, YOU LOSE Another great spot-on Public Forum editorial (See “Message to Management: Listen to Your
Fleet Manager.”) But I wonder how many “senior managers” will respond to your editorial with positive comments — or negative ones, for that matter? As for me, and the rest of the choir, I agree wholeheartedly with everything that was written in the editorial. I write this with the utmost respect, but we only get senior management’s attention with highly visible actions that result in dollars saved. What proves to senior managers that a fleet manager is worth keeping is how much savings your decisions can reduce the financial load on the General Fund. We recently switched from American-made police motorcycles to Japanese-made motorcycles. The first year’s savings was 50 percent! The local newspaper did an article explaining these savings to taxpayers, and numerous people still clamored: “I can’t believe you’re sending our tax money to Asia!” Sometimes even when you win, you lose. Steve Kibler, ACFM Fleet Manager City of Loveland, Colo.
PRIORITIES ARE SKEWED The editorial, “Message to Management: Listen to Your Fleet Manager,” could not have been better said about my agency. Our management supports our participation in fleet organizations and events, such as NAFA, GFX, and Police Fleet Expo. My boss and I return with great things to implement, such as processes learned from our peers and vendor offers for “a better mousetrap.” However, we are shot down at the knees with our proposals. The main reason I believe this happens is that we do not have the metrics to force-feed these requests for change to our administration. A wise man
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once said, “If you do not measure, you do not manage.” That is where we are here. We rely on two different fuel sources for our fleet — a fleet credit card and a vendor-supplied 24/7 automated operation. No one says much about any one of the many data streams that emanate from the source. Or even the overall cost, as it is budgeted. But let “Joe Blow” put premium fuel in his vehicle and it becomes water cooler conversation. Even if we did use the metrics, the priorities could be skewed by the gleaner of said data.
because of lost revenues. I now have basically doubled the number of vehicles and equipment entrusted to our fleet services department. Because of the added revenue, I am now in the position to add personnel, not lay off. We are also adding more flat rate prices to labor menus and are shopping parts prices to save money for everyone. It is key for fleet personnel to understand that cost savings to our customers means
a better chance of job security. The other personnel issue we have changed is the “they have to come to us” thought process. We have instilled an “everyone is my most important customer” outlook by hiring personnel who already know that, and then training the remainder. Just some thoughts. Charles Longmire Support Services Manager City of Medford (Ore.) Public Works
Author wished to be anonymous
‘ASANTE SANA’ The July/August issue Public Forum editorial — “Message to Management: Listen to Your Fleet Manager” — tells it all! The story is not any different in Kenya. Management thinks the only thing you want is your salary increased. However, fleet managers should learn and mentor others in their organizations on the extensive use of fleet performance metrics, as these separate the wheat from the chaff! Asante sana. Submitted by Peter K. Murugu
“Asante sana” is Swahili for “Thank you very much.” – Editor YOU INSPIRE ME My name is Msizi. I work for the government sector in South Africa as a fleet coordinator. I’ve been reading your Public Forum blogs on fleet for the past few months. You have really inspired me. I have a dream to change the way government sectors think about fleet management. My main problem is our fleet is decentralized and this leads to poor management and decision-making. Msizi Mbutho Midvaal Local Municipality South Africa
DEALING WITH THE LACK OF BUDGET In reply to the Public Forum editorial in the GF Fact Book, what would you do to try and survive if you were in the private sector? How about go out and solicit more work for your fleet maintenance facility. (See “Everything Fleet Does Revolves Around Money: The Problem is the Lack of It.”) I have gone out and signed IGAs (intergovernmental agreements) with other government fleets that were struggling
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GET ON BOARD WITH CHEVIN FLEET SOLUTIONS, THE BIGGEST NAME IN FLEET MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE Whether you’re a State, Municipal or Federal agency, our ﬂeet management software helps you manage and effectively maintain your equipment from initial speciﬁcation through disposal, regardless of size, complexity or geographical spread. If you’re a Municipal agency you may face pressures to extend vehicle replacement cycles, relentless mandates for staff reductions and cost cutting as well as political pressure to implement green ﬂeet initiatives.
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TOP FLEETS CELEBRATE 100 BEST DESIGNATIONS
Technicians, administrators, fleet management staff, representatives from other departments, and GF staff were present for the luncheon at San Bernardino County, Calif.
Kelly Reagan, fleet administrator for the City of Columbus, Ohio (left), and management personnel helped serve lunch for staff and guests.
SAN BERNARDINO, CA & COLUMBUS, OHIO – On August 17, the County of San Bernardino, Calif., and the City of Columbus, Ohio, gathered their fleet divisions for separate luncheons in celebration of their designations as the No. 2 and No. 3 fleets (respectively) in the 100 Best Fleets program. Technicians, administrators, fleet management staff, repre-
agement No. 2 in the nation — it truly is a team effort,” Weaver said. Columbus City Council passed a resolution commending the Division of Fleet Management on its thirdplace achievement among the nation’s best fleets. Management served barbecue for the 140 people, including union officials, Mayor Michael Coleman, City councilmembers,
sentatives from other departments, and Government Fleet staff were present for the lunch in San Bernardino. GF Publisher Eric Bearly presented a plaque to Roger Weaver, director of fleet management for the County, commending the fleet’s achievements. “Teamwork, a focus on customer service, and dedicated employees are what makes San Bernardino County Fleet Man-
Pittsburgh to Retrofit Diesel Vehicles as Part of 10-Year Plan PITTSBURGH – Pittsburgh’s City Council passed a bill that mandates adding emissions-reduction technologies to its dieselpowered vehicles to reduce air pollution, according to City documents. The bill directs the City’s Equipment and Leasing Authority to create a “10-Year Diesel Policy” and the adoption of the “best available” retrofit technology for the City’s diesel vehicles. It mandates that by 2022, the City will not operate any diesel vehicle unless that vehicle has installed the best available retrofit technology. It also mandates that the City not purchase any vehicles that don’t meet the standards of having the “best available retrofit technology” equipped. Another passed bill directs Pittsburgh to reimburse contractors working on City construction projects for retrofitting their vehicles with diesel-emissions reduction technology. 10
employees and technicians, and administration. Customer agency liaisons were also invited, and most were in attendance, said Kelly Reagan, fleet administrator for the City. “This was our chance to serve the employees who made this possible,” Reagan said. Photos of both these events can be found online at gfleet.com in the Photo Galleries section.
Sacramento to Purchase 53 LNG Refuse Trucks SACRAMENTO, CA – The City of Sacramento will purchase 53 additional liquefied natural gas (LNG) refuse trucks for a total bid award of $15.8 million. “The savings anticipated from the reduced operating cost of the 53 new American LaFrance LNG refuse trucks with the Cummins Westport ISLG-320HP are expected to more than cover the annual debt finance payments on a five-year loan,” said Fleet Manager Keith Leech. The 53 LNG refuse trucks will replace existing refuse trucks that have been kept in the Solid Waste fleet well beyond their useful lives. This was done to meet expanded service levels. According to Leech, replacing these vehicles now will result in savings of more than $3 million in on-going maintenance and fuel costs and $425,000 in particulate trap retrofit costs that would have been required on 17 trucks. The trucks
Fleet used a City contract for the LNG truck chassis in conjunction with a cooperative purchasing agreement for the Wayne and New Way truck bodies.
will also reduce operator overtime costs associated with repair downtime and reduce carbon emissions. The large acquisition re-establishes a seven-year vehicle replacement program designed to retire aging vehicles on time and establishes a spare ratio of 25 percent, thereby reducing costly maintenance and fuel costs, Leech said.
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INDUSTRY NEWS California SCIF Cuts Fleet by 93 Percent SAN FRANCISCO – California’s State Compensation Insurance Fund (SCIF) has dramatically reduced the size of its fleet from a total of 2,300 vehicles at the end of 2010 to a small pool of 150 leased vehicles, a reduction in fleet size of more than 93 percent. The main reason for this change was to simplify employee vehicle use for business purposes. Now, with only 150 vehicles leased from Toyota, the SCIF has a much smaller fleet to manage, according to Jennifer Vargen, senior vice president of marketing/communications for SCIF. She added that
Wisconsin DNR to Cut Fleet Costs
no SCIF jobs are being eliminated and that no facilities are closing as a result of this reduction. “Prior to this, we had purchased our fleet vehicles and allowed the fleet to age significantly,” Vargen said. “We decided to go with reimbursement in order to make IRS compliance easier, to provide a greater line of sight for expenses, and to free staff from the significant work of fleet management.” Going forward, SCIF plans to reimburse employees for business miles. This means there will no longer be any provisions for personal use.
NEW YORK CITY – New York City is adding 70 electric vehicles to its fleet, which brings its total fleet of EVs to 430, according to a news release from the City. The City’s new EVs consist of 50 new “extended range” Chevrolet Volts, 10 Ford Transit Connect Electric vans, and 10 electric New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announces the addition of 50 Chevrolet Navistar eStar utility trucks. Volt extended range EVs to the fleet. Funding came from a partnership with the New York State Power Authority and from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Each funded part of the difference in cost between the purchase of an EV and a gasoline-powered vehicle. In addition, the U.S. Department of Energy provided a grant to Coulomb Technologies for EV charging stations. Various City agencies will be using the vehicles, including the Fire and Police Departments, which will use the vehicles for non-emergency duties such as traffic enforcement, according to the City. Photos of the announcement ceremony with Mayor Michael Bloomberg are available online at gfleet.com in the Photo Galleries section.
PHOTO BY EMILE WAMSTEKER FOR CHEVROLET
New York City’s Purchase of 70 EVs Brings EV Total to 430
MADISON, WI – Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is now the State’s first “Enterprise Agency” pilot, which gives the organization increased operating flexibility, according to a news release from the DNR. The two-year pilot, though, requires the DNR to reduce the costs associated with operating its assets, including its vehicle fleet. The memorandum of understanding explains that overall fleet costs will fall as a result of right-sizing the type of fleet vehicles and mileage costs, providing vehicles with features designed to meet staff needs, sharing vehicles with other agencies and local government entities, and reducing the need for use of vehicle rentals and personal miles. The memorandum signed by the DNR and the State’s Department of Administration (DOA) sets the vehicle procurement plan budget at $3.5 million per year for 2011-2013. The DNR stated this would save $4.7 million for fiscal-year 2012 and an additional $830,000 in fiscal-year 2013 compared with four-year average costs under the current system.
Philadelphia to Add 21 Engines to Fire Department Fleet PHILADELPHIA – The City of Philadelphia placed an order for 21 fire engines from KME Kovatch, according to the company. The company said it will deliver the apparatus in early 2012. The order includes 19 engines and two engines with elevated water towers built on KME’s Severe Service Predator chassis. The engines feature a stainless steel fire body, 500-gallon water tank, and 1,500 gpm pump. Two of the units include a 50-ft. elevated water tower. These engines are similar to four trucks delivered by KME in 2009, the company stated.
Anchorage Fleet to Undergo Efficiency Evaluation ANCHORAGE, AK – The Municipality of Anchorage’s fleet maintenance, along with three other areas, will undergo an efficiency evaluation by a contractor that will provide recommendations to improve operations. According to Lucinda Mahoney, chief financial officer for the Municipality, 12
although fleet purchasing is centralized, maintenance facilities are not, and many departments each have their own fleet manager. The Fleet Maintenance Section is responsible for more than 1,100 vehicles and equipment units, including police units. The Anchorage Fire Department maintains 177
units, Public Transportation maintains 53 buses, and two utilities and three enterprise activities each maintain their own fleets. The contractor providing the evaluation will be responsible for developing an implementation plan for each function and prioritizing projects based on anticipated
savings. The Municipality has requested that fleet managers provide detailed data to the contractor to perform the analysis, Mahoney said. “We’re hoping to receive the preliminary recommendations by the end of this year, but we recognize that it could take up to a year to implement,” she said.
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By Levente Fulop
PRESERVING UNDERUTILIZED HYBRID BATTERIES
Aftermarket devices and underutilization can lead to a completely drained hybrid vehicle battery, but trickle chargers can prevent this scenario.
FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO BATTERY DRAIN Each new alternative vehicle technology requires training, which can sometimes be quite extensive. Focusing on one of the most popular alternative-type vehicles, the Toyota Prius hybrid vehicle, some immediate concerns may pop up for a fi rst-time driver: Push-button start, not even a slot for the car “key” for the newest models, and a very integrated display portal for the driver to ease into. And that’s just the visual part. From the fleet manager’s perspective, it’s a complex hybrid machine that people are going to need to get used to, especially if it’s going into 14
a pool, where there is no assigned person being “forced” to get comfortable with how it functions. Fortunately, as far as the Prius goes, maintenance is not too bad at all. One user-behavior-related issue is quite common, however. People are reluctant to start using newcomers of this nature in the motor pool fleet if their regular counterparts are being added as well. Suddenly, the shiny new hybrid is underutilized. It also turns out that more fleet managers, under mandates and with data-driven new policies in place, need the help of third-party devices installed in many of their vehicles. They need to monitor driver behavior, distances covered, idle time, etc. Some of these devices have memory or communicate remotely with a server or cell phone (GPS, GSM, CDMA, remote commands, etc.), which requires some battery consumption. Combine this battery draw with underutilization, and the main vehicle battery will drop in a matter of a couple weeks, depending on the devices used. Most newer aftermarket devices like this are spec’ed out to go about 30 days without draining the battery, but that is in ideal conditions (unit is not faulty, reception is good, etc.). Some hybrid owners’ manuals have stated that to “fully” recharge the battery once drained below a cranking voltage and
PHOTO COURTESY OF SUNFORCE PRODUCTS INC.
t’s no secret that most of the country’s fleet managers today are strongly considering alternative forms of transportation equipment, and your fleet may already include alternative-fuel vehicles, electric cars, hybrids, scooters, etc. As technology evolves, fleet managers must learn to adapt to the problems that arise from these new advancements. One such example is with hybrid vehicles, where the combination of driver reluctance to use new technologies and batterydraining aftermarket devices may lead to complete battery drain. Luckily, fleet managers can prevent this issue.
A compact trickle charger can be installed in the window corner of a hybrid vehicle, keeping the vehicle’s battery from draining completely. Pictured is a 12V, 1.8W charger.
jumped, the car should be driven at highway speeds for up to an hour. That is not very realistic. There is a good solution out there to keep this from becoming a known issue in your fleet. We’ve seen them before, most likely, or at least heard of them. Trickle chargers. Yep. They are easy to install and do all the charging slowly, so when the time comes to crank, you’ve got a happy driver. And it works for all types of vehicles — actually, almost anything with a battery.
THE BASICS OF TRICKLE CHARGERS After determining the voltage and wattage necessary for the vehicle (for the Prius, it would be 12V, 1-2W), the solar charger converts the sun’s rays into lowvoltage DC electricity, providing power that runs in line with the car battery. Most of today’s chargers have some logic built in, preventing over-charging and damage to the battery. But for passenger
vehicles, for about $30-$40, you can get a compact trickle charger that sits by the car’s front or rear window corner (more practical in the rear). There are two ways of installing it — plug it into a 12V accessory plug or hard-wire it in permanently. The charger shuts off while the vehicle is driving and resumes once the ignition is off. The best part is you only do this once. The system works passively and trouble-free. There are a lot of solar charger manufacturers and price variations within the industry. With a little research, you can quickly find one that fits your budget and vehicles. At the least, your portable charger may get a chance to finally gather some dust. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Levente Fulop has more than a decade of experience in aftermarket technologies and vehicle pooling operations. He looks to share his knowledge about custom installations in all vehicle makes and models and focuses on various hardware platforms and OEM integration.
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there hasn’t been a fleet vehicle like this since, well, today.
The Prius Plug-in is the most advanced member of the Prius Family, combining an extended all-electric mode with proven hybrid technology. You also get the convenience of plug-in charging with rapid recharge times: 3 hours 1,2
with a standard 120V household outlet or 1.5 hours with a 240V outlet. The ability to choose between electric and hybrid gives people the freedom to drive more, see more and do more. It’s a new kind of Prius. And it’s just the right vehicle for your fleet. Call 1- 800 -732 -2798 or visit fleet.toyota.com
Prototype shown with options. Production model will vary. 1 Prius Plug-in EV mode works under certain conditions up to near freeway speeds for approximately 10-15 miles on a full charge. Sudden acceleration or climate control usage may prevent EV mode usage. 2 CAUTION! When driving a hybrid vehicle, pay special attention to the area around the vehicle. Because there is little vehicle noise in electric-only mode, pedestrians, people riding bicycles or other people and vehicles in the area may not be aware of the vehicle starting off or approaching them, so take extra care while driving. ©2011 Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
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ESTABLISHES FIRST-EVER NATIONAL FUEL CONTRACT By creating and using a national fuel contract, the City of Fort Worth, Texas, saved $40,000 in its first year alone. The City expects savings to increase as more agencies join the cooperative contract. BY MIKE SCOTT & THI DAO
uel costs are the largest expense for most public fleet departments around the country. Some fleets are coping by cutting fleet size or implementing fuel-saving policies, while other agencies are looking at a macro way to help reduce fleet costs and control prices.
FORT WORTH ESTABLISHES FUEL CONSORTIUM The management of fuel costs is dependent on effective contract price management, which is why the Fort Worth
AT A GLANCE Some benefits of the City of Fort Worth’s national fuel contract include: • Reduced transactional costs by eliminating need for multiple quotes or bids. • Savings in bulk fuel costs. • No fees to use the contract. • Lowered pricing as more agencies join. 16
(Texas) Fuel Consortium Contract is such a significant step. An initial fuel consortium was created by Fort Worth in 2002 that gathered a number of governmental entities together to buy fuel at a reduced rate. However, resource constraints began to limit Fort Worth’s ability to recruit new agencies to participate, said Wayne Corum, director of the Equipment Services Department for the City of Fort Worth. While the initial model had been one that other local consortiums wanted to take advantage of, Fort Worth was looking for an opportunity to expand its fuel program nationally. No other fuel contract was available for public agencies nationally. And during the last few years, suppliers have increased their collective capacity to serve a national group of fuel customers.
Meanwhile the fluctuating nature of fuel prices increased the urgency for something to be done to control costs so Fort Worth and its fellow consortium members could better manage their budgets. So Fort Worth began to work with National IPA, a nationwide cooperative purchasing organization dedicated to public agencies. Its focus is on helping agencies reduce procurement costs by leveraging group volume. “When we fi rst developed the consortium, there were many others who wanted to join it based on the level of savings they could expect to achieve,” Corum said. “But we determined that it was possible to get even more gallons (under an agreement) so that we could negotiate the lowest possible price. The goal is to use leveraged buying as much as possible.”
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CONVERTING TO A NATIONAL CONTRACT Under the National IPA program, cooperative contracts are publicly solicited and awarded by a principal procurement agency and made available for use by other participating agencies across the country. Public agencies may also utilize any agreement in the National IPA portfolio by registering with the cooperative. There are no minimum requirements or fees to participate and all agreements are non-exclusive in nature. As Corum and his team sought to develop such a fuel agreement, they spent three months putting together the proposal. During that process, they needed to get fuel pricing information from each rack city in the 48 contiguous states to get an accurate representation of prices. “We wanted to take our agreement from a local to a national program,” said Corum, whose department uses approximately two million gallons of fuel per year. The remaining 30-odd agencies under the initial consortium contract would total another 12 million gallons of fuel annually. Corum and his colleagues in Fort Worth spoke with a number of agencies nationwide to get a sense of the type and amount of fuel they needed to use so that affordable bulk fuel pricing could be realized. Under the Fort Worth/National
IPA cooperative fuel contract, unleaded, diesel, and other blends including ethanol and biodiesel fuels are available, and the contract covers bulk fuel purchases only. Each agency is responsible for its own purchases and it must meet the supplier’s credit terms. Payment terms are net-10 days from the date of delivery. Those
WHERE IN THE WORLD Fort Worth, Texas Population: 741,206 (2010 census) Size: 293 square miles Incorporated: 1873 Trivia: The City of Fort Worth lies on top of the largest natural gas reserve in Texas, the Barnett Shale.
“Every new agency we add [to the contract] helps with our negotiations...so I would expect our savings to continue to increase as more agencies come aboard.” – Wayne Corum, director, Equipment Services Department, City of Fort Worth, Texas. deliveries are subject to testing to ensure compliance with specifications. “We determined that freight was a major deciding factor for many organizations and that freight on this contract benefits large agencies,” Corum said. Deliveries can be made using transport load or bobtails. The City of Fort Worth takes all deliveries via transport loads. To generate the prices, representatives from the awarded suppliers developed procedures where they look at prices over a one- to two-month period to get an aver-
age of true costs that minimizes the impact of volatile fuel prices daily, Corum said. The suppliers who were awarded the contract are Martin Eagle Oil Company, available to agencies in Texas, and TAC Energy, available to agencies in all 48 contiguous states. The pricing structure is also based on a specific formula that includes the benchmark index, plus market differential, freight, and any applicable taxes. Refunds are a direct pass-through to the agency. J
NATIONAL CONTRACTS RESULT IN SAVINGS & REDUCED ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS
he National Intergovernmental Purchasing Alliance Company (National IPA) is a national cooperative that works with agencies that serve the public (including states, counties, cities, educational agencies, non-profits, and excluding federal agencies) to gather master agreements for aggregated use. National agreements enable agencies to obtain better pricing due to bulk purchases and by “piggybacking,” agencies do not have to handle the administrative duties of issuing requests for proposal (RFP) and reviewing the requests. How it works: A public agency functions as the principal procurement agency and competitively solicits a national master agreement. The agreement incorporates language to make it accessible for other agencies, where allowed, to piggyback the contract. The public agency evaluates and awards the contract. National IPA markets the contract to agencies that may benefit from it. Why it’s beneficial: Some public agencies allowed to use intergovernmental contracts can only do so if the principal procure-
ment agency is a government entity, according to Andrea Scobie, vice president of marketing for National IPA. This makes National IPA’s structure open to a larger group of agencies. Full transparency is another important element of what National IPA offers, Scobie added. All documents related to master contracts are available online, allowing fleets considering a contract to view the original RFP, proposals that come in, and the final award. In addition, National IPA employs a team of certified public procurement professionals to work with the principal procurement agency and awarded supplier to ensure the process is done right and the language in the contracts are correct. They also advocate for further adoption by other agencies, leading to potentially lower costs as purchase volume increases. Other fleet-related master agreements currently available through National IPA include parks and grounds maintenance equipment and maintenance supplies. New solicitations will soon be issued for auto parts and tires, Scobie said. There is no fee for agencies to use the National IPA contracts. Government Fleet
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FUEL CONTR ACT
The Fort Worth, Texas, fleet has a fuel budget of almost $1 million per month. The first year of the national fuel contract resulted in $40,000 in fuel savings, and savings are expected to increase.
ADDITIONAL AGENCIES LEAD TO LOWER PRICES Along with Fort Worth, several large municipal and state agencies have joined this contract, including the City of Las Vegas, the City of Boca Raton, Fla. and the State of Texas. Within the State of Texas, departments of public service, transportation, parks and wildlife, and other departments are covered. National IPA is working with many other cities and counties nationwide. Currently 19.8 million gallons of fuel are projected to be consumed in the second year of the contract. For the City of Fort Worth, Corum realized a savings of $40,000 for the first year on fuel costs, a significant but not overwhelming number for a fuel budget that can average almost $1 million per month. But the major cost savings benefit will come later, Corum hopes, as more agencies are added to the contract.
According to Wayne Corum of Fort Worth, Texas, freight is an important factor in many fleet agencies’ fuel purchasing decisions. The freight on the Fort Worth/National IPA contract benefits large agencies.
“Right now, I am saving about two cents per gallon, and every cent I save equals out to about $20,000,” Corum said. “But every new agency we add helps with our negotiations for next year and the years after that, so I would expect our savings to continue to increase as more agencies come aboard.” As part of his role, Corum is encouraging other agencies across the country to sign up and complete the analysis offered by National IPA for whether such a pricing structure makes sense. The analysis would include reviewing the current contract commitment, benchmark index used for pricing, and any mark-up and transportation costs. Corum also encourages agencies to obtain copies of current invoices for each fuel product purchased, including freight and taxes and a physical list for all storage tanks, to develop a thorough analysis. From there, a histori-
cal analysis can be requested. The biggest challenge to getting agencies to consider this type of national contract is just the knowledge that it exists, Corum said. Ideally he would like to see more agencies publicize it because that alone will generate more “buzz.” “Really, it comes down to the fact you need to know this option exists, and I am surprised that many agencies have never heard of it,” Corum said. “I think that is our biggest roadblock because once you do the analysis, the potential savings you could experience is significant, especially as more agencies are added.” SOURCES • Wayne Corum, director, Equipment Services department, City of Fort Worth, Texas. E-mail: Wayne.Corum@fortworthgov.org • Tony Remige, automotive fleet maintenance superintendent, City of Boca Raton, Fla. E-mail: TRemige@myboca.us • Andrea Scobie, vice president, marketing, National IPA. E-mail: Andrea.Scobie@nationalipa.org
EXPLORING FUEL CONTRACT DETAILS AND BENEFITS
ulk fuel products available under the contract are unleaded gasoline of all octane levels and including ethanol blends, and all grades of diesel including biodiesel blends. The contract is available to public agencies in the 48 contiguous states. The benchmark index establishes a verifiable baseline price per gallon based on the date of delivery. The daily index utilized is published by Oil Price Information Service (OPIS). Agencies participating in the program choose from one of two benchmarking indexes based on the most effective pricing strategy specific to their agency, thus providing additional value through flexibility, according to National IPA. Boca Raton Benefits from Contract Use The City of Boca Raton, Fla., currently uses the contract with TAC Energy for biodiesel from BQ-9000-certified marketers, used 18
to fuel its trucks to minimize the fleet’s dependency on foreign oil, according to Tony Remige, automotive fleet maintenance superintendent for the City. Boca Raton will consider purchasing gasoline and ULSD through the contract in the near future. Remige said some benefits of using the National IPA contract with TAC Energy have been: access to multiple contracted suppliers in the State of Florida, access to terminals in multiple cities, an emergency contingency plan, 24/365 availability for ordering and invoicing fuel, OPIS daily rate sheets, and 10-day ACH payments with no additional fee. “Utilizing the National IPA cooperative contract for TAC Energy provided a cost-effective, time and resources savings procurement method to purchase fuel at volume discounts without any minimum fuel quantity requirements or commitments,” Remige stated.
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CERTIFICATION SUCCESS HELPS ROCHESTER FLEET ‘TELL ITS STORY’ The City of Rochester, N.Y., Equipment Services team earned Certified Fleet Management Operation (CFMO) status with a nearly perfect score — 97 percent. The achievement validates the fleet’s industry competitiveness. BY CINDY BRAUER
e’re better, cheaper, and faster.” This operational refrain underpins the story of the Equipment Services Division for the City of Rochester, N.Y. It’s a story the division team tells, in part, to compete with private sector companies that seek the City’s business. The fleet operations team recently earned a valuable validation of its story to relate to senior management, customers, the public, and most critically, City officials who make budget and privatization decisions. The Equipment Services Division achieved Certified Fleet Management Operation (CFMO) status with the program’s highest-ever score: 193 — or 97 percent — of a possible 200. A recognized industry standard (See sidebar GFMA: Certifying Public Sector Fleet Standards), CFMO certification benchmarks
AT A GLANCE During the CFMO certification process, the City of Rochester, N.Y., Equipment Services Division: • Created a leadership team to manage the process. • Involved every staff member. • Reviewed in depth each operational activity. • Wrote policies and procedures for every fleet function, including preventive maintenance and utilization. • Developed a detailed business plan. • Celebrated every achievement, no matter how small. 22
fleet practices against private sector companies with which the public sector group competes most directly, according to Jim Wright, associate director of the Government Fleet Management Alliance (GFMA), the CFMO administering organization. “The certification process sets very stringent standards based on industry best practices,” Wright said. “If a public sector fleet meets the certification standards, it can compete head-to-head against the private sector.”
TEAM TAKES ON THE CHALLENGE The division began the certification process — an intensive self-audit against 120 specific best-practice criteria — in 2008. The approach taken was a true
team effort. A leadership team with representatives from each operational area was assembled. Each team member was responsible for one or more target areas — goals and objectives. Each kept a three-ring binder detailing and recording the process and individual roles. The team drilled down to the smallest details of each certification criteria, organized into 15 performance standards and covering all aspects of fleet management. Policies were written for every single piece of the certification. Key performance indicators, no matter how small, were tracked via a form the team devised to capture the data. The certification initiative was the culmination of a concerted effort to improve the division’s service and efficiency, an
A TEAM OF LEADERS
he City of Rochester’s Equipment Services Division assembled a leadership team to take on the challenge of achieving Certified Fleet Management Operation status. Team members include: • Mary Gaudioso, assistant commissioner, Department of Environmental Services. • Mike Quattrone, assistant director of operations, fleet operations supervisor. • Scott Corser, service manager. • Lisa Smith, warranty specialist. • Amanda Smith, automotive parts and materials manager. • Frank O’Hare, assistant service manager. • Jim Billitier, assistant service manager. • Rick Haynes, assistant service manager. • Gary O’Donnell, assistant service manager. • John Pecora, equipment analyst. • Lynne Kita, accountant. • Lakshmi Kasturi Rangan, technology applications specialist. • Marlene Davidson, senior administrative analyst. Note of thanks to Rupinder Kaur.
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WHERE IN THE WORLD City of Rochester, N.Y. Location: Upstate New York, near southern shore of Lake Ontario and bisected by the Genesee River. Population: 210,656 Size: 37.1 square miles Established: 1834 Commercial notables: The Rochester area is currently home to Eastman Kodak, Bausch & Lomb, and Xerox. The Equipment Services team consists of: (standing left to right) Michael Quattrone, James Billitier, Jenelle Dunn, Marlene Davidson, Frank O’Hare, Gary O’Donnell Jr., and Scott Corser, (sitting left to right) Lakshmi Kasturi Rangan, Lynne Kita, Lisa Smith, and Amanda Smith. Not pictured are Richard Haynes and John Pecora.
effort “driven and supported by the Office of the Commissioner of Environmental Services,” said Chris Wagner, the City’s director of operations. “It was truly a team effort, and everyone on the team should be proud of this accomplishment.” The City’s Technology Services unit also provided critical and integral support in implementing the division’s new computerized fleet maintenance system. Part of the certification process focused on tightening up and clearly defining operational policies and procedures, with particular attention to preventive maintenance, utilization, and acquisition. The documents were signed by the mayor. Customer service was another area the team worked on. Under a new customer service system, the divisional or departmental head of every customer is consulted in developing individual service level agreements. They are asked to detail what they need to perform their job in the area of vehicles, equipment, and servicing, and how best the fleet operation can fulfill those needs. The information is entered into a reporting mechanism. Meetings are held routinely with customers throughout the year, and agreements are updated and signed annually. The Equipment Services Division’s attention to detail is reflected in the fleet operation’s business plan, a specific CFMO performance standard. The certification scorecard ties directly with the Division’s business plan and balance scorecard. The plan details “a blueprint to follow for the fiscal year,” identifies and prioritiz-
es the Division’s goals, provides strategic direction, educates employees, decisionmakers, and customers, and includes these stakeholders as “partners in the process.”
SEEKING ADVICE & ASSISTANCE The CFMO process was implemented without interrupting the fleet
operation’s functions. To aid the effort, a retired senior administrative analyst was recruited to help. Every day, the analyst extracted what the team knew operationally and documented the information. Other public sector fleet managers, including Bill DeRousse in Everett, Wash., now retired, and Marilyn Rawlings in Lee County, Fla., were also consulted and served as important resources. Additional aid with implementing best fleet practices was provided by Laird Consulting. J
GFMA: CERTIFYING PUBLIC SECTOR FLEET STANDARDS
collaboration of associations and organizations dedicated to excellence in fleet management, the Government Fleet Management Alliance (GFMA) aims to bring fleet groups together to educate and promote the industry. In particular, GFMA seeks to elevate awareness of fleet operations performing at competitive levels. Founded by Government Fleet magazine and Bobit Business Media (BBM), alliance partners include the Municipal Equipment Maintenance Association (MEMA), Fleet Counselor Services (FSC), and BBM publications Automotive Fleet, Work Truck, and Green Fleet. Chief among GFMA activities is management and administration of the Certified Fleet Management Operation (CFMO) certification program. Through this arduous self-audit and testing process, validated by a CFMO evaluator, a public sector fleet organization can measure and improve its cost-effectiveness, efficiency, competitiveness, and management excellence. More than 120 specific certification criteria address critical areas of fleet management. Based on industry best practices, 15 specific performance standards are measured in eight categories: • Staffing and productivity. • Company and employee goals, mission statement, and business plan. • Parts inventory management. • Replacement policy and financial program. • Fleet utilization management. • Fleet policy and procedures documentation. • Preventive maintenance program. • Customer service and level of support. Designating top industry-competitive fleets, the CFMO program has become the standard for ensuring first-rate fleet operation performance. More than 150 fleets are currently seeking CFMO certification. Program details are available at the GFMA website, www.gfmalliance.com. Government Fleet
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CERT IFIC AT ION
Pictured is Rochester Equipment Services’ heavy-duty service area.
MANAGING CHANGE As the certification’s self-audit produced new and revised policies, procedures, and processes, the leadership team implemented and managed the necessary changes. And the changes are on-going— the CFMO certification must be updated every two years. During monthly all-staff meeting reviews, all aspects of the division’s functions are reviewed to examine, in particu-
lar, each service and operational activity and its purpose. The leadership team also regularly performs a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis, determining the operation’s important issues. From the beginning, the certification effort involved the entire staff. Everyone played a role in the process; everyone owned his or her own part. At every gathering, leadership team
PROFILE: CITY OF ROCHESTER EQUIPMENT SERVICES DIVISION Motto: “One City Fleet … keeping Rochester on the move.” Fleet size: 1,400 motorized units. Nearly 38 percent of fleet vehicles are alt-fueled, including E-85, CNG, and electric. Budget: $12.5 million. Staff: 68 full-time / 4 part-time. Organizational structure: Five business units: administration; vehicle repair; fuel management; parts, materials, and supplies management; and equipment maintenance. Facilities: 92,000-square-foot facility, including on-site CNG fueling station. Customers: Nine City departments and two external customers. Staff ASE certifications: 229 Mission statement: “The mission of the Division of Equipment Services is to support all City operations by coordinating the purchase, maintenance, and repair of the City’s fleet. Our mission is accomplished through our skilled employees who utilize effective communication, planning strategies, and modern technologies to provide quality services for our customers.” Guiding Principles: • Personal integrity. • Accountability. • Customer focus. • Collaboration. • “Can-Do” attitude. View photos of the Rochester Equipment Services Division at gfleet.com in the Photo Galleries section.
members constantly focused on the process, reminding everyone how each person’s job and responsibilities were tied with certification. Each operational function, from preventive maintenance to safety, was connected to the entire mission. The division’s mission statement is posted throughout its facility, a visual “heads-up” reminder of the group’s function and values. Celebrating small achievements with lunches and special events reinforced teamwork and staff ownership.
TEAM IMPRESSES CFMO AUDITOR Jim Schwab, the CFMO on-site certification auditor, was impressed with the group’s cohesive efforts almost immediately. “They have a great team. Everyone did their part and helped each other accomplish what they needed. Mike [Quattrone, assistant director of operations] is a good leader, but part of the team. There was no negativity whatsoever. Everyone was encouraging each other. And there was a level of energy and excitement that I think they experience often, not just the day I spent with them,” Schwab recalled. He also noted the group’s outstanding organization. During his day-long audit, “a staff person had a cart with all the documentation on how the fleet met each standard — all right there and very organized,” Schwab said. He described the Division’s service center, which includes a flat screen televi-
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In the customer service area, a flat screen monitor shows vehicle status so customers can easily see where their vehicles are in the queue.
Rochester’s Equipment Services division displays its business plan for City employees to see.
sion monitor for customers to view progress on their vehicles. Another innovation Schwab lauded was the Division’s machine shop. “Most public sector fleet operations don’t have machine shops. They’re usually a loss.” However, the Rochester operation’s machinist regularly examines the parts stockroom, compares the cost of a part with a new unit, and when most cost effective, remanufactures needed parts.
CERTIFYING CREDIBILITY Mike Quattrone is the City of Rochester’s assistant director of operations and head of the Equipment Services Division. He believes the value of CFMO certification ultimately lies in establishing credibility, particularly with the City’s budget bureau, the mayor, and commissioners. “You make a decision, and they back it up,” he said. “They support you when you need to ask for funding or resources.” The real story of the City of Rochester’s Equipment Services Division — the story they relate to stakeholders — is the business of their fleet operations. “We have a fully burdened labor rate,” Quattrone explained. “That’s what most public sector fleets don’t realize. It’s a business, and you need to run it like a business, competitive with the private sector.” SOURCES • Mike Quattrone, assistant director of operations and head of the Equipment Services Division, City of Rochester, N.Y. E-mail: email@example.com • Jim Schwab, certification auditor, Government Fleet Management Alliance (GFMA) E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org • Jim Wright, associate director, Government Fleet Management Alliance (GFMA) E-mail: email@example.com
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The Minnesota DNR’s auction in New Ulm (shown at far left) drew 600 bidders. By improving overall fleet management processes, the DNR improved its vehicle remarketing processes.
GOOD FLEET MANAGEMENT
LEADS TO GOOD REMARKETING The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ revised remarketing plan has already led to positive results — an auction at a new location this year drew 600 bidders and brought in $715,000 in sales. BY DARYL LUBINSKY
leet department managers and staff at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) used to think of remarketing vehicles and equipment as an unpleasant chore. That was 10 years ago. “It was more of a nuisance,” said Dave Schiller, CAFM, fleet, safety, and materials manager for the department. “At that time, I think we just as soon someone else did it.” It’s easy to see why. Early remarketing efforts were a struggle for the department, and the auctions didn’t bring in much money at first. A bigger problem was that a couple of department workers suffered in-
AT A GLANCE The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ revised remarketing plan focuses on: • Preventive maintenance. • Identifying defects before a sale. • Improving standards of new equipment purchased. • Lifecycle management. 26
juries while working at the auctions. Sometimes employees would try to move equipment themselves rather than use a forklift or other piece of equipment to help, and that resulted in back injuries and slips and falls. But rather than focusing on ways to improve the vehicle remarketing process specifically, the department began working on improving its overall fleet management processes. The department decided to improve its fleet by focusing on lifecycle management, setting standards for the items it was purchasing, and working on safe driving to reduce its insurance costs and accident damage. Those efforts have led to the department selling higher-quality vehicles. Better fleet management led to better equipment remarketing results. “The standards have gotten us to a point where we’re able to buy better units at lower cost because of the volume we’re doing now with buying light equipment every year,” said Schiller, who has worked in the department for 35 years, 11 in his current position. “It also helps with the resale because we don’t have the oddball stuff we
used to have. I think that’s increased the value of the items to the public.”
FOCUS ON FLEET MANAGEMENT The Minnesota DNR manages about 5 million acres of land in Minnesota, including resources such as parks, forests, prairies, and lakes. Several years ago, the department hired a consultant to analyze its fleet of vehicles and equipment. The fleet includes about 5,000 vehicles and pieces of equipment, including about 1,800 road vehicles from various manufacturers, Class 1-8. About 1,300 of those are pickup trucks. The fleet includes about 1,700 off-road pieces of equipment, including about 400 snowmobiles and 500 ATVs, along with dozers, tractors, firefighting vehicles, backhoes, excavators, and trailers. With the consultant’s help, the department developed a list of about 40 areas of the fleet program for potential improvement, and one of those was the remarketing program. The department put together a plan to improve the program, focusing
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on several main areas. The primary focus was on preventive maintenance, and the second to identify all defects in the equipment before the sale. Improving the standards of new equipment purchased was the third area, which Schiller said helped limit the “oddball stuff that surprises our resale customers.” Lifecycle management was the fourth area of focus, which Schiller said helped the department “focus on maximizing economic life — rather than equipment life — so the stuff we’re selling has been relatively freshly used, as opposed to something that’s been sitting around for a while as a spare and deteriorating. We don’t subscribe to the ‘drive-til-dead’ approach, and we’re able to avoid a lot of the problems associated with that.” The department worked to improve its overall equipment remarketing process. In describing the process, Schiller explained that the department manages the fleet from four regional offices in Minnesota: Bemidji, Grand Rapids, New Ulm, and the central office in St. Paul. Each office includes a shop, and all new equipment goes to one of the shops for any necessary upfitting. Sedans undergo simple work such as installation of license plates and placement of department decals on the doors. Some vehicles, such as those used for law enforcement, undergo significant upfitting. “Then we call up who it’s going to, tell them it’s ready, ask them to bring in their old vehicle, pick up their new one, and change them out,” Schiller said. The upfit shops also function as repair shops, and the mechanics inspect and perform work on the exchanged vehicle, such as tire replacement, front-end alignment, or brake work if needed. “We outsource some of the work,” Schiller said. “We don’t do transmission work, for example. Some of the vehicles we redeploy as seasonal loaners. The others that are going directly to sale, I wouldn’t say they detail it, but they clean it out and make it fairly presentable. The customers do pretty well at keeping them clean.” The “customers” he refers to are internal DNR employees in areas such as the parks and forestry divisions. Fleet owns the equipment and charges customers for their use.
If the department determines that a sale is imminent, the vehicle will go to the site where the sale will take place. “If a sale isn’t imminent, we’ll just park them, hopefully not for too long,” Schiller said. In Grand Rapids, Minn., the sale will take place at the facility there. The Bemidji and New Ulm facilities aren’t large enough to accommodate the auction crowds and the necessary parking, so the sales for those locations take place at the county fairgrounds in the vicinity.
REMARKETING PROSPECTS LOOK BRIGHT In May, the department held an auction in New Ulm for the first time. A large auction during the spring was unusual for the department, and most of the DNR’s past equipment auctions focused on northern Minnesota, where most of the department’s land holdings are located. However, Schiller had seen growing interest in the department’s live sales, especially in rural areas. Still, Schiller was not sure the auction would generate sufficient attendance. “We always have some old equipment that was replaced in the winter, but we hang on to it in case we need it during the spring,” Schiller said. “Rather than holding it this year or sending it to other auctions, we decided to have a sale in southern Minnesota.” The four-hour auction of equipment from the DNR and the Department of Administration exceeded expectations, drawing 600 bidders and bringing in $715,000. The success of the New Ulm sale has made the future look even brighter for all upcoming DNR sales. The department for the past five years has conducted a December sale in Grand Rapids, Minn. For the sale this coming December, the department might try an online sale, which it has conducted in the past for smaller sales. The online sale works similar to an eBay auction, Schiller said, and the department has used eBay to sell some equipment in the past. For an online auction, the department will establish a viewing time and post pictures online. The online text will describe known problems with the equipment, and the public can bid on it. “We have a reputation that we take pretty good care of our equipment and when we announce the auction and in the flyers that get distributed describing our equipment,
WHERE IN THE WORLD State of Minnesota Population: 5,303,925 (2010 census) Size: 86,939 square miles Established: 1858 Trivia: The “Land of 10,000 Lakes” has 11,842 lakes and more than 63,000 miles of natural streams and rivers.
we tell people what we know is wrong with it,” Schiller said. “We don’t try to hide anything. If we do sell something and a defect is discovered before they leave the premises, we’ll try to make it right. We try to do what we can to avoid problems and make sure the customer knows everything that we know about the piece of equipment.” Online auctions, he explained, are a means to sell some of the more unusual items that people wouldn’t expect to find at an auction. Snow groomers, which the department uses for grooming snowmobile trails, might be an example of equipment to be sold online or sometimes traded in. The department’s efforts in remarketing, plus market conditions, have helped it do well in remarketing recently. The resale market for used equipment has been on the rise in recent months. Used car prices are higher than they have been for quite a while, Schiller said. “Part of that is because new vehicle sales two to four years ago were down, so there are fewer used cars around and more demand for them, and we’re certainly taking advantage of that,” Schiller said, adding that the DNR uses the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) and Kelley Blue Book used vehicle publications as pricing guides. “Our equipment gets used probably harder than a lot of typical citizen vehicles,” Schiller said. “They’re work vehicles, so they’re often towing or hauling something. But we take care of them pretty well and strive to get average trade-in value. Usually, we do pretty well in that regard. We try to sell quality stuff, we let customers know what defects we’re aware of, and we try to make sure we have plenty of potential customers at our sales who are interested in our equipment.” SOURCE Dave Schiller, CAFM, fleet, safety, and materials manager, Minnesota DNR E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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The State of Utah’s fleet is comprised of 63 agency fleets operating nearly 7,300 vehicles. A vehicle utilization study sought to classify and reduce the number of underutilized vehicles.
STATE OF UTAH VEHICLE UTILIZATION STUDY OPTIMIZES FLEET Through its vehicle utilization study, the State of Utah was able to reduce fleet size by 46 vehicles and save on depreciation, maintenance, and repair costs. BY BRIAN FAY
he State of Utah Division of Fleet Operations (DFO) is a centralized fleet leasing and management organization serving State agencies and higher education. In 2009, DFO began tracking vehicle utilization as a means to reduce costs and optimize agency fleets. The resulting program
miums, and other costs associated with owning vehicles.
IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM The State of Utah’s fleet is diverse, comprised of 63 agency fleets operating nearly 7,300 vehicles. Analysis of vehicle utilization revealed that more than 20
With increased clarification of State vehicle use, Fleet can gain a better understanding of vehicle needs within agency missions, according to Scott Bingham, fleet manager, State of Utah Division of Fleet Operations. has aided in the reduction of 46 fleet vehicles and an overall savings to the State in the areas of depreciation, maintenance and repair costs, insurance pre-
percent of these vehicles averaged less than 300 miles per month. While vehicle mileage is a key cost factor for a fleet, numerous other costs are associated with
owning vehicles that do not require miles to be traveled. Licensing, insurance, depreciation, and maintenance and repair are a few of these ownership costs that continue to build even when a vehicle is not utilized. DFO set forth to develop a program designed to maximize vehicle utilization and thus reduce overall fleet ownership costs.
ANALYZE UTILIZATION CLASSIFICATION DFO staff conducted a study to determine why so many vehicles were underutilized. Prior to this study, any vehicle that averaged less than 625 miles per month was classified as “Low Use.” The statistical analysis of these vehicles revealed a need for a more customized classification system. Not all “Low Use” vehicles are underutilized. Fleet staff spent the next many months working closely with State agencies and
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institutions of higher education to develop a classification system that would accurately identify the underutilized vehicles. Once vehicle classifications were created, the work began to assign a classification to each of the state’s 7,300 vehicles. The detailed vehicle classifications allowed for a more directed analysis of usage data and with this information, minimum usage for each classification was determined. Another key factor in this utilization program is the location of vehicles. When multiple underutilized vehicles reside at the same agency location, agency fleet managers can quickly identify vehicles not meeting the minimum standard in that particular use category. This analysis indicated that agencies could pool multiple underutilized vehicles, or increase utilization of existing vehicles to aid the location in removing these candidate vehicles, thus becoming more efficient.
IMPLEMENT THE FINDINGS With data analysis in hand, DFO staff,
along with Division Director Sam Lee and State Fleet Manager Scott Bingham, began to meet with each State agency and institution of higher education. These meetings created an opportunity for the DFO team to share the findings with agency directors and to show how vehicle consolidation or retirement could result in substantial savings to the agency budget. The report provided by DFO included a list of underutilized vehicles, the justification given for the low use, and recommendations for fleet reduction.
REAP THE RESULTS Over the past year, this vehicle utilization model has resulted in an overall State fleet reduction of 46 vehicles, which has led to more efficient State agencies and institutions of higher education, according to Bingham. “DFO considers these meetings [with agencies] a great success for a more efficient state fleet,” Bingham said. The data collected through this program provides a valuable tool for DFO to continue to pro-
WHERE IN THE WORLD State of Utah Population: 2,763,885 (2010 census) Size: 82,144 square miles Established: 1896 Trivia: The beehive is the official state emblem, representing industry.
vide the highest quality fleet management services to its customers at a low cost. Moving forward, DFO will continue to work with its customers to further clarify classifications and minimum usage information. With increased clarification, gaining a better understanding of vehicle needs within agency missions, DFO will continue annual meetings to assess vehicle needs and make suggestions to further improve the efficiencies of the State fleet. SOURCE: • Scott Bingham, fleet manager, State of Utah. E-mail: email@example.com • Brian Fay, research consultant, State of Utah.
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Students in the Oklahoma State University Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) receive grader training as part of the curriculum.
CULTIVATING NEXT-GE NEXT-G
OFF-ROAD EQUIPMENT E EXP With the current rate of technological change, training and developing a network of skilled offroad equipment technicians and operators are no small tasks. Universities, technical schools, and industry manufacturers are teaming up to train the equipment experts of tomorrow. BY BARBARA BONANSINGA
AT A GLANCE Some benefits of being an off-road equipment technician or operator include: • High demand that far exceeds supply. • Competitive salary immediately after graduation. • Ability to learn about technologies developing in the industry. • Opportunities for travel or relocation throughout the U.S. and worldwide.
he most sophisticated, multitasking, technological off-road equipment available today and on the drawing board for tomorrow is of no use to the industries it serves without a strong foundation of skilled experts to understand, maintain, repair, and operate it. Off-road equipment is a key ingredient of building roads and transportation systems, supporting the agricultural industry, and for all types of construction and mining work. Training and developing that crucial
network of experts is no small task at the rate technological change occurs today, but there are programs aimed to do just that.
TRAINING PROGRAM GROWS In the early 1990s, Roy Achemire, division chair of the Heavy Equipment and Vehicle Institute at the Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology (OSUIT), was happy with a class count of 79 students in the school’s diesel technician training program. Today, the same program hosts
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closer to 230 students per year, sees demand for more than 500, and without hesitation, Achemire said, “I can easily place that many successful graduates in jobs in this emerging field post-graduation.” Achemire spent about 15 years in the crude oil transport industry, working with trucks and pipelines, and had extensive experience in parts prior to advancing to the division chair position he now holds at OSUIT. The school’s focus is preparing students for the workforce. Achemire summarizes the school’s mission statement as addressing an advancing technological focus, underscoring quality in all endeavors, and memorializing a commitment to multiculturalism, with a student body consisting of 25 percent Native Americans and 50 percent first-generation college students. OSUIT strives to provide an education that is well-rounded for its students. OSUIT’s primary strength is its partnerships with business, industry, and employers. Achemire said these partnerships provide
maintenance and repair is a constant challenge. Currently, Achemire and his colleagues employ some of the same recruiting techniques used by schools wooing star athletes for sports programs. Extensive community outreach efforts are one way programs such as OSUIT attract students. According to Achemire, the pool of potential candidates, including boys and girls from family farming backgrounds, is limited. Professional recruiters, companies, and schools all work with high schools and career counselors, targeting not only the obvious FFA (formerly Future Farmers of America) and agricultural program students, but also those focused on everything from computer science to music. “You’d be surprised at the results we’ve achieved by reaching out to contacts such as football coaches and music instructors in searching for the next generation of off-road technical experts. Recruiters now begin to focus their efforts on students at the grade school level. Neighborhood boys and girls programs like scouting have become forums
NT EXPERTS significant resources for facilities, equipment, supplies, scholarships, and curriculum advisement. According to Achemire, “OSUIT’s teaching approach is a projectbased applied learning methodology.” He pointed to employer partnerships as having a significant influence and impact on student success. “Industry and advisors are vital in ensuring that the program curriculum is current and aligned with industry standards and expectations,” he said. The Institute website states that the Heavy Equipment and Vehicle Institute is a national leader in curriculums of this type.
RECRUITING TECHNICIANS Employers are clamoring for skilled students with off-road skill sets in many industries. Providing a steady pool of motivated students with an aptitude for off-road
to spread the word about future careers in off-road equipment,” Achemire said. “The goal is to engage kids at an early age to provide them with information so that they will consider off-road equipment repair and maintenance among other, perhaps more customary, career choices. Excellent salaries, benefits, and other opportunities available literally worldwide help make the field attractive and competitive among the many career paths available today.” Educational institutions are not the only place off-road equipment and repair candidates are found. According to Achemire, “Returning soldiers from Iraq, former white-collar managers, and blue-collar shop workers are making the shift to more advanced technical careers in the off-road field because jobs are abundant and pay well. The program’s paid internships and nearly 100-percent job placement are major benefits.” At graduation time, a typical liberal arts major may find him or herself in competition with 70 other candidates for a white-
collar job in entry level management. Not so for those who master off-road equipment skills, another benefit of choosing a field where demand far exceeds supply. How do salaries and benefits compare? According to Achemire, a high school graduate in the central United States can find “entry-level jobs in the $14 to $18 per-hour range immediately upon graduation from OSUIT.” Another plus is that the opportunities for jobs could involve travel or relocation throughout the United States, China, Malaysia, Africa, or the United Kingdom. Add multi-lingual to the list of most sought-after skills employers value in this field. Important attributes for someone interested in a career in off-road maintenance and repair include: written communications skills, technical writing ability, good customer relations skills, knowledge of computers and science basics, math, physics, and ethics. Of course, mechanical skills and aptitude are a major benefit. A foundation in the basics prepares students for introduction to the advanced level of technical expertise necessary in the field. OSUIT prides itself on providing its students with the skills to understand new systems and technologies as they are introduced. The off-road field presents some challenges unique to its on-road counterpart. The size of the equipment is one — many of the components weigh more than 50 lbs. Due to the scale of equipment, maintaining safety is even more critical, particularly in the areas of hearing and eye protection and proper lifting techniques. OSUIT has seven distinct “diesel” programs serving a variety of company and association needs, including Caterpillar and Komatsu as well as construction and agriculture equipment dealers who are members of the South Western Association. Most students are sponsored by dealer/employers before completing enrollment in these technician training programs. Students attend classes at OSUIT for half of each semester and work the other halfsemester as paid interns at the sponsoring dealerships/employers. Achemire described it as a “hands on, logical/sequential training approach.” He recently attended the Caterpillar Think Big global conference this year, discussing what is happening around the world in technician training. Participants Government Fleet
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OFF-ROAD from several countries in North America, South America, Europe, South Africa, and China discussed new technology, shared best practices, and talked about problems in recruiting students and employees and retaining them. According to Achemire, manufacturers are investing “literally hundreds of millions of dollars into developing the technician workforce.”
gines and compressors send gas through the network of pipelines that are an increasingly important variable in the national and world energy supply equation. Technicians install and maintain natural gas engines and compressors as well as the electronics and communication systems that allow powerful and sophisticated remote operation and diagnostics capabilities.
CAREER CHOICES ABOUND
KEEPING UP WITH TECHNOLOGY
Once recruited, with education complete, technicians face a variety of choices within their career field. They might be placed at a high-tech equipment dealer service center operating computer diagnostics tools, or they may choose among jobs all around the globe. When Aggreko, a provider of genera-
In terms of future challenges, Achemire expects the ability to keep up on rapidly changing product knowledge in the field while developing students’ language, math, and business skills are at the top of the list, along with dealing with the new technology devised to meet the world’s tougher emissions standards. He feels OSUIT is up
“Excellent salaries, benefits, and other opportunities available literally worldwide help make the [off-road equipment] field attractive and competitive.” – Roy Achemire, division chair, Heavy Equipment and Vehicle Institute at the OSU Institute of Technology. tors, load banks, electrical distribution, chiller and portable heating, and air conditioning equipment for rental, was contracted to provide diesel generators, electrical distribution, and heating for venues at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, the company reached out to OSUIT to find new talent. Aggreko SelecTech freshmen and sophomores worked in Vancouver during their internships. Aggreko is definitely in the major leagues of its field, having provided services at the PGA Championship, U.S. Open, the Ryder Cup, and even on movie sets including Titanic and Harry Potter. The project involving OSUIT students was a big success; current students continue to intern in entertainment and emergency response programs across the United States. In response to market demand for skilled technicians, OSUIT recently expanded by developing a niche training program for crane technicians in conjunction with Manitowoc, GMK, Grove, and National Crane. Another area of rapid growth requiring maintenance and repair skill sets is natural gas compression. Natural gas en32
to the task. Alternative fuels, hybrids, and compressed natural gas are all part of the mix of current and developing technologies aimed at reducing emissions. For example, hybrid mining trucks, dozers, wheel loaders, and excavators are no longer just concepts on a drawing board. The school will continue to adjust curriculums to match the myriad types of engine and fuel technology designs and types. Achemire fully expects OSUIT graduates to continue to be a part of the rapidly changing face of offroad repair and maintenance.
TRAINING OPERATORS While part of OSUIT’s mission is to prepare and provide a skilled workforce for maintenance and repair, another aspect of its scope is to help ensure a supply of qualified operators as well. Marv Epperly, a professional John Deere operator, is an expert in the operation of road construction equipment and provides operation instruction. Epperly provides instruction for the OSU Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) and Tribal Technical Assistance
Program (TTAP), providing both handson and classroom training. Epperly strives to teach equipment operators proper techniques to use whatever road grading equipment they are operating. TTAP was developed as a training and technology transfer resource for North American tribes in the United States; both are funded by Federal Highway Administration funds. LTAP and TTAP are part of the OSUIT training curriculum, developed to support equipment manufacturers and equipment buyers. One of the program missions is to provide outreach programs to those responsible for the construction and maintenance of transportation systems at the local level in the State of Oklahoma. The program provides information on how to use the equipment safely and effectively. Epperly is also a product application consultant with John Deere Training Center, located in Davenport, Iowa, and with demo sites in Coal Valley, Ill., and Sacaton, Ariz. A professional operator-demonstrator of heavy equipment since 1986 and in construction prior to that, Epperly is experienced in road building, surface and belowground drainage, and earth moving. He has gone from his experience as an elected township road commissioner to conducting motor grader operator training throughout the world. Epperly explained what defines offroad in this way: “Whenever you don’t have pavement, or macadam surfaces to support the weight of a vehicle meant to travel at high speeds, and you leave stabilized surfaces to traverse natural soils to do a work task.” For example, all-terrain cranes go places where there are no roads; dozers create pads for machines such as windmills and make roads for concrete trucks to be able to go in and pour the pad so other trucks can bring in hardware to build the windmill. Epperly said the biggest difference with off-road equipment in comparison to onroad equipment is that powertrains and chassis are more robust for the harsh environments they are operated in. On-road equipment is as light as possible to reserve power for speed and to keep loads on roadways as small as possible for a given task. Electric substation construction and cross-country transmission lines are some
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CertifyYour Fleet Operation www.fleetcertification.com
Government Fleet Management Alliance
is a group of associations and organizations dedicated to excellence in fleet management. The mission of GFMA is to bring fleet groups together in order to educate public fleet professionals, promote the field of fleet management and elevate the awareness of fleet operations that are performing at competitive levels. GFMA also administers the Certified Fleet Management Operation (CFMO) certification program which has become the standard for ensuring peak fleet operation performance.
in alliance with
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OFF-ROAD other examples of the work Epperly trains operators to perform. He is fluent in the operation of bulldozers, scrapers, and excavators. Well-traveled, Epperly’s passport has gotten quite a workout over the years across the world. He has visited South America, the Asian Pacific Rim, South Africa, England and continental Europe, and Russia. Typically, he demonstrates equipment capabilities for a dealer pre-sale and then travels to the worksite, bringing buyers up to speed on all operational aspects of the equipment for multi-unit sales. He frequently goes back for more operator training as part of a sale. Epperly said, “As the machines evolve and get more complicated, so do the controls and the training for operators.” Epperly frequently performs work on live projects while demonstrating the characteristics of equipment. He has performed earth moving and raising elevations with county, state, and customer contractors who have or are prospective new equipment owners. As for anticipated changes to the machinery he works with, Epperly also pointed to changes related to emission standards. Machines are now IT4 emission-level compliant with regenerating capability, after filters like catalytic convertors, sensors, and soot containment work while in regeneration mode. Exhaust temperatures are higher, requiring additional caution in how they are operated. Operators now must be familiar with proper techniques for urea use, storage, and handling, and how to work around or delay regeneration at critical times in a project. According to Epperly, it’s not unusual for trades such as heavy-equipment operation
FOR MORE INFORMATION For further information about Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology (OSUIT), OSU Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP), or OSU Tribal Technical Assistance Program (TTAP), contact: • Roy Achemire for OSUIT Roy.Achemire@okstate.edu (918) 293-4724 • Mike Hinkston for LTAP and TTAP Michael.Hinkston@okstate.edu (405) 744-7268 34
The Tribal Technical Assistance Program (TTAP) was developed as a resource for North American tribes in the United States, providing both hands-on and classroom training.
to be overlooked by students when careerhunting. “Being a journeyman operator is a noble trade, the pay is competitive, it’s not the typical corporate work environment, and work is performed outdoors,” he said. Epperly said demand for training has steadily increased, as has the need to find qualified operator candidates. “The skills are generally not intuitive; most students have to literally be taught from the ground up. Manufacturers are building simulators to provide virtual training to supplement the hands-on training on a real machine in the field.” Students out of the OSU, LTAP, and TTAP programs hit the ground running having already had experience running heavy equipment. Epperly helps them develop the polish and refinement needed to meet the exacting standards that projects such as road engineering would require. The training center also provides technician training for dealerships.
HOW CHANGING TECHNOLOGY WILL AFFECT OPERATORS What are some of the bigger challenges in the operator training field today? “The single biggest challenge relative to the technology is stringent government timelines to get emissions as clean as possible fast, while keeping equipment affordable,” Epperly said. “It is necessary to maintain engine life and equipment integrity while keeping it affordable, taking into consideration fuel costs and operator costs.” As an example, Epperly pointed out that “25 years ago, a common 44,000-lb. bulldozer cost around $100,000. Today, the same machine meeting all current regulations pertaining to clean air and safety runs in the neighborhood of $300,000-$350,000 and is
Hands-on training and paid internships train students on the latest technologies in offroad equipment maintenance and repair.
far more complex, requiring a much more extensive skill set to maintain and operate. It’s all part of the cost of progress.” He also stated that the price to move dirt to build a new store, parking lot, or subdivision might have cost $1.25 a yard; it now costs $1.50. “Maximizing equipment uptime with the complexity of modern off-road equipment is an ongoing challenge. Strong companies will survive by staying ahead of the technology and utilizing training programs such as OSU, LTAP, and TTAP,” Epperly said. Advancements in off-road equipment technology such as GPS, laser grade systems, and other tools require greater study and training but will also mean these jobs will command higher pay. The off-road equipment environment is also improving for operators and is generally physically less demanding now. Annual salaries of $100,000 plus bonuses are entirely possible. Students and trainees can get a quick return on investment from education in this field. Epperly advised potential candidates to focus on math, computers, engineering, and reading up on jobsite planning for a leg up into the off-road equipment operator environment. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Barbara Bonansinga is a public service administrator, Division of Vehicles, at the State of Illinois and is a member of the Government Fleet Advisory Board. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Hiniker Company’s dual-motor electric salt and sand spreaders are powered by a truck’s 12V electrical system and provide individual variable speed control for both the conveyor and the spinner. The two electric motors offer quiet operation. Hiniker dual-motor electric spreaders also feature blast control for quick, extra-dense applications and a reverse switch to clear jams. Two stainless steel electric spreader models are available: the 6.5-ft. model 635 and the 8-foot model 835. Standard hopper capacities are 1.50 cu. yd. for model 635 and 1.80 cu. yd. for model 835. A tip-up spinner assembly is designed to make unloading unused material simple and provide trailer hitch access. WWW.HINIKER.COM
Hiniker dual-motor electric spreaders feature blast control for quick, extra-dense applications and a reverse switch to clear jams.
Stertil-Koni’s Earthlift wireless mobile column lifts have no connecting cables MOHAWK LIFTS TR-30 FOUR-POST LIFT or wires, and up to eight Mohawk Lift’s TR-30 four-post 30,000-lb. caEarthlifts can be wirelessly pacity lift features all-position safety locks, pivoting linked. approach ramps, and a 6 ft. 11-inch lifting height. Some advantages of The TR-30 is alignment-compatible and feathe lifts include: a variable Multiple linked Earthlifts function as one tures a 28-inch-wide track made of 10-inch I beam, speed controller, graphical synchronized system that delivers safe, 42-52-inch adjustable track width, two direct drive user interface with digital smooth control even when load distribuhydraulic cylinders front to rear, two leaf chains display, and self-generating tion is unbalanced. side-to-side, and a three-year warranty. power supply that reduces Mohawk’s TR-30 is certified by the Auoffline charging time. tomotive Lift Institute Inc. (ALI) and The battery-operated hydrauElectrical Testing Laboratories (ETL). lic mobile column lift is capable of Designed, welded, and manufactured providing 27 lifting cycles under in the U.S., the lift is available under a full load with one charge, and discounted government contracts inmore for smaller loads. The lift cluding National Joint Powers Alliance has an 18,000-lb. load capacity. (NJPA), Western States Contracting The Earthlift is certified by the Alliance (WSCA), Houston-Galveston Automotive Lift Institute Inc. (ALI) Area Council (HGAC), and General and the Electrical Testing Laboratories (ETL). The TR-30 has multi-position mechanical safety locks Services Administration (GSA). WWW.MOHAWKLIFTS.COM/GOV WWW.STERTIL-KONI.COM every 4 inches starting at the ground level. 36
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The largest government fleet management event in the nation that targets all levels of public sector fleets.
Make Sure GFX is in Your 2012 Budget! MARK YOUR CALENDAR NOW:
June 18-20, 2012 Colorado Convention Center Denver, CO
www.GovFleetExpo.com GF10_Products.indd 37 GF1011gfxa.indd 1
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EQUIPMENT BOBCAT E26 COMPACT EXCAVATOR The Bobcat Company’s E26 has an operating weight of 5,690 lbs. and an overall width of 59 inches. The excavator is powered by a 27 hp diesel engine that is Interim Tier 4 compliant. The unit’s minimal 0.8 inches of The cab on the E26 reduces operator noise level. tail overhang allows the machine to fit in tight surroundings, and it leaves a lighter footprint than the 325 and 425 models it replaces. Ideal for municipal and government fleets, this excavator is a complement to larger machines when space is constricted and is capable of completing entire jobs on its own. WWW.BOBCATADVANTAGE.COM
The SVL75 has lifting capacity of 4,881 lbs. and bucket breakout force of 6,204 hp.
KUBOTA SVL75 AND SVL90 COMPACT TRACK LOADERS Kubota Tractor Corporation’s compact track loaders, SVL75 and SVL90, are both available with enclosed, pressurized cab that enhances comfort and minimizes noise. The machines offer an engine stall guard to prevent unexpected stalls under tough working conditions, standard self-leveling function that keeps the bucket or fork in a horizontal position, and standard two-speed travel. The 74.3-gross hp SVL75 boasts a 6,204 hp bucket breakout force and 4,881-lb. lifting capacity. The 90-gross hp SVL90 has a bucket breakout force of 7,961 lbs. and lifting capacity of 5,869 lbs. Both models are powered by a four-cylinder, direct injection, turbo-charged Kubota diesel engine. The loaders allow easy access to pumps, valves, lines, and hydraulic tank, as well as all components for routine inspections. WWW.KUBOTA.COM 38
The Model 15B has a 15.5 cu. ft. capacity and a steel, trash-ingesting impeller.
GRASSHOPPER MODEL 15B POWERVAC COLLECTION SYSTEM Grasshopper’s Model 15B PowerVac Collection System can be used with front-mount mowers. With a 15.5 cu. ft. capacity and a steel, trash-ingesting impeller, Model 15B holds a high capacity of compacted clippings and debris and uses a quiet, spindle-driven impeller to propel clippings into an impact-resistant metal carrier that empties easily from the operator’s seat. Exhaust airflow is directed downward to create a clean environment for the operator. Other Grasshopper collection systems range from 8- to 25-cu. ft. capacity and are available for all Grasshopper MidMount and FrontMount mowers. A remote-vacuum with extended reach and a 9,000 cu. ft. per minute turbine blower are also available to assist with fall clean-up. WWW.GRASSHOPPERMOWER.COM
TEREX TL310 WHEEL LOADER The Terex TL310 Wheel Loader handles bucket capacities of 4-6 cubic yards and boasts a bucket breakout force of 34,534 lbs. Features include the Terex loading system, a spacious operating cab, and a The TL310’s load-sensing flow-distribution powerful cooling system function helps ensure highly coordinated, responsive, and smooth working cycles. with reversible fan. Powered by a 203 hp Cummins turbocharged diesel engine, the TL310 meets the latest Tier 3 emission standards. The loader’s transverse-mounted design protects the engine from jobsite debris and damage during operation. The traction, provided by the load-limit-controlled hydrostatic VarioPower system, makes the power loader capable of accelerating to 25 mph quickly. The hydrostatic drive also functions as a wearfree brake when the machine is in forward and reverse drive. WWW.TEREX.COM
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STATEMENT OF OWNERSHIP, MANAGEMENT AND CIRCULATION
(Required by 39 U.S.C. 3685) PUBLICATION TITLE Government Fleet Magazine
PUBLICATION NO. 740
FILING DATE 10/1/2011
ISSUE FREQUENCY Bi-monthly, additional in June
NO. OF ISSUES PUBLISHED ANNUALLY 7
ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION PRICE $35 per year
COMPLETE MAILING ADDRESS OF KNOWN OFFICE OF PUBLICATION Bobit Business Media, 3520 Challenger Street, Torrance, CA 90503-1640, Los Angeles County
make it a priority every Monday & Thursday
COMPLETE MAILING ADDRESS OF PUBLISHER’S HEADQUARTER’S Bobit Business Media, 3520 Challenger Street, Torrance, CA 90503-1640, Los Angeles County FULL NAMES AND COMPLETE MAILING ADDRESSES OF PUBLISHER, EDITOR, AND MANAGING EDITOR PUBLISHER: Eric Bearly, 3520 Challenger Street, Torrance, CA 90503-1640, Los Angeles County EDITOR: Mike Antich, 3520 Challenger Street, Torrance, CA 90503-1640, Los Angeles County MANAGING EDITOR: Lauren Fletcher, 3520 Challenger Street, Torrance, CA 90503-1640, Los Angeles County OWNER GF1011rmfma.indd 1
Ty F. Bobit, CEO
9/26/11 12:10:41 PM
COMPLETE MAILING ADDRESS Bobit Business Media, 3520 Challenger Street, Torrance, CA 90503-1640, Los Angeles County
KNOWN BONDHOLDERS, MORTGAGEES, AND OTHER SECURITY HOLDERS OWNING OR HOLDING 1 PERCENT OR MORE OF TOTAL AMOUNT OF BONDS, MORTGAGES, OR OTHER SECURITIES None ISSUE DATE FOR CIRCULATION DATA BELOW JULY/AUGUST 2011 AVERAGE NO. COPIES EACH ISSUE DURING LAST 12 MONTHS
EXTENT AND NATURE OF CIRCULATION
ACTUAL NO. COPIES OF RECENT SINGLE ISSUE
15a TOTAL NO. COPIES (NET PRESS RUN)
15b PAID/REQUESTED CIRCULATION 15b.1 OUTSIDE COUNTY PAID/REQUESTED MAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS 15b.2 IN-COUNTY PAID/REQUESTED MAIL SUBSCRIPTION 15b.3 SALES THROUGH DEALERS/CARRIERS 15b.4 REQUESTED COPIES USPS OTHER MAIL CLASSES 15c TOTAL PAID/REQUESTED CIRCULATION
11,961 3 11,964
12,677 3 12,680
15d NONREQUESTED CIRCULATION 15d.1 OUTSIDE COUNTY NONREQUESTED COPIES 15d.2 IN-COUNTY NONREQUESTED COPIES 15d.3 NONREQUESTED DISTRIBUTED BY OTHER CLASS OF MAIL 15d.4 NONREQUESTED OUTSIDE USPS 15e TOTAL NONREQUESTED DISTRIBUTION
6,482 265 6,747
5,632 162 5,794
18,711 515 19,226 63.9%
18,474 512 18,986 68.6%
15f TOTAL DISTRIBUTION 15g COPIES NOT DISTRIBUTED 15h TOTAL 15i PERCENT PAID/REQUESTED CIRCULATION
This Statement of Ownership will be printed in the October 2011 issue of this publication. I CERTIFY THAT ALL INFORMATION FURNISHED ON THIS FORM IS TRUE AND COMPLETE. I UNDERSTAND THAT ANYONE WHO FURNISHES FALSE OR MISLEADING INFORMATION ON THIS FORM OR WHO OMITS MATERIAL OR INFORMATION REQUESTED ON THE FORM MAY BE SUBJECT TO CRIMINAL SANCTIONS (INCLUDING FINES AND IMPRISONMENT) AND/OR CIVIL SANCTIONS (INCLUDING MULTIPLE DAMAGES AND CIVIL PENALITES).
Filed on 10/1/2011
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9/27/11 3:20:47 PM
By Mike Antich
CELEBRATING ‘GREEN’ SUCCESS STORIES
hile developing the agenda for the 2011 Green Fleet Conference, it was abundantly clear that sustainability continues to be an important responsibility facing public sector fleet managers. Fleets recognize that they must be environmental stewards to reduce emissions and their carbon footprint, since vehicles and equipment are the key contributors. The types of vehicles deployed by fleet can have a dramatic environmental impact as witnessed by the introduction of DPF and SCR technologies, which have greatly reduced diesel emissions. Through normal replacement cycles, fleets continue to replace older, higher-emissions vehicles with new technologies. Fleets have disposed of numerous older vehicles that couldn’t pass a smog test any longer. Many fleets have sold off old diesel forklifts and other equipment that require diesel particulate filters and replaced them with units powered by a non-petroleum-based fuel. However, today’s constrained capital budgets, which limit the funds to replace units, especially green vehicles, run counter to sustainability initiatives. The failure to replace aged vehicles contradicts carbon emissions reduction plans. To sidestep budgetary constraints, fleets seek to leverage grant funds as much as possible. But, some smaller fleets grumble that current funding opportunities seemed to be geared to larger operations. In addition, political sup40
port is not universally true at all political subdivisions. As many fleet managers will tell you, acquiring alt-fuel vehicles is frequently a tough sell, both from a cost and political perspective. At some jurisdictions, current leadership is politically opposed to budgeting additional funds for green initiatives. Another reason greening a government fleet, especially municipal fleets, is difficult is because the largest percentage of fleet vehicles are in public safety. Until alternative-fuel solutions are available for police patrol vehicles and fire apparatus that police officers and firefighters will accept, the use of alt-fuel vehicles by municipalities will be limited. Migrating to a greener fleet also adds complexity to an operation. For instance, tighter emissions regulations for onand off-road heavy equipment add complexity in terms of maintenance, technician training, parts inventory, etc.
SUSTAINABILITY ALLSTARS Despite these constraints, “green initiatives” continue to gain priority at other political subdivisions. Political support for carbon-friendly, lowemission vehicle technologies, along with funding through earlier federal stimulus monies and other grants, has provided fleets the opportunity to acquire additional green vehicles. These political subdivisions are committed to acquiring lowemission vehicles. These organizations recognize that fleet can
play a significant role in achieving emissions-reduction goals. Some goals are very ambitious. For instance, the City of Austin, Texas, has a goal to be carbon neutral by 2020. Also, political subdivisions are mandated under EPAct to have 75-percent of their acquisitions be nonpetroleum based vehicles. Most business plans require fleets to incorporate alternativefueled vehicles and equipment wherever and whenever possible, with the guiding factors that the unit meets operational requirements and is economically feasible. In addition, green initiatives go beyond vehicles/equipment and also impact fleet service operations. There is continued pressure to recycle waste material, dispose of used fluids and parts in an environmentally friendly manner, decrease facility energy consumption, control water run-off, etc. Most fleets have been extremely successful in greening their facilities. What sets public sector fleet managers apart is their ability to adapt to adversity and develop innovative solutions in times of fiscal austerity. “With the current economic doldrums, there is immense pressure to abandon best management practices and just survive,” said Allen Mitchell, CPFP, fleet manager for Snohomish County Dept. of Public Works in Everett, Wash. “We have chosen not to let the tight budgets deter our progress toward having our fleet run 95 percent on biofuels and electricity by 2015. We will also
seek out additional grant opportunities to better leverage funding.” Mitchell manages 893 powered units, of which 62 percent are green. We need to celebrate this can-do attitude as personified by Mitchell and many other fleet managers. At the 2011 Green Fleet Conference Oct. 3-4, we will recognize outstanding green fleet success stories by presenting our new Sustainability AllStars awards to 40 deserving fleet professionals, including Mitchell, who is profiled in the September/October issue of our sister magazine — Green Fleet. Here are a few examples: • City of Sacramento, Calif., decreased greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 1,717 metric tons. • City of Fort Wayne, Ind., implemented a “Green City” initiative, reducing emissions from City equipment by 30 percent. • New York City operates a fleet of 430 EVs, recently purchasing 50 Chevrolet Volts, 10 electric Ford Transit Connects, and 10 Navistar eStar trucks. The bottom line is that fleets want to be environmentally friendly, but are often hamstrung trying to balance contradicting political, environmental, and financial issues when procuring green vehicles. But, as our Sustainability All-Stars demonstrate, where there is a will, there is a way. Let me know what you think. email@example.com
9/27/11 3:21:05 PM
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THE CHALLENGE: MEETING COMPANY INITIATIVES OUR SOLUTION: ENVIRONMENTALLY CONSCIOUS CHOICES
| 2011 GMC YUKON HYBRID1 EPA-est. MPG 20 city/23 hwy.
| 2011 CHEVROLET CRUZE EPA-est. MPG 24 city/36 hwy.
Whether it’s meeting companywide environmental initiatives or government standards, ﬂeet managers face many challenges. GM offers a wide range of solutions, including fuel-efficient vehicles, hybrids,1 biofuel vehicles2 and the revolutionary Chevrolet Volt.3 Our environmental commitment goes beyond vehicles—it includes how we operate our factories and offices around the world. For more solutions, visit gmﬂeet.com. Available to order at participating dealers. E85 is 85% ethanol, 15% gasoline. To see if there is an E85 station near you, visit gmﬂeet.com/afv. 3 Available to order at participating dealers. Quantities limited. ©2011 General Motors LLC 1
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