The Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP), in partnership with Construction Equipment, has named winners of the 2014 Fleet Masters awards. The awards were announced during AEMP's recent annual meeting and conference. The honors go to fleet management teams that demonstrate exceptional skill in meeting the unique challenge of fielding cost-effective mixed equipment fleets.

The fleets were chosen in three categories based on estimated replacement value (ERV). The 2014 Fleet Masters are:
--  Sarasota County (Fla.) Fleet Services
--  U.S. Air Force Europe & Africa
--  York County, Va.

Under $10-million ERV - Award Winner: York County Vehicle Maintenance Division

Responsible for the acquisition, maintenance, repair and disposal of a number of assets, the York County VMD, York County Va., recovers costs through several innovative methods such as a burdened labor rate, markup on the cost of diesel and gasoline, a percentage markup on parts and a percentage markup on vendor charges.

In 2013, the VMD overhauled and implemented a new fleet information management system to help keep track of nearly 1,000 vehicles and pieces of equipment. A deadline for data entry on all existing equipment was pegged at three months. The web-based system helped turn the division into a paperless facility and runs detailed reports, schedules shop activities and employees.

The York County VMD also added telematics devices to many of its assets and implemented a new vehicle location program to monitor employee productivity, reduce fuel use and increase safety.

$10-million to $100 million ERV - Award Winner: Sarasota County Fleet Services

Located on the Florida Gulf Coast, this fleet and its technicians cover 563 square miles with 810 licensed vehicles and 708 off-road assets. It saved county taxpayers some $180,000 a year by outsourcing parts to NAPA/IBS in 2011 while maintaining an 85 percent parts availability.

Each asset in the county's fleet receives at least two preventive maintenance services annually, more if meter values are exceeded. Its technicians have developed a PM checklist that has reduced repair and maintenance costs by three percent each of the last three years. Sarasota shares it's fuel contract with many other municipalities, gaining them economies of scale and providing additional revenue of $360,000 a year. The fleet's comprehensive fuel site maintenance program has eliminated environmental fines and garnered clear inspection records for the last nine years.

The county fleet services division employees 23 technicians, two of which have been awarded the AEMP Technician of the Year. Two of its technicians are also ASE Masters and EVT Masters and the unit has maintained the ASE Blue Seal of Excellence since 2003. The team provides 24/7 support and 30 minute response times for all emergencies and service calls.

Greater than $100-million ERV - Award Winner: United States Air Forces Europe and Africa (USAFE)

The Command Vehicles Branch of the U.S. Air Forces Europe, based out of Ramstein Air Base in Germany handles 7,500 vehicles in 42 locations and 35 countries over two continents. Fleet value is estimated at $700-million.

The group faced a 37 percent cut in funding due to the government sequester last year. The CMB met this challenge with a vehicle parking plan that helped local fleet managers evaluate the risks of parking as many non-mission-critical vehicles as possible. Oil, lube and filter services were extended except when mileage warranted. The CMB also meets the federal government's energy efficiency mandates with hybrid and electrical technology and alternative fuels.

Web enabled databases allow fleet managers to monitor and manage assets in far-flung locations and eliminate expensive, time-consuming telephone calls to update reports. Lifecycle costs are closely tracked as is maintenance information, job orders, parts and labor.

Training plays a big role in the CVB, giving uniformed and civilian technicians and managers the skills they need to meet the mission at hand, increase productivity and keep costs in line. Outsourcing is carefully evaluated to insure that it serves the best interests of the military and only when no other military means are available to do the job.

Technicians are trained in customer service by asking them to reflect on the times they have received poor service and situations where they have received good service and then asking them to keep those lessons in mind when dealing with every customer and request.

Formed in 1982, the Glenwood Springs, Colo.-based AEMP advances heavy duty and off-road equipment management as a career. The organization represents fleet management professionals who work in construction, government, utilities, energy, mining and all other related industries.

AEMP helps industry professionals attain the contacts, knowledge, career development and personal growth needed for success. Membership helps practitioners operate at peak performance and make lasting contributions to their organization's growth.

This video gives a preview of the 2014 AEMP annual conference, where the fleet awards were given.


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