TECHNICAL COMMITTEE NEWS

Fleet Services Committee gears up for Congress

Karen Bloodworth
Technical Services Program Manager
APWA Kansas City Office

Each year the Fleet Services Committee develops their business plan, and each year a large part of that plan involves the APWA International Public Works Congress & Exposition. This year the committee has focused their effort on three key issues: exploring a national fleet manager certification program; a new fleet publication; and APWA's Congress.

The Fleet Services Committee has long believed that a certification credential that recognizes a level of knowledge and expertise would be of value to local governments. The committee is eagerly awaiting the results of a recent feasibility study that was designed to measure the value of such a program to fleet managers and their employers, and to evaluate the market size and demand. The final report is being compiled. Watch for a summary of the findings on the APWA website at www.apwa.net.

Fleet has always been a leader in publication sales at APWA, and this year at Congress another technical publication for the fleet industry will be unveiled. Developed by the Fleet Services Committee and your peers at APWA, the working title of the new book is Demonstrating the Value of Your Fleet Management Program. A quote from an upcoming promotion describes the book this way: "As a fleet manager you know the important role your department plays in the success of other departments, but can you make your case at budget time? Use this book to learn about the attitudes and strategies common to all successful businesses, and use the sample business plan and service level agreements to demonstrate the value of your fleet management program." The publication will be officially released in September at the APWA Congress in Atlanta. Stop by the bookstore and be one of the first to purchase this new publication. Copies will also be available online in September at www.apwa.net.

Congress has always been the most comprehensive event for public works trends and new products, professional development, education, and premier networking events. One of the many opportunities to explore ideas and comments with your peers is to attend the roundtable discussion groups that occur on Monday and Tuesday. Join your peers in the exhibit hall and look for banner signs that will lead you to the roundtables. You'll find discussions on a variety of technical and management topics. Pull up a chair to air your thoughts on current industry issues, or stop by and just listen in.

There will be two roundtable discussions covering fleet issues. The session on Monday, September 13 at 12:30 p.m. is entitled "Who Gets It? Fuel Costs and Guaranteed Fuel Supply During Emergencies." How does your agency protect your fuel supplies and monitor usage during emergencies? Share your policies and procedures with your fleet management peers. On Tuesday, September 14 at 11:00 a.m., come by and participate in a discussion entitled "What Do You Think About Fleet Manager Certification?" APWA is investigating the possibility of establishing a certification for fleet managers. Give us your thoughts on the standards to be assessed and the value of certification to the public fleet industry.

The Fleet Services Committee would like to personally invite you to attend this year's Congress. While attending Congress you will have more than 150 education choices to consider, from technical sessions and general sessions, to roundtable discussions and full-day post-conference workshops. Topics vary from leadership and management to emergency management, information systems and personal enrichment. Following is a listing of fleet-specific technical sessions at Congress, including the one-day pre-conference workshop.

  • Fleet Pre-Congress Workshop: "Emerging Technology in Public Fleets" - Fleet managers, this workshop is for you! Join us for this insider's look into new and emerging technologies in public fleets. The Big Three manufacturers will discuss what's new and on the drawing board for public fleets, including new designs in patrol cars. Hear from an expert about the latest techniques in police car restoration, and learn about the upcoming new fuel and engine standards. Come and listen to the experts and get your questions answered.

Fleet Technical Sessions

Sunday

  • Petroleum vs. Synthetic Lubricants: The Great Debate - The great oil debate continues...is synthetic oil worth the price? With shrinking budgets fleet departments are being asked to do more with less. Will synthetic oils ease budget concerns by extending oil change intervals? Bring your questions and listen to the top oil companies present the advantages, disadvantages and warranty concerns. Find out what works for your colleagues in the open question-and-answer segment.

  • Establishing a Fleet Management System - Do you think your agency would benefit from a review of its fleet management practices, but you don't know how to get started? Here's an opportunity to hear, step by step, how one county undertook the careful evaluation of their current operations, identified challenges for improvement, and established a fleet management system that helped them maintain and manage their rolling stock and equipment more efficiently and effectively.

Monday

  • Crown Vic's Fuel Tank Safety: The Arizona Remedy - After three Arizona police officers lost their lives to high-speed rear-end collisions and explosions in Ford Crown Victorias, the City of Phoenix decided to install racing fuel cells to its fleet of 733 Ford Crown Victorias. Learn about the obstacles to implementing this modification, how they were overcome, and the effectiveness of this change.

  • The Three R's to Reducing the Fleet Technician Shortage - Recognition, Retention, Recruitment - Learn how to assess the realities of the fleet technician shortage and its impact on your organization. You'll leave this session armed with the Three R's toolkit of innovative strategies to enhance your workplace environment. Receive tips for retaining staff and attracting skilled mechanics, as well as ideas to improve your new hire selection process.

Tuesday

  • New Diagnostic Technology in Public Fleets - Looking for an increase in technician productivity? The sooner you can diagnose the problem, the faster equipment can be repaired and returned to service. Join industry leaders Snap-On Tools, NAPA and OTC Equipment for a panel discussion about the latest advances in the technology of diagnostic equipment.

  • What Every Public Works Director Should Know About Fleet Services - A panel will discuss state-of-the-art fleet management methods including asset management, acquisition and disposal, successful administrative principles, policy and procedures, training and safety program elements, effective preventive maintenance, communication tools and current industry trends.

If you have attended APWA's International Public Works Congress & Exposition in the past, tell a colleague or friend. If you have not attended an APWA Congress, do your city, your career and yourself a favor and plan to attend this year's conference in Atlanta. You can find complete information about sessions, registration, housing, exhibits and more at www.apwa.net.

Contact any member of the Fleet Services Committee any time we can be of service. The committee's current roster, meeting minutes, and other information can be found at www.apwa.net/About/PET/Fleet/.

Karen Bloodworth can be reached at (800) 848-APWA or at kbloodworth@apwa.net.