Facility Programming for a New Fleet Maintenance Facility

January 2012, Government Fleet - Feature

by Tony Yankovich

At a Glance

A facility program becomes the foundation for the facility design. To ensure a strong program, understand the elements of an operation and how they are linked:

  • Workload: What needs to be done.
  • Workforce: Who will do it.
  • Workplace: Where it gets done - the fleet maintenance facility.


The success of any large-scale building construction project begins with a comprehensive facility program. Programming a new maintenance facility requires significant time, effort, and expertise. This initial phase of the project should not be confused with the final facility design. Design defines space, systems, and components, forming them into a building. It is a "blueprint" for the construction teams and instructs them what to build and where to build it.

A facility program, on the other hand, becomes the basis or foundation for the actual design. This critical phase defines the functional application of space, the interrelationships between spaces, and the allocations of space. In many specialty building projects, such as fleet maintenance shops, health care facilities, and educational institutions, the facility program is accomplished by expert programmers working in their specific field of interest. They work in close collaboration with the owner or user organization to determine how the space will be used, who will occupy it, and what services will be provided.

Understand Operational Characteristics

In the development of a fleet maintenance facility program, there is nothing as valuable as a working knowledge of how the organization operates - how it conducts business, both strategically and tactically. These are the underlying principles of any program development of new or even modified fleet maintenance facilities. Once the operational characteristics (the business of managing, maintaining, and repairing a fleet) are understood, the foundation is in hand and a meaningful facilities program can be developed.

Define the Elements of an Operation

Every fleet maintenance operation is comprised of three essential elements:

  • Workload: What needs to be done.
  • Workforce: Who will do it.
  • Workplace: Where it gets done - the fleet maintenance facility.

They are inexorably linked. The workload must be harmonized carefully to the workforce, and together the workload and the workforce must match the workplace. When any or all of these three elements are too small or too large, they will not match up. Efficiencies and effectiveness will suffer, and costs will be unnecessarily high.

Workload can be described as "the measured accumulation of duties and responsibilities." For fleet maintenance, the associated maintenance burden must be identified. This includes preventive maintenance services, corrective repairs, vocational equipment testing (e.g., fire apparatus pump testing), and other services the fleet organization regularly provides.

Many factors affect the workload, including the size and composition of the fleet, age of the fleet, and types of work performed in-house versus tasks typically outsourced to commercial vendors. Workload is best represented by vehicle equivalency units (VEUs) and not simply the number of vehicles and pieces of equipment in a fleet.

VEUs are used to determine the maintenance effort associated with different types of vehicles and equipment. For example, a standard passenger sedan may be rated at 1.0 VEU whereas a tandem axle dump truck may be rated at 4.5 VEUs.


  1. 1. CMMS [ April 10, 2012 @ 07:14AM ]

    I like very much your article and please more explain about fleet maintenance how its used to business lines.And also this software helps to manage your Asset Management and maintain your Fleet, Equipment. it's been collect the all information of client Management, Fleet Equipment Tracking and etc...

    For more details :


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