A Certification for Heavy Equipment Fleet Managers

November 2013, Government Fleet - Feature

by Thi Dao - Also by this author

At a Glance

The Association of Equipment Management Professionals’ education offerings include:

  • The Certified Equipment Manager (CEM) certification for experienced fleet managers
  • The Equipment Manager Specialist (EMS) certification for those with up to five years of experience
  • AEMP University, which offers online training and webinars
  • Two conferences annually that provide training.

Continuing education is always an advantage in the fleet industry. There are various certifications available to public fleet professionals, but one more specifically addresses the concerns of fleet managers with a significant percentage of heavy equipment, both off-road and on-road — the Certified Equipment Manager (CEM) certification from the Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP).

The AEMP formed in 1982 and works to advance heavy-duty on- and off-road fleet management as a career. Its members form what Sara Sanderman, vice president of education, describes as an equipment triangle, with the corners formed by OEMs, dealers, and end users. This group makes up the core membership of the AEMP.

Public sector involvement has dropped in the past few years from a high of 40% of membership, due to the economy and public agencies’ ability to fund travel and training efforts, Sanderman said. However, she does expect public sector membership to increase and is already seeing a larger number of government fleets come back.

As that happens, fleets today are benefiting from the specialized education the association provides.

A Certification for Heavy-Duty Fleet Managers

The AEMP, and hence its certifications, distinguishes itself from other associations through its focus on heavy equipment. Its target then, is fleets, both public and private, that have significant amount of heavy equipment, and these fleets in turn look to the association to provide what may be more specialized training.

Newell Brooks, CEM, manager of auxiliary programs for the North Carolina Department of Transportation, earned his certification through a recent ­department-sponsored training session. Brooks explained that the fleet professionals in the DOT staff are broken up into 14 different geographic areas — each area has a fleet manager and an equipment superintendent.  Of the 75 individuals who qualified for the training program (eligibility is determined by whether the person is a supervisor, oversees equipment, and has 15 years of experience), 15 participated in the recent training session.

The session, presented in conjunction with Ferris State University and the National Center for Pavement Preservation, focused on the CEM curriculum as well as performance-based management, data-­driven decision-making, fleet management systems, fleet utilization and optimization, and sizing of equipment fleets, Sanderman said.

Brooks said the department chose the CEM because of its fleet makeup — the DOT has no sedans, its smallest vehicles are Class 1 pickup trucks, and between 35% and 40% of its fleet consists of off-road equipment.

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