How Knoxville Fleet Services Earned its ASE Blue Seal of Excellence

August 15, 2011

KNOXVILLE, TN - The City of Knoxville's Fleet Services light shop has earned the ASE Blue Seal of Excellence for the third year in a row. Government Fleet spoke with Keith Shields, deputy director of fleet services for Knoxville about the processes and procedures the organization has in place to achieve this distinction. The City of Knoxville's fleet has 1,483 assets, 923 light-duty vehicles, 29 of which are off-road, and 560 heavy-duty vehicles, 314 of which are off-road.

Maintaining these vehicles are 23 technicians, 10 of which are ASE certified, Shields said. The City also has a total of four master technicians, two at the light shop and two at the heavy shop.

"Fleet's maintenance workload between the 2 shops is diverse," Shields said. "The light shop has a more predictable workload with the type of equipment they service. The light shop has the automobiles as well as light duty trucks. The heavy shop has many different types of equipment to service. The heavy shop also has a small engine, welding and tire shop. They also service the larger fire department assets."

To ensure its technicians are able to keep up with the pace of change happening across all types of vehicles and equipment, Shields said Fleet Services ties advancement to certifications.

"We have a policy for a technician to advance within their classification that they have a minimum number of ASE certifications for that classification," Shields said. "We try to take advantage of any training/educational opportunities offered by vendors. We strive to stay current with technology through seminars, webinars, and hands-on demos. Fleet tries to send technicians to specialized training when applicable."

He added that technicians are required to go through online safety training each year.

Beyond training, Fleet Services has a strict PM program to ensure City departments bring vehicles in on schedule, according to Shields.

"We send out email reminders to the various department points of contact alerting them that they have a PM due in the next two weeks," Shields said. "We also email a follow up and/or call them to remind them that a PM is past due. We receive great cooperation from the various departments and their operators. Also, when a vehicle comes in for a PM, we check other items that are not part of the PM to make sure they do not need to be repaired or replaced. The last link of our chain is that we have well-trained, experienced technicians who take great pride in their work and are committed to making sure every repair is done correctly."

To manage the entire fleet, Knoxville uses Chevin Fleet Solutions' Fleetwave. Shields said the City uses it to track vehicle records, repairs, parts, billing, motor pool reservations, and driver information.

Going forward, Shields said Fleet Services plans to use scorecards for each shop to evaluate the effectiveness and better track financial data.

By Greg Basich

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