Bright Ideas: Fleet Management Policies

This special issue offers a collection of 150 best practices, proven solutions, and creative new concepts in successful fleet management, gathered from fleet manager surveys, news, and industry coverage. This section focuses on fleet management policies.

July 2009, Government Fleet - Feature

by Staff

Click here for full article.

Fleet Policy Best Practices
A comprehensive fleet policy clearly defines the details of:

  • Fiscal management and budget.
  • Vehicle/equipment assignment.
  • Out-of-jurisdiction and personal use.
  • Driver training and behavior.
  • Accident and risk management procedures.
  • Fuel management.
  • Data management.
  • Preventive maintenance and repair procedures.
  • Utilization.
  • Vehicle/equipment specification, procurement, and replacement.
  • Vehicle/equipment disposal.
  • Vehicle registration, identification, and marking.
  • Vehicle idling.
  • Sustainability/environmental issues, including energy and greenhouse gas emissions reductions.
  • Personnel.

Steps in Writing Fleet Policy
"Professional fleet managers are responsible for carefully developing fleet policies and procedures. The following steps outline the process:

  1. Prepare and research. Contact peers with similar organizations. Research the Web for relevant resources.
  2. Obtain staff support. Bring together representatives from all relevant parties — drivers, technicians, supervisors, department managers, and union officials — for input on a rough draft of proposed policies and procedures.
  3. Write the policy document. Use concise, easily understood language to explain procedures in detail, including consequences for noncompliance.
  4. Arrange a legal review. An attorney representing the agency or jurisdiction should review the policy to ensure the document raises no legal issues.
  5. Review completed document. Enlist a colleague’s help to proofread and review the finished document before submitting to senior management.
  6. Distribute copies and implement. Provide a printed policy book and/or post policies and procedures on your organization’s Intranet site. Require drivers’ sign-off, signifying they have read the document."

— PatricK Bartole, CAFM, asst. facilities operations manager, New Jersey City University

"Fleet policy should be customer-oriented, emphasizing the importance of providing quality services."
—Juan Vega, fleet division manager, Dept. of Public Works & Utilities, Town of Cary, N.C.

"The State of Colorado fleet operations is implementing specific new policies regarding:

  • Vehicle anti-idling.
  • E-85 and biodiesel fuel use.
  • Environmentally preferred purchasing.
  • Avoided Vehicle Miles Traveled to track reductions in mileage.
  • Vehicle assignment policy, position description, and annual reviews of asset management performance."

—Art Hale, fleet manager, Colorado State government

"Eliminate procedures that assign blame and humiliating practices. Get rid of “Mickey Mouse” rules that can negatively impact staff action, creativity, and innovation."
— Bright Ideas survey respondent (anonymous)

"Create only relevant and necessary policies. A lengthy policy manual never gets read. Serious, pointed policies are remembered and are effective."
 —Jim Wright, president, Fleet Counselor Services, Mesa, Ariz.

"Written procedures are critical for liability purposes, providing support to the governmental agency in lawsuit-related issues."
—Doug Weichman, CAFM, director, fleet management division, Palm Beach County, Fla.

"Emphasize through fleet policy the importance of doing a quality job the first time, through such measures as training, utilizing quality parts and proper tools, and supporting time allotment adequate to perform the job right."
—Shawn Khankan, fleet services manager, Highlands Ranch Metro District, Colo.

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