Government Fleet Top News

City of Fernandina Beach Reaps $100K from eBay Sales

January 18, 2009

FERNANDINA BEACH, FL -  Fernandina Beach has made more than $100,000 since March 2007 from eBay sales of surplus vehicles and other items, according to records from the city's Fleet Maintenance Department reported News-Leader.

More than 30 used vehicles were sold during that time period. Those vehicles range from Ford Crown Victorias used by the police department to full-sized dump trucks used by city maintenance workers. The city's fleet also includes vehicles such as golf carts and tractors, which are also sold at auction when their mechanical condition requires more upkeep than is worthwhile.

Jeremiah Glisson, fleet maintenance director, is in charge of putting the surplus vehicles on eBay for auction. Most of the city vehicles that end up on eBay are listed in "poor" condition. For example, a 1990 Ford F-150 pickup truck with 125,000 miles sold for $1,325; a 1990 Jeep Cherokee SUV with 98,000 miles sold for $1,576; a 1989 Chevrolet C1500 pickup truck with 129,000 miles sold for $886. A 1983 Ford L8000 dump truck with 180,000 miles sold for $2,950; a 2002 Ford Crown Victoria with 104,000 miles sold for $2,469; and a 1990 Ford L8000 dump truck with 96,000 miles sold for $6,800, reported News-Leader.

Glisson noted that some vehicles with lower mileage, such as a 1995 Jeep Cherokee SUV with 60,000 miles that sold for $2,576, were put up for auction because they had problems like rust or transmission failure. The 1995 Jeep Cherokee had been used as a beach vehicle, which caused it to sustain severe rusting. A 2001 F-550 service truck with 76,873 miles that was in a moderate to severe accident sold on eBay for $6,300. Glisson said the city's financial return since using eBay has been 400 to 500 percent higher than the former sealed-bid process. The city bases its surplus-vehicle sales on a "life cost analysis."

According to the city's fleet management policy, "the optimum time to replace a vehicle is when its total costs, averaged over the vehicle's lifetime, are at a minimum." Mileage is the primary replacement criterion, but age and use of the vehicle are also factors. Cars and trucks are replaced based on a triple-tier rotation program. Light-duty vehicles are replaced as needed. Regular and heavy-duty vehicles are replaced according to a 10-year/7,500-hour/100,000-mile schedule. Severe-duty vehicles are replaced at a 7-year/75,000-mile rotation.

Glisson says that vehicles are not necessarily replaced according to the rotation program. Depending on how the vehicle is used, it may have a useful life far beyond 100,000 miles. Patrol cars and beach vehicles, because of heavy use, may have to be replaced sooner. City employees have use of a "loaner pool" of vehicles for conferences and seminars within the state. Those vehicles are pulled from other departments, said Glisson, when they are not being fully utilized. The loaner pool presently consists of four Ford Crown Victorias, said Glisson, ranging from 1998 to 2004.

When new vehicles ordered this year by the city arrive in February or March, the city manager's 2006 Ford Escape with 23,000 miles on it will join the loaner pool. He will get a new vehicle. The city also has a standardization clause in its operating procedure manual, which means that the city strives for an "equal, matched, and consistent fleet."

More than 75 percent of its vehicles are Fords, which keeps the parts inventory manageable. Devices such as used computer monitors, air compressors and VCRs have also been put on eBay, but the city has not had as much success selling those types of items. Proceeds from eBay auctions, said Glisson, go to those city departments that are set up with revenue accounts, such as enterprise funds.

An auction revenue account has also been established in the city's general fund for the 2008-2009 budget.

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