The City of South Jordan, Utah, fleet team earned an Blue Seal of Excellence from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) in July 2013.
Thomas Volt, the city's fleet manager, explains that while ASE regulates that 75% of mechanics must be certified for the fleet to hold the Blue Seal, the city takes it one step further and requires every mechanic to become Master-certified automobile technicians.
Master testing includes eight tests each for both the A and T series divisions and two years of relevant work experience. The A test series tests a technician's knowledge of light-duty automotive knowledge while the T series tests medium- and heavy-duty truck expertise. With three certified full-time mechanics, South Jordan boasts a 100% certification record.
Volt, who has been the fleet manager for 18 months, is also a master technician in both light and heavy trucking. With 299 vehicles, South Jordan has a higher-than-average mechanic to equipment ratio, he said.
As to why Volt requires all his technicians to be certified, he said, "I thought it would be a good boost for morale and show we have dedicated mechanics and staff to our customer: the city."
The testing is not a simple process, either and according to Volt, while the city pays for the tests, each technician is trusted to take care of the studying on his own. Volt says that for his own testing, it took him two or three years to get through all the light and heavy testing.
Because annual recertification is required, Volt and his crew are gearing up to send in their paperwork on behalf of the city this July, at the end of their fiscal year. For the technicians to continue to hold their certifications, they have to recertify each test area within a five-year period. It's always an ongoing process.
By Kelsey Nolan