Sam Lamerato (far left) moderated a session about cooperative procurement.

Sam Lamerato (far left) moderated a session about cooperative procurement.

Preparing for autonomous vehicles, disaster planning, purchasing and specifications, and developing a fleet replacement program were all topics discussed at the American Public Works Association’s (APWA) Public Works Expo (PWX) this week in Orlando.

The four-day conference included a fleet-specific track led by the association’s fleet services committee, providing educational sessions on various topics. In addition, at least three sessions at the conference specifically discussed autonomous and connected vehicle technology and how public works agencies can prepare for them.

On August 27, the APWA appointed J. Darryl Syler, fleet manager for the City of Dublin, Ohio, as its fleet services committee chair, replacing Sam Lamerato, CPFP, retired fleet superintendent for the City of Troy, Mich., who stepped down at the end of his term.

One of the fleet committee’s projects for this year is updating the fleet services books sold in the APWA store. Syler said two books — on spec writing and equipment class codes — should be updated by January 2018.

New for this year, the fleet committee hosted an open forum with attendees to see what they wanted to learn about at future shows. Topics discussed include benchmarking, policies and procedures, insourcing and outsourcing, and renting versus buying equipment. Syler said the successful open forum will most likely be repeated in the future.

In addition to Syler and Lamerato, other fleet services committee members include Mary Joyce Ivers, CPFP, from the City of Ventura, Calif.; JD Schulte, CPFP, from the City of Moline, Ill.; Lloyd Brierley, CPFP, from the City of Toronto, Canada; Jeff Tews, CPFP, from the City of Milwaukee, Wis.; and Kevin Schlangen, CPFP, from Dakota County, Minn.

Aside from educational sessions, the conference included three days on the expo floor, which featured numerous vehicles and equipment for public works fleets. Also new for this year was a roadeo, where contestants raced to succesfully complete the tennis ball challenge and the pipe lift pin challenge.

Click on the link below to see photos from the expo floor.