I few weeks ago I received an email from a fellow fleet manager who was inquiring about vehicle take home policies from other agencies because he lacked his own policy. Knowing this, I decided to give him a call and provide him with some of my own insight into this topic.

I advised him that implementing someone else’s policy, to simply satisfy a requirement for one, may not be the best solution for you. There are many different methods employed to define who is entitled to a take home vehicle. What seems to get lost in the equation, is the question as to whether or not the policy has a net monetary and operational advantage for the agency. Simply allowing someone to take home a vehicle because of the off handed chance that they might be called back in an emergency may not make good business sense. Some policies I analyzed required an employee log a certain amount of callbacks in order to retain their take home vehicle privilege. However, this type of policy only encouraged unwarranted trips or falsification of the callback log to justify their status.

I would venture to say that most take home vehicle assignments fall into the category of perks and have no monetary or operational advantage to the agency. What delays would be incurred if the employee was required to drive their personal vehicle to the area in which their service vehicle is located, and then reported to the work location. What is the likelihood of a callback occurring and what would be the potential consequences of the additional delay in travel time; should they be required to drive their personal vehicle. Does the increased costs of depreciation (mileage), wear & tear, fuel, and maintenance outweigh the impact of a delayed arrival. Would it be more advantageous to the agency to provide mileage reimbursement or additional overtime to the employee to offset the costs of their personal vehicle usage, or a monthly stipend to compensate for their on-call status.

My last piece of advice to him was that take home vehicles are considered a sacred cow and people will go to the extremes to defend them. I have personally heard of fleet managers who received nasty grams and threats of bodily injury because they implemented a new take home policy, even though the policy requirement was instigated by upper management. The policy must be initiated and enforced by senior management in order to be effective. You will obviously play a role in drafting the policy, but don’t allow yourself to become the sacrificial lamb that will bear the brunt of everyone’s frustration.

Have any of you recently instituted a new or revised take home vehicle policy, and if so, were there any negative or positive consequences after its implementation?

 

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The anonymous public fleet manager is a current working fleet manager who oversees a public fleet in the U.S. He writes about controversial and stimulating topics and expresses candid opinions about some of the challenges and demands of running a fleet operation day-to-day, as well as topics that affect the industry. More than one author can contribute under the "anonymous" name, leading to a diversity of voices and opinions.

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The anonymous public fleet manager is a current working fleet manager who oversees a public fleet in the U.S. He writes about controversial and stimulating topics and expresses candid opinions about some of the challenges and demands of running a fleet operation day-to-day, as well as topics that affect the industry. More than one author can contribute under the "anonymous" name, leading to a diversity of voices and opinions.

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