Recently, my staff and I concluded a meeting that I wasn’t necessarily looking forward to. Our meeting concerned our utter frustration with having to maintain a constantly aging fleet with limited labor resources. We found ourselves meeting to discuss extending the PM intervals not because it’s optimal for the equipment, but to cope with an increasing labor requirement and a reduced labor force.

Much of our equipment, already well over its lifecycle, is requiring an enormous amount of labor hours just to keep it running. Our repair hours consume over 60% of our available labor time. Since there is no capital equipment replacement relief on the horizon (near or long term) we have no choice but to manage the limited labor hours the best way we can. Like I said, is it optimal for the fleet…no, but it is the only way I can manage the workload without burning-out my technician staff.

Now some of you may suggest that there are other ways to fund the fleet and that we should reduce its size, but we have tried and/or done all of that. Obviously, our fleet will always be maintained in a safe and efficient manner, but it would sure be nice to see some light (or relief) at the end of a very dark tunnel. You may garner from my comments that I have surrendered to the status quo or just don’t care, but either is further from the truth. The issue is that I do care, but the ability to solve the issues are becoming increasingly out of my control. That is what frustrates me.

Are you in a situation like mine? Are you adjusting your maintenance program to meet your labor resources and not the fleet? I know it should be the other way around, and there should be a balanced approach, but that is just not possible at this time.

 

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Anonymous Author

Public Fleet Manager

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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