Barrow County, Ga., has created a fleet replacement policy and identified that a quarter of its vehicles need immediate replacement. The fleet, managed by the county manager and public works director, consists of fewer than 300 units.
County Manager Michael Renshaw explained that in prior years, it was up to department heads to request funding for vehicle replacements. Different requirements per department and “spotty” maintenance record-keeping meant “we didn’t have a data-driven platform,” for making replacement decisions, Renshaw said.
Renshaw and several department heads sought to find a way to better track and make more informed decisions about replacements, eventually settling on the PROFIT$ software from Longobart-Ross Consulting. The system identifies what vehicles need to be replaced and allows the county to generate up to 12 reports that graphically show the condition of the fleet.
“It allows me to give [county commissioners] quantitative, objective data,” Renshaw said.
The new guidelines for replacement include 5 years or 100,000 miles for patrol vehicles, 10 years or 125,000 miles for sedans, and 10 years or 85,000 miles for pickup trucks.
The county is trying to catch up on vehicle replacements. This year, the new system has identified that 24% of the fleet — mostly Sheriff’s Office vehicles — needs to be immediately replaced. Renshaw said he is confident the county will be able to fund these purchases with its newly created fleet replacement fund, general fund dollars, and money from the special-purpose local-option sales tax (SPLOST).
In 2016, the county also voted to outsource its light- and medium-duty vehicle maintenance and repair in an effort to improve efficiency and record-keeping. The county retained technicians to work on heavy-duty equipment while a dealership takes care of lighter vehicles.