Here’s what attendees at the Southeast Governmental Fleet Managers Association (SGFMA) meeting and equipment show (Oct. 6-9 in Myrtle Beach, S.C.) had to say.
"Technology in vehicles and the way these cars are being developed. And also, training. How do I get my people trained to be able to work on them? It’s mostly a budget issue, and we try to let the people who are in charge of budgeting understand that the need is there." -Shawn Sisk, fleet superintendent, City of Kings Mountain, N.C.
"Keeping up with technology and the ability to afford those software packages and things we need to keep up. And then secondly, the training for our technicians to keep up with the technology. I make the joke it’s much like your cell phone. As soon as you get your new one, the next new one’s out and your phones are already outdated. So, it’s a constant battle of keeping up with technology, the vehicles, the equipment. It’s a budgeting and time problem as well — just finding the time to send technicians to training. A lot of it is online, but some you have to attend in person." -Keith Shields, director of fleet services, City of Knoxville, Tenn.
"Funding for new vehicles. We have an aging ambulance fleet. They’re getting old, they have high mileage, and we need to replace them. The current price of ambulances is between $140,000 and $170,000, and we usually own 19 or 20. I think we have quite a hurdle to get funding for those. In the meantime, we’re fixing the ones we have, which is quite expensive." -Charlie McNair, fleet director, Robeson County, N.C.
"One of the things we deal with is the electric vehicle market — getting the electric vehicles the charging stations they need, scattered around our university campus and in the places they need to be. It’s not a mandate, but it’s responding to people who come to our campus. It’s not just students, not just employees, but it’s the general public." -Garland Veasey, director of research farm services, Clemson University, S.C.