In my hunt for hand sanitizer in the past week, empty shelves in nearly every store — of cleaning supplies, pasta and canned food, and of course, toilet paper — make it seem like everyone is out for themselves.

Nationwide, we’ve been encouraged to practice “social distancing” to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. I live in San Francisco, which has enacted a strict “shelter-in-place” directive. All non-essential employees are encouraged to work from home, and bars and restaurants are closed except for take-out service.

Is fleet management an essential service? Most would say yes — police officers, firefighters, utility workers, and others still need their vehicles to function, and we need fleet managers to handle emergency operations and technicians to ensure vehicles can stay on the road.

But how can fleet managers keep technicians and fleet workers safe? Administrative staff can often work from home, provided they have the resources to do so, but technicians are the ones interacting with customers, getting into seats, and touching keys and steering wheels. And how do fleet operations ensure vehicles are cleaned properly after use, and with what chemicals? What do you do if you can’t get cleaning supplies and wipes?

These are just some of the concerns I’ve been hearing about — as well as how fleet operations are answering these questions. We’d like to be the hub for this information, to delve into the specifics of how the pandemic is affecting your department and present you with news and solutions that you won’t find elsewhere. Our goal is to provide you with resources to help you run your operation.

One of the amazing things about the government fleet community is the ability and desire to share ideas and practices with one another.  Here are some resources that may help:

  1. Join the ongoing discussion in our private FleetShare online community about how to handle coronavirus.
  2. Stay updated on the latest fleet-related news on our website, and also, contact me and let me know how your operation is ensuring driver and employee safety and what we can do to help.
  3. Join us for a virtual roundtable about how to handle the coronavirus on Monday, March 23, at 10am Pacific. Let’s have a candid discussion. Please e-mail me for more details:

Unfortunately, it’ll get worse before it gets better. Sharing knowledge is one way we can get through this more effectively. Let’s not be like the hand sanitizer and toilet paper hoarders.

About the author
Thi Dao

Thi Dao

Former Executive Editor

Thi is the former executive editor of Government Fleet magazine.

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