The objective of Fleet Maintenance is to optimize equipment utilization, lower costs, and improve service by using modern maintenance practices and technologies. Fleet Maintenance is responsible for all of the vehicles used by the Elmira Police Department, Elmira Fire Department, and Department of Public Works. This includes the maintenance of several police cruisers, diesel engine fire trucks, the KME aerial platform, garbage trucks, mowers, snow plows, street washers, supervisor pickups, and many other vehicles and equipment used by the City of Elmira.
Through the use of best practices such as hiring qualified mechanics, continuous training and certification, preventive maintenance, computerized fuel management, management of parts inventories, and scheduled replacement based on equipment life cycles, DPW Fleet Maintenance is able to cut costs and continue to provide superior service to the city departments that provide necessary city services.
Special attention is paid to safety. Periodic department meetings are held to educate employees, stressing accident prevention and personnel safety. Employees analyze and discuss recent accidents and to prevent future accidents, employees consider corrective and preventive measures that need to be taken.
City equipment is powered by diesel, gasoline, and propane engines that are water- or air-cooled. Machinery such as lawn mowers, automobiles, trucks, and construction equipment run under preventive maintenance schedules as specified by the respective manufacturers. Units that have been in service for 20, 30, or even 40 years prove the benefit of regular maintenance and lubrication.
Bulk storage fuel tanks insure that Fire, Police and Public Works equipment have 24-hour access as needed. Bad weather or possible emergencies make this safeguard especially important. The above-ground design eliminates the expense of underground petro tite testing, which saves hundreds of tax dollars each year. Fleet software programs incorporate NYS-DEC and Association of Service Station Operator’s procedures to monitor inventory and to insure compliance and accuracy.
Computerized fleet management software provides data necessary to establish and maintain inventory-stocking levels. Proper stocking-levels insure not only that parts are available, but they also minimize downtime. Manufacturers obsolescence programs have been successfully used to identify unneeded parts and supplies. Underutilized parts are monitored, evaluated and returned for credit, thus saving inventory costs.
Operating and maintenance costs are evaluated for each unit. Costs can be kept down by using trade publications to compare fuel, tire and maintenance costs to other commercial fleets. The age, mileage, condition of equipment, and the availability of funds are key factors in vehicle replacement decisions.
Mechanics certified for New York State Inspection maintain and repair city vehicles and equipment. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) has tested and certified 447,000 technicians nationwide including Fleet Maintenance mechanics.
City Fleet Maintenance staff are certified in these areas:
- Parts specialist
- Auto technician
- Truck technician
- Re-certified master
- Automobile technician
- Recertified master
- Medium/heavy truck
All major equipment is purchased according to municipal law through the publication of specifications and the solicitation of bids. Vendors should contact the Purchasing Department directly for information regarding bid specifications. Vendors that wish to notify Fleet Maintenance regarding a product that is not put out for bid, may send mail. The Fleet Maintenance Supervisor will only reply to those offers that the City may be interested in.
When equipment has been replaced, is no longer needed, or has exceeded it’s life cycle, it is sold at the City’s annual auction. The auction, usually held in October, makes this equipment available to the highest bidder. Items on the auction list, their condition, and the time and date of the auction are usually announced at least one month prior to the auction. In some instances, a second auction may be held in the spring to dispense of equipment when excessive inventories are present. Contact the Purchasing Department for more details regarding the annual auction and items available for auction.