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Fleet Maintenance

Dale Krezan, Manager (7 years with APS, Manager 3 years)15 Technicians and Support Personnel

Fleet Maintenance responsibilities includes Vehicle Maintenance; Specialty Equipment Maintenance (small engine grounds equipment); Tire and Towing; Fuel Station; Lincoln Complex automated security gate access and fueling systems maintenance; point of contact for vehicle accident processing; APS and M&O Drivers’ License issuance, background checks, and management of the program.

The Fleet Maintenance Department maintains the District’s wide range of safe, dependable, and fuel efficient fleet that includes approximately 1,000 vehicles (cars used by administrative leadership and APS Police); M&O’s comprehensive collection of commercial vans and trucks, earth moving and other heavy equipment, backhoes, loaders, trailers, water trucks, road graders, snow removal equipment, and wreckers; and refrigerated box trucks used by APS Food Services. The Department is also responsible for servicing grounds maintenance equipment consisting of over 7,000 pieces of machinery located at schools, M&O, and other sites throughout the District. These include riding and push lawn mowers, trimmers, hedgers, blowers, chainsaws, golf carts, gators, and other miscellaneous motorized equipment.

All mechanics, working in a fully equipped 26-bay facility, hold a State of New Mexico Commercial Driver’s License necessary to operate heavy equipment, and Air Care Station certifications for emissions tests conducted and “passed” certifications issued on site along with mechanic certifications. The mechanics are also skilled welders and fabricators. APS’ in-house fleet maintenance operation results in enormous savings to the District.

Tire Shop technicians provide road repairs and wrecker service. The Fuel Station technician monitors the fueling system that dispenses about 1,000 gallons of unleaded gasoline and 300 to 500 gallons of diesel fuel daily to run APS as well as CNM vehicles (reimbursed to the District). In addition, the Fuel Station provides propane gas for roofing equipment, Materials Management forklifts, heavy equipment, and other assorted equipment. Fuel is purchased through a negotiated City of Albuquerque contract (weekly spot price) and is delivered to the Fuel Station. Fleet vehicles can also be conveniently power washed and vacuumed at the Station at any time during hours of operation.

The Department’ work orders are managed by two computer software systems. FleetVision software is utilized for “smart tracking” vehicle maintenance control that includes vehicle history; driver information; VIN and license plate numbers; maintenance records; PM due notification; and vehicle fueling history that includes quantity, date, and miles to the gallon. Trak Engineering’s “Dream Island software” is a security system that tracks and records all APS and CNM vehicles entering and exiting Lincoln Complex during off-hours when Complex gates are locked. Dream Island provides an electronic key system that coordinates the fuel station information that is exported to the FleetVision system software. Fleet Maintenance work orders were also added to the SchoolDude work order system several years ago to track and manage work order activity (not FleetVision capable). While duel entry is now necessary, the tighter management and control of the thousands of WOs performed annually is vastly improved and advantageous to Fleet Maintenance management and their customers.

The Department’s administrative responsibilities include obtaining vehicle body repair estimates from vendors and directing the repairs and coordinating with Risk Management; guiding APS drivers through the post-accident APS process; and managing the M&O APS Driver’s License program which includes running monthly drivers’ license background checks on all approved APS licensed drivers.

Highlights

Implemented a quick service Lube Lane

After reorganizing the Tire Shop, a previous Shop position now serves as the new Lube Lane tech. He services small repairs, such as belts or wiper replacements, and Schedule 1 (4,000 mile) PM inspections which includes changing oil and topping fluids. The Lube Lane technician also performs Schedule 2 (12,000 mile) inspections. Previously, vehicles were added to the repair appointment schedule, at times about a month out. Now needed Schedule 1 and 2 appointments can be made a few days in advance. Service has been greatly expedited; if no repairs are needed, approximate time in the lube lane is 45 minutes. In the case of needed repairs, the vehicle is either assigned to a mechanic immediately or scheduled for a later date, depending on needed repair.

Assistant Supervisor position upgraded to Supervisor and filled, significantly improving service

Fleet Maintenance did not have an Assistant Supervisor in place to man the service desk for a year. The important check-in station, where all vehicle repairs are triaged and scheduled, had inconsistent coverage by an array of staff members covering the job for brief periods. In reorganizing the Department and upgrading the Assistant Supervisor to a full Supervisor level, the service desk is now properly manned full-time. In addition to overseeing the technicians, the Supervisor initiates and manages work orders and is credited for improving lead time in the scheduling and performance of jobs by approximately 40%. The Supervisor also functions as the service writer which keeps the Shop running effectively and efficiently. Any slack in all work processes has been tightened up, much to the appreciation of customers.

Added new personnel

Two new mechanics were hired, filling the vacancies created by the promotion of one mechanic to Supervisor and a retirement. Another vacancy was filled due to a retirement in the Specialty Equipment Shop. The Department is functioning at full capacity and operating well.

Preventive maintenance backlog improved

Last year’s Year End Report stated that due to mounting reactive work orders the PM schedule fell approximately 30 days behind. Mechanics have since done an outstanding job of getting a handle on the essential PM work and are now scheduling preventive maintenance work orders just several days to no more than a week in advance. 

Added approval level on all vehicle purchases

A newly enforced multi-level review and approval process for the request and purchase of new vehicles has provided more scrutiny of drivers’ vehicle requests and specific needs. Vehicle choices are checked for appropriateness from the standpoint of functionality and cost value to taxpayers. The revised purchasing process ensures several incisive perspectives before a purchase is made with final approval by the Executive Director.

Obsolete parts inventory returned to vendors for credit

In re-evaluating its parts inventory, the Department removed items that have become obsolete and replaced them with useful high usage parts, such as filters, batteries, and certain brake shoes that are common among many vehicles. Less frequently needed automotive parts are typically delivered by the vendor within an hour or ordered immediately from the vendor’s warehouse site. The obsolete parts returned to the vendors for credit provided reusable dollars and much needed storage space. This practice will continue.

Formalized vehicle title records and processing of salvage vehicles

The Department is up to date in clearance of salvage vehicles that had been accumulating due to missing titles and an outdated process to sell old equipment. Regrettably, Fleet Maintenance has not been the consistent custodian of titles, currently in possession of only about 70%. A Department representative is acquiring official titles directly from the State Motor Vehicle Department in Santa Fe as needed and bringing all files up to date.

Assisted Food Services Department in purchasing three refrigeration trucks

The previous trucks were retired after many years of service transporting fresh food to the schools. The Fleet Maintenance Manager, in coordination with APS Purchasing Division, used several state contracts in assisting Food Services with the purchase of three chassis and cabs in addition to the refrigerated boxes placed on the chassis. Other purchases are in progress.

Assumed issuance of Vehicle Equipment Operator Permits from APS Risk Management

After careful review of all processes and directives, the Department is now responsible for administering driver training and testing (written) every two years (mandated); checking existing New Mexico motor vehicle driving records monthly; and issuing an APS permit and certificate of competency to M&O and all other APS drivers assigned to operate District commercial vehicles and large equipment. The process refines responsibilities and skills as well as reduces risk to the drivers and the District. Some types of citations (such as DUI) disqualify the employee from operating APS equipment.

Department secretary reclassified as Fleet Specialist

The secretarial role expanded to perform many supplementary responsibilities and new tasks beyond the level of secretary, which warranted the reclassification. In addition to continued office responsibilities, the Fleet Specialist attends to vehicle matters including titles and license plates, and processes vehicles for salvage. Duties also include administering the issuance of Vehicle Equipment Operator Permits (see above Highlight); working with Risk Management regarding accidents and subsequent vehicle body repairs; managing the fuel operating systems (and software) which includes billing for fuel usage to various APS Departments and schools as well CNM personnel authorized to fuel up at the APS Fueling Station.

APS Transition Students learning valuable skills while lending support to Fleet personnel

The APS Transitional Education program assists qualifying students to transition from school life to an adult job environment. The unpaid students are acquiring parts inventory training in stocking and maintaining accurate records; learning and performing minor mechanic functions and assembling equipment; and developing computer and office organization skills. The part-time workers also learn communication and social skills in becoming more prepared for securing a paid job in the future.

New PM program

Monitor generators’ diesel fuel levels at the Data Center where the District’s Information Technology Division and main computer server are housed. The generators are used for backup purposes in the event electricity to the site is lost by PNM. These generators provide power for the District’s main frame systems and Data Center.

PM programs (on-going)

In preserving the fleet, the Department performs preventive maintenance schedules based on mileage (4,000 / 12,000 / 48,000) that includes all vehicle manufacturers’ required tasks.

  • PM inspections and repairs are performed to prevent major servicing at a later date. Preventive maintenance improves gas mileage, reliability of fleet, and extends the life of vehicles.
  • A minimum of three or four PM work orders are scheduled every day in Fleet. The PM includes oil changes, transmission flushes, brake inspections and other safety inspections and repairs as required and recommended by manufacturers’ specifications.

Large grounds equipment inspection and service (typically performed in off season while not in use with
the exception of rider lawn mowers which are priority during growing season).

Special Challenge / Issue

Aging fleet continues to tax funding and work schedule limitations

APS’ vehicles have an average of 150,000-175,000 miles on them. The fleet is old, worn, and expensive to maintain. While preventive maintenance is credited for squeezing more life out of every car and service vehicle, keeping the aging fleet on the road still requires more frequent repairs and parts replacements. SB-9 funds have been earmarked specifically for new maintenance vehicle replacements. Funding will be utilized to begin updating the fleet in the current fiscal year. Until updating the fleet begins, PM and reactive work schedules will continue to be taxing. In spite of these challenges, high priority repairs (M&O service trucks and vans, APS Police units, and food service trucks) are attended to without delay – never compromising the District’s daily operational needs or the safety of any vehicle driver!

Goals

Status of 2013-14 Goals

  • Partner with Risk Management in the issuing of APS driver’s licenses for all drivers of District vehicles on Lincoln Complex. (The necessary software and equipment was purchased in 2013.)
  • Implement a Lube Lane in the Mechanic Shop. One technician will be assigned the responsibility of a Schedule 1 (4,000 mile) inspection which includes oil and filter change, fluid check, and “light line” repairs (belts, wipers, etc). “Heavy line” repairs will be scheduled for repair.

2014-2015 Goals

  • Bring 18 school buses (acquired when a school bus vendor closed their business in August 2014) up to APS, Department of Transportation, and the Public Education Department standards. Most of the buses transporting APS students are owned and maintained by bus vendors. The unexpected acquisition of 18 buses that service the east mountain schools has presented Fleet Maintenance with the maintenance of the buses, all in dire condition and several more expensive to repair than their replacement value. The Department is also responsible for conducting the mandated inspections prior to every morning and afternoon trip. Students’ safety is the District’s primary concern.
  • Replace approximately 25 of the fleet’s most high mileage and poor condition vehicles. Funding has been allotted for this purpose and at least a portion shall be released during the current fiscal year as approved by the Executive Director.
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