July 10th, 2012
MEETING FLEET CHALLENGESOptimize Mobility, Preserve Infrastructure, Strengthen the Economy, by Catherine Higgins.
The First Annual National Fleet Management Conference brought fleet managers together to share expertise.
Fleet managers at the nations departments of transportation are facing many of the same issues, including limited budgets, new emissions and mileage regulations and how to manage costs during the life-cycle of equipment. Those common concerns brought fleet managers and staff members from across the nation together to share best practices and “cross pollinate ideas,” says Larry Galehouse, Director of the National Center for Pavement Maintenance.
The effort to organize the conference was born out of AASHTO’s Sub Committee on Maintenance and sponsoring agencies included, AASHTO, TRB, American Association of State Transportation Highway Transportation Officials Research Board, AASHTO Equipment Management, Technical Services Program, Southeastern States Equipment Managers Conference, Inc.
UDOT Deputy Director Carlos Braceras gave one of the keynote addresses at the conference. As the chair of the AASHTO Subcommittee on Maintenance, it was “extremely important to have Carlos give them the vision of AASHTO,” according to Galehouse.
Feedback on the conference has been largely positive, says Galehouse. The next conference will be held in 2014.
Here is an excerpt from Braceras’ address:
At the Utah Department of Transportation, we are driven in all we do by a set of strategic goals known as the “Final Four.” These strategic goals provide guidance in our department’s efforts to improve the quality of life and economic vitality of our state. These goals help remind us of our responsibilities. They are: preserve infrastructure, optimize mobility, improve safety, and strengthen the economy.
Our fleet helps us meet every one of those goals. By maintaining our roads and highways, not only is our equipment fleet preserving our infrastructure, it’s allowing us to provide a quality transportation system that helps bring industry to our state…therefore strengthening the economy. By plowing our roads during frequent and often treacherous winter storms, keeping our roads free of debris, and making repairs that keep our roads functioning smoothly…our fleet allows us to optimize mobility and improve safety.
UDOT’s fleet is valued at about $200 million dollars. Whether your DOTs have a larger fleet or a smaller fleet…it is a significant investment of taxpayer money and it is our responsibility to utilize it to the best of our ability and make it work as efficiently as possible. That’s why we’re here today. To learn from each other, to discuss what works and what doesn’t work, to find solutions to the challenges every one of our DOTs is facing in this changing economic time.
Download the entire speech here: Carlos Fleet Speech