The Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT) equipment management team has earned the inaugural Fleet Masters Award presented by the Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP). The award honors the nation’s best public and private fleet equipment managers.
The VDOT equipment program was cited for its Business Process Improvement Plan, which identifies and prioritizes the equipment program’s most critical issues. During the past four years, the program has improved its preventive maintenance process, utilization, warranty management and disposal of equipment.
“The most important aspect of our success is teamwork,” said Erle Potter, VDOT’s assistant director of equipment management. “We address critical issues agency-wide by efficiently using the talents of our equipment staff. This is done by forming small work groups of equipment staff across the state to address many issues, rather than having everyone address only a few.”
Potter said the business plan went a long way in defining the equipment management functions of VDOT’s equipment program, identifying who is responsible for each function of the program’s mission and elevating the awareness of the equipment function within VDOT. As a result, Potter pointed out, the people who manage VDOT’s equipment are ready, willing and able to deal in a constructive way with the agency’s ongoing reorganization.
“This award recognizes the importance we attach to equipment maintenance throughout the agency,” said VDOT Commissioner Philip Shucet. “We continue to aggressively look for best practices in equipment maintenance in the public as well as private sectors.”
VDOT’s fleet includes 32,000 pieces of equipment with a replacement value of $534 million. The equipment ranges from bulldozers and motor graders to chainsaws and weed eaters, and is maintained in 83 VDOT repair shops all over the state. VDOT leads the nation in governmental Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) “Blue Seal” certified shops and has more certified equipment managers than any other fleet in the country.
In addition to state roads, the department maintains all county roads except those in Arlington County in Northern Virginia and Henrico County in the Richmond area.
The Fleet Masters Program is part of the Association of Equipment Management Professionals/Construction Equipment Partnership for Growth Program. The Certified Equipment Manager program was established to elevate professional standards, enhance individual performance and recognize those who demonstrate knowledge essential to the successful practice of equipment maintenance and fleet management.