ST.GEORGE – The St. George fleet division recently received the ASE Blue Seal of excellence, placing them in the top 10 percent of fleets in the country. Statewide, only St. George and Salt Lake City fleets carry this high certification from the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence.
The seal requires employees to certify in specialty areas both as a group, and as individuals. As a city fleet, however, technicians are faced with the challenge of servicing everything from police patrol cars, city busses, street sweepers, tractors and many other vehicles that normally aren’t seen in typical mechanic shops.
Servicing over 800 vehicles, the fleet division has reduced the cost to the city by installing their own parts, fitting police vehicles with necessary equipment, performing preventative maintenance, becoming a warranty dealer, and even recycling used oil to heat the building in the winter months.
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Videocast by Chris Caldwell, St. George News
“We save a substantial amount of money for the city. Our overhead costs are roughly half of what they would be for a regular business,” Fleet Manager Courtney Stephens said. “Because of the economy we have been keeping our equipment longer, so it keeps us busy to keep all that stuff going.”
Unlike other divisions of city operations that serve the public in one way or another, the fleet division’s “customers” so to speak are only the city’s own divisions and departments whose machines and vehicles are the fleet division’s responsibility to maintain. The fleet employs 10 full-time mechanics, and each have decades of experience with the specialized equipment and with auto mechanics in general.
“We are one of two government entities in the state of Utah who has the blue seal certification,” Joseph Robinson, fleet technician and operations manager, said, “which consists of having 75 percent of our technicians ASE certified in the areas we cover.”
Exceptional to many one-time certifications, the ASE Blue Seal must be maintained as additional standards are set, new vehicles are introduced, and as the presence of technology increases in modern vehicles.
“We have a great shop,” Robinson said. “We have been really lucky that the council has supported that. We are able to do work here and not send it out, because of staying up on all of our training.”
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