Standardizing Makes Sense for Glendale
Like a lot of municipalities, the City of Glendale, Calif., until recently had a fragmented approach to fleet management, with various pieces of equipment housed in separate city departments. “Now we’re essentially an in-house leasing company for anything ‘roadable,’” says Karl Vogeley about the fleet services division of the public works department for Glendale.
This is the first foray into public service for Vogeley, who came to Glendale as fleet manager a couple of years ago with an impressive resume in fleet management experience with the U.S. Army, PepsiCo and Armored Transport.
The city had made the decision to organize all fleet services within the public works department, but had not yet implemented the change when Vogeley arrived in 2010. Orchestrating a single, coordinated fleet management operation was his first assignment, and it included purchasing, warehousing, maintenance and logistics of approximately 1,000 pieces of equipment ranging from motorcycles to fire trucks.
Faced with such complexity, Vogeley says, “We know intuitively that it makes sense to standardize equipment wherever possible. It used to be that the lowest bid was the primary decision factor for new purchases so, inevitably, there was a big variety of equipment. But now the fleet guys are looking not only at the initial cost, but also at serviceability and ease of maintenance. A single brand across the board saves money in initial purchases, stocking parts and maintenance. It makes sense.”
The Glendale fleet includes about 25 Freightliner trucks purchased between 1998 and 2012, which are used by the city’s power and water bureaus, and for asphalt paving, forestry and sewer cleaning.
A M2 112 CNG aerial bucket truck with a man lift, for use by City of Glendale, Calif., electric linemen.
Under Vogeley’s direction, Glendale’s contracts now specify Freightliner trucks. In a state with the toughest emission standards in the country, the city no longer buys diesels and all of the trucks have automatic transmissions. The water and power bureaus departments converted to compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles in 2006 and the rest of the city bureaus moved to CNGs in 2010. The city’s buses, trash and dump trucks are CNG, as well. Even the privately-owned taxi company runs on CNG.
CNG fueling has never been a problem. The city partnered with the biggest local natural gas fuel provider, Clean Energy, to create a CNG fuel station that is open to the public, as well. “And if there’s a wait at our CNG station, our trucks can use the City of Burbank station about five miles down the road,” says Vogeley.
The city recently added two new Freightliner trucks to its fleet: a M2 112 CNG aerial bucket truck with a man lift, for use by electric linemen, and a M2 112 CNG flat bed with an articulated knuckle boom crane on the back of the body for spotting steel plates to cover excavations. Truck Hydraulics of Fontana was the upfitter for the bucket truck and Mobile Hydraulics of San Marcos was the upfitter for the Palfinger knuckle boom crane, both of which were purchased from Los Angeles Freightliner in Whittier.
Vogeley reports that the operators like the new Freightliner trucks, “which is very important to us. They tell us these trucks are comfortable, easy to drive, easy to see out of and they don’t break down. Trucks have come a long way in the past 20 years.”
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