How did you get started in fleet and plant, and what was your first job in the industry?
I’ve been working in the automotive industry for 28 years, I completed my apprenticeship at an Auto Electrical and Mechanical business in an era when diagnosis was far different to now. My career led to me owning my own Auto Electrical business where I provided services into the local government, agricultural, domestic, mining and transport sectors. An opportunity in local government presented in a leadership role and I took up the challenge in 2009.
Tell us about your role and the kind of fleet and plant you manage.
My role consists of managing all whole of life, selection, procurement, maintenance, policy and process aspects of Council’s fleet assets, I also provide technical and mechanical support to various other council departments. Council has a modest fleet consisting of 45 Light vehicles, 19 Trucks, 34 Plant items ranging from a Caterpillar 836 Landfill compactor to our 1.8T Mini Excavators, 80+ mowers, miscellaneous small plant and trailers etc. and a Franna crane just to keep it interesting. My fleet team consists of 6 FTE’s in total and we operate over an area of 7,332 km2.
What’s the favourite part of your job?
The diversity, each day is met with various challenges ranging from organising the repair of an office chair, to rebuilding a final drive, to repairing specialised treatment equipment at the water plant. My day is always interesting!
What are some of the biggest challenges you see facing fleet professionals this year and beyond?
The changing face of mobility, EV’s, hybrid vehicles, changes in legislation, lighter emissions targets and changes in technology. As a fleet owner it is difficult to stay ahead of the curve and remain informed. Policy and process can quickly become redundant in the ever-changing fleet environment and it always remains a challenge to keep pace.
How do you think the fleet department can make sure it has buy-in and support from the rest of the organisation?
It’s important to have good data. Meaningful conversations hinge upon demonstrating an understanding of the organisations needs and limitations. A process of engaging the end user when planning an asset replacement is also imperative and helps build stakeholder engagement at all levels. Our size helps to this end, as communication can be considerably more difficult in larger organisations.
If you weren’t in the fleet industry, what would you be doing?
I would most likely be working in the live sound industry. I have a passion for it and have been playing in bands all my life.