What is the size and the most challenging aspect of the fleet you are managing?
Compass Group has over 1,000 vehicles. These include LV mine spec vehicles, forklifts, electric club cars, mine site buses, garbage trucks, Refrigerated food vans, to name a few. There are quite a few challenging aspects. One is to ensure that all vehicles are fit for purpose and in line with our many and varying client specifications. The other would be the engaging of hundreds of suppliers and repairers across the country in remote locations to keep our vehicles serviced and operational. Downtime in remote locations can cease operations very quickly causing massive issues for all concerned.
Is safety a big focus for Compass Group?
Compass Group has a safety first culture and this is paramount in all our operations, including the operation of vehicles. We have many procedures in place including compulsory pre-start checks. All our vehicles are fitted with IVMS to ensure the safety of our employees and include a panic or man down button in case of emergency. Our vehicles are all 5-star ANCAP rated and we work continually to maintain the highest safety standards while looking for ongoing improvement to exceed this standard.
Are you currently buying, or planning to buy electric vehicles?
Wherever possible we are looking at transitioning to electric vehicles. In particular our urban sector where we use small food vans for transporting or supplies through city areas. Currently we have over 150 electric club cars. These are used predominantly throughout our mine site villages as they are small and silent. This allows us to complete our daily service tasks with vehicles that will not disturb sleeping shift workers, and are cheap, clean and environmentally friendly to run. We have just begun to put out club cars with solar panels. This doubles the battery life and running time of the vehicles making them even more efficient while saving on carbon emissions and battery waste.
Did you choose fleet management as a career, or did it choose you?
I think this was a little of both. I began looking after half a dozen vehicles as part of an admin role with the Snowy Mountains Engineering company in Cooma NSW. Then moved to Sydney and worked with a not-for-profit organisation that had 150 small sedans. From there I moved into the leasing side with an FMO. After eight years in that role I was offered the position of National Fleet Manager for Compass. It meant moving to the other side of the country and learning mining requirements with a very different fleet than I was used to including yellow goods. The role was extremely challenging and exciting at the same time. Nine years later I still enjoy every day and every new challenge.