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Proper lifts improve fleet operations.

As the designs, size, and gross weights of municipal vehicles have changed, so have service requirements. The need to improve fleet service and reduce' operating and service cost has put more emphasis on the maintenance shop to improve its efficiency and reduce vehicle downtime. With more municipal garages emphasizing preventive maintenance, more utility fleet managers are finding new and less expensive ways to maintain their fleets.

The right facilities and lifts can be major elements in improving service efficiency. By raising the vehicle to a comfortable working height and allowing for ample space to maneuver equipment, mechanics can work more comfortably and more effectively.

Selecting the proper lifts for a municipal or utility fleet maintenance facility presents a special challenge for the facility owner, consultant/engineer, and the lift supplier. The variety of vehicles in these fleets and the many service functions to be accommodated require that all types of lifts are evaluated for each application. When servicing everything from passenger cars and vans to heavy auger trucks and refuse vehicles, the lift model mix must also reflect this variety to be efficient and cost-effective.

By solving this problem, your shop can save on vehicle downtime along with maintenance hours and overtime expenses. Rotary Lift (Madison, Indiana) has made available a system that dictates the correct way of choosing a lift that will suit all of your fleet needs. This system will also show you the time and money you can save with the proper lift compared to an inappropriate lift.

Jerry Moury, Manager of Fleet and Maintenance at Loudoun County Central Garage, took the time to survey and plan his shop to allow for the most efficient way to run his shop. "The preventive maintenance program was one of the prime considerations that we had when we designed our facility," stated Moury. "Basic to that program was the selection and installation of the proper lifts through out our facility. In order to do that, we looked at the type of vehicles, size of vehicles, and number of times those vehicles would be coming through the facility." By oversizing the bays and inserting lifts, Moury was able to keep the same amount of technicians and produce the same results. With the help of the system developed by Rotary Lift, Moury chose the appropriate lifts for his shop, allowing for a 75 percent decrease in overt!me, 30 percent decrease in vehicle downtime, and 25 percent decrease in the cost of his preventive maintenance program. "Downtime, overtime, and manning have all decreased as a direct result of having the correct facility, lifts, and tools. For the month of June 1996 our vehicle down time for 841 vehicles was two percent," said Moury.

With a little advanced planning and the right tools and equipment, your shop can maintain the same amount of employees yet get twice the amount of work done.

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Publication:Public Works
Date:Feb 1, 1997
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