Blog Post

Words of Wisdom for Fleet Managers

Whether you are managing a fleet for the first time or for the thousandth time, good advice is priceless.  In such a rapidly changing industry new issues arise everyday.  The difference between a person that just survives and one that thrives is how coach-able you are in learning new skills.

The great thing is that success leaves clues and we don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time a new problem rears its ugly head at us.  After all there is nothing new under the sun, right?  So, to be successful in a constantly changing world with all the pressures fleet managers face we need to look to those who have been where we are or are going. Learning from those that have gone before us and taking the advice from years of triumphs and mistakes is what separates the fast learning, quick change “overnight” success stores and the slow paced, out paced, left behind knuckleheads of yesterday.

This is exactly what has done when they put together a collection of words of wisdom from public sector fleet managers. The contributors were very kind to share funny stories, personal experiences, mistakes, advice, and what they wish they had known in their early fleet years.

Some of favorite quotes:

What I Wish I’d Known: “Focus on the values and ethics of the people you hire rather than the skill set. If you can get good skills with good values, that is a plus. Skills can be learned, but values come from the heart of a person.” – Wayne Corum, director of equipment services, City of Fort Worth 9 years

What I Wish I’d Known: “Hire to your weaknesses. We tend to hire people who are like us with the same strengths. Hire people who can “fill in the blanks.” If you aren’t a numbers person, hire someone who is. If you aren’t a “technical” type, hire someone who is. Don’t be intimidated by them. Their knowledge is why you hired them. They will make your organization look good.” – Marilyn Rawlings CEM, fleet manager, Lee County Fleet Management, Fla. 21 years

A Mistake to Learn From: “Not fully realizing that many people who have a couple of personal cars consider themselves to be “experienced fleet managers.”” – Alan Kies, CAFM, CPFP, equipment manager, Pierce County Public Works & Utilities, Wash.   39 years

Best Advice: “Take your time and learn first to be a good listener. Your people are your best resource. If you are new, chances are some of the staff know more than you.” – John Trojanovich, retired equipment manager, Arizona Dept. of Transportation 53 years

Read the entire article here.