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Image: Technology Improvements

Technology Improvements

A major component of any fleet is “right sizing”.  Having a fleet that is too big wastes energy, materials and money.  Fleet Services is implementing a new maintenance management software which contains features to assist in "right sizing" a fleet.  This includes monitoring equipment usage, identifying vehicles that may not be needed, and targeting vehicles that may need more frequent preventive maintenance.  Fleet Services also participated in an EPA grant that was administered by Wisconsin DNR.  The project installed catalytic oxidation mufflers on nine pieces of heavy equipment such as, end loaders, graders and bulldozers to reduce particulate emissions.  Fleet has also recently installed a new fuel monitoring system to accurately monitor fuel consumption.  Finally, Fleet installed 153 AVL/GPS units in Streets and Water Utility vehicle to monitor use, location and vehicle operating data. There are more units scheduled to be equipped with AVL/GPS units in 2007 and 2008.
Image: Bio-diesel

Fuels, Lubricants, Solvents

Fleet Services use ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel in all off-road equipment, 4 years before required by EPA.  This includes all end loaders, large mowing equipment, tractors, street sweepers, and brush chippers.  In addition, Fleet Services introduced bio-diesel for the City entire fleet.  Currently the City is running at a 5% blend and will look to increase that to 10% in spring of 2008.  The City also uses a 10% ethanol blend of unleaded gasoline.

Fleet Services is currently evaluating replacing a product called oil dry that is used to absorb oil spills. The City uses approximately 3000 to 5000 pounds of oil dry annually. Oil dry is a clay product that absorbs the spill and is then sent to the landfill. The new product is made from peat moss.  The peat moss can absorbs more of the spill with less product.  The peat moss holds the hydrocarbons and degrades the hydrocarbons through a bacterial process.  Fleet has also replaced seven petroleum-based parts washers with two automated parts washers that use a biodegradable soap.  Finally. Fleet has also moved away from solvent-based floor cleaners to remove grease and oil and replaced them with an environmentally safe cleaner.
Image: Reduce and Recycle

Reduce and Recycle

Fleet Services continues a highly successful recycling program. The First Street Maintenance facility was awarded the “Recycler of the Year Award” by the Associated Recyclers of Wisconsin in 1996, and has continued to add items to the list of recycled products.  Recycling includes:  batteries, waste oil, used oil filters, anti-freeze, scrap metal, catalytic converters for precious metal recovery, and aluminum. In addition, Fleet needs to replace batteries in police squad cars frequently, however, Fleet upgraded to a battery with a high duty cycle design, which costs more up-front, but will last significantly longer making the purchase cost effective.  There is the added benefit of reducing the disposal of used batteries.