Quitman switches to fleet management program

By Larry Tucker
Posted 2/19/20

The city of Quitman has entered into an agreement with Enterprise Fleet Management to save money and give the city newer vehicles for its various departments.

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Quitman switches to fleet management program


The city of Quitman has entered into an agreement with Enterprise Fleet Management to save money and give the city newer vehicles for its various departments.

The city owns and manages 26 vehicles, including police vehicles but excluding fire trucks. The average age across the fleet is just over 12 years old. Some of these vehicles are rapidly deteriorating, driving up the cost of maintenance. Vehicle downtime negatively impacts the efficiency of city operations. Safety is also a concern with an aging fleet.  

City Administrator Rodney Kieke is looking forward to getting started.

“In the recent past we have asked departments to reduce their limited budgets in order to fund the purchase of vehicles for another department,” Kieke explained. “Fortunately, we have very giving department heads that work together to meet the needs of the city. Budget challenges are compounded with the unforeseen maintenance expenses and the need for surplus equipment to ensure continuous operations when vehicle downtime occurs.“

Searching for a better approach to managing the fleet both financially and operationally led the city to Enterprise Fleet Management.

“Solutions offered by an organization with two million cars under its control made a great deal of sense to the city council.  The recommended solution is to achieve the lowest cost of ownership for each vehicle.  For the majority of our daily use vehicles, exception being vehicles with a large accessory load such as police cars, replacement on a yearly basis lowers the cost of ownership  near break-even,” Kieke said. “For example, we purchase a ¾-ton work truck through the government pricing plan, pay a fixed rate for maintenance, and include the fuel and insurance cost. Enterprise sells that vehicle at 12 to 14 months, our total yearly cost of ownership on that vehicle will be less than $20. The majority of our fleet will cost us less than $1,000 per vehicle per year. A few of the larger, more expensive vehicles like dump trucks are not replaced as often, but the price will be reduced by replacing only the chassis several times.”  

The schedule will replace the current fleet over the next four budget years and produce overall savings in excess of $100,000 during that time. The hope is to reduce the overall fleet size, giving the city an even greater savings.

Enterprise has been providing fleet management for about 10 years and has recently entered into the government sector in East Texas. Surrounding cities of Longview, Sulphur Springs, Winnsboro and Commerce use Enterprise Fleet Management’s approach and viability.

Kieke talked about a time frame for implementation.

“This year we are targeting the replacement of 10 vehicles. New vehicles will begin arriving in the June-July time frame. Once a vehicle arrives, the one it is replacing will be sold. Enterprise has various avenues in which it sells used vehicles,” Kieke said. 

The amount collected from the sale of these vehicles goes directly back to the city. Enterprise has estimated a sell value of between $80K and $90K. The average time it takes Enterprise to sell a vehicle is 18 days.

“The city council is excited to enter into this agreement, to not only improve and refresh our vehicles, but to bring a financial savings to our city,” Kieke noted.