Cirque Meadows by Adam Johnson

Light Duty Shop

The light duty shop at Fleet Services strives to keep the county's fleet of vehicles and equipment up and running so our fellow county employees can do their jobs. There are five technicians and one supervisor responsible for almost 400 pieces of equipment. The light duty shop is equipped to handle up to a 1 ton vehicle. The county has a wide variety of vehicles from American car manufacturers and even a couple of hybrid vehicles that we maintain. We also do most of our own up-fitting of new vehicles. Some of this work used to be outsourced but the departments having this work done by other outside vendors were not satisfied with the quality of the builds. Working with Fleet all of this work was brought back in house so we could have better quality control. Here at Fleet we build many different vehicles for different applications. The majority is for the Sheriff's department where we install all the emergency equipment in their vehicles including all the lighting and communications equipment. We also build specialty vehicles for them such as K-9 vehicles. Other vehicle builds, such as for the Road and Bridge Department, can consist of two way radios, hands free cell phone kits (with power boosters for better range), air compressors, electric winches and bulk fuel tanks. Supervisor trucks for Road and Bridge may have electronic distance meters and laptop stands as well as warning lights and hands free cell phone kits installed.

Proper maintenance on vehicles and equipment is critical if you want them to be dependable, efficient and have a long service life. Our maintenance program consists of three levels of service that should be performed every 4,000 miles. This preventive maintenance program basically mimics a factory severe duty schedule. When a vehicle comes into the shop for maintenance it is not just an oil change. Our PM scheduled services have three different levels of service which we letter A, B and C services. PM A services consist of replacing engine oil and oil filter, checking and replacing the air filter if necessary, checking all under hood fluid levels and all the fluid levels in the drive train such as transfer cases and differentials. We also check the condition of belts, hoses, battery, suspension, tires (which are usually rotated every service), brakes, exhaust system, drive train components, lights (including emergency lighting), wipers and glass. We look the unit over for any leaks, worn parts or problems of any type and make any necessary repairs. Any repair that is safety related will be completed before the unit will be allowed to go back into service. A "PM B" service includes all items in the "A" service plus the replacement of the fuel filter and cabin air filter where applicable. Now the last service schedule which is the PM C is very labor intensive. Whereas the normal "A" service takes about an hour and a "B" service takes about an hour and a half, the "C" service can take anywhere from two and a half hours to seven hours depending on the vehicle. With a "C" service the unit gets all the fluids changed. This includes the engine, transmission, transfer case (where applicable) and differential(s). The anti-freeze and power steering fluids are checked and changed if needed. Wheel bearings are packed where applicable and the vehicles are given a tune-up at 30K miles if the engine has regular spark plugs and 60K miles if it has platinum spark plugs. Fuel injector cleaner is added to the fuel system also during this service. After repairs or maintenance the equipment or vehicle will have been run and or test driven to make sure there are no other problems.

Almost all maintenance and repairs are done here at Fleet since that helps keep costs down and the quality of the service up. There are some things that are either cost prohibitive or too specialized to perform in house. Things that are outsourced consist of automatic transmission rebuilds, alignments, glass repairs, graphics, towing, paint and body work and some machine shop services. Keeping up with all the new technology coming out can also be a challenge but we try and stay up to date with training and the use of a web based repair and information site that gives us the knowledge to make a proper diagnosis and repair. Our goal is to make the maintenance and repairs on county vehicles and equipment as customer friendly and inexpensive as possible and to be able to give county personnel the right vehicles and equipment to be able to perform their jobs. Working with all county departments and personnel, Fleet purchases, up-fits, maintains, removes from service and disposes of the light duty vehicles and equipment.

Background Image: Cirque Meadows by Adam Johnson. All rights reserved.