Fleet Services

Program Summary

In the spirit of Meliora and creating an “Ever Better” University, this new vehicle fleet program is being implemented to centralize University vehicle acquisition and maintenance. The number of University vehicles has steadily increased over the past several years and additional needs are anticipated due to the University’s continued growth and offsite expansion. During this same period the University has also seen an increase in insurance claims and expenses related to the vehicle fleet. Centralizing all vehicles under the University Fleet will help control costs while emphasizing safety, sustainability, and best practices. By centralizing vehicle acquisitions the University will be able to maximize assets while controlling costs. Currently, vehicle decisions are made on a department level but by centralizing vehicles and creating a master plan the University will be able to forecast future purchases and re-purpose assets to limit cost while maximizing the vehicle’s useful life.

University Facilities and Services (UF&S) will oversee and manage the University Fleet Program and the University’s vehicle acquisitions, in conjunction with Procurement. UF&S currently manages over half of the University’s licensed vehicles and operates the University’s Auto Shop. Expanding oversight to all University vehicles will allow all departments to benefit from their expertise and will create new opportunities for enhancements.

Safe Driving!

—Karen Koenig
Fleet Manager

Program Benefits

The new fleet program provides considerable advantages for its customers and for the University overall. Benefits include routine and preventative maintenance services completed by the University Auto Shop; installation of an all-inclusive vehicle management software program that promotes driver safety; positive impacts to the University’s carbon footprint; vehicle standardization; streamlined branding; and improvements to our current purchasing strategy.

Standard preventative maintenance performed by the University’s Auto Shop will help to ensure our vehicles are properly maintained, maximizing their useful life as well as their end of life value. The University Auto shop has a labor rate that averages 20% lower than outside repair shops which will help reduce University expenses.

As all University drivers are required to enroll in the Safer Driver Program, to further assist department fleet managers in their efforts to promote driver safety, a vehicle management software program, Fleetistics , has proven to be a useful tool and will be installed in every vehicle. Fleetistics provides numerous safety features including instant accident notification and a driver safety scorecard that provides data regarding speeding, hard braking, and seat belt use. As an additional benefit, Fleetistics also provides operational tools such as fuel usage reports, idling time, and route information that can help reduce emissions and lead to cost savings and increased productivity.

During the transition of this centralized approach, Fleet Services will employ standard configurations for vehicles including several models for the most common vehicle types. This process will help streamline maintenance by reducing the inventory of stock parts needed and will improve mechanic efficiency reducing downtime of vehicles and maintenance expenses. The University will also be able to develop an environmental strategy for additional electric and hybrid vehicles and plan for any related infrastructure needs.

The Office of Communications has developed new graphic designs that will adorn most University vehicles which will streamline branding efforts. In addition, all vehicles incorporated into one central fleet will allow for additional oversight on vehicle condition to ensure they meet University standards.

Guidelines and Procedure

Under the new program, the following process will take place for departments who are requesting a new or replacement vehicle.

Requesting a Vehicle
  1. Department requesters will complete the Vehicle Acquisition Form on the UF&S webpage.
  2. The UF&S Fleet Manger will review the request and recommend a vehicle type based on the requester’s requirements providing total costs as well as the estimated monthly expense.
    1. Total costs will include:
      1. Principal cost
        1. Principal cost is based on the cost of a new vehicle or the residual value of an existing University vehicle that will be repurposed to meet the needs of the requester.
      2. Estimated annual routine/preventative maintenance costs (based on manufacturer guidelines)
      3. DMV registration, annual New York State inspection, and Fleetistics software subscription
      4. Insurance cost
      5. Administration costs
  3. The Fleet Manger will return the recommendation and estimated costs to the requester via the online form.
  4. The requester will then start the approval process as directed by the online form.
  5. Once the request is granted final approval by the requesting department’s leadership, Fleet Services will work in conjunction with University Purchasing to source and procure the respective vehicle.
Vehicle Acquisition
  1. Once Fleet Services sources a vehicle, the Fleet Manager will work with University Treasury to secure financing (when applicable for a new vehicle purchase).
  2. The Fleet Manager will prepare an internal service level agreement between Fleet Services and the respective department. The agreement will include final total pricing, the estimated monthly expense, and the maintenance schedule to be followed.
  3. Before the vehicle is turned over to the department, the University Auto Shop will conduct an internal inspection and fully prepare the vehicle for delivery to the department.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I request a new or replacement vehicle?

Fill out the Vehicle Acquisition and Approval Form. This will automatically be sent to the Fleet Manager who will research a vehicle to meet the department needs. This may be a new vehicle or an existing vehicle within the Fleet. Once a vehicle has been selected and priced the Fleet Manager will send the Acquisition and Approval Form back to the requestor with the proposed vehicle and cost. The department then obtains the required signatures and once approved at all levels, the form is returned to the Fleet Manager and the vehicle will be acquired

What is required for someone to be eligible to drive a University vehicle?

Per University policy, the department is responsible for ensuring that anyone who drives a University vehicle has agreed to the Safer Driver Program. A signed copy of their understanding should be kept on file by the department.

In addition, all drivers should be enrolled in the License Event Notification System (LENS) Program. Once enrolled, the department will be notified if a driver is convicted of a moving violation or is in a reported accident (on or off work time).

What should I do if there is damage to a vehicle?

Any vehicle damage should be immediately reported by filling out the Vehicle Damage Form within one business day. If the vehicle has a license plate, the Vehicle Accident Insurance Form should be filled out as well in order to file an insurance claim. The forms should be submitted to the Fleet Manager and the vehicle needs to be inspected by the Auto Shop to ensure it is safe to drive prior to being placed in operation again. The Fleet will then coordinate repair estimates and filing of the insurance claim

What is Fleetistics?

Fleetistics is a fleet management program that currently is or will be installed on all licensed vehicles. The system enables the Fleet Manager and a department representative to better monitor and utilize their vehicles in a safe and cost-effective manner. The system allows for live tracking (real-time location) of all vehicles and provides a number of reports to include fuel usage, idling time, and route optimization. From a safety standpoint, Fleetistics monitors driver behavior (Driver Safety Scorecard) by providing feedback on such things as speeding, hard braking, and seat belt use. The system will also provide instant accident notifications.

What happens at the end of my lease?

Prior to the end of the lease term the Fleet will arrange for the Auto Shop to inspect the vehicle to determine its overall condition. Based on the condition and expected usage by the department, the Fleet will determine if the department will continue to use the vehicle at a reduced rate of if a replacement vehicle is more appropriate.

Maintenance Agreement for Licensed Vehicles

The purpose of the Maintenance Agreement is for departments to have a standard monthly charge to cover preventative and routine maintenance to their vehicles. Proper maintenance helps protect your vehicle from unnecessary repairs and breakdowns, ensures your vehicle runs at optimal performance, and provides a safe environment for your staff drivers.

Vehicle Maintenance and Repairs Covered in Agreement

  1. Annual Insurance Coverage
    1. Covers every vehicle with a license plate. The rate traditionally increases 5% a year and is built into the maintenance agreement rate.
    2. For every claim there is a $500 deductible that the department is responsible for.
    3. The University’s comprehensive and collision insurance only covers vehicles that are 5 years and newer.
    4. The auto shop will file the insurance claim and work with our collision vendor on the repair.
  2. Preventative Maintenance (PM) will be performed and scheduled accordingly based on manufacturer specifications. This would include services such as:
    1. Check fluid levels.
    2. Rotate and Check condition of tires; ensure proper inflation.
    3. Check lights, replace if needed.
    4. Check general condition of vehicle.
    5. Change oil and filter.
    6. Check front & rear brakes (pull wheel)
    7. Check universal joints and lubricate.
    8. Check windshield wipers.
    9. Check all seals.
    10. Perform NYS inspection and registration.

A PM schedule and list of services will be provided upon acquisition.
If fleet management determines there is excessive wear and tear, the cost would be charged to the department.