I work for a small system in a mostly rural/suburban area. We have 10 stations, each with multiple pieces of apparatus. Our system consists mostly of volunteers which are supplemented by career personnel. Our country does not have a central vehicle shop as most surrounding localities in our area do. Therefore we must rely on thrid party shops for all of our vehicle maintaince needs. Currently we utilze mutliple different shops, usually whichever shop is located nearest to the station/apparatus which needs service. As you can imagine this is not a very efficient or cost effective system for us. What we would like to do is move pick one third party shop which would complete all routine maintainence service needs for our department, i.e. oil changes, brakes, etc. We would like to bid out the service contract annually in order for the shops to remain competetive with each other. Do any of your departments have any expierience in this type of situation? Please provide any assistance that you can. Thanks so much in advance!
I'd bid out your work. Centralize your work and you might find cost savings that will pay for the milage. Big fish will get more/better attention that the small one.
And require the winner to maintain on staff at least one certified Emergency Vehicle Technician - Level II or higher
Where are you located? Is there a fire apparatus shop and/or dealership repair facility nearby? Around here, we have several dealerships that have mobile apparatus service. Their shop trucks are loaded up with everything they need to complete a PM at your firehouse/location from oil filters to containment vessels for oil disposal. They are also equipped for emergency after-hours needs. Some are independents, some are associated with particular brands, however they service all brands of fire apparatus. I would be cautious going to a shop that does not regularly service fire apparatus- this is just asking for heartache when mechanics start playing with things/systems/components that they are not familiar with- Iowa is correct in that you should insist on any facility having an NAEVT II or higher on board- I would take it one step further and ask for an ASE Heavy Certification as well (but chances are that if they have the NAEVT cert, they probably have the ASE Heavy cert already.)
Call around to apparatus dealers and inquire about mobile service, even if they are a hundred miles from you. Chances are if you have a sizeable fleet they might be interested in your business.
FWDbuff is partailly correct, but there are no NAEVT techncian certifications. They are EVTCC certifications and you can got to evtcc.org to find out more info on their exams. NAEVT was a membership organzation that went belly up quite a few years ago.
If you don't have an EVT certified shop in your area you may find a roving service company willing to come to you. Also, if you have to go with a "local" shop I would insist that as part of their contract they have to have one of their techs EVT certified to appropriate level for your apparatus within a set period of time.