City Employees’ Ingenuity Saves Taxpayers Money

The City of College Station’s Fleet Division takes great pride in being responsible stewards of the taxpayers’ money. Our duties include preventative maintenance, repairs, state inspections and replacement of fleet assets.  As part of the Public Works Department, the division also purchases and manages fuel for all city-owned equipment and maintains approximately 678 vehicles and other equipment, including police cars, fire trucks, ambulances, light trucks, cars, heavy trucks, off-road equipment, trailers and generators.  We continually evaluate our operations and purchases to increase efficiency and save money.

Bulk Purchases

One area in which we have saved substantial money is by making economical bulk purchases. For example, we previously purchased one-gallon bottles of windshield washer fluid, but now we buy the fluid in 55-gallon drums that contain an automatic pre-mix of washer solution and water.  This change decreased our use of concentrated washer fluid.  Through vigorous price comparing, we also found cheaper, high-quality degreaser and brake cleaner that saves as much as $7 per can.      

Creativity and Innovation

Our capable personnel have shown tremendous creativity in finding ways to save money:

  • When College Station Utilities needed a new utility pole dolly, a mechanic used his own ingenuity to build one with scrap metal and the axle from the old dolly. His innovation saved the city around $700.
  • This same mechanic fabricated removable and lockable barricades for the Parks and Recreation Department, eliminating the need for new parts to be purchased.
  • Division employees used scrap metal to design and build swinging marksmanship targets for the Police Department’s SWAT team. 
  • A mechanic devised a new way to clean a diesel engine exhaust system component on a sanitation truck rather than having it replaced, saving the city about $1,800.    

Exploring Fuel Efficiency

The city has fuel stations at the Public Service Center and Utility Service Center that supply about 450,000 gallons of diesel and unleaded fuel to city vehicles each year. In addition to the recent purchase of flex fuel engines and hybrids, we are proactively conducting pilot studies to determine appropriate strategies to reduce fleet fuel consumption. These studies compare fuel consumption for vehicles with nitrogen-filled tires and synthetic oil with equipment that has regular air-filled tires and traditional lubricants. If the study’s results are favorable and prove to be cost effective, then we will convert the entire fleet at considerable savings.

By encouraging our employees’ creativity and ingenuity, we’re dedicated to continuing to find substantial ways to save our taxpayers’ money.

Bill Johnson
Bill Johnson
Fleet Services Supervisor | Public Works Department

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