A Chat with a Fleet Master
Wednesday, October 10, 2018
Posted by: AEMP
AEMP, with Construction Equipment, acknowledges outstanding fleets with the Fleet Master Award, which recognizes equipment professionals who demonstrate excellence in meeting the unique challenges inherent to delivering cost-effective management of mixed fleets of off-road and on-road equipment. Winners are judged in five major areas within their operation: Finance, Information Management, Policies, Controls and Customer Service.
This year the team at Minnesota Ltd. won the large fleet category.
Mike Twedt, East Region Equipment Manager, answered a few questions about his approach to excellence in equipment management.
EM: Was there something you’ve learned from AEMP education or learned from a peer at a conference that has helped you as a fleet manager, and how?
Mike: The single most important take-away from the AEMP conferences is that there is an organization filled with people that do the same job as us and experience the same problems that we do. From telematics difficulties, to preventative maintenance programs, to equipment abuse down to managing repair facilities and parts inventories. AEMP allows us to all get together every year to combine thoughts and procedures so that we can all be better.
EM: Describe your team’s most significant achievement that represents excellence in fleet management.
Mike: The equipment team at Minnesota Limited works very well together and communicates effectively. This makes the team very functional and allows us to work towards solutions with more than one mind tackling any problem. I think our biggest achievement in the past five years has been to revitalize an aging fleet through acquisition, disposal, and development (with input from various resources) of a comprehensive preventative maintenance program that is easy to acknowledge even at an operator level. This has led to reduced maintenance costs, and equipment that is more reliable, from our pickups through our entire heavy iron fleet.
EM: What is something you’d like to try to do in technology?
Mike: We would like to see how much more we could get from telematics. Currently we are in the infant stages of our telematics program and utilize it primarily for location tracking. We know that this is only the tip of the iceberg and are excited to build upon this to see how we can increase performance via utilization on each of our projects.
EM: What is your biggest challenge in safety?
Mike: Safety first and foremost is our chief value at Minnesota Limited. We are always looking for better ways to keep everyone within this company safe. We sometimes work in dangerous situations and have safety personnel and meetings on a daily basis. Concerning the equipment, our largest concern is probably traffic accidents. The most dangerous thing we do each day is drive on the busy streets and highways of America. We are constantly striving to improve our driving culture, through training programs, and vehicle maintenance.
EM: What is your biggest challenge in workforce development?
Mike: Our biggest challenge in workforce recruitment is just finding qualified, hard-working and dependable technicians. As the workforce ages, we work hard to reach out to technical colleges and our peers at Caterpillar and John Deere to try to acquire the interest of hard working individuals we can help train or that will come work for us. It is challenging to find young employees that work hard and have a knowledge base to work with.