What Does a Fleet Supervisor Do?

Mary McMahon

A fleet supervisor manages vehicles for a company, agency, or similar entity. They make sure vehicles of different types are available when personnel need them, and maintain the fleet to keep cars and trucks running safely and smoothly. Depending on the size of the vehicle collection, the fleet supervisor may have assistants providing additional administrative support. This career requires good communication and organizing skills as well as familiarity with basic mechanical matters.

A fleet supervisor may check tire pressure.
A fleet supervisor may check tire pressure.

One part of this job involves the acquisition of vehicles that suit the needs of the employer. These may range from personal vehicles offered to some staff members to more specialized equipment like public buses, ambulances, and fire trucks. Fleet supervisors meet with potential vehicle providers to discuss their products and services, compare prices, and make purchases. This can include grant writing to obtain assistance with specialty purchases, and meetings with other personnel to discuss specific needs that might impact final purchase decisions.

A fleet supervisor makes sure oil changes are performed regularly.
A fleet supervisor makes sure oil changes are performed regularly.

Once vehicles enter the fleet, the fleet supervisor must maintain them. This includes routine care like oil changes, checking tires, and cleaning, along with repairs. If the employer maintains a vehicle yard, the fleet supervisor may hire personnel to perform these basic activities. Some mechanics may be kept on site to handle basic needs, especially for a large fleet. For serious repairs, it may be necessary to send vehicles out. This can include activities like modifying vehicles to make them accessible or retrofitting specialized systems.

As vehicles reach the end of their usable life, the fleet supervisor determines when to retire them. These decisions may be made on the basis of physical condition, mileage, and maintenance needs. For fleets like police cars, regular retirement of old vehicles may be necessary to make sure officers have the best cars for the job, while city buses may last twenty years or more. Fleets may also be retired entirely when entities decide to retrofit their entire collections, as for example if a company wants to convert all its vehicles to electric or biofuel. Retired vehicles can be sold to generate funds for maintenance, repair, and replacement.

Many fleet supervisors take advantage of computer software to facilitate their work. They can generate electronic records for individual vehicles that include reminders and prompts when it is time for maintenance, or warnings when GPS trackers indicate a vehicle is outside the usual service area. These records can help the supervisor manage the fleet and remain accountable to auditors in the event of questions or concerns.

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