Issue link: http://read.dmtmag.com/i/425123
50 | www.cedmag.com | Construction Equipment Distribution | December 2014
obsolete, I don't want to buy it." He
doesn't hesitate to rent specialized
machines. To find out what's new on
the market they will attend two or
three trade shows per year, as well as
research products online.
Brennan considers fuel consump-
tion as a major factor when selecting
heavy construction equipment.
Supportability is also a factor.
"We have some equipment I
cannot have down more than 24
hours. We have other pieces, if
they go down, I can put a backup
machine in place. You have to take
all these things into account and
criticality – how is it going to impact
your overall organization operations.
Then you can determine which is the
best piece with overall costs coming
in on top of that."
Despite being tied to the govern-
mental bidding process, Brennan
feels they have a lot of say in what
brands are purchased. You really
need to go out and determine what
is going to best fit your organization.
"No one organization I know of is
single vendor, single-manufacturer
oriented," said Brennan. "When you
put all your eggs in one basket you
may have a problem down the road."
They currently deal with more than
100 different manufacturers.
Technology Needs an ROI
While Brennan doesn't describe
himself as an early adopter of
technology, there are about 45
machines in his fleet are equipped
with onboard telematics. He receives
alerts to engine malfunctions and
uses it to monitor fuel consumption
and even operator behavior. The
county also initiated an automated
fueling system that tracks fuel usage
and mileage wirelessly. For nonman-
dated technology to be adopted,
Brennan looks for ROI.
"There is a cost to bring in techno-
logy, so we need to know what is the
benefit and what's the ROI." With
technology advancing at such a fast
pace, Brennan feels one can easily fall
behind on the technology curve, and
finding training for his workforce is a
big challenge. He appreciates dealers
who open training opportunities to
Within their central facility, an area
has been set aside to accommodate
group training or online training. In
addition, technicians attend manu-
facturer training. Four generations
of technicians on the shop floor has
created unique challenges.
"Each generation has a different
idea on how things should be done,
and a different work ethic," added
Brennan. "You have to find training
understandable to each generation
to meet the organizations common
needs and goals."
Brennan believes many of his
biggest challenges are shared by his
dealer partners — from recruitment
of technicians to budgeting and being
cost-effective. He currently has open
positions and expects the difficulty of
recruiting technicians to increase in
The Value of CEM Designation
Being a certified equipment manager
has proven to be invaluable to the
county fleet manager.
"Every penny put into fleet opera-
tions has to be justified.," said Bren-
nan. "Whether you are simply talking
to people or presenting a budget or
business case, people know they are
talking with someone who knows the
industry, and has the credentials to be
And while another fleet manager
might be content to rely on opinion,
Brennan knows better. He'll stick with
("Data Man: A Public Works
Perspective" continued from page 49)
JOANNE COSTIN is
a freelance writer and
focusing on the construc-
tion industry. She can
be reached at (847)
340-4075 or email@example.com.
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