‘Investing in eight uniform and fit-for-purpose field servicing vehicles means our diesel fitters can respond to breakdowns on-site and carry out services with minimal disruption to the roadworks,’ CEO Scott Mason said.
Mr Mason said the direct cost savings for labour-hire alone are around $50,000 per month.
‘There’s a significant operational cost saving for the council as we’re reducing downtime, increasing productivity and mobility and environmental responsibility.
‘It’s a game-changer for a council to have this type of state-of-the-art field servicing capability, and the Central Highlands is leading the way.’
Acting General Manager Infrastructure and Utilities Jason Hoolihan said the investment specifically addressed the council’s servicing model and roadworks planning.
‘In the past, our servicing model was a combination of mainly in-workshop service with some in-field service,’ Mr Hoolihan said.
‘And for a shire the size of Tasmania, it turns out that’s just not practical.’
He said the team had prepared a well-researched proposal and found the Landcruisers were the only vehicle that allowed for the necessary GVM upgrades.
‘Our fitters can now be confident in having the tools to complete their work on-site and road crews can get back to work quicker.’
In the past, council’s diesel fitters often had to do multiple trips between the workshop and worksite because their vehicles couldn’t carry additional parts, tools or lubricants.
As a result, machines would be floated back to the workshop to be fixed or an external contractor had to be hired.
Both scenarios left the roadworks underresourced, slowing down the works and external labour-hire cost the council up to $50,000 per month.
CEO Scott Mason said another positive impact was on the council as an employer of choice for diesel fitters and apprentices.
‘Our tradesmen and women are telling us that this set-up is desirable and our apprentices look forward to spending more time on the tools than behind the wheel.’
Benefits of implementing a high quality and uniform field service vehicle fleet
- Significant operational cost savings. Reducing external labour-hire and transport costs directly impacts operational costs. Reducing downtime increases productivity and indirectly impacts operational costs.
- Increased productivity. Greater mobility increases the speed of response to breakdowns. Servicing and repairing machines in the field reduces the machine’s downtime and disruptions to the roadworks.
- Enhanced environmental responsibility through improved in-field spill recovery and limiting the number of times fitters need to travel to the worksite. Less transport of machines and replacements between the worksite and workshop reduces fuel usage.
- Improved career opportunities for experienced diesel fitters and apprentices. Greater exposure and challenges in the field mean fitters get to apply their skills to a wider variety of mechanical tasks.