One of the most important departments in Sugar Land is one you don’t see.
Fleet Services, a division of the Environmental Neighborhood Services department, services all city-owned vehicles, which include police cars, fire trucks, and right of way division equipment for the entire course of their useful life. Fleet is a vital part of the preventative maintenance and upkeep for these vehicles, which ensure that Sugar Land residents are getting the best service from public safety, parks and recreation and public works staff as possible.
“We utilize all the tools and equipment at our disposal along with trained staff to ensure the safety and integrity of all our equipment,” Shahid Ali, the City of Sugar Land’s fleet services manager, said. “Of course, public safety like emergency response, PD, Fire, and public works get precedent over any departments. If that comes in, we’ll jump on that to make sure everything stays up and running so resident services aren’t affected.”
For example, an officer may have a blown-out tire, that officer can go directly to fleet where a technician is assigned to the vehicle. The technician then services their vehicle with supplies kept in Fleet’s inventory, which is kept in-house and continually updated so they don’t have to worry about contacting outside vendors when service time comes.
Fleet ensures proper inventory is available to reduce any downtime. The Fleet division is also responsible for the procurement of the City’s entire fuel, tracking and coordinating deliveries.
“We stay proactive so that we always are prepared,” Ali said. “If we wait to acquire equipment like oil filters and tires, that delays the amount of time the vehicle is in house. The more we’re prepared, the faster they can be back out on the road working for the residents.”
Fleet doesn’t only work with existing city vehicles. The department is often the first to see many vehicles acquired from the city.
A new police car? It goes to fleet to be outfitted with cameras, cages, push bumpers, seats, computers and other equipment. A new fire apparatus? Fleet makes sure it’s ready to go out on the road according to all rules and regulations set aside by the state.
And vehicles aren’t the only ones being serviced by fleet. They also handle the maintenance of right-of-way equipment like mowers, tractors, excavators and weed eaters used to maintain Sugar Land’s clean and beautiful landscape.
“You see a little bit of what we do every time you see a city vehicle or a piece of equipment,” Ali said. “We’re saving the residents thousands of dollars every year with what we do in-house with our staff and providing real expertise through our certified and trained fleet technicians.”