The University of Alabama, Division of Finance and Operations

Vehicle Policy

Unit:  Fleet Services
Contact: Tony Johnson
Title:  Executive Director
Effective Date: 10/25/2021
Revision Date: 10/25/2021


 
 

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish the role of Fleet Management and ensure that University vehicles are purchased and maintained in a way that promotes safety, efficiency, and stewardship of University resources.
 

Policy

All University vehicles are titled to the Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama and managed centrally by Fleet Management. In some situations, vehicles may be assigned to specific departments for short or long-term use, but Fleet Management retains the authority to set maintenance schedules, replacement parameters, and reassign vehicles based on usage needs.
 

Vehicle Management Requirements

  • Maintenance and Repairs: Automotive Services is the primary source for routine maintenance and repair service for all University-owned or leased vehicles located in the Tuscaloosa area. If a situation arises where maintenance or repairs must be performed by another entity, that work must be coordinated through Automotive Services.
    • Removal from Service: Vehicles that are deemed by Automotive Services to be unsafe to operate as a result of mechanical or structural deficiencies, or critical manufacturer recall, will be taken out of service. Vehicles will remain out of service until deficiencies have been corrected.
    • Preventive Maintenance (PM): Departments will be notified by Automotive Services when PM services are due. Only Fleet Management has the authority to adjust the PM schedule for each vehicle. 
    • Repairs: The Director of Automotive Services, Fleet Analyst, and/or the Executive Director of Fleet Management have the discretion to approve or deny any repairs based on the ratio of repair costs to the value of the vehicle and any excessive lifetime maintenance costs of the vehicle. A vehicle for which the cost of repairs and maintenance exceeds 70% the value of the vehicle will be permanently removed from service and disposed of appropriately. 
    • Automotive Service Billing: Repairs on vehicles will be charged as follows: the Automotive Services hourly labor rate, price for parts, and/or commercial fees for repairs made outside of Automotive Services. Visit the Automotive Services webpage for rates.
  • Vehicle Purchase: A completed Vehicle Request Form demonstrating the need for and projected use of the requested vehicle must be approved by Fleet Management before the purchase is made. Fleet Management will determine the standard vehicle options available to each department.
    • Vehicle Delivery: Any vehicle being placed into the University system will require an onboarding inspection by Automotive Services. This includes all purchased, donated, and loaned vehicles.
  • Vehicle Replacement: Fleet Management will analyze vehicle usage rates to ensure that the appropriate number of vehicles are available while working to phase out older vehicles. 
  • Utilization: University vehicles that are not regularly utilized may be reassigned or disposed of by Fleet Management.
  • Short-Term Rentals: In cases where renting a vehicle from Fleet Services would be more cost-effective than using a personal vehicle for travel, faculty/staff are required to request a University rental vehicle.
    • In cases where the fleet option is the most economical, but an employee opts not to request a fleet rental vehicle, that employee will only be reimbursed up to the cost of a fleet rental.
    • If Fleet Services is unable to fulfill a rental request and the employee uses their personal vehicle, the employee will be reimbursed at the normal mileage reimbursement rate.

Operator Responsibilities

Operators are the first line of defense against equipment wear, failure, and damage. The operator must inspect the vehicle before and after each operation and report defects or malfunctions to Automotive Services promptly. University vehicles must be roadworthy and carry proof of insurance and emergency phone numbers. Operators must obey all traffic laws and exercise due care in in operating University vehicles. 

Further, Operators and/or departments are expected to maintain the interior and exterior of University a vehicles in excellent condition according to the high standards of the University. This refers to tears in seats, dents, paint damage, washing/vacuuming, etc. Fleet Management has the authority to repair, remove and/or replace a vehicle that does not represent the high standards of the University, and any associated costs will be charged back to the operating department. Failure to follow this policy and deliver the vehicle for required maintenance in a timely manner is considered improper management of University resources and may result in revocation of department and/or individual privileges to use University vehicles. University employees may be subject to discipline up to and including termination.
 

Definitions

Preventive maintenance (PM): The regular, scheduled inspection, adjustment, and refurbishment or replacement of vehicle components, systems, and fluids, aimed at identifying and correcting conditions that may otherwise result in future failures and expensive repairs.
 

References

Scope

This policy applies to all University of Alabama employees.
 
 

Office of the Vice President of Finance and Operations

Approved by Cheryl Mowdy, Assistant Vice President for Finance and Operations, 10/25/2021