Like his counterparts in thousands of government fleets across the country, Steve McCarthy, equipment operations manager for the Utah Department of Transportation, is coping with a "new normal" operating budget that is about half of what it was just a few years ago.
"The state reduced our capital outlay budget by 40% in 2009" for heavy-duty equipment, McCarthy
"It's been at that level since and inflation and rising costs have eaten up another 10%, so we're at about 50% of what we were in 2008."
When it comes to government vehicle acquisitions, cash is still king.
But with budget cutbacks at the state, county, city and municipal levels, purchasing directors and fleet managers are considering multiple acquisition channels.
and the UDOT
are tapping into several options, some old, some new, for the 3,000-vehicle fleet.
For example, UDOT
has been using short-term three-year contracts with local vendors to get access to new backhoes and other heavy-duty equipment.
All contracts contain annual renewal options.
The vendor has the option to submit a price increase at the end of each year's term and the state has the option to walk away.
But ultimately, the state is able to acquire equipment without having to dip into funds that aren't there.
"We're trying to eliminate dollars out of that capital budget," McCarthy