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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 74741 Find in a Library
Title: Study of Alternative Approaches to Motor Vehicle Maintenance, January 1979
Author(s): E Swift
Corporate Author: Wilmington Commerce Dept
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 21
Sponsoring Agency: National Technical Information Service
Springfield, VA 22151
US Dept of Housing and Urban Development
Washington, DC 20410-3000
Wilmington Commerce Dept
Wilmington, DE 19801
Sale Source: National Technical Information Service
US Dept of Commerce
5285 Port Royal Road
Springfield, VA 22151
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The results are reported of an experiment conducted by the city of Wilmington, Del., to test different approaches to maintaining police patrol vehicles as part of a productivity improvement effort to decrease the 'downtime' of police vehicles.
Abstract: A total of 29 police vehicles--nine Belairs and 20 Chevelles--selected by the Department of Public Works were divided by vehicle type into the following four classes for a 9-month period: (1) Control--repair service performed on an 'as needed' basis, (2) Ownership Preventive--in-house maintenance combined with specific vehicle assignments to individual officers for preventive maintenance scheduling, (3) Nonownership Preventive--in-house Preventive maintenance without officer assignments to particular vehicle and (4) Nonownership Preventive-Private--contracting out preventive maintenance without officer assignments to specific vehicles. Results suggest that the in-house preventive maintenance approach for the newer Chevelles was clearly superior in terms of cost per mile, total cost, cost per incident and in minimizing 'downtime' per incident. If experimental data are translated into maintenance costs for the entire Wilmington police fleet of Chevelles, significantly lower costs are obtained with in-house preventive maintenance. Study limitations stemmed from the small number of cars with different maintenance histories involved in the experiment over a short period of time. However, the methodological approach used by Wilmington should be useful for cities wishing to perform a similar analysis. Study effectiveness could be improved by controlling for factors likely to affect maintenance costs, by requiring interdepartmental cooperation (e.g., between police and agencies assigned vehicle maintenance) during all phases of the study, and by conducting the study for a longer period of time. Three tables and an extensive appendix delineating maintenance responsibilities of each of the four experimental groups are provided.
Index Term(s): Delaware; Police cars
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