Crews perform preventive maintenance at an intersection in Hernando County. The county received the National Association of Counties 2003 Achievement Award for its program “Applying Best Management Practices with In-House Designed Maintenance Management System.” Photos: Harry Lorick

In addition to applying this increase in maintenance, Reno has many planning tools in place that it uses to monitor and schedule work. A scheduling meeting is held once every two weeks to review work that needs to be done. Using the system's activity plans, completed PM activity is reviewed each month to determine if they're on schedule. Information also can be used to estimate cost of repairs versus maintenance to justify the importance of the program for traffic signals.

Reno and Hernando County continue to enhance their PM program, paid for in part by gas tax funds. In 2004 Reno implemented a new computerized maintenance management system that provides enhanced capabilities for monitoring and tracking work that includes integrating geographical information systems and attaching digital pictures to work requests. Hernando is enhancing its in-house system to integrate new technologies with plans for geographical information systems integration. Eventually, crews will use wireless technology to access the work management system to quickly identify and track work.

— Varela is director of public works, Reno, Nev.; Whitaker is assistant director of public works, Hernando County, Fla,; and Lorick is principal, LA Consulting, Manhattan Beach, Calif.

The payoff

The numbers show how PM improves efficiency.

Hernando County, Fla.

$47,000: annual savings since implementation

27%: reduction in complaints by citizens

650: number of complaint calls in fiscal year 2002–2003

470: number of complaint calls in fiscal year 2004–2005

Reno, Nev.

$125,000: annual savings since implementation

35%: efficiency savings

1998 to 2005: preventive maintenance calls increased, costly response calls decreased dramatically

An inverse relationship

Reno's PM program has paid off in fewer customer complaints.

The cost of implementing a preventive maintenance (PM) program must be offset by reduced repair and/or response effort over the lifetime of an asset. This graph shows this tradeoff analysis. The goal is to minimize the total effort or cost. The cost is a function of PM tasks versus response effort. The best strategy is one where the total effort is minimized for all work done. As you can see, the PM effort and response are in an inverse relationship—as one goes up, the other goes down.

Source: City of Reno