How to make fleet management a team effort


February 23, 2024


The ABC Fleet Services facility is where the company’s vehicles are taken for maintenance and beautification. PHOTO: DENNIS JENKINS

There are all kinds of ways pest control companies manage their vehicle fleets. You may know that my brothers Bobby, Raleigh and I rotate who writes this “ABCs of Growth” column each month. We are not in lock step on this topic; how I manage my company’s fleet is very different from how my brothers handle theirs.

Many years ago, I bought or leased vehicles with the intention of driving them for a number of years. Basically, we drove them up to, but not too much over, 100,000 miles if owned, and fewer miles if leased. Then, we would turn them in and get new vehicles. The only benefit to this practice was that the employees driving vehicles would get to drive new vehicles fairly regularly.

One issue I always had, however, was that whenever a new vehicle was delivered, there was a line of employees thinking it was “their turn” to get a new vehicle. When the decision was made as to where the vehicle went, one person was happy and the others were disappointed. In addition, when flipping vehicles, regardless of whether you are leasing or purchasing, you have a monthly payment for every vehicle that is on the road.

In-house maintenance

When it comes to vehicle care, I rely on a couple of people I trust. John is a mechanic I have known for 30 years, and Chad is a body repair guy I have known for more than 15 years. At one point, I decided to be direct with John and asked him when he was going to close his shop and come work for me. It took a while, but eventually he made the decision to do just that. Now, he handles all the maintenance and repairs of the 250-plus vehicles in our fleet. A few years later, I had the same conversation with Chad.

John and Chad share one helper, and work in the same facility. Chad owns the building, which is just across the highway from our main office in Lewisville, Texas. We rent the location, allowing Chad to grow a real estate asset while we make his loan payments.

Dennis Jenkins

Dennis Jenkins

This situation allows us to purchase vehicles and keep them looking sharp and running well for much longer than our old system of leasing or purchasing vehicles and trading them in when they approached 100,000 miles.

Reduced expenses

Percentage-wise, our fleet expense is roughly half that of my brothers’ companies. This includes all fleet-related expenses: the salaries of our in-house people; the cost of the maintenance facility we are renting; and all materials and equipment needed for our vehicles.

To be honest, I stole this idea from Waynes Environmental Services, which was doing the same thing many years ago. It just took some time for me to put all of the pieces together. Now that we follow this practice, we are keeping our vehicles three to four times longer than we used to. They look great and they run great.

If you are not yet in a financial position to bring fleet maintenance in-house, it’s still very important to find people you really trust for both the mechanical and the paint and body expertise. Having a clear understanding with those people will help you get the most out of one of your biggest assets: your moving billboards, also known as your fleet.

About the Author

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JENKINS, who rotates this column with his brothers Bobby and Raleigh, is president of ABC Home & Commercial Services, Dallas, Texas. He can be reached at

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