Staff Structuring and Assigning of Maintenance Tasks: Specialized Maintenance Crews

This week we continue a three-part series elaborating on various aspects of Parks and Recreation maintenance task assignment and staff structuring. In this second installment of our three-part series, let's take a look at the best uses for specialized maintenance unit crews.

Defining a Specialized Maintenance Crew

The term “specialized maintenance crew” refers to a group of workers who routinely work together at various locations to perform very specific tasks. The need to utilize or hire specialized maintenance crews for certain tasks is often dictated by the type of asset being maintained and the type of work to be done on that asset. Examples of such tasks may include but are not limited to:

  • Window Cleaning
  • Grass Cutting
  • Snow Removal
  • Lighting Repair/Replacement
  • Floor Care
  • Shrubbery Maintenance
  • Tree Pruning or Removal

Advantages and Disadvantages of Specialized Maintenance Crews

One of the advantages of such a crew is expertise in a specific area. When crew members perform similar tasks together at many venues on a repetitive basis, they also tend to develop their teamwork skills. By building up a camaraderie and developing an order of operations, they tend to increase efficiency. Another advantage of specialized maintenance crews is they can bring their own equipment to each venue. By using that equipment in multiple venues, they prevent the need for those in charge of maintaining those venues to have seasonal or specialized equipment sitting in storage for long time periods between uses.

On the disadvantages side, specialized maintenance crews can sometimes spend a lot of time traveling between locations. They also may require specific training in areas of expertise.

When to Hire Specialized Maintenance Crews

One of the best times to utilize a specialized maintenance crew is when the task at hand requires specialized knowledge, expensive equipment, or both. For example, in an area where snow only falls for a couple of months, hiring a snow removal crew is generally more sensible than purchasing snow removal equipment and storing it for most of the year. Specialized maintenance crews are also useful when there are multiple locations to maintain within a relatively small area and they all need similar maintenance services performed.

Combining Maintenance Crews

You never need to choose between maintenance crew types. As noted in our previous article, unit maintenance crews have many uses. As you can see, specialized maintenance crews do as well. In many instances, you can utilize a combination of both to make sure equipment and areas are well maintained and keep within your budget.

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