FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Growing up in Forsyth County, Avery Gravitt often enjoyed working alongside his father, who was the co-owner of two garages and service stations.
And although Gravitt, who has been the director of Fleet Services for Forsyth County since 2006, cherished his experiences, he didn’t return to the shop until later in life.
After working for the Alltel Corporation for 25 years, Gravitt received a call in 2002 informing him a job had opened up within Forsyth’s Procurement Department dealing with the purchasing and handling of fleet maintenance and vehicles for the county.
He accepted and eventually was promoted to fleet administrator in 2004, then director in 2006.
“I enjoyed the automotive industry when I worked and was around it as a kid and growing up,” Gravitt said. “My career took another path and it was a great career. Then this opportunity came up and I said, ‘Yeah, I’d like to get back into it again.’ It’s been a real blessing and worked out well.”
At fleet maintenance, the employees maintain and repair all the vehicles and equipment for the county, he said. That includes vehicles, trucks, lawnmowers, chainsaws, heavy equipment, off-road equipment and other machinery. Plus they maintain all nine of the county’s fueling sites, where staff fill up vehicles.
Gravitt doesn’t spend much of his time physically working on vehicles and equipment he sees coming into the shop. But he says he still enjoys the government aspect of the work.
“I like logistics and getting things from point A to point B,” he said. “I like processes and streamlining process and helping people.”
And while he says it’s not a very glamourous job, it’s pretty important when someone has a breakdown, flat tire or issues with some of the equipment running.
The county has over 700 license-plated vehicles, with a total of 1,300 to 1,400 pieces of equipment, including vehicles, lawnmowers, chainsaws and more. The department doesn’t
repair any of the fire department vehicles, as they have their own garage. The nine fuel sites go through roughly $1 million in fuel purchases every year, he said.
“One thing I love about the job is it’s never the same,” Gravitt said. “Of course we have our routine requirements that the job has for us, but there is always something different. Because the various needs the county has and the difference in vehicles and equipment, you could be working on an old pickup truck, and next day something brand new comes in. It’s a constant thing.”
Last year, Gravitt was chosen by his peers to be on the committee that helped design the new county logo. Now his department’s next big project will be updating all the logos on the vehicles, but he said he and his staff “enjoy a challenge.”
“If it’s working, then we’ve done our job,” he said. “We’ve kept the machinery running and cars going and so forth. It’s what I desire for our department, that we’re able and willing to do many different tasks to keep things going.”