Chapter 1: Caltrans Construction Organization, Section 4: Facilities and Equipment

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Published June 2021

Section 4 Facilities and Equipment

1-401 General

This section provides guidelines for the acquisition and the care of facilities and equipment used in Caltrans Construction field operations.

1-402 Resident Engineer Offices

District Construction must provide offices for resident engineers. Charge the rent and other items and services included in the cost of resident engineers’ offices to the phase 4 project number as a Caltrans-furnished expense. When an office is used for more than one project, appropriately prorate the charges.

The Advantage financial system requires coding of resident engineer’s office expenses. For a description of items and services included in Object Code 184 for resident engineer’s office, refer to the Coding Manual, Vol. I, Chapter 5, Table 1-2, “Object Code Descriptions.” Caltrans-furnished expense funds may also be used for monthly utilities expenses using Object Code 002, monthly office phone service and internet fees using Object Code 725, and monthly cell phone service fee using Object Code 726. Refer to the Coding Manual to determine appropriate sub object that must be included in each Advantage financial transaction.

Carefully select the field office location. Consider security, and avoid areas such as residential neighborhoods where the field office would create a nuisance.

Use service contracts to move furniture and equipment between offices.

1-402A Commercial Office Space

Generally, secure commercial office space only for large or multistage projects. The process to secure approval of a lease for commercial office space takes 90 to 180 days.

Refer any questions concerning commercial property leases to the appropriate district Right of Way Unit.

1-402B Caltrans Facilities

Space in Caltrans facilities, such as district offices or maintenance station buildings, may be available for resident engineer offices.

1-402C Trailers

Where land is available, you may lease commercial office trailers or use Caltrans-owned trailers, if available, for resident engineer offices. Check with the district equipment manager to see if any Caltrans-owned office trailers are available.

Lease commercial office trailers in the same way you would lease commercial office space. Do not rent furnished commercial office trailers. For leasing information, contact the district Right of Way Unit.

Arrange to place office trailers in maintenance yards or on state highway rights-of-way.

1-402D Maintaining Resident Engineers’ Offices

The resident engineer must maintain both the interior and exterior of the project office. When more than one resident engineer occupies an office, they must jointly decide on the maintenance responsibilities.

Each member of the resident engineer’s staff must routinely maintain neatness in the field facility. This responsibility includes picking up papers, keeping desktops neat, filing papers, and hanging maps.

For janitorial work, you may use service contracts. Lease agreements for commercial office space may already include a janitorial service. The use of janitorial services does not preclude Caltrans personnel from light housekeeping between service periods.

Each resident engineer’s field office must display a sign that identifies the office as a Caltrans facility.

1-402E Field Office Utilities

Use a service contract for field office utility work. Notify the Division of Accounting when starting, transferring, or terminating utility services. Complete and mail Form FA-2134, “Utility Account Action Request,” to the Division of Accounting. Keep a copy in the project files under Category 4, “Service Contracts.” The form and instructions are available on the Division of Accounting onramp website and on Caltrans’ Electronic Forms System website at:

For more information, contact the district Construction office. If the field office location is so isolated that electricity is not available, the Division of Equipment can supply skid-mounted generators to supply electrical power for office trailers.

1-403 Care of Equipment

Resident engineers and staff are responsible for the proper care and operation of assigned equipment. District Construction must have an inventory process to address equipment assignments and to track moves between offices. Complete an inventory no less than once a year, and reconcile all discrepancies.

Resident engineers must maintain current information on equipment assigned to them and must properly document the disposal or movement of equipment. Report new equipment purchases to the district property controller. Also contact the district property controller for questions about what to include as inventory equipment.

When a member of the resident engineer’s staff is not present, always keep the field office locked. Commercial security systems may be warranted for a field office. You can use funds from Caltrans-furnished materials to obtain a security system, or a security system may be included in the rental cost for commercial office space. For details, contact the district office.

Annually service fire extinguishers in Caltrans facilities. For guidelines on fire extinguishers, refer to Section 8.05, “Emergency Action Plan Requirements,” of the Caltrans Safety and Health Manual (Caltrans Safety Manual).

1-404 Nuclear Gauges

Only properly trained and qualified personnel must operate nuclear gauges. Resident engineers and supervisors of nuclear gauge operators must be aware of the requirements for handling nuclear gauges, including transporting and storage. Refer to California Test 121, “Administrative Instructions for Use of Nuclear Gages,” for nuclear gauge requirements.

1-405 Automotive Equipment

District Construction assigns vehicles to field personnel. The resident engineer or the construction engineer will determine the use of vehicles at the project level with consideration for the needs of Structure Construction personnel. To accomplish the work, vehicles may be exchanged at the project level as necessary.

1-405A Operation of State Vehicles

For policies, guidelines, and rules for driver training and the safe operation of motor vehicles, refer to Chapter 17, “Motor Vehicle Safety,” of the Caltrans Safety Manual.

Section 9.09, “Requirements for First Aid Medical Supplies,” of the Caltrans Safety Manual requires a 10-unit first aid kit to be at each construction crew field site. To satisfy this requirement, each vehicle must carry a first aid kit.

For reporting accidents, refer to the procedures in Chapter 18, “Motor Vehicle Accidents,” of the Caltrans Safety Manual. Chapter 18 requires that each vehicle carry Form STD. 269, “Accident Identification.”

You may obtain supplies and repairs for vehicles from Division of Equipment facilities. In case of breakdown, contact the nearest Division of Equipment facility.

Also, each vehicle contains a directory that lists the shops and personnel to contact in case of a vehicle breakdown or emergency on the road. Roadside assistance is also available 24 hours a day with the use of the official state credit card for fuel. Each vehicle must be equipped with the credit card and instructions for obtaining emergency service.

1-405B Home Storage Permits

A vehicle home storage permit must be obtained when a state-owned vehicle is stored at or in the vicinity of the employee’s home more than 72 nights over a 12-month period or for more than 36 nights over any 3-month period. The director of the Division of Equipment develops, publishes, maintains, and oversees the administration of guidelines for home storage permits issued to Caltrans employees. These guidelines are available on the Division of Equipment's Vehicle Home Storage Permits intranet page.

The guidelines contain specific requirements for field employees in Construction, Surveys, material testing, and Structure Construction.

1-406 Reporting Losses

If theft, burglary, pilferage, or damage by vandalism occurs, immediately notify the individual in the district who is responsible for coordinating the reporting of such incidents. Unless advised not to do so by this district coordinator, notify the local police authorities, giving full details as you know them, and complete descriptions of the damaged or missing articles. The district coordinator will advise the resident engineer of any further action.

Also notify the district property controller of any lost, stolen, destroyed, or damaged inventory property. For this purpose, use Form ADM-0396, “Equipment Disposition Report.”


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