Motor Pool


The University of Montana Western motor pool offers a variety of clean, well-maintained vehicles for use by employees (faculty and staff, both permanent and temporary) and students at UM Western to perform university related business. While using the motor pool services, the staff, will try to help you with any questions you may have concerning your travel needs. The motor pool supervisor can be reached at the Facilities Services Office, 683-7326. 

The motor pool staff performs a number of duties upon completion of each trip; travel slips are checked for comments about needed repairs or problems, then vehicles are checked over for cleanliness and mechanical operation, every vehicle is filled with fuel and all fluid levels are checked and filled, and tires are checked for wear and safety. Service work is performed on a regular maintenance schedule which is determined by a mileage schedule, use, or condition; whichever may apply. These services include oil and filter change, lubrication, tuneup work, tires, minor repairs, etc. 

Vehicle Reservations

Vehicle reservations are made directly to the Motor Pool Office by written request, using the vehicle request form on the web page. No vehicle is to leave campus without an authorized travel slip. Reservations are made on a first come, first served basis. Make your vehicle request as soon as you know your travel schedule. This allows time for the motor pool to organize vehicle preparation for all requests. We are limited on the number of vehicles, so if you have changes or cancellations, please inform the Motor Pool Office, (406)683-7148, as soon as possible. A $15.00 charge will be applied for cancellations with less than 3 hours notification except in cases of adverse road conditions or bad weather. 

Remember:  All out-of-state travel must be approved by the Department Head. 

Students may not make their own reservations. The request must come from their class instructor or their club advisor.

Any comments or problems with the vehicle should be noted on the vehicle trip slip so that we may make corrections before the vehicle goes out on the road again. 

Vehicle Check Out

Your travel slip will be pinned to the board in the Facility Services foyer.  Notice the vehicle and license plate you have been assigned.  You must connect with a member of the staff to sign out and collect your keys.  Your vehicle will be in the motor pool parking lot.  Obtain the present mileage from the vehicle and re-pin your travel slip with the outgoing mileage printed on it, to the board.

Vehicle Use

Motor pool vehicles must be used for official state business and not personal use. Only authorized personnel shall drive or ride in motor pool vehicles. Family members are not allowed to "ride along". Any individuals reported using vehicles for personal or improper use are subject to discipline. 

No animals are allowed in the vehicles unless they are directly involved in university business. 

Maximum speed is 75 mph or as posted. Traffic violations are the responsibility of the person operating the vehicle. You must have a current State Vehicle Use form signed and on file at the office (yearly). To drive an SUV or Bus you must have taken the Motor Pool Driver Safety Training course (every 3 years).

Credit Cards

The Public Vehicle Fueling Program credit card may be used for purchases of gas only.  These cards do not work in Canada or Mexico.  Sign and obtain a receipt for all purchases. Gas credit cards are not to be used for personal purchases. It is always best to double-check with the facility that the card will be accepted before purchasing gas.  If the station will not accept the credit cards, pay in cash or by Procard, and you will be reimbursed. Remember that if you pay in cash or by Pro Card, attach the receipt to the travel slip for reimbursement purposes. Reimbursement will be made only with a receipt, no exceptions. 

Tire Purchases

If a tire purchase is absolutely necessary, try to buy a tire at a tire distributor rather than a service station. Use your pro card or if you do not have a pro card, pay in cash, and you will be reimbursed, or have them contact us at 683-7148 to arrange for payment.  If you can get home on the spare but feel you need to purchase a tire to use as a backup spare, a used tire can usually be purchased very inexpensively. 


If an accident occurs, contact the proper authorities (i.e., highway patrol or local police) immediately and then contact the Motor Pool Office. Complete the accident reports (located in the glove box), sign and exchange with the second party as required, and submit to the Motor Pool Office. If you need to contact the Motor Pool office outside of working hours call the Boiler Plant at (406) 596-2222 or Joe Chipponeri at (406) 925-3408.

Major Repairs/Emergencies

If a major breakdown occurs, call the Motor Pool Office at (406) 683-7148 or (406) 683-7142 for instructions on how to proceed. You may call the Boiler Plant for instructions after normal business hours at (406)596-2222 or Joe Chipponeri  at (406) 925-3408 for instructions on how to proceed. 


All employees of the State of Montana are covered for any bodily injury.  Complete the incident form at the Business Services Office.  Personal belongings are not covered by insurance. For vehicle damage, the motor pool is self-insured. The person/department that is renting the vehicle is responsible for the first $250.00, including towing charges for accidental damages. Liability insurance is carried by the State of Montana under a statewide fleet insurance policy for which the motor pool is billed directly. 

Check In Procedure

Vehicles are to be returned to the Motor Pool parking lot.  If there is no room in the lot, park it in front of the Boiler Plant.  The vehicle keys should be brought into the Facilities Services foyer. Please remember to close all windows, remove any personal belongings, check for garbage, and lock the doors. Incoming mileage should be written on your vehicle travel slip. Please leave any gasoline purchase receipts with your travel slip, or in the gas card sleeve. Deposit the vehicle keys in the box on the wall in the foyer.

UM-Western Motor Pool Rental Rates
Minimum Charge
Type Mile Rate Day Rate
Car $0.37 $16.00 if under 50 miles
Mini Van $0.49 $18.00 if under 60 miles
SUV $0.55 $19.00 if under 40 miles
Bus $0.60 $20.00 if under 40 miles

The "day rate" is a minimum. If the cost-per-mile calculation exceeds the day rate, the cost-per-mile will be used instead. These rates are for normal vehicle use on maintained roads and streets. 

* These rates are for out of town travel and does not cover Facilities Services utility vehicles for on-campus and local use, when available. The charge for a utility vehicle is $7.00 for an hour or less, or $14.00 for over one hour. If a utility vehicle is checked out to take on the road the rate is $0.60 per mile.

Thank you for using UM-Western's Motor Pool. We hope that you have a safe and enjoyable trip and that our services help provide this for you. We would appreciate any written or verbal comments from people using our services. We feel these comments will help us to better serve our customers.