Operations

Get to Know the 2017 Leading Fleets

July 2017, Government Fleet - Feature

by Staff

The Leading Fleets and Notable Fleets awards recipients gathered for a photo at the Government Fleet Expo and Conference (GFX) on June 13. Photo: Natalia King
The Leading Fleets and Notable Fleets awards recipients gathered for a photo at the Government Fleet Expo and Conference (GFX) on June 13. Photo: Natalia King

The Leading Fleets awards program recognizes public sector fleet organizations for their leadership, efficiency, ability to successfully overcome challenges, and vision for the future.

Applicants are judged on their organizations’ leadership within the operation, with customers, within the local community, and within the fleet community; how they ensure competitiveness and efficiency; how they address and overcome their major challenges; and how they are working toward future goals.

Fleets submit online applications between January and March of each year. The award is co-produced with the American Public Works Association and is sponsored by Ford.

We thank this year’s judges for dedicating many hours to review applications and lend their expertise to the industry:

Paul Condran, fleet services manager, City of Culver City, Calif.
Paul Condran, fleet services manager, City of Culver City, Calif.
Craig Croner, CPFP, administrative services manager, City of Boise, Idaho
Craig Croner, CPFP, administrative services manager, City of Boise, Idaho
Sam Lamerato, CPFP, retired fleet superintendent, City of Troy, Mich.
Sam Lamerato, CPFP, retired fleet superintendent, City of Troy, Mich.
Kelly Reagan, fleet administrator, City of Columbus, Ohio
Kelly Reagan, fleet administrator, City of Columbus, Ohio


No. 1 Small Fleet (499 or Fewer Assets): Dakota County, MN

With 280 units, the Dakota County fleet was named the No. 1 Small Fleet for 2017. The team exhibits leadership by establishing lines of communication and trust with user departments, actively participating in associations, and ensuring staff members have an opportunity to share ideas.

“Fleet management is not just about vehicles and equipment. It is about understanding the needs of the user groups, management, and elected officials then working to establish trust, accountability, and professionalism,” said Kevin Schlangen, CAFM, CEM, CPFP, fleet manager.

Current initiatives include a pilot program testing the return on investment of the XL Hybrid system on two full-size vans; a pilot of the Derive Efficiency vehicle calibration system on 11 units within the Sheriff’s Office and Transportation Department; and a $23 million maintenance facility upgrade over the next few years.

Photo courtesy of Dakota County
Photo courtesy of Dakota County

No. 1 Mid-Size Fleet (500-999 Assets): City of Greenville, SC

The City of Greenville’s fleet consists of 731 units. It exhibits leadership by providing incentive pay for technician certifications, tuition reimbursement, and paid training; having a fleet oversight committee to provide a sounding board for customers; and being involved in fleet and public works organizations as well as implementing cost-­cutting and efficiency-improving processes that have resulted in enhanced levels of service.

Its current initiatives include creating a line of training videos for drivers, with technicians and support staff writing scripts, producing, and starring in the educational videos. The project is a team-building opportunity and will showcase the fleet’s preventive maintenance (PM) program as well as stress the importance of driver commitment and buy-in to daily maintenance, said Scott McIver, CPFP, fleet manager.

The fleet’s motto is “Contendunt Excellentiam” — Latin for “Strive for Excellence.”

Photo courtesy of City of Greenville
Photo courtesy of City of Greenville

No. 1 Large Fleet (1,000 or More Assets): San Bernardino County, CA

With 6,073 units, San Bernardino County is the No. 1 large fleet — it’s also the No. 1 overall fleet. Click here to learn more about this operation

Photo courtesy of San Bernardino County
Photo courtesy of San Bernardino County

The Top 20 Leading Fleets (including ties) are ranked below:

1. San Bernardino County, CA
Contact: Roger Weaver, CAFM,
CPFP, CPM
Units: 5,121 On-Road; 952 Off-Road
Staff: 96
Maintenance Facilities: 6
Overcoming Challenges: Fleet was challenged with supporting two fire disasters, one covering 8,100 acres and the other covering 36,000 acres. Fleet executed existing policies and procedures, and all staff and equipment performed above expected levels. The fleet also identified policy areas for improvement.

2. Dakota County, MN
Contact: Kevin Schlangen, CAFM, CEM, CPFP
Units: 301 On-Road; 79 Off-Road
Staff: 13
Maintenance Facilities: 1
Overcoming Challenges: Fleet management sought ongoing support for its capital equipment program. It refined its points replacement program and five-year plan, reducing the fleet by four units, right-sizing, and adding seven vehicles using grant and outside funding. Fleet gained support and funding for a $12 million, five-year capital equipment replacement plan.

3. City of Fort Wayne, IN
Contact: Larry Campbell, CPFP
Units: 1,481 On-Road; 820 Off-Road
Staff: 29
Maintenance Facilities: 2
Overcoming Challenges: Fleet breaks out vehicle availability and turnaround by class code for each user department to show that it tries to meet the same standards for each department. When fleet found that this was not consistent across departments, ­management looked at direct repair time on work orders to reassign technicians to groups that needed more help.

4. City of Fort Worth, TX
Contact: Chris Means, CAFM
Units: 2,917 On-Road; 947 Off-Road
Staff: 114
Maintenance Facilities: 3
Overcoming Challenges: The fleet lost its ASE Blue Seal of Excellence in 2016. To re-earn it, management updated diagnostic equipment and reference systems, updated training programs, began paying for certifications and testing for technicians, and changed hiring criteria to prioritize those with certifications. It re-earned the Blue Seal the same year.

5. City of Tulsa, OK
Contact: Brian Franklin, CPFP
Units: 2,487 On-Road; 625 Off-Road
Staff: 81
Maintenance Facilities: 4
Overcoming Challenges: The fleet management information system (FMIS) contained inconsistent fleet descriptors and incorrect or incomplete data. Fleet worked with user departments to correct the data, ensure correct and consistent entry into the FMIS, and regularly audit the data for errors. Data integrity is improving as a result.

6. Cobb County, GA
Contact: Al Curtis
Units: 2,032 On-Road; 480 Off-Road
Staff: 34
Maintenance Facilities: 3
Overcoming Challenges: To change the culture within fleet, management created a task force with a diverse mix of employees to evaluate processes and find improvements. The process allowed employees to interact at regular intervals; share experiences, challenges, and solutions; build a common understanding; and support each other.

7. City and County of Denver, CO
Contact: Todd Richardson
Units: 1,697 On-Road; 642 Off-Road
Staff: 89
Maintenance Facilities: 7
Overcoming Challenges: With a rapidly growing population, fleet’s goal was to maintain service levels with increased demands from its customers. Management increased technician training, improved agreements with vendors, and initiated better technology use. This allowed fleet to exceed its goals of 96% vehicle availability, improve customer satisfaction, and increase employee morale.

7. Sacramento County, CA
Contact: Keith Leech Sr.
Units: 2,517 On-Road; 110 Off-Road
Staff: 100
Maintenance Facilities: 11
Overcoming Challenges: A catastrophic failure during a fleet system upgrade several years ago still presented challenges in 2016. Fleet management continues to work on this challenge with a full-time system administrator and by working with supervisors and other staff to revise vehicle maintenance codes to generate accurate and meaningful data.

9. Manatee County, FL
Contact: Michael Brennan, CEM
Units: 1,029 On-Road; 341 Off-Road
Staff: 39
Maintenance Facilities: 4
Overcoming Challenges: The fleet has been challenged with continuing its core fleet management functions as well as technological, safety, and facility advancements critical for future efficiency as it completes the construction of a new regional facility. The team commenced full operations at the new facility, moving 12 team members and all required supplies and equipment in a single day.

10. City of Long Beach, CA
Contact: Dan Berlenbach, CPFP
Units: 1,674 On-Road; 157 Off-Road
Staff: 115
Maintenance Facilities: 7
Overcoming Challenges: Fleet was challenged with major upgrades to two of its most critical systems — fuel management and fleet management. These projects required significant business process review, data cleanup, and training, but the results are increased efficiency, data-­driven decision-making, and improved customer service.

11. City of Greenville, SC
Contact: Scott McIver, CPFP
Units: 670 On-Road; 61 Off-Road
Staff: 15
Maintenance Facilities: 1
Overcoming Challenges: Fleet management wanted to right-size, modernize vehicles, and obtain replacement funding. Fleet identified underutilized vehicles, determined which vehicles could be used for multiple purposes to reduce fleet size, and developed a replacement program based on years of service for each equipment type — the program was approved for funding.

12. City of Bellevue, WA
Contact: Fleet Team
Units: 625 On-Road; 305 Off-Road
Staff: 23
Maintenance Facilities: 1
Overcoming Challenges: After learning of exposed shortcomings in the fleet’s report writing and how staff gathered and retained information, the team identified the gaps and developed new business practices that allow for more accurate and timely data gathering.

13. City of Fort Collins, CO
Contact: Tracy Ochsner, CEM, CFM, FMP
Units: 957 On-Road; 485 Off-Road
Staff: 38
Maintenance Facilities: 4
Overcoming Challenges: Inadequate staffing was making it difficult for the fleet to keep up with increased maintenance demands. Management conducted a vehicle equivalency unit (VEU) study to add two technician positions and created a process for drivers to have their oil changes performed at private shops for the “A” preventive maintenance service.

14. City of Anaheim, CA
Contact: Julie Lyons
Units: 700 On-Road; 300 Off-Road
Staff: 30
Maintenance Facilities: 1
Overcoming Challenges: Fleet management has been taking proactive steps to address the challenge of an aging workforce. Efforts include cross-training staff members, increasing pay levels for technicians, investigating internship programs, providing incentives for certifications, and encouraging informal mentoring programs.

15. City of Buckeye, AZ
Contact: Michael DePaulo, CPFP Units: 313 On-Road; 97 Off-Road
Staff: 8
Maintenance Facilities: 1
Overcoming Challenges: Unable to provide annual maintenance, load bank testing, and quarterly inspections of on-site generators, fleet staff conducted a cost analysis study and outsourced generator maintenance. To solve the problem of limited office space and computers for technicians, fleet obtained funding to build a computer lab that includes two additional terminals.

16. City of Dublin, OH
Contact: Darryl Syler
Units: 243 On-Road; 23 Off-Road
Staff: 9
Maintenance Facilities: 1
Overcoming Challenges: In order to fully utilize snow plow trucks in the offseason, fleet worked with the user department to spec for a multi-use, or swap loader, vehicle. This lets operators change beds and increase utilization and will also allow the fleet to reduce the number of vehicles.

16. Indianapolis DPW/Fleet Services, IN
Contact: Ronnie Rhoton
Units: 3,513 On-Road; 982 Off-Road
Staff: 110
Maintenance Facilities: 3
Overcoming Challenges: A 2012 executive order mandated either electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles for the city’s non-police fleet. Fleet management continues to work to dispose of older vehicles and cascade in the newer plug-in vehicles, coordinate charging, and work with a college to provide training for technical maintenance staff.

18. New York City Fleet, NY
Contact: Keith Kerman
Units: 24,614 On-Road;
4,760 Off-Road
Staff: 1,740
Maintenance Facilities: 40
Overcoming Challenges: To implement the mayor’s challenge of creating the nation’s largest electric vehicle fleet, NYC Fleet and Procurement bid and registered contracts for vehicles, Class 2 and 3 chargers, and solar carports. Fleet also initiated efforts to expand charging as part of building leases and at parking lots.

19. City of Beverly Hills, CA
Contact: Craig Crowder
Units: 285 On-Road; 133 Off-Road
Staff: 11
Maintenance Facilities: 2
Overcoming Challenges: The fleet had to purchase, upfit, and put into service more than 60 replacement vehicles and equipment. Fleet staff worked with user divisions to identify and spec vehicles, worked with Finance and City Council for funding, ordered vehicles through piggybacking or cooperative purchasing agreements, supervised vehicle upfitting, and coordinated surplus sales.

20. Eugene Water & Electric Board, OR
Contact: Gary Lentsch, CAFM
Units: 223 On-Road; 53 Off-Road
Staff: 11
Maintenance Facilities: 1
Overcoming Challenges: When the organization decided to go with a different asset management system, fleet convinced management to keep its current fleet software intact to maintain 20+ years of clean vehicle data. Staff worked to renumber all its vehicles and vehicle files to build interfaces with the organization’s new system — all without service interruptions.

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