The St. Joseph County fleet director hopes to gain insight on vehicle usage using GPS tracking devices that will collect mileage and location data.  -  Photo: Canva/Government Fleet

The St. Joseph County fleet director hopes to gain insight on vehicle usage using GPS tracking devices that will collect mileage and location data.

Photo: Canva/Government Fleet

The fleet director for St. Joseph County, Indiana, hopes to increase oversight within the fleet and drive fleet efficiency with the help of a fleet management provider and vehicle tracking technology supplier.

Ryan Rodts, the county's first fleet director, oversaw the process of finding the two providers.

Using Technology to Gain Insights

All fleet vehicles within the county — approximately 150 — will now have GPS tracking devices that will both track their locations as well as their mileage. The latter is something the county board of commissioners hope to use to determine how much personal vs. work-related mileage is being put on the vehicles.

The county has a take-home vehicle program of about 50 vehicles, according to WVPE, that it is closely evaluating. Of those vehicles, the county prosecutor's office accounted for the highest amount of take-home vehicles, with 18 of them.

County Commissioner Derek Dieter noted that while some county employees are on-call during their off-hours, some departments with take-home vehicles do not have on-call employees.

"[For the] people who have take-home vehicles, is it worthy that they have a vehicle using personal time on the taxpayers' dime? I don't think it is, so that's why we're going to collect all this data and then make decisions as we go," Dieter said at an October 2023 board of commissioners meeting discussing a request for proposal put out by the county to find a fleet management provider.

In a January 2024 news conference, Rodts said that previously, the county had no comprehensive list of the total number of vehicles in each department, their mileage, or whether the mileage is personal vs. work-related.

The county opted to enter into a contract with Enterprise Fleet Management for its fleet management services. It will use the AT&T IoT solution integrated with Geotab's fleet tracking devices to track vehicle locations and mileage.

According to the county's RFP, published in early 2023, the county was seeking maintenance and management services for the fleet with the scope of work by the provider to include:

  • Analysis of current fleet and recommendations for purchasing and selling - this includes efficiencies of the current fleet vehicles for their intended uses.
  • Preventive maintenance - this includes the provision of fleet management software to record-keep, suggest, and schedule PM.
  • Emergency maintenance and repairs.
  • GPS tracking of vehicles.
  • The review, recommendations, and assistance with the process of attaining available grants or outside funding for alt-fuel vehicles and infrastructure.
  • Vehicle modifications.

The county fleet consists of both owned and leased vehicles. Leased vehicles will also have GPS tracking devices installed.

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