The Leading Fleets awards recipients are pictured here at GFX.  Photo by Vince Taroc

The Leading Fleets awards recipients are pictured here at GFX. Photo by Vince Taroc

The Leading Fleets awards program recognizes 50 public sector fleet organizations for their leadership, efficiency, and vision for the future. The award, open to public fleets, encourages fleets to strive for excellence. In addition to the rankings for the top 20 fleets, the award also recognizes fleets in size categories to distinguish the differing challenges fleets of various sizes face.

This year's award is sponsored by Ford and Property Room.

No. 1 Small Fleet (499 or fewer assets)
City of Ventura, Calif.

With a total fleet of 392 units, the City of Ventura has been named the No. 1 small fleet. Mary Joyce Ivers, PWLF, CPFP, fleet and facilities manager, said “We are really happy to have received the award, and it was a team effort with all of our fleet staff, our IBS/NAPA store staff, and the local vendors that help us out. It has been a priority to move our operation towards a very cost-efficient and progressive unit, and this award shows we are heading in the right direction to serve our internal customers and community.”

The fleet’s current goal is to expand into repair and maintenance projects currently contracted out, such as fabrication, vehicle upfit, and refurbishing.

At the City of Ventura, fleet staff members manage and maintain the fleet of 392 units. Pictured here are fleet staff, the Public Works director, and contractors.

At the City of Ventura, fleet staff members manage and maintain the fleet of 392 units. Pictured here are fleet staff, the Public Works director, and contractors.

No. 1 Mid-Size Fleet (500-999 assets)
City of Santa Ana, Calif.

The City of Santa Ana has a fleet of 651 units and is the No. 1 mid-size fleet. The fleet plans to continue with its 5-Year Alternative Energy Strategic Plan, which will include installing 14 electric vehicle charging stations and a new propane autogas station, and making site improvements to the existing CNG fueling station infrastructure.

Rick Longobart, fleet, facilities and central stores manager, added, “The Alternative Fuel Program is in effect to ensure that future vehicle purchases save on fuel costs and energy consumption.”

The City of Santa Ana’s staff manages a fleet of 651 units. Fleet staff is pictured here celebrating with their awards.

The City of Santa Ana’s staff manages a fleet of 651 units. Fleet staff is pictured here celebrating with their awards.

No. 1 Large Fleet (1,000 or more assets)
City of Mesa, Ariz.

The City of Mesa manages a fleet of 1,875 units, which places it as No. 1 in the large fleet category. It was also named the No. 1 overall fleet. For more information about this operation, see the article, "Inside the City of Mesa, Winner of the Leading Fleets Award."

The City of Mesa’s Fleet Services Department has a staff of 85 employees. Pictured here is the management team, with Pete Scarafiotti, fleet management director and automotive engineer, at far right.

The City of Mesa’s Fleet Services Department has a staff of 85 employees. Pictured here is the management team, with Pete Scarafiotti, fleet management director and automotive engineer, at far right.

The top 20 leading fleets (including ties) are ranked below.

1    City of Mesa, AZ
Contact: Pete Scarafiotti
Units: 1,675 on-road; 200 off-road   
Staff: 85
Maint. Facilities: 2   
Overcoming Challenges: Fleet’s biggest challenge has been funding, both operational and capital. To address this, it reduced fleet size by 150 vehicles and identified another 200 potential low performers (both cost & utilization). By insourcing, it began to spread costs over more fleet units. Another strategy was to internalize all work that staff could do efficiently and move a number of jobs to vendors that had a cost advantage.

2    City of Boise, ID   
Contact: Craig Croner
Units: 1,009 on-road; 529 off-road   
Staff: 14   
Maint. Facilities: 3      
Overcoming Challenges: Fleet was challenged with implementing a new citywide enterprise resource program and integrating it with the FASTER fleet software. Fleet led an inter-departmental team with accounting, IT, and vendor participation to create and implement an interface to enable the new software to exchange asset management data with FASTER. Both software programs now exchange data automatically.

3    City of Santa Ana, CA   
Contact: Rick Longobart
Units: 521 on-road; 130 off-road
Staff: 31   
Maint. Facilities: 1   
Overcoming Challenges: Fleet’s challenge was to remove harmful pollutants from the community, where in the past few decades, smog levels have reached alarming proportions. In 2013, fleet staff performed necessary tasks to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its vehicles, such as removing underutilized vehicles and purchasing alternative-fuel vehicles and emission control devices.

4    County of San Diego, CA
Contact: Sharyl Blackington
Units: 3,686 on-road; 280 off-road
Staff: 56
Maint. Facilities: 8   
Overcoming Challenges: Fleet tackled the challenge of ensuring timely receipt, approval, and payment of 4,000 invoices monthly. It previously received invoices in hard copy format with several invoice delivery points, and invoices could be misrouted, lost, or delayed during distribution for approval. Staff centralized invoice processing and required all vendors to submit invoices in electronic format. This and other measures reduced average processing time to three days — previously 30 days — and reduced staff time spent on invoices. Fleet can now also take advantage of early payment discounts offered by vendors.

5    City of Rochester, NY
Contact: Mike Quattrone
Units: 1,300 on-road; 574 off-road
Staff: 69
Maint. Facilities: 1   
Overcoming Challenges: Fleet faced extreme winter weather and had to manage equipment malfunctions and salt shortages. Rubber blades on 28 salt trucks had to be replaced after three or four runs, usually on overtime. Fleet researched and switched to ceramic blades with the flexibility of moving over objects in the road such as manhole covers. During the pilot, the blades were wearing excessively, so staff modified the plows to tilt forward and fabricated blocks to increase spring tension. The fix worked, and uptime increased significantly throughout the end of the winter season.

6    County of San Bernardino, CA
Contact: Roger Weaver
Units: 4,997 on-road; 407 off-road
Staff: 114
Maint. Facilities: 6   
Overcoming Challenges: For more than 25 years, County Fire Vehicle Services and Fleet Management operated separate fleet operations at two facilities less than three miles apart. In March 2013, the two operations merged into the fleet’s facility, which was remodeled, rearranged, and significantly upgraded to optimize space. This merger increased labor and equipment efficiency and produced a reduction in parts inventory investment (about $250,000). Savings from reducing duplicated overheads and the anticipated synergy of the merged operation is expected to exceed $350,000 per year.

7    City of Sacramento, CA
Contact: Keith Leech
Units: 2,184 on-road;
151 off-road
Staff: 87
Maint. Facilities: 5    
Overcoming Challenges: Fleet was challenged with balancing the competing demands of employees while implementing fleet best practices that demonstrate cost effectiveness and competitiveness. Fleet established a performance management plan based on the guiding principles of accountability, integrity, and excellence. It includes an employee scorecard report, a job turnaround efficiency report, and a downtime report, which customers can access.

8    Manatee County, FL
Contact: Michael Brennan
Units: 993 on-road; 336 off-road
Staff: 35
Maint. Facilities: 3        
Overcoming Challenges: Fleet’s challenge was the migration from a Windows-based management system to a Web-based system (FASTER Win to FASTER Web). Fleet formed a migration team from across all disciplines and agencies and empowered each representative responsibility for his or her respective area of expertise. Staff developed a variable project timeline and completed the migration on schedule, with technicians offline for less than 30 minutes.

9    City of Fort Worth, TX
Contact: Wayne Corum
Units: 2,725 on-road; 807 off-road
Staff: 108    
Maint. Facilities: 3        
Overcoming Challenges: Fleet tackled the challenge of getting fuel transactions into the fleet management software in a timely manner for its preventive maintenance program. It has 43 manual fuel sites (17% of fuel consumed) and 20 automated fuel sites (83% of fuel consumed). Staff defended against a proposal to privatize all fueling operations and was able to purchase automated systems for all manual sites and update some older automated sites with new systems.  

9    New York City Police Department
Contact: Gregory Dimesa
Units: 7,707 on-road; 675 off-road
Staff: 406    
Maint. Facilities: 13        
Overcoming Challenges: Fleet’s biggest challenge was to sustain the relief and recovery efforts resulting from Hurricane Sandy while minimizing disruption of everyday business. Staff worked to replace 271 vehicles destroyed by flooding and other storm-related damage. They also supplied fuel for and maintained emergency light towers/generators, which required 24-hour fueling and roadside repair support. Several enhancements to the fleet and overall operations were borne as a result of the hurricane.

11    City of Columbus, OH
Contact: Kelly Reagan    
Units: 2,993 on-road; 3,289 off-road
Staff: 121    
Maint. Facilities: 4    
Overcoming Challenges: Columbus’ biggest challenge was implementing its CNG initiative. Fleet trained customers, vendors, and first responders, and worked with fire marshals and regulators and employed a CNG expert consultant to guide it along the way. In 2013, the first CNG station pumped 240,920 gasoline gallon equivalents (GGEs), and the second station opens in July. Customers are now on board with CNG.  

11    City of Ventura, CA
Contact: Mary Joyce Ivers
Units: 325 on-road; 67 off-road
Staff: 9
Maint. Facilities: 1    
Overcoming Challenges: Fleet’s biggest challenge came when its largest customer, the Police Department, proposed having its vehicles maintained by another public fleet. Management met with the Police Department and the manager of the other public fleet to discuss service and vehicle availability. Fleet staff was able to convince the PD that its rates at the city were competitive and service was quick.

13    City of Roseville, CA
Contact: Eric Kaiser
Units: 718 on-road; 123 off-road
Staff: 19
Maint. Facilities: 1    
Overcoming Challenges: During the past year, fleet faced three separate inspections and audits — the California Highway Patrol’s (CHP) biennial inspection of terminals, CHP transit terminal inspection, and a Federal Transit Administration triennial review. During the three separate audits covering all equipment and records, fleet received zero citations and only three minor write ups.

14    City of Milwaukee, WI
Contact: Jeffrey Tews
Units: 2,357 on-road; 722 off-road
Staff: 106    
Maint. Facilities: 5    
Overcoming Challenges: Fleet’s biggest challenge was that pay had been frozen for four years and highly qualified technicians were leaving for other jobs. In 2013, the city approved and fleet implemented a redesigned pay plan to compensate technicians based on knowledge they acquire and maintain. Younger technicians are now staying with the city, and fleet has a better educated workforce and improved vehicle availability.

14    Sarasota County, FL
Contact: Gregory Morris
Units: 867 on-road; 672 off-road
Staff: 35
Maint. Facilities: 3    
Overcoming Challenges: The fleet’s largest challenge is a surge of retirements in the next five years. To prepare for this, fleet has been cross training individuals and immediately pairing newly hired technicians with a highly skilled technician for training. This is done on an ongoing basis, as fleet expects it takes three years to train a new hire to become highly skilled on specialized units.

16    Eugene Water & Electric Board, OR
Contact: Gary Lentsch
Units: 199 on-road; 49 off-road
Staff: 9.5
Maint. Facilities: 1    
Overcoming Challenges: After a severe storm in 2012, the utility realized it needed to see live vehicle locations to more effectively dispatch high-priority jobs. By the end of the year and after some pushback from drivers, all vehicles were equipped with GPS devices. Fleet services was able to provide management another tool to obtain real-time information including reduced outage response times, live data on vehicle performance, and proof of vehicle location.

17    Alameda County, CA
Contact: Douglas Bond
Units: 1,020 on-road
Staff: 15
Maint. Facilities: 3    
Overcoming Challenges: Fleet continues to be challenged by the budget, which it has recently addressed with technology. Since fuel accounts for approximately one-third of the fleet budget, the fleet set out to reduce fuel costs by purchasing 200 hybrid and electric vehicles with grant assistance. These vehicles have saved an estimated $400,000 in fuel costs. Fleet has also upgraded its fuel management system and installed GPS in 350 vehicles.

18    City of Moline, IL
Contact: J.D. Schulte
Units: 180 on-road; 200 off-road
Staff: 11
Maint. Facilities: 1    
Overcoming Challenges: Fleet had to re-engineer and vent its canopy for lighter-than-air gases on its centralized fuel site to get ready for CNG use. Bids for the work came in higher than anticipated, partially due to the existing complex underground infrastructure. Fleet convinced City Council to allow it to use funding from its cents-per-gallon charge assessed to fuel customers and convinced a local transit authority to subsidize a portion of the cost in exchange for access to the site.

19    City of Fort Wayne, IN
Contact: Larry Campbell
Units: 1,167 on-road; 724 off-road    
Staff: 26
Maint. Facilities: 2        
Overcoming Challenges: Fleet’s main repair facility was built in 1954, and with fleet growth and larger size equipment, staff has been challenged with space constraints. However, improvements have made the facility OSHA compliant, and the facility has features of newer buildings. The space issue was addressed in the budget by City Council, which approved a new building. Building construction is expected to begin in 2015.

19    NYC Dept. of Citywide Administrative Services
Contact: Keith Kerman
Units: 23,466 on-road; 3,435 off-road
Staff: 1,600    
Maint. Facilities: 37    
Overcoming Challenges: In 2012, New York City transformed its fleet operations from agency-specific models to a shared services program. In 2013, fleet implemented an upgrade of its enterprise management system and rolled it out in all repair facilities. It worked with AssetWorks and hosted weekly inter-agency meetings to address technical and operational issues as well as training. Approximately 1,600 fleet staff members now have accounts.


The remaining leading fleets are listed in alphabetical order:

City Of Anaheim, CA           
Contact: Julie Lyons  
Units: 726 on-road; 400 off-road      
Staff: 30          
Maint. Facilities: 1     
Overcoming Challenges: With the retirement of two skilled and talented technicians with a wealth of legacy knowledge, fleet services set out to find equally skilled replacements. Fleet staff did so through aggressive recruiting and utilizing “hands-on” practical exams and personality testing in addition to the normal testing.

City of Bellevue, WA
Contact: Patrick Spencer    
Units: 573 on-road; 324 off-road
Staff: 24
Maint. Facilities: 1    
Overcoming Challenges: A change in management compelled the fleet to challenge conventional thinking and question institutionalized practice. With experience gleaned during the development of technician self-directed work teams, the fleet formed a five-member, self-managed work group. Traditional managerial duties were redistributed among the five members.

City of Boston
Contact: Jim McGonagle
Units: 1,066 on-road
Staff: 42
Maint. Facilities: 1    
Overcoming Challenges: The success of a vehicle sharing program and expansion to more drivers led to missed reservations due to vehicles not being available. While additional shared vehicles were on order, fleet relocated its existing vehicles to meet demand, added seasonally used vehicles, and limited multi-day reservations. The result was reduced missed reservations and a larger variety of available vehicles.

City of Durham, NC
Contact: Joseph Clark    
Units: 1,155 on-road; 220 off-road
Staff: 52
Maint. Facilities: 3    
Overcoming Challenges: With limited funding in the replacement program, fleet wanted to improve its performance metrics and chose to study its established utilization threshold. It conducted a 13-city survey and after reviewing results, decided to increase the utilization threshold, resulting in reduced fleet size and decreased average fleet age.

City of Fargo, ND
Contact: Harold Pedersen
Units: 452 on-road; 76 off-road
Staff: 37
Maint. Facilities: 2    
Overcoming Challenges: With the advent of Bakken oil field boom, the fleet’s already short supply of technicians became even smaller. Demand is high, with many fleet vendors also looking to hire technicians. Fleet expanded its employment advertising, retained employment agencies, and began an apprenticeship program with the local vocational college. The last three full-time technicians hired came from the apprenticeship program.

City of Fayetteville, AR    
Contact: Jesse Beeks    
Units: 303 on-road; 129 off-road    
Staff: 17    
Maint. Facilities: 1    
Overcoming Challenges: The fleet’s challenge has been in setting up a propane-autogas fueling station on-site, battling city ordinances about above-ground fueling, fire department regulations, and hiring an engineer before station installation. After jumping through many hoops, fleet now expects the pumps to be available by the end of this year.

City of Houston
Contact: Kenneth Hoglund
Units: 9,225 on-road; 1,788 off-road
Staff: 363    
Maint. Facilities: 27    
Overcoming Challenges: The fleet’s biggest issue in consolidating fleet services was the need to change current modules used by each department and introduce a centralized way to perform maintenance and other services.  Fleet has introduced a standard work module for all service locations to monitor services daily, and shop managers require mechanics to provide standard practices under specialized requirements.

City of Huntington Beach, CA
Contact: Robert LaRoche
Units: 718 on-road; 119 off-road
Staff: 18
Maint. Facilities: 3        
Overcoming Challenges: The city consolidated its four fleets into one, which has led to significant savings and service improvements. Improved service is noted with 97-98% average daily fleet availability and 88% next-day turnaround time on service and repairs. This consolidation has also realized a staff reduction of five technicians.

City of Indianapolis    
Contact: Bill Rogers
Units: 3,482 on-road; 872 off-road
Staff: 103    
Maint. Facilities: 3    
Overcoming Challenges: A 5% city-wide budget reduction impacted employee training and the procurement of special tools. To mitigate the impending issues with employee training, fleet partnered with Lincoln Tech and established a “train the trainer” program. To reduce the impact of unprocured special tools and diagnostic equipment, the staff negotiated a tool partnership with local vendors.

City of Lakeland, FL
Contact: Gary McLean
Units: 1,180 on-road; 200 off-road
Staff: 30    
Maint. Facilities: 1    
Overcoming Challenges: The two-shift operation had become inefficient, and fleet management believed a single 10-hour day shift would improve operations. Fleet worked with city management and customers to pilot this change, and after a successful pilot, the change has become permanent. Metrics are strong, preventive maintenance backlog is near zero, customers are happy with the new hours of operation and that they’re getting vehicles back in a day or less.

City of Little Rock, AR
Contact: Wendell Jones
Units: 943 on-road; 342 off-road
Staff: 75
Maint. Facilities: 2        
Overcoming Challenges: Fleet was challenged with getting drivers in for on-time preventive maintenance (PM) and having the manpower to manage these PMs while maintaining and working to replace aging vehicles in key departments. Extended shop hours, the addition of technicians in key areas, and a cooperative effort from vehicle coordinators from each city department has contributed to significant progress in on-time PMs — from 48% to 87% in less than one year.

City of Orange, CA
Contact: Keith Marian    
Units: 386 on-road; 32 off-road    
Staff: 9    
Maint. Facilities: 1        
Overcoming Challenges: One of fleet’s biggest challenges was maintaining an aging fleet while being understaffed due to a multi-year hiring freeze coupled with a 5% furlough. There were two technician openings due to attrition, which left the fleet very short-staffed. Fleet outsourced some repairs as a short-term solution while recruiting two new staff members, who have both been hired.

City of Orlando, FL    
Contact: David Dunn    
Units: 2,380 on-road; 278 off-road    
Staff: 53    
Maint. Facilities: 2    
Overcoming Challenges: The city moved the operations, maintenance, monitoring, and contract oversight of fuel operations from the purchasing department to fleet. Fleet inherited 25 service delivery locations, and it soon discovered fuel tank contamination when a fire truck failed. Fleet asked the vendor for immediate tank cleaning and monthly fuel sampling for a continued supply of clean fuel.

City of Phoenix    
Contact: Gregg Duckett    
Units: 5,679 on-road; 717 off-road    
Staff: 295    
Maint. Facilities: 18        
Overcoming Challenges: When fleet upgraded its fleet management information system, the parts requisition handling module was set up to reserve a part to a work order instead of a unit number; this caused work order and parts inventory problems. Fleet created a team to investigate and solve this problem, and the team eventually decided to turn off the parts requisition module.

City of Riverside, CA    
Contact: Martin Bowman    
Units: 1,030 on-road; 264 off-road    
Staff: 36    
Maint. Facilities: 3        
Overcoming Challenges: The biggest challenge for fleet has been in maintaining adequate staff. Fleet has grown and become complex with automated systems, alternative fuels, and computer-based everything, requiring efficiency and cost effectiveness. Staffing levels decreased during the economic downturn by attrition, and fleet is working to hire and train new technicians.


City of Roanoke, VA    
Contact: Michael Cosby    
Units: 598 on-road; 44 off-road    
Staff: 23    
Maint. Facilities: 1        
Overcoming Challenges: Fleet’s biggest challenge involved maintaining performance levels with two of the three leadership positions in the fleet vacant for the majority of 2013. The fleet maintenance superintendent filled in for the three leadership roles, and office staff expanded their responsibilities until replacements were found. Despite the lower staff level, they achieved significant progress, including replacing the surplus vehicle policy and completing a capital project installation.

City of Tacoma, WA    
Contact: Frederick Chun    
Units: 1,170 on-road; 50 off-road    
Staff: 38    
Maint. Facilities: 2        
Overcoming Challenges: Fleet’s biggest challenge was the reduction of 20% fleet staffing resulting from the city’s budget reduction in 2013. Management made changes to operations to ensure maintenance level would not drop. At the end of 2013, fleet customer surveys returned with more than 90% rating overall fleet service quality as “good” and “excellent.”

City of Tampa, FL    
Contact: Tim Perry    
Units: 2,696 on-road; 319 off-road    
Staff: 53    
Maint. Facilities: 2        
Overcoming Challenges: The Solid Waste Department, an enterprise fund, was unable to obtain approval to raise rates despite an aging fleet and increased costs. Vehicle replacement lagged, and with reductions in force, both the fleet and Solid Waste were struggling to provide satisfactory service. Fleet staff analyzed maintenance and repair data and successfully lobbied to reinstate four technician positions and increase replacement funding.

City of Tempe, AZ
Contact: Kevin Devery    
Units: 889 on-road; 439 off-road    
Staff: 30    
Maint. Facilities: 2        
Overcoming Challenges: Fleet set out to reduce its size by 100 vehicles. With the city’s fee structure, departments do not see a savings in their operating budget if they give up a vehicle, making it difficult to convince departments to willingly give up vehicles. Fleet staff presented a utilization policy to the city manager and department directors, holding everyone accountable to an annual minimum utilization mandate. The city can save $6 million over 10 years by eliminating 100 units.

City of Tulsa, OK
Contact: Brian Franklin    
Units: 2,456 on-road; 620 off-road    
Staff: 79    
Maint. Facilities: 4    
Overcoming Challenges: The fleet’s biggest challenge was consolidating maintenance shops and establishing a second shift to perform preventive maintenance on heavy equipment. These actions were implemented to improve efficiency, reduce downtime, and improve customer communication. The second shift has not been successful and was discontinued, but consolidation has been successful and has resulted in better supervision and oversight, less staffing, and reduced costs.  

County of Riverside, CA    
Contact: Robert Howdyshell    
Units: 4,206 on-road    
Staff: 50    
Maint. Facilities: 7        
Overcoming Challenges: Fleet had a very old fuel management system that communicated with the server via phone lines. After considering several options, fleet decided on AssetWorks Fuel­Focus, which is an added module to its existing fleet management system. Installation began in September of 2013, and results have been positive.

County of Sonoma, CA
Contact: David Worthington    
Units: 1,148 on-road; 184 off-road    
Staff: 22    
Maint. Facilities: 3    
Overcoming Challenges: Fleet faced a high percentage of personnel changes due to retirement, promotion, extra help staffing, etc. About 40% of the team members in 2013 were either new or had been promoted into a higher level position. Through hard work, team members overcame this challenge to the point that customers noticed an overall positive change in their customer service experience.

Dakota County, MN    
Contact: Kevin Schlangen
Units: 307 on-road; 76 off-road    
Staff: 13    
Maint. Facilities: 1    
Overcoming Challenges: Fleet received direction from senior management and elected officials to expand the telematics pilot program to the entire on-road fleet. It needed to develop standard expectations and a reporting and training program to ensure a return on investment across 10 user groups. Across more than 200 units with installed devices, fleet has seen a 9.5% increase in MPG, a 7.2% reduction in idling costs, a 92% increase in seatbelt use, and additional positive changes.

Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, IL    
Contact: Michael Webster    
Units: 295 on-road; 600 off-road    
Staff: 16    
Maint. Facilities: 4    
Overcoming Challenges: Fleet has been challenged with finding obsolete and hard-to-find parts for GM medium-duty dump trucks. OEM parts have become scarce since GM discontinued its medium-­duty line, and the converted liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) systems on the trucks are no longer manufactured. Fleet staff has had to be resourceful to get the needed parts, performing a massive search process and having some parts fabricated to expedite the process.  

Houston Independent School District    
Contact: Mark Swackhamer    
Units: 2,085 on-road; 58 off-road    
Staff: 137    
Maint. Facilities: 5        
Overcoming Challenges: The school district annexed an adjoining district, and fleet found that almost 70% of the vehicles were unsafe to drive, including the school buses. Fleet staff inspected all the vehicles it acquired, repaired whatever possible, and pulled its own spare buses back into service to ensure it could accommodate the new district’s routes. By the beginning of the school year, there were enough buses to make all routes.

Lee County, FL    
Contact:  Marilyn Rawlings
Units: 1,220 on-road; 733 off-road
Staff: 28    
Maint. Facilities: 1    
Overcoming Challenges: Fleet’s greatest obstacle was to provide funding for the increasing number of pieces of equipment that needed to be replaced.  To do this, it is implementing a four-step process to reduce the fleet by potentially eliminating administrative vehicles, labor-intensive equipment, and severely underutilized equipment. It is also establishing a rental contract with various local vendors for equipment that is only needed for weeks/months each year.

Port Authority of New York & New Jersey    
Contact: James Reinish    
Units: 1,412 on-road; 897 off-road
Staff: 158    
Maint. Facilities: 7    
Overcoming Challenges: Fleet’s challenge has been maintaining a high level of customer service and continuing sustainability efforts during a period that included record snow, the hosting of the Super Bowl, and recovering from Hurricane Sandy, which destroyed 134 vehicles. These events required fleet to reprioritize staff workload to respond to unique maintenance needs and implement an equipment plan for future events.

Tacoma Public Utilities, WA    
Contact: Aaron Alvarado    
Units: 855 on-road; 225 off-road    
Staff: 30    
Maint. Facilities: 2    
Overcoming Challenges: Fleet wanted to re-establish communication with user groups and discuss vehicle maintenance, equipment acquisition, and disposal processes. The link with customer groups had been disconnected over time, and there were misconceptions about fleet. Through this effort, fleet has initiated new service level agreements, vehicle acquisition strategies, and vehicle retention guidelines.

State of Michigan Vehicle & Travel Services    
Contact: Joyce Van Coevering    
Units: 7,302 on-road; 325 off-road    
Staff: 32    
Maint. Facilities: 1        
Overcoming Challenges: Fleet’s greatest challenge was partnering with two large departments in their transition to a more mobile workforce. Fleet helped the departments identify their needs, research alternatives, and implement solutions. Its cost/benefit analyses supported the arguments to change their departments’ business models. Vehicles became key tools, allowing police posts to close and reduce use of brick-and-mortar locations.

Washington State DOT    
Contact: Greg Hansen    
Units: 3,022 on-road; 1,661 off-road    
Staff: 211    
Maint. Facilities: 31    
Overcoming Challenges: Due to funding constraints, fleet had a large equipment replacement backlog. Fleet performed a comprehensive utilization analysis, using organization requirements and changes in staff levels to right-size the fleet and ensure proper vehicle use. It demonstrated its competitiveness by performing a cost comparison of outsourcing light vehicle maintenance work. As a result, fleet was successful in receiving partial funding.

Leading Fleets Award Criteria
The Leading Fleets awards program recognizes public sector fleet organizations for leadership, efficiency, and vision for the future. The award, open to public-sector fleet operations, aims to encourage fleets to strive for excellence.

Applicants are judged on their organization’s leadership within the operation, with customers, within the local community, and the fleet community; how it ensures competitiveness and efficiency; how the operation addresses and overcomes its major challenges; and how it’s working toward future goals.

Applicants submit online applications in February and March of each year for consideration.

The judges of the first year of the Leading Fleets program contributed to the creation of this award and spent countless hours reviewing applications, following up with nominations, and lending their expertise to the industry. The judges for this year's program are: John Hunt, CPFP, fleet manager, City of Portland, Ore.; Sam Lamerato, CPFP, fleet superintendent, City of Troy, Mich.; and Dave Seavey, CAFM, director of fleet operations, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, previously with the City of Seattle.

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