The No. 1 Small, Mid-Size, and Large Fleets are recognized and awarded a trophy during the Honors Celebration at the Government Fleet Expo. - Photo by Kelly Bracken

The No. 1 Small, Mid-Size, and Large Fleets are recognized and awarded a trophy during the Honors Celebration at the Government Fleet Expo.

Photo by Kelly Bracken

Since 2014, Government Fleet magazine and the American Public Works Association have named the 50 Leading Fleets in the U.S. and Canada. Every January, fleet managers are invited to submit an application sharing the ways their fleet operation has excelled over the past year in areas such as customer service, staying competitive, and overcoming challenges.

How Does It Work?

In 2018, the City and County of Denver was named the No. 2 Fleet. In 2019, the Denver fleet took the top spot. The management team has achieved a 95% fleet availability rate and lowered its technician vacancy rate to 8%. - Photo by Kim Pham

In 2018, the City and County of Denver was named the No. 2 Fleet. In 2019, the Denver fleet took the top spot. The management team has achieved a 95% fleet availability rate and lowered its technician vacancy rate to 8%.

Photo by Kim Pham

A panel of judges — including the leaders of former No. 1 fleets and members of the Public Fleet Hall of Fame — review the applications and vote on the top fleets. The 50 Leading Fleets are recognized at the Government Fleet Expo & Conference, the largest annual gathering of public sector fleet professionals in the country. This year’s show takes place May 18-21 in Anaheim, Calif.

At the show, Government Fleet announces rankings for the top 20 fleets, and individual prizes are awarded to the No. 1 Small Fleet (with 499 or fewer assets), No. 1 Mid-Size Fleet (500-999 assets), and No. 1 Large Fleet (1,000 or more assets). 

The Leading Fleets award is designed to highlight the top-performing fleet operations and their achievements, regardless of their location or budget. Applications are scored using blind judging — judges do not know where the fleet is located, and winners are selected based on successful programs and initiatives.

Why Should I Apply?

The City of Dublin, Ohio, was named the No. 1 Small Fleet two years in a row in 2018 and 2019. The fleet worked on a vehicle-to-vehicle project that collects data at select intersections, allowing the city to develop “smarter” roads. - Photo by Yvette Ponthier

The City of Dublin, Ohio, was named the No. 1 Small Fleet two years in a row in 2018 and 2019. The fleet worked on a vehicle-to-vehicle project that collects data at select intersections, allowing the city to develop “smarter” roads.

Photo by Yvette Ponthier

The government fleet industry is not one that often draws the spotlight. When a fleet management department in the public sector is doing its job well, this rarely earns public praise. Government Fleet aims to highlight the professionalism of the fleet manager role and the accomplishments of their departments.

Leading Fleets winners can leverage this honor to demonstrate to management that they are high-performing organizations. Past winners have used this new spotlight to secure more funding for a big project, call attention to key achievements, and attract more support from leadership to pursue new initiatives.

Past participants in the Leading Fleets award program have also treated the application process as an annual self-audit — a time to reflect on the past year, identify key achievements, and determine areas for improvement.

The City of Oceanside, Calif., was named the No. 1 Mid-Size Fleet in 2019. That year, the city completed a migration from a Windows-based fleet management system to a web-based system, and found significant savings through using a reverse auction for bulk fuel purchases. - Photo by Yvette Ponthier

The City of Oceanside, Calif., was named the No. 1 Mid-Size Fleet in 2019. That year, the city completed a migration from a Windows-based fleet management system to a web-based system, and found significant savings through using a reverse auction for bulk fuel purchases.

Photo by Yvette Ponthier

How Do I Prepare a Winning Application?

Ready to fill out your application? Here are a few tips to help you out:

  • Start early: Applications officially open in January, but changes are minimal from year to year. A Word doc of the application is available on the Government Fleet website year-round.
  • Make it a team effort: Getting other members of the team involved allows them to bring up accomplishments you may have missed. 
  • Be detailed: Because applications are anonymous when they are sent to judges, it’s important to use details when talking about your team’s accomplishments. Don’t assume judges know anything about your fleet. 

Visit government-fleet.com/leadingfleets for more resources including a walkthrough of the application, list of past winners, and a cheat sheet with more advice.

Applications are now open! For 2020, the application window closes Feb. 14.

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