The winners of the 2019 edition of the 100 Best Fleets were announced last month! See the winners here.
On May 29 from 2 to 3:30 p.m., hear what the top three fleets did to distinguish themselves among 38,000 public fleets in North America. Learn their best practices you can use immediately in your own operation. We only learn from the best. Also, learn about the emerging technologies they use to do-more-with-less.
This information is intended for the entire team to listen in.
Find out where you compare to the very best-of-the-best.
***In case you missed it: the webinar is still viewable anytime for free here!***
Learn from the top 3 Green Fleet Award winners for 2018 out of a possible 38,000 public fleets in North America by tuning in to a free webinar, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, October 30.
Join us to get the straight story on the methods and technologies that work for the top Green Fleets! You will learn how the fleets were able to get funding for alternative fuel vehicles as well as the infrastructure to support them. They will also present the ROIs for their projects. These are tools, tips and strategies that you can use in your operation the next day.
Learn more about the Green Fleet Awards here, and register for the webinar here.
Learn about the top Green Fleet Award winners & webinar presenters:
SACRAMENTO COUNTY (#1) – Keith Leech Sr.
Keith Leech Sr. currently leads Sacramento County‘s Fleet Division and Parking Enterprise. The County of Sacramento is recognized as a trailblazer in implementing renewable fuels and innovative fleet technology projects driven by strategic business planning processes and data driven decisions. Sacramento County’s fleet was recognized as the #1 Green Fleet in 2018 and among Government Fleet’s Leading Fleets and 100 Best Fleets for the last three consecutive years. Keith was inducted into the Public Fleet Hall of Fame in 2017 by Government Fleet Magazine and APWA and received NAFA’s 2014 Fleet Excellence Awards for Excellence in Public Fleet Sustainability and Excellence in Fleet Leadership. Keith currently serves as Chairman of the Northern California Chapter of the Municipal Equipment Maintenance Association and NAFA’s Government Affairs Committee. He also serves as President of the Sacramento Clean Cities Coalition.
CITY OF SACRAMENTO (#2) – Mark Stevens
Mark Stevens has served as Fleet Manger for the City of Pompano Beach, FL; Asheville, NC; and the City of Sacramento, CA. He graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology. For 20 years at the City of Pompano Beach, FL, Mark established a state of the art Fleet Management operation comprising fleet operation software, fuel management software, and complete operational procedures. Customers included Police, Fire, Public Works, Utilities Parks & Recreation and assorted support divisions. As Fleet Manager with the City of Asheville, NC, Mark was instrumental in upgrading the city’s CNG public access fueling site as well as establish a time fill CNG station for the increased use of CNG for its Sanitation Department solid refuse fleet. He augmented the city’s alternative fuel vehicle program to help reduce the city’s overall carbon footprint. Currently, Mark is Fleet Manager of the City of Sacramento, committed to continuing the award winning Fleet model for #1 Best Government Fleet and #1 Green Fleets, committed to promote the city’s Sustainable Fleet initiatives.
DEKALB COUNTY, GEORGIA (#18/100 BEST FLEETS # 1 WINNER) – Robert Gordon
Robert Gordon is the Deputy Director of the Fleet Management Department for DeKalb County Georgia. He has 31 years of professional work experience in the Fleet Management industry with 17 years of government fleet experience and 14 years of experience with truck leasing organizations. Robert earned an Associate’s Degree in Business Management, a Certificate of Public Works Management and an Advanced Certificate of Public Works Management through the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia. He graduated from DeKalb County Government’s Bright Futures Emerging Executive Leaders Program. He is on the board of directors for Clean Cities Georgia. DeKalb County Fleet Management has placed in the Top 10 of the 100 Best Fleet for the last 5 years. Under his direction, DeKalb County Fleet Management achieved 1st place in the 100 Best Fleet Award in 2018. Robert also received the 2018 FLEXY award for Outstanding Achievement in Public Fleet Management from NAFA Fleet Management Association. He serves on advisory committees at Georgia Piedmont Technical College, Warren Tech, Southern Crescent Tech, Whitfield County Career Academy, and Atlanta Metropolitan College. He is also an active member in many organizations including 100 Best Fleet, Green Fleet, NAFA, Georgia Motor Trucking Association, American Public Works Association, Georgia Municipal Association, Clean Cities Georgia, Southeast Diesel Collaborative, and Southeast Governmental Fleet Managers Association.
The goals of Wake County’s fleet are the same as most: to carry out productive, safe, efficient and sustainable service at the lowest cost possible.
But the smartest and most successful way to achieve that goal, they have found, is by implementing new technology to continuously track data and uncover information.
“It doesn’t appear to be moving fast, but there’s a lot going on,” said Fleet Director Thomas Kuryla as he walked around the vehicle shop at Wake County General Services Center. “Even on slow days when there isn’t a lot of mechanical work, there’s a lot of planning and data analysis.”
Wake County has been on the 100 Best Fleets list every year since 2010, once placing number three out of the country.
There are about 1,000 vehicles in the fleet, including cars, trucks, trailers and boats, with emergency response vehicles representing half.
About 60 vehicles run on diesel, and 20 run on B20 biodiesel, Kuryla said. 400 of their vehicles are E85 compatible. Wake County hasn’t purchased new hybrid or electric vehicles in about 3 years, but around 50 hybrid vehicles are currently in the fleet.
Out of the 1,000 vehicles and 200 that are serviced, there are a total of 10 mechanics.
“Our vehicles are in good enough shape that we don’t need as many,” Kuryla said.
Wake County has a preventative maintenance program in place that averts as many repairs. Vehicles are also sold with less mileage than most fleets. Many fleets keep their vehicles too long, Kuryla said, which means they’re stuck in the shop more for repairs, resulting in more downtown for drivers.
“By keeping our vehicles ahead of the game, we provide more service than other fleets out there,” Kuryla said. “People will say, ‘No, we can’t afford a new car…’ They need to think long-term and look at the big picture.”
Maintenance in the fleet is also done swiftly.
“At some places, the vehicles will spend two weeks in repair,” Kuryla said. “Here, they wait and leave — they’re working on it within 15 minutes and they’re out in less than an hour unless it’s a major repair.”
Kuryla has been Wake County Fleet Director since 2002, and he has orchestrated and seen many changes. One of the first adjustments Kuryla recommended was to transform and redesign the service and parts departments so that they were connected, and could communicate openly as a team.
“In a lot of industries, they’re battling each other,” Kuryla said. “We really wanted them to be teamed together.”
Kuryla said a big success Wake County’s fleet has had is with telematics, a system that collects data from vehicles when they’re on the road to improve efficiency. Telematics tracks the vehicles’ locations, miles per hour, time spent idling, starting or stopping too fast, whether or not the driver is wearing his or her seatbelt, and more. Drivers will be alerted with a beep when going beyond their limits, and supervisors are also automatically notified in some instances.
When telematics was first installed on the vehicles, drivers were getting a lot of beeps, Kuryla said. It didn’t take long for that to reduce considerably.
Additional upgrades and changes are still to come.
Recently, the fleet introduced reusable oil filters, which increase the life of oil and keep them from ending up in a landfill. The reusable filters were put on 20 vehicles and tested for over a year. Kuryla plans to have all of their vehicles transitioned within 6 months.
The oil is also tracked with software that automatically changes intervals and notifies departments when the oil needs changing.
This year, they plan to introduce a drive over tread depth tire reader, which will generate data on the pressure and alignment, measuring the tread depth of each tire to decide whether or not it should be replaced.
Kuryla said the biggest challenge for their fleet is a common one — making advancements within the budget.
“We try to do our research and data analysis to justify why we want to do something,” Kuryla said. “Like the oil filters. Saying ‘I want to spend $75,000 buying filters’ – someone would say, ‘You’re crazy.’ But we just spent a whole year testing and found that we’ll have that buyback very quick.”
Kuryla suggests when trying to implement changes for a fleet, it’s helpful to talk to those who will be affected by asking their suggestions and opinions. For example, the new tire depth reader is talked about openly in the shop on purpose, Kuryla said. He hopes to increase interest and encourage discussion. When the oil filters were implemented, the mechanics openly discussed their experience and then helped come up with a better system.
“Get buy-in for everything you do.” Kuryla said. “Ask what would you like? What would make your job better? Get them involved. ”