After years of perfecting its fleet management department, DeKalb County has obtained the title of the best fleet in North America.

The county topped the 100 Best Fleets Program for 2018, which ranks the top 100 applicant fleets in the United States and Canada.

Since coming 39th in 2013, DeKalb has moved up the ranks with annual positions of 7th in 2014, 2nd in 2015 and 2016, and 5th in 2017.

The county’s win this year was announced at the 2018 NAFA Institute and Expo, held in Anaheim, California between April 24 and 27.

Judges said DeKalb came first out of 38,000 public fleets because of its distinguished customer service, sustainability practices and employee training.

“The DeKalb fleet management department exemplifies all that is right about public service,” said Tom C. Johnson, founder of the 100 Best Fleets program. “The county has developed best practices that reduce the need for unscheduled repairs, maintenance costs and negative environmental impacts.”

DeKalb’s fleet management division, housed within the Department of Public Works, maintains repair services for a fleet of approximately 3,600 county vehicles and equipment.

In the past year, the department has maintained a 99 percent positive feedback rate on customer service surveys and implemented green initiatives that include upgrading the fueling program, opening an environmentally friendly above-ground fuel site, and reducing gasoline and diesel fuel consumption.

It has also trained nearly 300 drivers on idle reduction, which limits engine running time and improves DeKalb’s air quality.

“DeKalb County is pleased to recognize the leadership of Robert Gordon, deputy director of fleet management,” DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond said May 2. “His commitment to excellent service, environmental stewardship and creating a high-trust culture is an example for all of us to follow.”

DeKalb’s fleet management division includes 1,600 full and part-time employees and an annual budget of $460 million.

“We keep DeKalb rolling,” Gordon said. “Winning the 100 Best Fleet award shows that the county is providing value to the citizens we serve and that we are focused on doing the right thing.”

Started nineteen years ago, the annual 100 Best Fleets Program recognizes high-trust, high-performance fleet operations in North America.

Criteria for the award includes use of technology, performance, collaboration, service turnaround time and accountability.