Richland County’s fleet program is being recognized as one of the best in the Americas – a lofty achievement considering there are 38,000 fleets in North America alone.
The Fleet Management Division, which oversees more than 1,500 County vehicles and pieces of equipment, is ranked number 15 in this year’s “100 Best Fleets in the Americas.” Richland County has received numerous “100 Best Fleets” accolades in recent years, though the number 15 ranking is the highest the County has ever achieved.
“We are proud and very pleased to be recognized again,” said Richland County Fleet Manager Bill Peters. “The ranking is a testament to the extraordinary support we have from our director, administration and County Council.”
Several factors are evaluated in the annual ranking process, including use of technology, quick repair turnaround, competitive pricing, safety and efficiency. Tom C. Johnson, head of the 100 Best Fleets in the Americas program, said Richland County was recognized because of its “fresh thinking with new ideas.”
Development of a long-term plan to improve services and a recent departmental reorganization that moved Fleet Management under the Office of Risk Management have helped generate improvements and minimize costs.
“Recognition as the 15th best fleet certainly reaffirms our efforts, however, we are most proud of the excellent service provided to County departments, enabling them to serve the public in safe, efficient vehicles,” said Risk Management Director Brittney Hoyle.
Fleet Management is comprised of just two County employees Peters and Administrative Coordinator Jaci Ricks who work closely with maintenance provider First Vehicle Services, which has 24 technicians and staff members. County vehicles range from older model sedans and hybrid SUVs to ambulances and heavy equipment, and they are used daily by building inspectors, code enforcement officers, animal care staff, roads and drainage crews and emergency responders.
Fleet Management recently took on the responsibility of maintaining 125 fire apparatuses that provide fire protection in Richland County and the City of Columbia.
“We will continue the work to improve the fleet program and achieve our next goal: recognition as a top 10 fleet,” Peters said.