Kevin Schlangen, fleet manager in Dakota County, Minnesota, has won selection to the Public Fleet Hall of Fame for 2021. He joins an illustrious group of innovators and trailblazers in the public fleet industry who provide an example to follow in how to manage fleets.
The Public Fleet Hall of Fame induction ceremony is produced by Government Fleet and the American Public Works Association (APWA) and sponsored by Sourcewell. The induction ceremony is one of the major events at the Government Fleet Expo, scheduled for Nov. 15-17, 2021, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.
EnVue Telematics, which works with government fleets to provide connected devices and risk consultation services that lead to improved fleet performance, will attend the expo. EnVue provides clients many of the telematics solutions Dakota County uses, including devices from featured partner Geotab.
“It has been a pleasure working with and getting to know both Kevin and Jeff over these last 7 years”, said Susan Johnson, COO. “I have witnessed their drive in utilizing data they get from telematics and applying to their real-world scenarios. Which is why I think Kevin is so deserving in this recognition. The entire team here at EnVue is glad that they have had the opportunity to work with, and provide support to some of the best.”
Dakota County Recognized By Peers In the Industry
The hall inducts industry leaders and pioneers who significantly contribute to the public fleet profession. Those considered for the hall must have 20 years of experience, 10 of them working for a public fleet or a private company contracted to manage a public fleet. A peer group of industry professionals vote via online ballot on new inductees.
Dakota County is a large county just southeast of central Minneapolis and is part of the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington metro area. It is home to 439,882 residents and includes Eagan, Burnsville, Lakeville and the county seat of Hastings.
The Dakota County fleet team manages 349 vehicles, plus 362 trailers, attachments and small equipment, with a staff of 14 people. The team manages more than $30 million worth of equipment. The fleet department has saved county taxpayers more than $3.49 million by merging all fleet management for the county into one department.
The Success of Schlangen and Fleet Supervisor Jeff Morgan
The Dakota County fleet team is led by Schlangen and Fleet Supervisor Jeff Morgan. Both have earned the title of Certified Automotive Fleet Manager (CAFM). This is the highest professional designation a person can earn through the National Association of Fleet Managers. Earning the CAFM designation requires mastering the eight core disciplines of fleet management.
Under the leadership of Schlangen and Morgan, the Dakota County fleet team has won numerous awards and earned the ASE Blue Seal of Excellence, according to Government Fleet. Since 2005, the fleet has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 34 percent. They’ve reached this goal by putting a multi-faceted strategy into place. This includes:
- Increasing the fleet’s number of hybrid and flexible–fuel vehicles, which both reduces emissions and saves the county money on fuel. The fleet now has 58 flexible-fuel vehicles and 16 hybrid vehicles
- Using grant funds to install catalyst devices that reduce diesel emissions
- Converting strobe lights and arrow boards to LED lights
- Implementing a “right-sized” vehicle program that increases fuel efficiency by using the right-sized vehicle to complete a task
- Using grant dollars to purchase four solar-powered message boards for work zone safety
- Coaching drivers on ways to burn less fuel, such as less idling time
- Using solar panels to produce 14 percent of the energy needed for the fleet’s warehouses, which includes an 18,000-square-foot fleet management area, a 30,000-square-foot cold storage building, and two 50,000-square-foot warm storage areas (one with geothermal heat)
Leaders in Telematics For Public Fleets
Dakota County also has led the way in putting telematics solutions to work in public fleets. The county started early, using devices to improve driver performance, lower the risk of crashes and make fleet vehicles more efficient.
A decade ago, the county started using devices from GeoTab in a pilot program that immediately showed results. Geotab devices led to a:
- 92 percent increase in seatbelt use
- 12 percent reduction in idling over 5 miles per hour
- 42 percent reduction in driving more than 70 miles per hour
- 9.5 percent increase in miles per gallon
- 70 percent decrease in harsh accelerations, turning and braking
Schlangen, Morgan and the Dakota County fleet team have shown what can happen when public fleets put telematics to use. They deserve congratulations for their continued success, and for Schlangen’s induction into the Public Fleet Hall of Fame.