SolarCity Fleet Director Wins Fleet Safety Award
(l. to r.) Pam Sederholm, executive director of AALA; Nikith Rajendran; and Mike Antich, editor of Automotive Fleet. Photo by Jim Park.
SolarCity's fleet operations director Nikith Rajendran was named the winner of the 2016 Fleet Safety award during a July 19 ceremony at the Fleet Safety Conference.
Rajendran manages a growing fleet for the solar power provider. The SolarCity fleet has been ramping up steadily from around 590 vehicles in 2013 to around 4,350 at the end of 2015.
"This has been a team effort, so thanks to my team," Rajendran said. "And also to my boss, because of the confidence he has in our young and inexperienced team."
Rajendran has rolled out an enhanced driver policy to around 7,500 drivers in the company. These efforts have improved safe driving behavior and reduced the incident rate. SolarCity's DOT crash indicator of 0.02 on April 5 fell within the top 4% of those ranked. He has also focused on ensuring safe vehicle operation by initiating projects in the areas of vehicle safety audits, onsite maintenance service and electronic DVIR.
Honorable mentions for the award went to Lea Covington-Rowen, U.S. fleet manager and safety operations for AstraZeneca, and Laura Hulback, fleet manager for The Valspar Corp.
The Fleet Safety Award, which was first presented in 2012, is co-sponsored by Bobit Business Media, publisher of Automotive Fleet magazine, and the American Automotive Leasing Association (AALA). It seeks to recognize candidates who have shown leadership, innovation, and measurable results in enhancing the safety of their employees, those travelling with them, as well as everyone else who shares the road with them.
Editor's note: Chris Wolski contributed to this story.