November 26, 2014
As we approach the start of a new calendar-year, it is inevitable that we take a look at where we’ve been and where we are going. I'll start by examining the evolution of the medium-duty truck market over the past 45 years and then identify the key trends that will influence product design in future model-years.
Posted @ Wednesday, November 26, 2014 3:22 PM | »
October 23, 2014
The majority of companies place new model-year orders according to set vehicle replacement parameters; however, projected improvements in economic conditions across almost all business segments bode well for 2015- and 2016-MY commercial fleet sales.
Posted @ Thursday, October 23, 2014 7:58 AM | »
October 20, 2014
For the second consecutive year, total fleet operating costs have remained flat for commercial fleets when compared to the prior year. This blog identifies the 15 factors that are putting downward pressure on fleet operating costs.
Posted @ Monday, October 20, 2014 7:19 AM | »
October 13, 2014
The key to a successful fleet sustainability program is making options available. Alternative fuels work in some regions of the country, while hybrids or bi-fuel vehicles may work best in other areas. These options allow even the most cautious of fleets to field alternative fuel vehicles with little or no risk beyond the initial purchase price.
Posted @ Monday, October 13, 2014 6:42 PM | »
October 2, 2014
A variety of factors will contribute to overall medium-duty truck operating costs in the 2015 calendar-year. This blog will offer a forecast of fuel pricing trends for both diesel and gasoline, along with an examination of factors that will influence both preventive and unscheduled maintenance costs for Class 3-6 trucks,
Posted @ Thursday, October 2, 2014 8:50 AM | »
September 17, 2014
The good news is the management of quality holds by OEMs has improved tremendously in the 2014-MY. However, much more still needs to be done. As has been the case for the past several model-years, lengthening OEM quality holds continue to adversely impact fleet order-to-delivery (OTD) times by incurring added costs due to missed residual timing, repair costs to older vehicles still in service, and rental expenses
Posted @ Wednesday, September 17, 2014 9:24 AM | »
September 15, 2014
One challenge for the 2014-MY has been the increased volume of fleet vehicles going to upfitters, which has resulted in capacity issues. With the increasing demand and growth of the commercial truck/van segments, particularly among utilities and service industries, the percentage of upfitted vehicles is growing. Order-to-delivery time on large trucks keeps getting longer with upfitters. Some fleets don't place factory orders and instead purchase most their vehicle chassis from bailment pools.
Posted @ Monday, September 15, 2014 12:01 PM | »
September 9, 2014
There is a cost efficiency component to green fleet initiatives that not only helps meet sustainability goals, but also reduces operating costs by decreasing fuel consumption.
Posted @ Tuesday, September 9, 2014 9:10 AM | »
September 2, 2014
When corporate revenues soften, it is management's fiduciary responsibility to demand expense reductions and limit capital expenditures. Unfortunately, many fleet-related cost-reduction decisions are made for the short-term, with very little consideration on the long-term impact on the total cost of ownership (TCO). Many times senior management is more interested in the fiscal, rather than economic, consequences of their fleet-related decisions.
Posted @ Tuesday, September 2, 2014 10:32 AM | »
August 11, 2014
How would you characterize your job? Are you more of a “fireman,” spending your days putting out one fire after another? Or, do you devote the time to truly manage your fleet? Most of us will say we do both, but putting out fires consumes a tremendous amount of time and decreases the time invested in managing the fleet from a strategic level. At the most fundamental level, we have to ask ourselves: Are we tactical or strategic managers?
Posted @ Monday, August 11, 2014 12:00 AM | »
August 4, 2014
The greatest factor contributing to driver distraction has been the growing use of technology — in particular smartphones — while driving; however, a new concern will soon be confronting fleet managers in the form of wearable computers.
Posted @ Monday, August 4, 2014 12:00 AM | »
July 28, 2014
Without establishing a plan and the policies to implement it, there will be no uniform focus to meet sustainability goals or a consistent framework to maintain compliance with these goals in terms of asset acquisition, fuel consumption, and vehicle operations and maintenance.
Posted @ Monday, July 28, 2014 12:00 AM | »
July 9, 2014
Driver safety and the reduction of fuel consumption are not mutually exclusive goals. There are many similarities between fuel-efficient driving techniques and safe driving techniques. In fact, there’s a direct correlation between safe driving and fuel efficiency. It’s been proven: the safer the driver, the higher the miles per gallon.
Posted @ Wednesday, July 9, 2014 12:00 AM | »
June 30, 2014
One of the highest compliments to someone in the auto industry is to say they have gasoline running through their veins. In Ed Bobit's case, he had "fleet" running through his veins.
Posted @ Monday, June 30, 2014 12:00 AM | »
June 18, 2014
The relentless demand by management to reduce costs year-over-year is producing extremely cost-efficient fleets. The best example is the trend by some fleets to shift drivers from allowance or reimbursement programs to the company-provided vehicle program. For these companies, they are finding that it is less expensive to have an employee participate in the company car program than providing a driver allowance.
Posted @ Wednesday, June 18, 2014 12:00 AM | »
June 10, 2014
Fleet order-to-delivery (OTD) has been brutal this model-year due to severe weather conditions, which exacerbated rail congestion, creating huge backlogs of vehicles needing to be shipped. However, some are beginning to believe the rail congestion experienced this winter is more of a symptom of a systemic infrastructure weakness and not solely the consequence of severe weather. Here's why they think so.
Posted @ Tuesday, June 10, 2014 12:00 AM | »
May 27, 2014
The best way to optimize truck productivity is to spec the right vehicle for the fleet application. This may sound like I am stating the obvious, but, as many truck professionals will attest, it is often not the case. While fleet managers understand how their trucks are intended to be used in the field, intended usage often does not match real-world usage.
Posted @ Tuesday, May 27, 2014 12:00 AM | »
May 22, 2014
Many fleet managers know they should be doing something to “green” their fleet, but they do nothing, rationalizing (and justifying) their inaction due to budget constraints or lack of management support. To me, this is a self-fulfilling mindset that guarantees your fleet will remain in a status quo situation. Fleet managers need to break free from this defeatist mindset and here's how to do it.
Posted @ Thursday, May 22, 2014 12:00 AM | »
May 15, 2014
How will fleet management change in the next 10 years? I foresee three transformational forces that will sweep through our industry and redirect its long-term direction.
Posted @ Thursday, May 15, 2014 12:00 AM | »
May 1, 2014
There’s no other way to say it, except bluntly: Managing an executive fleet is a headache. I am not going to say otherwise. But, if it is one of your job responsibilities, consider yourself luckier than others. Managing an executive fleet puts you in front of senior management and gives you an opportunity to showcase your value to the company. Here's how you can leverage this to your maximum benefit.
Posted @ Thursday, May 1, 2014 12:00 AM | »
April 23, 2014
A fleet manager’s capabilities and expertise can be easily overlooked by executive management, especially when a fleet is well run. When fleet runs smoothly, it tends not to be on the radar of senior management, who, often, are not aware of the required behind-the-scenes expertise. However, the biggest curse to running a well-run fleet is that it sometimes breeds complacency. Here's how to avoid it.
Posted @ Wednesday, April 23, 2014 12:00 AM | »
April 17, 2014
The railroad industry is the primary long-distance shipper of automobiles from assembly plants to dealers, which represents almost 9 percent of total rail freight. However, the auto industry is not the only railroad customer, and it competes with other shippers for scarce rail resources. Such is the case with petroleum companies shipping crude oil by rail, which is putting heavy demand on finite rail resources. What impact will this have on fleet OTD?
Posted @ Thursday, April 17, 2014 12:00 AM | »
April 14, 2014
Traditionally, executive and sales vehicles have been used by corporations as an employee recruitment and retention tool. Could service vehicles be used the same way? For example, could the type of service vehicles you have in operation also be used to lure qualified employees or retain current employees? I believe they can, if marketed correctly.
Posted @ Monday, April 14, 2014 12:00 AM | »
April 2, 2014
When it comes to meeting corporate sustainability objectives, wouldn’t it be nice to get everyone in your company fully committed to achieving these targets? Experience has shown that sustainability programs work best when drivers view themselves as stakeholders in the program. But, how can you change the drivers’ mindset so they view themselves as stakeholders? A proven way is to use “gainsharing.”
Posted @ Wednesday, April 2, 2014 12:00 AM | »
March 25, 2014
There are dramatic differences between regional fleet markets around the globe. Yet, despite these differences, there are also many similarities. Many of the challenges facing fleet managers are identical to the challenges facing their counterparts elsewhere in the world. Oftentimes, fleet best practices in addressing these challenges emerge from outside your local market, which is good reason to be familiar with what’s occurring elsewhere in the world. Here are the top 10 universal mega trends.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 25, 2014 12:00 AM | »