Market Trends

OTD Concerns Due to Surge of Oil Shipped by Rail

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?

Tags: OTD Times, Railroads, Freight, Oil Shipments

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Thursday, April 17, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Using Service Vehicles as Employee Recruiting, Retention Tools

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.

Tags: Ergonomics, Spec'ing, Employee Retention, Service Vehicles

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, April 14, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Using ‘Gainsharing’ to Achieve Sustainability Goals

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.”

Tags: Gainsharing, Sustainability Goals, Driver Motivation

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Wednesday, April 2, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

10 Universal Mega Trends Impacting Global Fleets

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.

Tags: Sustainability, Green Fleets, Fuel Prices, Procurement, global fleet, Taxation, Antich

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, March 25, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

The Migration of U.S. Fleet Management to the European Fleet Model

March 3, 2014

Could the U.S. fleet market of the future evolve in the same direction as the European fleet market? The key factor driving the European fleet market from the 1960s to present has been a high taxation environment. There are many indicators that point to the U.S. entering a new era of very high taxation. Could the same future unfold for the U.S. fleet market as it did in Europe? In my mind, this is not a far-fetched scenario.

Tags: Fleet Management, Europe, Company-Provided Vehicles, Global Fleet Management Conference

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, March 3, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

How to Avoid HR Headaches When Confronting Employees Who Abuse Company Vehicles

February 24, 2014

If an employee threw trash all over the office floor, scratched the paint off the walls, broke the light bulbs, left holes and dents in the walls, and skipped routine maintenance on the copier until it overheated and broke, no manager would tolerate this abuse. Yet, that is exactly what some fleet managers do tolerate when drivers abuse their company-provided vehicles.

Tags: Personal Use, Vehicle Policy, Condition Reports, Company Vehicles, Job Review

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, February 24, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Remarketing Déjà Vu: Will the Resale Market of 2016 be a Repeat of 2002?

Year-over-year increases in off-lease vehicles will exert downward pressure on resale prices.<br />Source: J.D. Power &amp;amp; Manheim Consulting

February 11, 2014

Many of the dynamics in today’s market are eerily familiar to the resale value softness that occurred in the last decade, which ultimately peaked in 2002. At that time, year-over-year increases of off-lease vehicles entering the wholesale market exerted downward pressure on resale prices. It appears that we are on the same trajectory, with off-lease volumes peaking in 2016. What are you doing to prepare for these different market dynamics?

Tags: Remarketing, Manheim, NADA, Wholesale Market, Vehicle Resale Values

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, February 11, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(3)

Extending Vehicle Service Life Negatively Impacts Sustainability Goals

February 3, 2014

The long-term trend in vehicle cycling for commercial fleets has been a gradual increase in vehicle service lives. An increasing number of companies cut costs by extending vehicle replacement cycles so cash flow can be diverted to other expenditures. When extending vehicle cycles, the most significant (and uncertain) expense is the impact on the maintenance budget. Another argument against extended replacement cycling, albeit less vocalized, is the impact on corporate sustainability.

Tags: Sustainability, CAFE Standards, Service Lives, OEMs, Fleet Budgeting

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, February 3, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Component Theft and Vandalism: A Growing Expense for Truck Fleet Managers

January 28, 2014

Protecting vehicle assets from vandalism and theft is a growing problem for many fleets.Industrywide, these thefts run the gamut from catalytic converters, tailgates, and spare tires, all the way to the vehicle itself. As fuel prices increase, fuel theft becomes more common, especially fuel siphoning. Trucks parked overnight are found the next day with holes in the fuel tanks to steal the drained fuel. Here's what companies need to do to secure unattended vehicles.

Tags: Insurance, Vandalism, Catalytic Converters, Theft, Tailgates, Spare Tires, Antich

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, January 28, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(3)

The Adverse Impact of Staggered Production Schedules on Fleet Planning and Ordering

January 6, 2014

Nowadays, OEMs introduce new models throughout the calendar-year. For many fleet managers, the staggered release of new models complicates fleet planning and the ordering process. Some model lines may have variable final order and startup dates due to muttiple plant assignments and model configurations. Fleet-minded OEMs have been terrific partners to fleets and, together, there should be a way to mitigate the impact of staggered production schedules for their largest customers.

Tags: CAFE, Model-year, Fleet Planning, Production Schedules

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, January 6, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(5)

Return of 'Normal' Used-Vehicle Market Demands Seasonal Remarketing Strategy

December 31, 2013

For the past three years, everyone has been a remarketing genius. The low inventory of used vehicles in the wholesale market helped inflate resale values by about 10 percent. However, as greater volumes of used vehicles begin to enter the wholesale market, vehicle supply will start to meet buyer demand, which will put downward pressure on resale values. In many ways, the new used-vehicle market will demand returning to the basics, namely recognizing the seasonality of the used-vehicle market.

Tags: Depreciation, Market Trends, Used-Vehicle Prices

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, December 31, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Traits Needed to Successfully Implement a Fleet Sustainability Program

December 13, 2013

Even with senior management support, implementing a green fleet sustainability program is not for the faint-hearted. Inevitably, there will be pushback from all sides, which, at times, can seem overwhelming. A fleet manager’s mettle will be tested, but there are 13 traits that will help you be successful.

Tags: Sustainability, Antich

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Friday, December 13, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(2)

IRS to Focus on Auditing Fleets for Personal-Use Reporting & Compliance

December 10, 2013

Last August, the IRS announced areas it will prioritize for audits in 2014, one of which is fringe benefits, especially the personal use of company vehicles. Managing personal-use compliance is a headache. It is also expensive, with internal costs ranging from $35 to $75 per year per vehicle. Here's what you need to do to be prepared should your friendly IRS agent come knocking on your front door.

Tags: Personal Use, IRS, Fleet Manager, compliance, Antich

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, December 10, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Top Trends in Truck Fleet Management in 2014

November 27, 2013

Calendar-years 2014 and 2015 will be pivotal years for truck fleet management due to the discontinuation of long-time commercial vehicles and the all-new replacement models and upfit packages entering the market. This is prompting vehicle and equipment specification revisions from the perspective of fleet efficiencies and driver satisfaction. Here are the Top 12 trends.

Tags: Ergonomics, Telematics, Upfitting, Sustainability, Lightweighting, Lifecycling, Antich

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Wednesday, November 27, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(2)

How to Minimize the Risk of an Internal Audit of an Employee Sales Program

November 7, 2013

When selling out-of-service fleet vehicles to employees, companies need to ensure fleet policy is uniformly applied — without exception — and that all buyers are treated uniformly and consistently. If you are involved in individual price negotiations, it is prudent to document the sales process. Auditors want to ensure that policy is being enforced uniformly and consistently throughout the organization. Here's what you need to do to ensure you sail through an internal audit with flying colors.

Tags: Resale, Fleet Policy, Internal Audit, Employee Sales Program, Wholetail Pricing, Antich

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Thursday, November 7, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Policy Non-Compliance Can Void OEM Warranties

October 28, 2013

Many fleet vehicles require specialized synthetic motor oil, special coolant fluids, filters, OEM-manufactured spare parts, and strict adherence to manufacturer-recommended maintenance schedules to guarantee new-vehicle warranty coverage. The OEMs have become more stringent in requiring adherence to their maintenance service recommendations for a vehicle to remain eligible for new-vehicle warranty coverage.

Tags: Policy Compliance, Post-Warranty Recovery, OEM Warranties, Antich

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, October 28, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(3)

Is the Fleet Industry Grossly Under-Estimating Personal Use Miles of Company-Provided Vehicles

October 16, 2013

If you asked fleet managers what the industry average is for personal use of company vehicles, most would say it is approximately 15-18 percent. But, is it? Most of us will agree that some drivers fudge their personal-use mileage, but no one knows by how much. There is a growing suspicion that personal-use mileage is far greater — perhaps substantially greater — than what the industry accepts as conventional wisdom.

Tags: Telematics, Personal Use, Remarketing, mileage, Resale, Company-Provided Vehicles, Antich

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Wednesday, October 16, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

How to Get Employee Buy-in for Green Fleet Edicts

October 7, 2013

The best way to motivate employees to embrace sustainability initiatives is to link them to either the company’s bottom line or to the driver’s own personal benefits. The danger to corporate green edicts that don’t make this connection is that they sometimes backfire into driver disinterest.

Tags: Sustainability, green fleet initiatives, employee buy-in

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, October 7, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

10 Ways to Further Improve OTD

September 24, 2013

All OEMs have been proactive in providing order-to-delivery (OTD) status updates on fleet vehicles in transit. In addition, fleet management companies have launched a multitude of enhancements to their abilities to track OTD for ordered fleet units. However, there is still much more that can be done.

Tags: OTD, order to delivery

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, September 24, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Concern Voiced About FMCSA Proposal to Eliminate Submission of No-Defect Driver Inspection Reports

September 4, 2013

The FMCSA has proposed eliminating the requirement that pre- and post-trip driver vehicle inspection reports (DVIRs) be filed with the FMCSA when no defects are identified. There are concerns voiced by some fleet managers about the unintended consequences of this proposal, especially from a safety and operational perspective.

Tags: FMCSA, DVIR, pre- and post-trip inspections, eDVIR

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Wednesday, September 4, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(2)

'Fleet Creep' and Vehicle Over-Spec'ing Thwart Green Fleet Initiatives

August 23, 2013

The larger the vehicle, the greater the emissions. The more vehicles there are in a fleet, the greater the cumulative emissions. In every fleet operation, you will find employees driving larger-than-needed vehicles to fulfill the fleet application.

Tags: Fleet Creep, green fleet initiatives, over-spec'ing

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Friday, August 23, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(4)

The Emerging Industrial Internet and Its Impact on Fleet Management

August 2, 2013

The “Industrial Internet,” a term coined by GE, refers to the integration of a variety of complex pieces of machinery, such as vehicle fleets, with networked sensors and software. Other companies, such as Cisco, similarly believe this convergence of machine connectivity remotely generating actionable data via the Internet will change the way we work, ushering in a new era of innovation in fleet management.

Tags: Industrial Internet, Internet for Everything, fleet connectivity, networking fleet vehicles

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Friday, August 2, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

How Fleet can Minimize Interdepartmental Friction

July 30, 2013

Fleet managers have to deal with other department managers who may not be team players or who have egos the size of a Class 8 truck. As a result, there are the inevitable fleet-related interdepartmental conflicts, typically driven by the challenge of balancing HR/driver requirements versus finance/accounting department requirements, which are often at odds with one another. Some criticize this involvement of “non-fleet” managers, rather than seeking ways to partner with them.

Tags: best practices, Risk Management, Fleet Management, Procurement, Human Resources

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, July 30, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Metrics is More than a Buzzword: It’s Key to a Well-Managed Fleet

July 23, 2013

Fleet management metrics are not a new phenomenon, but has gained increased emphasis in recent years. Senior management and sourcing groups are demanding the use of metrics to measure the performance of the fleet and its suppliers. In addition, tight budgets and high expectations by management make metrics a crucial element to maintaining a cost-efficient fleet.

Tags: best practices, metrics, truck fleets

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, July 23, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Vehicle Downsizing has Made Company-Provided Vehicles More Competitive Against Reimbursement

July 9, 2013

Commercial fleets began a widespread migration to four-cylinder engines and downsizing to a smaller class segment of vehicles in 2005. As a result, fuel costs and depreciation, the two largest fleet expenses, have been lowered by smaller displacement engines and vehicle segment downsizing. This has caused the breakeven point of a company-provided vehicle to shift downward, both in terms of minimum monthly miles and total costs, incrasing the competitiveness against reimbursement.

Tags: engine downsizing

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, July 9, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

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Author Bio

Mike Antich

Editor and Associate Publisher

Mike Antich has been covering the fleet management and vehicle remarketing markets for more than 20 years. During this period, Mike has written or edited more than 4,600 articles on the subjects of fleet management, manufacturer fleet activities, the fleet leasing industry, and vehicle remarketing. He was inducted in the Fleet Hall of Fame in 2010.

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