March 20, 2012
The recent breathtaking increase in gasoline and diesel prices gives us a reality check as to how quickly fuel can dramatically increase fleet operating expenses. With fuel prices at a near all-time high and ongoing strong resale values decreasing depreciation costs, will fuel costs overtake depreciation as the No. 1 fleet expense in 2012, as it almost did in 2006?
Posted @ Tuesday, March 20, 2012 12:00 AM | »
February 27, 2012
Every fleet manager is feeling the pressure to reduce costs. The best place to have maximum impact is to reduce overall fleet size and/or modify vehicle composition. A fleet's total cost is directly proportional to the total number of vehicles in operation, which drives all fixed and operating costs, such as fuel, replacement tire expenses, depreciation, accident repair costs, etc. If you can reduce overall fleet size, all other cost categories will decrease correspondingly.
Posted @ Monday, February 27, 2012 12:00 AM | »
February 21, 2012
The price of parts is expected to rise as raw materials and manufacturing costs increase. There will continue to be ongoing upward pressure on replacement tire prices, particularly for commercial trucks. Oil drain intervals will continue to be extended, especially as OEMs migrate to the GF-5 motor oil standard, which provides better wear protection. However, two-thirds of all fleet maintenance expenses continue to be PM-related, which requires relentless monitoring of driver PM compliance.
Posted @ Tuesday, February 21, 2012 12:00 AM | »
January 19, 2012
Between 2001 and 2010, there were a record 38,000 new regulations published in the Federal Register. One sobering caveat is that these regulations do not include the even larger number of regulations introduced by state, county, and municipal governments, along with local regulatory agencies. Invariably, this multitude of regulations has impacted fleet management.
Posted @ Thursday, January 19, 2012 12:00 AM | »
January 17, 2012
Until the advent of telematics devices, idling was not perceived to be a major problem for fleets. But once engine data was captured by fleets on a large-scale basis, it quickly became apparent that idling represented a significant and widespread problem. The amount of unnecessary idling varies by fleet, but some fleets have recorded idling as much as 35 percent of the time. Here's what you can do about it.
Posted @ Tuesday, January 17, 2012 12:00 AM | »
January 9, 2012
Many of the challenges facing U.S. fleet managers are identical to the challenges facing your counterparts managing fleets elsewhere in the world. Many of these fleet trends extend beyond the U.S. and are offshoots of much larger global trends. Oftentimes, best practices in fleet management emerge from outside the U.S., which is good reason for you to familiarize yourself with what's occurring in other global fleet markets.
Posted @ Monday, January 9, 2012 12:00 AM | »
January 4, 2012
Tire industry experts foresee another round of tire price increases during calendar-year 2012. In the past, national account tire manufacturers have done their best to shield the fleet industry from price increases by holding prices for a 12-month period. Nowadays, there is concern that national account vendors will no longer be able to continue to absorb these cost increases.
Posted @ Wednesday, January 4, 2012 12:00 AM | »
December 22, 2011
The multiple price increases for replacement tires occurring year-to-date for calendar-year 2011 point to more increases on the horizon. Most tire industry experts foresee tire price hikes continuing for the balance of this calendar-year, with expectations of another round of pricing increases in calendar-year 2012. There are a variety of factors that will influence future tire price.
Posted @ Thursday, December 22, 2011 12:00 AM | »
December 5, 2011
The cost to design and build vehicles to meet the higher 2017-2021 fuelefficiency standards will average an additional $2,000 to $6,000 per vehicle. Proponents of the higher CAFE standards argue the higher acquisition costs will be offset by much greater fuel savings. However, is there a diminishing return on cost savings as fuel efficiency increases? Kelley Blue Book thinks so.
Posted @ Monday, December 5, 2011 12:00 AM | »
November 29, 2011
Overloading is an ongoing industry problem. Besides violating numerous state and federal regulations, when a vehicle is overloaded its emergency handling capability is reduced, operating expenses increase, and service lives decrease. Statistics show that overloaded and improperly loaded trucks are among the leading causes of truck accidents and the number one cause of unscheduled maintenance.
Posted @ Tuesday, November 29, 2011 12:00 AM | »
November 22, 2011
There's a direct correlation between vehicle weight, fuel consumption, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Every pound of extra weight requires an engine to work harder, increasing fuel consumption and, as a consequence, increasing tailpipe emissions. For instance, an extra 100 lbs. in vehicle weight can reduce mpg up to 2 percent. If you reduce vehicle weight, you reduce fuel consumption,and, by default, you will decrease emissions. Here are some ways to put your fleet on a "diet."
Posted @ Tuesday, November 22, 2011 12:00 AM | »
November 10, 2011
Decreases in property and sales tax revenues have created budgetary shortfalls for most state governments. Many Department of Motor Vehicles offices have closed branch locations, reduced workforce through layoffs, implemented hiring freezes, shortened hours of operation, eliminated overtime, and instituted work furloughs for remaining employees. In some states, this has increased turnaround times for fleet-related DMV services. Some see this as being an ongoing issue for the years to come.
Posted @ Thursday, November 10, 2011 12:00 AM | »
October 24, 2011
Fleet operating costs are forecast to trend higher in calendar-year 2012. Replacement tire prices are expected to increase 6-10 percent due to higher raw material costs and higher commodity prices. In addition, higher commodity prices will put upward pressure on component costs. Similarly, inflation will put upward pressure on labor rates in high-cost markets. The one bright spot is that fuel prices are forecast to remain at 2011 levels due to the ongoing sluggish economy.
Posted @ Monday, October 24, 2011 12:00 AM | »
October 19, 2011
Leased vehicles are registered in the lessor's name. As a consequence, some drivers with multiple red-light camera violations may go undetected by corporate safety and HR departments. Since a red-light camera violation is charged to the lessor - the registered owner of the vehicle - in many states, it won't appear on the driver's MVR. Because it is likely that red-light camera infractions won't appear on an MVR, an employer won't know they occurred if only relying on MVR violation history.
Posted @ Wednesday, October 19, 2011 12:00 AM | »
October 13, 2011
There’s a direct correlation between vehicle weight, fuel economy, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Ultimately, the fleet application dictates vehicle size. But when it is possible to do so, right-sizing vehicles reduces fuel consumption, which, in turn, reduces GHG emissions. Right-sizing is a complex strategy that goes far beyond simply downsizing to a smaller class of vehicle.
Posted @ Thursday, October 13, 2011 12:00 AM | »
September 30, 2011
Medium- and heavy-duty trucks comprise 4 percent of the total vehicles on the road, but account for 20 percent of the fuel consumed and 20 percent of the greenhouse gases (GHG) emitted by the transportation sector. Now, for the first-time ever, fuel economy standards for heavy- and medium-duty trucks over 8,500 lbs. will be regulated by the federal government. Here are the pros and cons of this new mandate.
Posted @ Friday, September 30, 2011 12:00 AM | »
September 13, 2011
Today’s high resale values are an anomaly caused by the shortage of used vehicles in the wholesale market due to the extremely low sales of new vehicles during the 2008-2011 timeframe. Nowadays, everyone is a hero when it comes to getting top dollar for their out-of-service fleet vehicles. However, these artificially high prices will ultimately decline as used-vehicle supply increases.
Posted @ Tuesday, September 13, 2011 12:00 AM | »
September 2, 2011
If you are constrained by equipment limitations, the "last mile" to achieving corporate sustainability objectives is modifying driver behavior. This is possibly the greatest opportunity available to fleet managers to green their fleets.
Posted @ Friday, September 2, 2011 12:00 AM | »
August 16, 2011
Recently, a security systems consultant demonstrated that the technology used to link a car to a smart phone can be hacked to gain control of these vehicle functions. The demonstration showed that the wireless communication protocols between a server and a vehicle can be intercepted allowing a hacker to “reverse engineer” the encrypted software protocols. Once the software protocols are replicated, a hacker can maliciously communicate with a vehicle to unlock doors or start the engine.
Posted @ Tuesday, August 16, 2011 8:26 AM | »
August 8, 2011
The 2025 CAFE rules will have a dramatic impact on the types of future vehicles in fleet operations. Currently, no OEM can meet the 2025 CAFE standard of 54.5 mpg, which will double the average EPA-rated fuel economy for all OEMs selling vehicles in the U.S. in less than two decades. Today, only a handful of models get 39 mpg or more. To achieve this standard, the government plans to incentivize the use of advanced technologies, such as hybrid powertrains and vehicle electrification.
Posted @ Monday, August 8, 2011 4:05 PM | »
July 27, 2011
Ticket fees have escalated dramatically and there appears to be a trend toward "malicious compliance," all for the sake of generating revenue. It's not uncommon for multiple tickets to be issued for the same violation due to overlapping regulations and the 'latitude' of interpretation afforded to officers. Plus, officers are providing fewer warnings and increasingly citing minor infractions, especially equipment violations. Increased citations negatively impact a fleet's DOT rating under CSA.
Posted @ Wednesday, July 27, 2011 11:02 AM | »
July 25, 2011
As many states combine delinquent ticket data into a single database, there’s an increased effort by government entities to go after unpaid violations, some as old as 10 years. In the past, political subdivisions within a state operated independent of the state DMV. Now, the databases of these jurisdictions are merged into the state DMV database, making it easier to identify and collect on unpaid tickets. Fleets have seen significantly more violations handed over to collection agencies.
Posted @ Monday, July 25, 2011 2:09 PM | »
July 6, 2011
The decreased volume of new medium-duty trucks sold from 2008-2010 has created a tight inventory of used trucks in today's wholesale market. As a result, demand is exceeding supply, especially for lower-mileage medium-duties in good condition, which has exerted positive upward pressure on resale prices across the board.
Posted @ Wednesday, July 6, 2011 11:25 AM | »
July 5, 2011
Does automatic payment of a photo-enforcement ticket implicitly presume guilt and deny a driver due process? Some fleet drivers have been cited for running a red light and had the fine paid, all without ever knowing about it or given the due process opportunity to contest the citation. In addition to possible due process concerns, an employee may have a claim for wrongful termination if your failure to provide notice of the infraction ultimately cost the employee his or her license.
Posted @ Tuesday, July 5, 2011 10:15 AM | »
June 28, 2011
“Clocking” is the illegal process of rolling back an odometer to a mileage lower than the actual miles driven. This crime is most prevalent with late-model vehicles, which have accumulated high mileage in a relatively short period of time, such as typically occurs with fleet vehicles. If you think odometer tampering is a thing of the past, you should think again. From 2007 to 2010, there has been a double-digit increase in odometer tampering.
Posted @ Tuesday, June 28, 2011 9:07 AM | »