Market Trends

Wholesale Inventory Shortage of Medium-Duty Trucks Fuels Higher Resale Values

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.

Tags: truck inventory, wholesale shortage, resale prices

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Wednesday, July 6, 2011 11:25 AM | » Comments(0)

Does Automatic Payment of Camera Tickets Violate a Driver’s Due Process Rights?

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.

Tags: Risk Management, red light camera

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, July 5, 2011 10:15 AM | » Comments(3)

Double Digit Odometer Fraud Between 2007 - 2010

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.

Tags: odometer fraud, Mike Antich, clocking

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, June 28, 2011 9:07 AM | » Comments(1)

The Best Green Fleet Strategy is to Reduce Fuel Consumption

June 15, 2011

If you want to green your fleet by reducing emissions, you need to decrease fuel consumption. Up to 30 percent of a vehicle's fuel efficiency is impacted by driver behavior. The way an employee drives make a big difference in the volume of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions emitted by a company vehicle. Every unnecessary gallon of diesel burned creates 22.1 lbs. of CO2. The quickest way to reduce fuel consumption is to modify employee driving behavior.

Tags: Sustainability, Driver Behavior, Fuel Efficiency, Mike Antich, Antich

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Wednesday, June 15, 2011 9:49 AM | » Comments(0)

The Impact of CAFE on Fleet Procurement

May 31, 2011

I foresee fleet procurement patterns changing due to impending federal-mandated corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards in 2016 and 2025. Government CAFE mandates for higher fuel economy, coupled with higher fuel prices, will change the vehicle portfolio mix offered by many OEMs, which in turn will ultimately change the asset composition of tomorrow’s fleets.

Tags: fleet procurement, Gasoline-Electric Hybrids, Antich, CAFE Standards

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, May 31, 2011 12:00 AM | » Comments(2)

A New Emerging Fleet Issue – ‘Burnout’

May 9, 2011

My takeaway from last April’s NAFA I&E Conference was the extent to which fleet managers are being stretched to their limits. The catalyst has been the recent economic downturn, which decimated what little staff may have been at the disposal of many fleet managers. Time constraints have caused a fleet manager’s daily activity to be a "juggling act," which has devolved into “crisis management” of putting out an endless stream of "fires."

Tags: Fleet Management, role of the fleet manager, burnout, Antich, Mike Antich

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, May 9, 2011 10:10 AM | » Comments(8)

The Uncontrollable Component of Fleet OTD

April 26, 2011

Fleet vehicles are vulnerable to order-to-delivery (OTD) delays because most fleet orders are concentrated among a handful of models. There are four components to the OTD cycle: ordering, scheduling, production, and delivery.The weak link is the delivery component. For the past 10 years, the nationwide rail car shortage has been a factor in fleet delivery delays. This promises to continue to be the case for the foreseeable future. Here's why.

Tags: order to delivery times, Antich, Mike Antich

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, April 26, 2011 3:14 PM | » Comments(1)

The Ongoing Used-Vehicle Shortage Favors a Short-Cycling Replacement Strategy

April 18, 2011

Nearly all fleet-related costs, both fixed and operating, are influenced by when a vehicle is replaced. Today’s exceptionally strong wholesale market caused by the shortage of used vehicles offers commercial fleet managers an “out-of-the box opportunity” to short cycle vehicles. A shorter 24-month replacement cycle will maximize resale values, reduce operating costs and downtime, increase negotiating leverage with OEMs, and improve driver morale,

Tags: Used Vehicles, fleet depreciation, Short Cycling, Antich, Mike Antich

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, April 18, 2011 5:06 PM | » Comments(1)

Time to Add a New Component in Calculating Total Cost of Ownership

April 1, 2011

Senior management at many U.S. companies continues to support corporate sustainability and green fleet initiatives. In the past, “green” was difficult to “pencil out” when calculating vehicle lifecycle costs, but those days appear to be ending.

Tags: total cost of ownership, green fleet, Antich

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Friday, April 1, 2011 9:51 AM | » Comments(0)

Beware of Expunged MVR Records

March 11, 2011

Expungement is a legal procedure to remove driving infractions from an individual's motor vehicle record. Fleet managers report MVR expungements are occurring with greater frequency -- more so in some jurisdictions than others. The most notorious is Puerto Rico, but there has also been an increase in expungements of DUIs and speeding tickets in other jurisdictions, such as Illinois and Pennsylvania. Fleet managers need to be aware of the negligent entrustment ramifications.

Tags: MVR, MVR expungement, Antich

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Friday, March 11, 2011 3:58 PM | » Comments(14)

Higher Raw Material Costs Put Upward Pressure on Replacement Tire Prices

February 28, 2011

Retail transaction prices for light-truck replacement tire were up 12.5% in 2010, and 11% for the passenger car segment. Although retail tire prices increased, replacement tire pricing for commercial fleets remained relatively flat because of pre-existing national account pricing agreements. However, it would be short-sighted to believe national account vendors will indefinitely absorb tire cost increases without passing them on to their fleet customers.

Tags: Replacement Tires, fleet operating expenses, Antich

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, February 28, 2011 4:51 PM | » Comments(1)

In a Slow Economy, Driver Violations Increase

Ten years ago, toll violations were an insignificant expense for fleets. Today, it is the second fastest-growing cost for fleets. The proliferation of automated tollbooths has dramatically increased the volume of toll violations.

February 15, 2011

Vehicle violations now represent 1-3 percent of total fleet costs. Traffic violation revenues are being used by many jurisdictions to balance budgets. In an era of budget deficits, fleets are discovering a sharp uptick in driver violations.

Tags: vehicle violation, Antich

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, February 15, 2011 11:21 AM | » Comments(2)

In a Slow Economy, Driver Violations Increase

February 15, 2011

Vehicle violations represent 1-3 percent of total fleet costs and vary by fleet depending on the cities and states where vehicles operate.

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, February 15, 2011 11:01 AM | » Comments(0)

Idea Emerges to Create a Networking Group for Women in Fleet

February 8, 2011

There are a number of professional women’s associations. Why not an association for women in fleet? This was the thought that struck Carolyn Edwards, director of operations, vehicle acquisition for LeasePlan USA. Since then, four founding members have joined the group. They are Gayle Pratt of Ecolab, Sue Miller of McDonald’s Corp., Ginny Liddle of Terracon, and Christy Coyte of Johnson Controls, Inc. The group is looking for your feedback.

Tags: Women in Fleet, Antich

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, February 8, 2011 12:36 PM | » Comments(11)

NHTSA Proposes Speed Limiters on HD Trucks: Will Medium-Duties be Next?

January 28, 2011

The proposed rulemaking would amend the federal motor vehicle safety standards requiring OEMs to install speed limiters on trucks with a GVWR greater than 26,000 lbs. An electronic control module (ECM) would limit the maximum speed to no more than 68 mph. Many independent truckers, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), and the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) are opposed to the rulemaking.

Tags: Speed limit, Trucks, NHTSA, Antich

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Friday, January 28, 2011 9:08 AM | » Comments(3)

Fleet Applications Emerge for Mobile Communication Devices

A growing number of fleets view mobile applications as a way to help lower fleet costs, increase driver efficiency, and improve fleet management control.

January 24, 2011

Applications for mobile communication devices to perform fleet-related tasks will become increasingly prevalent in the near future. These emerging applications will help enhance driver productivity and communication.

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, January 24, 2011 5:02 PM | » Comments(0)

High-Mileage Used Fleet Vehicles Create Difficulties Financing 'C' and 'D' Paper Buyers

January 18, 2011

Fleet managers are manufacturers of used vehicles. Many of the buyers of used fleet vehicles are C and D paper buyers. One unintended consequence to companies extending the service lives of fleet vehicles is that it is more difficult for used-vehicle dealers to finance C and D paper buyers in the secondary funding market. The issue, from the perspective of the finance company, is the remaining life of higher-mileage vehicles.

Tags: Financing, Used Vehicle Sales, Antich

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, January 18, 2011 3:43 PM | » Comments(3)

First-Year Bonus Depreciation Increased to 100 Percent

December 28, 2010

The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (H.R. 4853) was signed into law by President Obama on Dec. 17, 2010. The legislation includes an extension of the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010's "bonus depreciation" allowance through the end of 2011, and increases that amount from 50 percent to100 percent. Here's what it means to fleets.

Tags: Depreciation, Legislation, Taxes, Antich

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, December 28, 2010 10:19 AM | » Comments(0)

Legal Motion Seeks to Halt Public Release of CSA 2010 Data

December 13, 2010

Concern about vicarious liability lawsuits resulting from the public release of Comprehensive Safety Analysis (CSA) 2010 data prompted a legal motion to be filed on Nov. 29 with the U.S. Court of Appeals by three trucking associations, representing 3,000 privately owned fleets. The motion seeks a permanent injuction to the public release of CSA 2010 data with percentile ranking by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

Tags: FMCSA, Legislation, CSA 2010, Antich

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, December 13, 2010 6:00 PM | » Comments(2)

The Weak Link in Corporate Sustainability is the Driver

November 9, 2010

Despite a slow economy, many companies (especially multi-nationals) remain fully committed to achieving self-imposed sustainability targets, which invariably include their fleet operations. However, many fleet programs place a greater focus on modifying the "asset" versus modifying driver behavior.

Tags: Sustainability, Driver Behavior, Antich

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, November 9, 2010 10:05 AM | » Comments(3)

Forecast of 2011 Operating Costs

November 1, 2010

Operating costs will trend higher in the 2011 calendar-year, primarily due to an incremental increase in fuel prices, which represent the largest fleet operating expense category. Another factor contributing to upward pressure on operating expenses will be higher maintenance costs, primarily due to extended replacement cycling. Beyond 2011, fleet acquisition costs are anticipated increase to meet higher CAFE requirements.

Tags: Operating Costs, Fuel Spend, Forecast

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, November 1, 2010 4:11 PM | » Comments(3)

Dealer Consolidation Creates New Headaches for Out-of-Stock Purchases

October 26, 2010

Fleet managers try to minimize the number of out-of-stock purchases. But there are instances when these purchases can't be avoided, such as accident replacement and unanticipated new hires. However, the downsized dealer network has caused searches for out-of-stock vehicles to become more difficult and time-consuming. With OEM production reduced to match demand, fleets attempting to purchase out-of-stock are increasingly competing with retail customers. Is this the new reality?

Tags: replacement vehicles, Antich

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, October 26, 2010 9:01 AM | » Comments(1)

Most Fleets Unprepared for CSA 2010

October 11, 2010

SafeStat has been replaced by Comprehensive Safety Analysis (CSA) 2010, which applies to all truck fleets that operate interstate and require a US DOT number. All vehicles that operate interstate with a 10,001-lb. combined GVWR or greater are covered by CSA 2010. This regulatory enforcement change will create a monumental sea change in how truck fleets manage drivers, their fleet operations, and remain DOT compliant.

Tags: DOT, FMCSA, compliance, CSA 2010, Antich

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, October 11, 2010 1:55 PM | » Comments(3)

Order-to-Delivery Times Increase Slightly in MY-2010

Multiple factors increased fleet order-to-delivery times, such as quality holds, massive recalls, the Cash for Clunkers program, GM & Chrysler’s emergence from bankruptcy, and the decision to build to demand, not to capacity.

September 29, 2010

Multiple factors increased fleet order-to-delivery times, such as quality holds, massive recalls, the Cash for Clunkers program, GM & Chrysler’s emergence from bankruptcy, and the decision to build to demand, not to capacity. This data is based on a survey, which tracked deliveries of 159,349 new vehicles in the 2010 model-year, representing 86 models.

Tags: Antich, order to delivery times

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Wednesday, September 29, 2010 9:47 AM | » Comments(0)

Viewing the Company Vehicle as an Entitlement

September 13, 2010

A growing number of drivers view the company vehicle as a perk rather than a tool to perform their job. This view is more pronounced in certain generational groups. I speak with many fleet managers and can attest that most echo the belief that attitudes about company vehicles differ by the age of the driver. Many fleet managers believe younger workers have an entitlement attitude. However, these entitlement attitudes appear on both sides of the generational divide.

Tags: Antich

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, September 13, 2010 8:49 AM | » Comments(2)

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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