Market Trends

There's Nothing New Under the Sun

Since every aspect of fleet management revolves around money, reducing fleet costs is a constant, never-ending struggle for all fleet managers. The pressure to save money year-over-year is persistent for all companies, but extremely difficult to achieve, especially in an environment of rising costs. Many fleet managers are given fleet cost-reduction goals, based on a specific percentage, and it is up to them to figure out how to achieve it. The problem is many fleet costs are beyond our control. READ MORE

Tags: Fleet Costs

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Thursday, May 31, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Electronic Onboard Recorders: It’s Only a Question of Time

The paper-based logbook system used to track hours of service (HOS) by commercial truck fleets is prone to driver manipulation and falsification. Even the FMCSA has stated that falsification of logbooks is widespread. By all accounts, the current system of manually recorded logbooks is a joke. Yet, despite this “elephant in the room,” the federal government remains unable to mandate onboard devices to improve HOS enforcement. Why can it work in Europe, but not here? READ MORE

Tags: FMCSA, Hours of Service, American Trucking Associations

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Thursday, May 24, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

What’s the ‘Tipping Point’ for Fuel Prices?

It’s Higher Than We Think

During the past decade, we’ve witnessed a steady escalation of fuel prices with forecasters extrapolating these trend lines to predict even higher future prices. What is the “tipping point” for the price of fuel before it starts to have a significant negative impact on senior management’s desire to operate a company-provided fleet? READ MORE

Tags: Fuel Economy

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, May 14, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Great Executives Empower Their Fleet Managers

Exceptional leadership by senior management means inspiring and motivating fleet managers to become great fleet managers. These executives delegate responsibility (and authority) to their fleet managers and empower them to accomplish self-determined tasks needed to achieve corporate goals. They recognize the fleet manager is the subject-matter expert and are open to the new ideas they present. READ MORE

Tags: Fleet Executive of the Year, Monsanto, Maggie Cole

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Thursday, May 3, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(2)

The Best Time to Control Cost is Before It’s Incurred

The best time to control cost is before it occurs, and the way to do this is by establishing policies and procedures that inhibit unnecessary spending. Fleet policy has wide-ranging cost-containment ramifications. For instance, defining who is eligible for a company vehicle, in effect, determines the size of the fleet. READ MORE

Tags: best practices

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, April 24, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Green Fleet Initiatives Gain Momentum Despite Cost Constraints

Most fleets want to be environmentally friendly, but are often hamstrung by fiscal constraints when procuring greener vehicles. But, as many fleets have shown, where there is a will, there is a way to meet fleet sustainability goals, despite fiscal austerity. Since most companies replace approximately one third of their fleet vehicles each year, they can tailor selectors to favor more fuel-efficient vehicles, so long as they are able to fulfill the fleet application. READ MORE

Tags: Sustainability, Fuel Economy, GHG emissions

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, April 10, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Poor Truck Ergonomics 'Cramp' Fleet Productivity

A one-size-fits-all approach to truck specifications is an ergonomic minefield, which could have litigious consequences. In addition, there are increased field complaints about “less-than-ergonomic” upfit decisions. Besides health issues, poor ergonomics is also a key contributor to preventable accidents. Proactively resolving ergonomic issues can have a significant impact in reducing workers’ comp costs, improving productivity, and decreasing fatigue-induced driver errors. READ MORE

Tags: Ergonomics, Market Trends, Truck Fleets, Workers' Compensation, Truck Specs

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Friday, March 30, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(2)

Will Fuel Overtake Depreciation to Become the No.1 Fleet Expense?

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? READ MORE

Tags: Depreciation, Gasoline Prices, fuel cost, Market Trends

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, March 20, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(2)

Total Fleet Cost is Proportional to Fleet Size

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. READ MORE

Tags: Valero, Market Trends, Rightsizing, Total Cost of Ownership

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, February 27, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(4)

Top Fleet Maintenance Trends for 2012-2014

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. READ MORE

Tags: Preventive Maintenance, Tires, Replacement Parts, maintenance trends

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, February 21, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Regulatory Activism Adding Administrative Burden to Truck Fleet Managers

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. READ MORE

Tags: Regulations, Market Trends, Federal Register, FDA

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Thursday, January 19, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(2)

Reduced Idling = Reduced Emissions

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. READ MORE

Tags: Idling, Sears, Genuine Parts, California Air Resources Board

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, January 17, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Global Fleet Management:<br> There are More Similarities than You Think

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. READ MORE

Tags: Sustainability, Downsizing, Global Fleet, Market Trends, Rightsizing

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, January 9, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Rising Tire Prices Take a Bite Out of Fleet Budgets

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. READ MORE

Tags: tire costs, Sentry Insurance, Modern Tire Dealer Magazine, Retreads, Schwan's

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Wednesday, January 4, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

The Forecast Is for Higher Tire Prices in 2012

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. READ MORE

Tags: tire costs

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Thursday, December 22, 2011 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Impact of Future CAFE Standards on Resale Values

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. READ MORE

Tags: Remarketing, Residual Values, CAFE

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, December 5, 2011 12:00 AM | » Comments(3)

Overloading is the No. 1 Danger Facing Your Fleet

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. READ MORE

Tags: Payload, Market Trends, Overloading

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, November 29, 2011 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Weight Reduction as a Green Fleet Strategy

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." READ MORE

Tags: Fuel Economy, CAFE Standards

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, November 22, 2011 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Budget Cutbacks Impacting Turnaround Times on Fleet-Related DMV Services

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. READ MORE

Tags: Vehicle Registration, DMV

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Thursday, November 10, 2011 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Higher Operating Costs Forecast for CY-2012

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. READ MORE

Tags: Operating Costs

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, October 24, 2011 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

MVRs Miss Many Red-Light Camera Infractions

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. READ MORE

Tags: Red-Light Cameras, MVRs, tickets

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Wednesday, October 19, 2011 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Right-Sizing Is an Easy Way to Green Your Fleet

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. READ MORE

Tags: green fleet, Rightsizing

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Thursday, October 13, 2011 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Pros & Cons of New Medium- & Heavy-Duty Truck Fuel Standards

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. READ MORE

Tags: CAFE Standards, Truck Fuel Standards, GHG emissions

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Friday, September 30, 2011 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Resale Values Forecast to Decline 10-15% by 2014 as Used-Vehicle Supply Increases

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. READ MORE

Tags: Remarketing, Used Vehicles, residuals, Resale Value

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, September 13, 2011 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Modifying Driver Behavior: The 'Last Mile' in Greening a Fleet

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. READ MORE

Tags: driver behavior, Eco-Driving, Green, Sustainability

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Friday, September 2, 2011 12:00 AM | » Comments(2)

Author Bio

sponsored by

Mike Antich

Editor and Associate Publisher

Mike has covered fleet management and remarketing for more than 20 years and entered the Fleet Hall of Fame in 2010.

Newsletter

We offer e-newsletters that deliver targeted news and information for the entire fleet industry.

GotQuestions?

Lubricants

The expert, Mark Betner from CITGO, will answer your questions

View All

GotQuestions?

Suspension

The expert, Rence Oliphant from Hendrickson, will answer your questions

View All