Market Trends

Higher Operating Costs Forecast for CY-2012

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.

Tags: Operating Costs, Mike Antich

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

MVRs Miss Many Red-Light Camera Infractions

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.

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

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.

Tags: green fleet, Mike Antich, Rightsizing

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

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

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.

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

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.

Tags: Remarketing, Used Vehicles, residuals, Antich, 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

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.

Tags: Driver Behavior, Eco-Driving, Antich, Green, Sustainability

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

Vehicle Remote Starting and Door Unlocking Can be Hacked

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.

Tags: vehicle hacking, Fleet Crime

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, August 16, 2011 8:26 AM | » Comments(3)

Proposed 2025 CAFE Standards to be the Catalyst for the Increased Hybridization of Fleets

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.

Tags: PHEV, CAFE Standards, Gasoline-Electric Hybrids, Battery-Electric Vehicles, Antich

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, August 8, 2011 4:05 PM | » Comments(0)

A Double Whammy for Truck Fleets: Ticket ‘Inflation’ and ‘Malicious Compliance’

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.

Tags: CSA, ticket inflation, malicious compliance, DOT rating, Citation

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Wednesday, July 27, 2011 11:02 AM | » Comments(3)

Fleets Report Aggressive Efforts to Collect Delinquent Unpaid Tickets and Toll Violations

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.

Tags: Tolls, parking tickets, parking violations

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, July 25, 2011 2:09 PM | » Comments(1)

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)

Author Bio

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.

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