September 15, 2014
One challenge for the 2014-MY has been the increased volume of fleet vehicles going to upfitters, which has resulted in capacity issues. With the increasing demand and growth of the commercial truck/van segments, particularly among utilities and service industries, the percentage of upfitted vehicles is growing. Order-to-delivery time on large trucks keeps getting longer with upfitters. Some fleets don't place factory orders and instead purchase most their vehicle chassis from bailment pools.
Posted @ Monday, September 15, 2014 12:01 PM | »
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.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 25, 2014 12:00 AM | »
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.
Posted @ Tuesday, January 28, 2014 12:00 AM | »
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.
Posted @ Friday, December 13, 2013 12:00 AM | »
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.
Posted @ Tuesday, December 10, 2013 12:00 AM | »
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.
Posted @ Wednesday, November 27, 2013 12:00 AM | »
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.
Posted @ Thursday, November 7, 2013 12:00 AM | »
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.
Posted @ Monday, October 28, 2013 12:00 AM | »
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.
Posted @ Wednesday, October 16, 2013 12:00 AM | »
April 29, 2013
Significant dates in the history of fleet management, which ushered the start of profound change in the industry, include: Oct. 16, 1973 - The first OPEC oil embargo, which completely altered the types of vehicles driven by fleets and August 12, 1981 - IBM’s launch of its first desktop computer, which expanded computerization beyond the IT department to the desktop of every fleet manager. In future years, a new milestone date will be recognized - June 29, 2007.
Posted @ Monday, April 29, 2013 12:00 AM | »
April 5, 2013
Sustainability initiatives will continue to play an important, albeit complex, role in corporate fleets of today and tomorrow. There are a number of excellent alternative-fuel solutions currently available in the market and there are a growing number of fleets that have successfully implemented these solutions. But what can fleets do, whose spirit is green, but whose fiscal reality and operating requirements present road blocks to implementing corporate sustainabililty goals?
Posted @ Friday, April 5, 2013 12:00 AM | »
March 27, 2013
During the course of a year, I talk with hundreds of fleet managers and one common complaint is that they are often the last to know when significant corporate decisions are made that impact fleet operations. In these instances, fleet managers are not afforded the same consideration given to their counterparts managing the company’s core businesses. Why does this occur and what can you do about it?
Posted @ Wednesday, March 27, 2013 12:00 AM | »
February 13, 2013
Vehicle quality continues to improve and extended powertrain warranties have covered some expensive repairs, which occur at higher mileage. Although quality has increased, vehicles are becoming more complex, especially with the proliferation of new onboard technologies. In this context, what follows are the top 15 maintenance trends for passenger cars that are facing commercial fleet managers in 2013 and beyond.
Posted @ Wednesday, February 13, 2013 12:00 AM | »
August 15, 2012
Although fleet management requires a strategic perspective, the reality is that it is a detail-oriented profession. The job requires paying attention to a multitude of details crucial to ensuring a well-run fleet. But, as the saying goes, the devil is in the details. A case in point is license plate disposition.
Posted @ Wednesday, August 15, 2012 12:00 AM | »
June 6, 2012
Historically, IBM was the largest company offering a corporate reimbursement program. In its heyday, IBM had more than 25,000 drivers on reimbursement. However, since then, there have emerged major company-provided fleets operated by hi-tech companies, such as Hewlett-Packard, Apple, Intel, etc.. Despite this trend, certain high-tech companies continue to be more receptive to driver reimbursement programs than company-provided vehicles. Why is this so?
Posted @ Wednesday, June 6, 2012 12:00 AM | »
May 24, 2012
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?
Posted @ Thursday, May 24, 2012 12:00 AM | »
March 30, 2012
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.
Posted @ Friday, March 30, 2012 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 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 | »
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.
Posted @ Wednesday, June 15, 2011 9:49 AM | »
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.
Posted @ Tuesday, May 31, 2011 12:00 AM | »
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."
Posted @ Monday, May 9, 2011 10:10 AM | »
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.
Posted @ Tuesday, April 26, 2011 3:14 PM | »
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,
Posted @ Monday, April 18, 2011 5:06 PM | »