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 | »
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 | »
March 18, 2013
There is ongoing upward pressure on operating costs for medium-duty truck fleets. Factors impacting operating costs are volatile diesel prices, replacement tire costs, and longer service lives, which are increasing maintenance expenses due to component failures, escalating parts prices, and higher labor rates. Here are 10 strategies fleets are employing to mitigate these cost increases.
Posted @ Monday, March 18, 2013 12:00 AM | »
May 31, 2012
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.
Posted @ Thursday, May 31, 2012 12:00 AM | »
It’s Higher Than We Think
May 14, 2012
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?
Posted @ Monday, May 14, 2012 12:00 AM | »
May 3, 2012
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.
Posted @ Thursday, May 3, 2012 12:00 AM | »
April 10, 2012
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.
Posted @ Tuesday, April 10, 2012 12:00 AM | »
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 | »
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 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 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 | »
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 | »
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 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 | »