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New Fleet Applications Emerge Using Wi-Fi Technology

What does Dayton, Ohio, have in common with the cities of Aurora, Colo.; Corpus Christi, Texas; Milpitas, Calif., New Orleans; San Mateo, Calif.; North Miami Beach, Fla.; Oklahoma City and Philadelphia? It will become the latest in a growing number of municipalities that have built or plan to build Wi-Fi networks that will turn their entire city into a wireless hot spot. READ MORE

20 Challenges Facing Public Sector Fleets in 2005

Without a doubt, the job of managing a public sector fleet is more complex today than it was 15 years ago, and the job promises to get tougher in the ensuing years. Here are 20 ongoing or new challenges that public sector fleet managers will face in 2005 and beyond. READ MORE

15 Challenges Facing Utility Industry Fleet Operations in 2005

The past 10 years have been very tough for energy and utility companies since the advent of deregulation and the growing com-petition in an open marketplace. The change brought on by de-regulation has prompted many utilities to restructure their opera-tions. READ MORE

It’s Time to Develop a Vehicle Condition Grading Standard

The increasing number of used vehicles sold via the Internet is making it necessary to develop a vehicle condition grading standard in the remarketing industry. Buyers and consignors alike need a way to identify the condition of vehicles sold online in some form of shorthand fashion. This is not a new concept. READ MORE

Driving and Prescription Drugs Can be a Lethal RX

As a business driver, any time you use an over-the-counter or prescribed medication, you must consider the risk and the effect it might have on your ability to drive. Impairment from alcohol and illegal drugs is a leading cause of vehicle crashes, but impairment can also be caused by many common prescription and over-the-counter medications, reports the National Safety Council, which recently launched a public service campaign to educate Americans about the hazards of drug-impaired driving. READ MORE

Four Ways to Avoid Overloading

Each year, Automotive Fleet conducts an operating cost survey and a separate fleet maintenance expense survey. And each year, we find that the number one cause of unscheduled truck maintenance expense is overloading. This is a chronic problem for fleets and there are several factors causing it. READ MORE

How to Increase Fleet Policy Compliance

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. However, just because your company implements a written fleet policy, it doesn’t mean it is being followed. How do you in-crease driver compliance with fleet policy? Here are 10 suggestions. READ MORE

Recruiting Technicians: Be Creative or Be a Victim

Searches to fill open technician positions are becoming more and more lengthy. One fleet that operates an in-house maintenance operation reported that it took six months to find a qualified candidate to fill a single open position. And, the situation seems to be getting worse. Fleet managers say the num-ber of qualified applicants is much fewer than just three years ago. READ MORE

Interest Rates for Used-Vehicle Financing Almost Double

A new concern about the future resale values of used vehicles has been the sudden increase in retail interest rates to finance used vehicles. READ MORE

Fleets Feel the Impact of Increased Vehicle Taxes

States and other governmental jurisdictions are looking for ways to generate more revenue to compensate for lower tax reve-nues. Many have opted to generate new revenues through motor vehicle-related taxes, such as higher vehicle registration fees, additional taxes on tires and batteries, and new environmental fees and surcharges. “These are small taxes with a high cost of admini-stration,” said Jim Fredlund, fleet tax director for GE Commercial Finance, Fleet Services. “I view it as a form of d READ MORE

The Top 5 Issues Facing Public Sector Fleet Managers

For the past several years, political subdivisions have been experiencing a shortfall in general tax revenues. For fleet operations this has meant an ongoing shortage of vehicle replacement money, which has caused fleet and equipment inventory to steadily age and maintenance resources to be stretched thin. READ MORE

Railway Choke Points Threaten to Lengthen Fleet Order-to-Delivery Times for 2005 Models

One of the key factors contributing to longer order-to-delivery (OTD) times in the 2004-MY has been the nationwide rail car shortage. The shortage affected not only the auto industry, but also all other industries that rely on rail transportation, such as the agricultural, mining, chemi-cal, and timber industries. One reason for the shortage was that the railroads were caught off-guard by the unexpected demand for their services as the national economy began to improve. In fact, freight volume t READ MORE

Fleets Struggle to Cope With High Cost of Steel and Long Truck OTD

Two issues on the minds of many fleet managers are the unbelievably long order-to-delivery (OTD) times for medium- and heavy-duty trucks and the sharp increase in the cost of steel, which has increased upfitting costs across the board. READ MORE

Inconsistent Pricing of Employee Sales May Be Non-Compliant with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act

Compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 is mandatory for all publicly traded corporations. Under the new federal law, corporations must eliminate all conflicts of interest, establish processes to ensure honest corporate disclosure, and govern with greater accountability. Furthermore, the legislation mandates accuracy of a company’s financial reports, requiring finance departments to better understand the true picture of a company‘s inventory and assets, such as with fleet. READ MORE

What’s On the Minds of Fleet Managers

The summer months are a busy time in the fleet industry. There are many fleet meetings and new-model introductions, which provides me with an opportunity to talk “fleet” with a wide variety of fleet managers. Two issues on the minds of many fleet managers are the unbelievably long order-to-delivery (OTD) times for medium- and heavy-duty trucks and the encroachment of other corporate functions into traditional fleet management responsibili-ties. READ MORE

Strategic Procurement Threatens to Fundamentally Change Fleet Management

Corporate procurement departments are becoming the engines of change in fleet management at Fortune 500 companies. The emergence of strategic sourcing in the 1990s is rapidly altering corporate purchasing and increasingly forcing change in fleet purchasing and the supplier selection process. READ MORE

Why is Driver Reimbursement the Wrong Choice? Here are 30 Reasons

1. Loss of Competitive Assistance Program (CAP) Monies from Factories Oftentimes, manufacturer fleet incentive programs, such as competitive assistance programs (CAP), are structured based on reaching tiered volume purchasing levels. A re-imbursement program, in which some employees are re-quired to use their own vehicles, would decrease a com-pany’s fleet volume and its eligibility for additional CAP monies. READ MORE

The Business Case for Short Cycling Compact SUVs

The aggressive fleet incentives that manufacturers are currently offering commercial fleets present the opportunity to give serious consideration to substituting a compact SUV on a selector in lieu of a traditional intermediate-size fleet sedan, so long as it is capable of fulfilling the fleet application. When you compare lifecycle costs during a 36-month service life, a compact SUV actually has a lower monthly total cost. Interestingly, they are also less expensive at a shorter 24-month cycle. READ MORE

Five Reasons to Reject Driver Reimbursement

The issue of driver reimbursement is a perennial issue confronting our industry. Whenever there is a new corporate management or when corporate sales are flat or when new cost-cutting initiatives are instituted, someone invariably asks whether it would make better business sense to reimburse employees for the use of thier personal vehicles rather than providing company vehicles. READ MORE

Record-High Fuel Prices Give Fleets a Sobering Reality Check

The breathtaking escalation in gasoline and diesel prices has given the fleet industry a reality check as to how quickly fuel can dramatically increase vehicle-operating expenses. In the first five months of 2004, the price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline increased almost 30 percent, which represents, on an annualized basis, an average increase of almost $600 per vehicle, based on driving 2,000 miles a month. READ MORE

Growing Legislative Trend to Mandate Fleet Vehicles as Smoke-Free Workplaces

The legislative definition of “workplace” is expanding to include company or publicly owned fleet vehicles. The catalyst behind this change is legislation mandating smoke-free workplaces. (See Market Trends, December 2003 issue.) The latest legislation to do so is in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which is expected to enact (after our press time) a new public health law (H4256), which goes into effect July 5. The new state health law bans in Massachusetts all smoking in public buildings and READ MORE

Downsizing Vehicles to Cut Acquisition Costs Will Increase Maintenance Costs & Liability Exposure

An increasing number of fleets, especially those operating trucks and vans, are investigating the feasibility of downsizing to lower-GVW vehicles as a cost-cutting measure to decrease acquisition costs. For example, some fleets are studying a switch to a less expensive compact pickup instead of acquiring a full-size pickup or downsizing to a half-ton van from a three-quarter-ton van. READ MORE

The DNA of a Great Fleet Manager

This issue’s cover story recognizes the 2004 Fleet Manager of the Year. During my tenure in fleet, I have had the privilege of meeting 19 of the 20 fleet managers who have won this award. Although each managed different types and sizes of fleets, there were common traits found among these award-winning fleet managers. Likewise, over the years, I have had the privilege of meeting many other unsung pros of fleet management in whom these same traits were also evident. Here’s what they had in common READ MORE


Author Bio

Mike Antich

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Editor and Associate Publisher

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

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Fuel Management

Bernie Kanavagh from WEX will answer your questions and challenges

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Fleet Tracking And Telematics

Todd Ewing from Fleetmatics will answer your questions and challenges

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Fleet Management And Leasing

Jack Firriolo from Merchants will answer your questions and challenges

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Sponsored by

Lee Miller is the senior manager of fleet services for Boehringer Ingelheim.

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