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How to Change Senior Management's Misperceptions About Your Fleet

Fleet managers tend to get bogged down in the day-to-day operations and then wonder why they are not connecting with upper management. These fleet managers wrongly assume that effective fleet management is simply managing assets. READ MORE

The Danger of Lower Fuel Prices

The recent drop in fuel prices has been as breathtaking as earlier run-up in prices. If sustained, these reduced fuel prices will begin to make a dent in overall fleet fuel expenditures. READ MORE

Are Ride Sharing & Car Sharing New Fleet Management Options?

The role of ride-sharing and car sharing services in fleet operations, is a growing topic of conversation in Europe and China. With this as a backdrop, what future role will car sharing services have in U.S. fleet operations? READ MORE

Ruminating About the Medium-Duty Truck Market

As we approach the start of a new calendar-year, it is inevitable that we take a look at where we’ve been and where we are going. I'll start by examining the evolution of the medium-duty truck market over the past 45 years and then identify the key trends that will influence product design in future model-years. READ MORE

10 Factors Driving Commercial Fleet Vehicle Acquisitions

The majority of companies place new model-year orders according to set vehicle replacement parameters; however, projected improvements in economic conditions across almost all business segments bode well for 2015- and 2016-MY commercial fleet sales. READ MORE

15 Factors Putting Downward Pressure on Fleet Operating Costs

For the second consecutive year, total fleet operating costs have remained flat for commercial fleets when compared to the prior year. This blog identifies the 15 factors that are putting downward pressure on fleet operating costs. READ MORE

The State of the Fleet Sustainability Market

The key to a successful fleet sustainability program is making options available. Alternative fuels work in some regions of the country, while hybrids or bi-fuel vehicles may work best in other areas. These options allow even the most cautious of fleets to field alternative fuel vehicles with little or no risk beyond the initial purchase price. READ MORE

Forecast of Operating Costs for Class 3-6 Trucks in Calendar-Year 2015

A variety of factors will contribute to overall medium-duty truck operating costs in the 2015 calendar-year. This blog will offer a forecast of fuel pricing trends for both diesel and gasoline, along with an examination of factors that will influence both preventive and unscheduled maintenance costs for Class 3-6 trucks, READ MORE

OEMs Improve Quality Hold Process, But More Needs to be Done to Avoid Backlogs

The good news is the management of quality holds by OEMs has improved tremendously in the 2014-MY. However, much more still needs to be done. As has been the case for the past several model-years, lengthening OEM quality holds continue to adversely impact fleet order-to-delivery (OTD) times by incurring added costs due to missed residual timing, repair costs to older vehicles still in service, and rental expenses READ MORE

Increased Demand Creates Backlogs at Upfitters

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. READ MORE

Sustainability: A Proven Way to Reduce Fleet Operating Costs

There is a cost efficiency component to green fleet initiatives that not only helps meet sustainability goals, but also reduces operating costs by decreasing fuel consumption. READ MORE

Cost-Reduction Single-Mindedness Creates Corporate Blind Spots

When corporate revenues soften, it is management's fiduciary responsibility to demand expense reductions and limit capital expenditures. Unfortunately, many fleet-related cost-reduction decisions are made for the short-term, with very little consideration on the long-term impact on the total cost of ownership (TCO). Many times senior management is more interested in the fiscal, rather than economic, consequences of their fleet-related decisions. READ MORE

Are You a ‘Fireman’ or a Manager? Hint: One is a Dead-End Job

How would you characterize your job? Are you more of a “fireman,” spending your days putting out one fire after another? Or, do you devote the time to truly manage your fleet? Most of us will say we do both, but putting out fires consumes a tremendous amount of time and decreases the time invested in managing the fleet from a strategic level. At the most fundamental level, we have to ask ourselves: Are we tactical or strategic managers? READ MORE

Wearable Computers will Amplify Driver Distraction

The greatest factor contributing to driver distraction has been the growing use of technology — in particular smartphones — while driving; however, a new concern will soon be confronting fleet managers in the form of wearable computers. READ MORE

To Green Your Fleet, You Need a Plan

Without establishing a plan and the policies to implement it, there will be no uniform focus to meet sustainability goals or a consistent framework to maintain compliance with these goals in terms of asset acquisition, fuel consumption, and vehicle operations and maintenance. READ MORE

Implementing a Single Strategy to Improve Driver Safety and Lower Fuel Spend

Driver safety and the reduction of fuel consumption are not mutually exclusive goals. There are many similarities between fuel-efficient driving techniques and safe driving techniques. In fact, there’s a direct correlation between safe driving and fuel efficiency. It’s been proven: the safer the driver, the higher the miles per gallon. READ MORE

Automotive Fleet Editor Mike Antich accepts an editorial award from Ed Bobit in the late 1980s.

My Remembrances of Ed Bobit

One of the highest compliments to someone in the auto industry is to say they have gasoline running through their veins. In Ed Bobit's case, he had "fleet" running through his veins. READ MORE

Increased Fleet Efficiency Makes Reimbursement a More Expensive Option

The relentless demand by management to reduce costs year-over-year is producing extremely cost-efficient fleets. The best example is the trend by some fleets to shift drivers from allowance or reimbursement programs to the company-provided vehicle program. For these companies, they are finding that it is less expensive to have an employee participate in the company car program than providing a driver allowance. READ MORE

The ‘Perfect Storm’ in Rail Congestion Turns Fleet into Collateral Damage

Fleet order-to-delivery (OTD) has been brutal this model-year due to severe weather conditions, which exacerbated rail congestion, creating huge backlogs of vehicles needing to be shipped. However, some are beginning to believe the rail congestion experienced this winter is more of a symptom of a systemic infrastructure weakness and not solely the consequence of severe weather. Here's why they think so. READ MORE

How to Spec Trucks to Optimize Productivity

The best way to optimize truck productivity is to spec the right vehicle for the fleet application. This may sound like I am stating the obvious, but, as many truck professionals will attest, it is often not the case. While fleet managers understand how their trucks are intended to be used in the field, intended usage often does not match real-world usage. READ MORE

Debunking the Defeatist Mindset Toward Fleet Sustainability

Many fleet managers know they should be doing something to “green” their fleet, but they do nothing, rationalizing (and justifying) their inaction due to budget constraints or lack of management support. To me, this is a self-fulfilling mindset that guarantees your fleet will remain in a status quo situation. Fleet managers need to break free from this defeatist mindset and here's how to do it. READ MORE

Fleet Management Circa 2025

How will fleet management change in the next 10 years? I foresee three transformational forces that will sweep through our industry and redirect its long-term direction. READ MORE

Is Your Executive Fleet a Headache? Count Your Blessings

There’s no other way to say it, except bluntly: Managing an executive fleet is a headache. I am not going to say otherwise. But, if it is one of your job responsibilities, consider yourself luckier than others. Managing an executive fleet puts you in front of senior management and gives you an opportunity to showcase your value to the company. Here's how you can leverage this to your maximum benefit. READ MORE

The Curse of Running a Well-Managed Fleet

A fleet manager’s capabilities and expertise can be easily overlooked by executive management, especially when a fleet is well run. When fleet runs smoothly, it tends not to be on the radar of senior management, who, often, are not aware of the required behind-the-scenes expertise. However, the biggest curse to running a well-run fleet is that it sometimes breeds complacency. Here's how to avoid it. READ MORE

OTD Concerns Due to Surge of Oil Shipped by Rail

The railroad industry is the primary long-distance shipper of automobiles from assembly plants to dealers, which represents almost 9 percent of total rail freight. However, the auto industry is not the only railroad customer, and it competes with other shippers for scarce rail resources. Such is the case with petroleum companies shipping crude oil by rail, which is putting heavy demand on finite rail resources. What impact will this have on fleet OTD? READ MORE

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Author Bio

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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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