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Modifying Driver Behavior: The 'Last Mile' in Greening a Fleet

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. READ MORE

Vehicle Remote Starting and Door Unlocking Can be Hacked

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. READ MORE

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

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. READ MORE

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

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. READ MORE

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

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. READ MORE

Wholesale Inventory Shortage of Medium-Duty Trucks Fuels Higher Resale Values

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. READ MORE

Does Automatic Payment of Camera Tickets Violate a Driver’s Due Process Rights?

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. READ MORE

Double Digit Odometer Fraud Between 2007 - 2010

“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. READ MORE

The Best Green Fleet Strategy is to Reduce Fuel Consumption

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. READ MORE

The Impact of CAFE on Fleet Procurement

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. READ MORE

A New Emerging Fleet Issue – ‘Burnout’

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." READ MORE

The Uncontrollable Component of Fleet OTD

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. READ MORE

The Ongoing Used-Vehicle Shortage Favors a Short-Cycling Replacement Strategy

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, READ MORE

Time to Add a New Component in Calculating Total Cost of Ownership

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. READ MORE

Beware of Expunged MVR Records

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. READ MORE

Higher Raw Material Costs Put Upward Pressure on Replacement Tire Prices

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. READ MORE

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.

In a Slow Economy, Driver Violations Increase

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. READ MORE

In a Slow Economy, Driver Violations Increase

Vehicle violations represent 1-3 percent of total fleet costs and vary by fleet depending on the cities and states where vehicles operate. READ MORE

Idea Emerges to Create a Networking Group for Women in Fleet

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. READ MORE

NHTSA Proposes Speed Limiters on HD Trucks: Will Medium-Duties be Next?

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. READ MORE

A growing number of fleets view mobile applications as a way to help lower fleet costs, increase driver efficiency, and improve fleet management control.

Fleet Applications Emerge for Mobile Communication Devices

Applications for mobile communication devices to perform fleet-related tasks will become increasingly prevalent in the near future. These emerging applications will help enhance driver productivity and communication. READ MORE

High-Mileage Used Fleet Vehicles Create Difficulties Financing 'C' and 'D' Paper Buyers

Fleet managers are manufacturers of used vehicles. Many of the buyers of used fleet vehicles are C and D paper buyers. One unintended consequence to companies extending the service lives of fleet vehicles is that it is more difficult for used-vehicle dealers to finance C and D paper buyers in the secondary funding market. The issue, from the perspective of the finance company, is the remaining life of higher-mileage vehicles. READ MORE

First-Year Bonus Depreciation Increased to 100 Percent

The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (H.R. 4853) was signed into law by President Obama on Dec. 17, 2010. The legislation includes an extension of the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010's "bonus depreciation" allowance through the end of 2011, and increases that amount from 50 percent to100 percent. Here's what it means to fleets. READ MORE

Legal Motion Seeks to Halt Public Release of CSA 2010 Data

Concern about vicarious liability lawsuits resulting from the public release of Comprehensive Safety Analysis (CSA) 2010 data prompted a legal motion to be filed on Nov. 29 with the U.S. Court of Appeals by three trucking associations, representing 3,000 privately owned fleets. The motion seeks a permanent injuction to the public release of CSA 2010 data with percentile ranking by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). READ MORE

The Weak Link in Corporate Sustainability is the Driver

Despite a slow economy, many companies (especially multi-nationals) remain fully committed to achieving self-imposed sustainability targets, which invariably include their fleet operations. However, many fleet programs place a greater focus on modifying the "asset" versus modifying driver behavior. 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 Verizon Connect 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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Doug Brown was the former EVP-Corporate & President of Enterprise Fleet Inc.

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