• New reality show rewards recklessness with…a new car (to be read in game show voice)

    In case you don’t see enough bad drivers on the job, reports are coming in of a new Travel Channel reality show called “America’s Worst Drivers” and it’s being billed as  “a competition-based elimination series set out to determine what city really boasts America’s worst driver.”

    The show is set to careen into your living rooms in late 2009 or early 2010.

    Casting calls are going up everywhere from Craigslist to RealityWanted.com seeking the highway’s absolute worst from Chicago, Miami, Boston, New Jersey, New York and Dallas to name a few, with questions like “Do others consider you a great driver? A bad driver?” And more obtuse statements like “We are really looking for teams that are iconic of their city and will do well representing their hometown. Unique team relationships (bowling league teammates, co-workers, in-laws, etc. are always great, but are not make or break).”

    Here’s the run-down:

    Every week, five certifiably bad drivers will compete in a series of road tests geared at identifying that city’s worst driver. The winners from 10 U.S. cities will come to Los Angeles for a two-hour crash course finale. Nine will graduate out of the finale until America’s Worst Driver is crowned and awarded a brand new car, which they will most certainly promptly destroy.

    Photo copyright of SFist under the Creative Commons license
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  • This convention is created for Fleet managers who are looking for affordable solutions that will allow them to truly go green.We wouldn’t be worth the digital space we write in unless we told you about opportunities to learn about fleet management firsthand, so its with great excitement that we inform you about The Green Fleet Conference 2009, October 19-20, 2009, in Chicago.

    As listed on the website at http://www.greenfleetconference.com the two day event will help you:

    • Discover what’s new in alternative fuels and hybrid vehicles
    • Find out the most cost-effective ways to improve efficiency and reduce emissions
    • Experts will help you to select the right fuel, vehicle and technology strategies to help your company reduce fleet emissions
    • Get the latest product information
    • Learn what manufacturers have planned for the future of fuel technology
    • Network with fleet managers from all over the country

    Prices are pretty reasonable at $495 per person if you sign up before September 25th.

    The convention is also open to exhibitors to help them reach buyers and suppliers.

    Last years convention drew an impressive list of government and corporate attendees, so this good cause could also be a pretty good career move to.

    October will be here before you know it, so register today.

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  • State Farm Insurance pays $5 million+

    With a 300-mile daily route to cover, Atlanta’s Highway Emergency Response Operator unit (HERO) got some major roadside assistance this past week with a multi-million dollar sponsorship deal heading into busy summer travel season, according to Fox 5 news.

    State Farm Insurance
    signed a three-year $5.7 million agreement with Georgia’s HERO unit that includes a two-year renewal option at $1.8 million a year, plus, logos on all HERO vehicles and uniforms.

    Governor Purdue praised the partnership.

    “The sponsorship, through State Farm, will help us continue and enhance the program going forward. Any relationships, like this, that we can have, I think is a great partnership,” said Perdue.

    The report states that HERO assistance has increased almost 100 percent in the last five years.

    Click here to read the entire article

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  • MSNBC.com posted an interactive feature to go along with the article concerning President Obama’s plans to require all vehicles average 30mpg by 2016.

    The “Carbon Calculator” found here: allows you to calculate how much carbon dioxide you’re fleet is responsible for during it’s daily commute.

    The map-based calculator will give you an estimate on the impact your fleet is having on the environment.

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  • Earlier today, President Obama set in motion a nationwide program to cut vehicle carbon emissions and raise mileage by 30 percent by 2016.

    The initiative, backed by auto executives, union leaders and environmental activists is aimed at both increasing gas mileage and decreasing greenhouse gas pollution for all new trucks and cars.

    According to an article on MSNBC, the president estimates that the program will save 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the lifetime of the vehicles sold in the next five years.

    Doing so will also allow car companies to readjust their way of doing business and their product line, providing some optimism throughout the industry that a plan is in place to help them survive the recent economic downturn.

    The new program will cost consumers an estimated $1,300 per vehicle starting in 2016, but Obama claimed that drivers could save nearly $2,800 over the lifetime of a car.

    Ultimately, the goal is to cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 900 million tons.

    For fleet owners and managers, Obama’s figures are based on a 35.5 mpg average, however cars and light trucks would be required to rise from 27.5 mpg standard to 39 mpg and larger trucks would rise from 24 mpg to 30 mpg.

    With dealer lots closing and new standards being set by the President, a lot of news could be effecting how you are managing your fleet.

    Let us know how this is impacting your business and for more information, read the full article about Obama’s new emissions program here:

    Photo copyright of Gustty under the Creative Commons License

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  • With Chrysler beginning bankruptcy proceedings and GM’s financial problems continuing to loom over the auto industry, local auto dealers across the country are awaiting a fate that is seemingly out of their hands.

     

     

    Chrysler is scheduled to release a list of dealers it will admit in to the new company later this week.  GM is planning to notify dealers as to which brands they plan to continue – including Buick, Cadillac and Chevrolet – this week as well.

    As a result, dealers are facing closure though many dealers are banding together to fight back and the legal battle could delay Chrysler’s government-imposed bankruptcy by at least a month.

     

     

    These dealers have aligned themselves with the National Automotive Dealers Association to meet with Congress and members of President Obama’s auto task force to see what can be done to put a stop to the impending dealer consolidation.

    This could have a tremendous impact if you are running a fleet of vehicles purchased from a dealer that is put out of business, because under federal bankruptcy laws, money owed by Chrysler and potentially GM for warranty work or rebates could just disappear.

     

    This story is likely to drag out in court for weeks if not months.  For more information check out the full article entitled Auto Dealers Fight Against Closures here

     


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    If you don’t have a fleet card to lock in a rate or prevent unauthorized purchases, it can be difficult to manage, let alone predict, your fuel expenses. But having a good idea of what you’ll spend on gas this year helps.

    The Department of Energy said the national average price for regular gasoline at the end of 2009 will be $2.12 per gallon, according to a story from businessfleet.com.

    Diesel fuel will average $2.26 a gallon this year and rise to an average $2.48 in 2010. Gas prices will rise to $2.30 avg. per gallon in 2010, 12 cents under the previous forecast, while diesel fuel will rise to an average $2.48 per gallon next year.

    For today’s average gas price in your city, click here.

    As we mentioned above, a fleet card can better control your fuel costs while saving you cash along the way. If you don’t have one and would like to know more, visit fleetcardsusa.com.

    To read the entire article click here

    Photo copyright of Alberto.. under the Creative Commons License

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  • In a follow up to a recent blog discussing the possible closure of hundreds of dealerships across the country, Chrysler announced today that they are looking to eliminate nearly a quarter of their dealershipsby early June.

    In a motion filed with U.S. bankruptcy court, Chrysler said that 50 percent of dealers account for about 90 percent of the company’s U.S. sales.

    Dealers were told Thursday morning through letters delivered by UPS whether or not their stores would remain open.

    The ripple effect of this move along with possibility of GM doing the same in the coming weeks could be one of the most visible effects of the country’s economic troubles as thousands of jobs will be affected across the nation.

    Chrysler said its dealer network “needs to be reduced and reconfigured in a targeted manner to strengthen the network and dealer profitability and to achieve optimal results for the dealers and consumers.”

    Companies with fleets that fall under Chrysler will be glad to know that the automaker announced that the company will be notifying over 3.5 million customers of franchises affected by the closing, that their vehicles will remain covered under whatever bumper-to-bumper and powertrain warranty issued at the time of purchase and that it will be honored by remaining certified Chrysler dealers.

    Today’s business section at MSNBC.com features a complete list of Chrysler dealers the automaker is looking to shut down.

    It might be worth a look to see if your fleet will be affected.

    Photo copyright of The Consumerist under the Creative Commons License

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  •  

    It’s Friday, and in the words of the great trucker trobadore Dave Dudley, this fleet blogger is feeling like a Truck Drivin’ Son of a Gun…kind of.  I’ve actually never really driven an 18-wheeler, unless you count the video game they’ve got at the Dave & Busters in Marietta…

    Anyway, Happy Friday to all of my good buddies out there who have turned this cb lingo blog into part weekly tradition, part language lesson.  So, let’s get rolling through this weeks letters P-Q-R:

     

    P


    Pack it in – Ending transmission

     

    Papa Bear – State trooper with CB.

     

    Paper hanger – Police giving ticket.

     

    Parking Lot – Traffic jam

     

    Pass the numbers – Best wishes

     

    Petro Refinery – Truck hauling gas or oil.

     

    Plain Wrapper – Unmarked police car

     

    Pedal to the metal -Running flat out, in excess of the speed limit

     

    Pigeon – someone caught speeding.

     

    Portable Barnyard – Cattle Truck

     

    Pregnant Roller Skate – VW

     

    Put your foot on the floor and let the motor toter – Accelerate.

     

    Q


    QSO – Pronounced “Que-Sew”, meaning “conversation” or “communication”.

     

    QTH – Location

     

    Quasar – Female

     

    Quick trip around the horn – Scanning the 40channel band.

     

    R


    Radio Runt – Child or young person breaking in on a channel.

     

    Rain Locker – Shower room

     

    Rebound – Return trip.

     

    Redneck radio – Someone who talks on the CB using only slang terms – UH OH.

     

    Riot Squad – Neighbors who have TV

     

    Roger Dodger – Same as “Roger”

     

    Rubberneckers – lookers.

     

    Running on rags – Driving a vehicle with little to no tread on the tires.

     

    Running Shotgun – Driving partner

     

    Check back with us next week for a run down of the letters S-T, or you can get a dictionary full of terms from the book, Woody’s World of CB.

     

     

    10-4 from Hot-lanta

    Photo copyright of HayMog under the Creative Commons License

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  • Congress is close to agreeing on a one-year “Cash for Clunkers” plan that would give consumers up to $4,500 if they turn in their old cars, light-duty truck or work truck and put the money toward a new, more fuel-efficient replacement, according to Ken Belson in the New York Times blog.

    But it can’t be just any kind of clunker to cash in. Your vehicle must be a car or light-duty truck that gets less than 18 miles a gallon. To get the full $4,500, your new car must get at least 10 miles a gallon more than your old one.

    President Obama
    has endorsed the program, which is part of a larger energy bill, as a way to jump-start the troubled U.S. auto industry, remove 1 million older cars off the road, and begin to curb U.S. emissions.

    “This legislation would give consumers an incentive to turn over their old, inefficient vehicles, saving 80,000 barrels of motor fuel every day,” Senator Collins said in the original January 2009 press release from the office of Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s office, which co-authored the bill.

    BusinessFleet.com
    wrote that under the plan, pre-2002 work-truck pickups and 8,500 to 10,000 pound vans would also be good for $3,500 toward a new work truck in the same or smaller weight class, because newer vehicles are likely to be more fuel efficient.

    General Motors said in a statement that similar scrappage programs around the world have proven to be successful in jump-starting auto industry sales.

    We want to know what you think? Would the payout be enough to upgrade your fleet?

    Photo copyright of Chrysler383 under the Creative Commons License
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