• In our Tuesday installment of our response to the 10 dumbest mistakes fleet fuel managers can make, we're touching on a topic many people have a hard time NOT doing, staying late.

    Don't stay at work late. Manage time appropriately

    6. Staying Late

    The Problem- Fleet Managers who stay late after everyone has left to catch up on work aren’t getting any more work done and lose important time from their personal lives.

    The Solution- The reporting and reconciliation that a fleet card provides means that you won’t have to stay late at work dealing with expenses. We understand that fleet managers like you are often undervalued and overlooked. You might be staying late because you are overwhelmed by the amount of work you have to do to reconcile your fleet and vehicle expenses, but a fleet card will not only save money for your company, but save you the time that you value most and let you finally get some sleep or maybe just an extra hour of night-time video games.

    Join us tomorrow for our response to the #6 mistake you can make managing your fleet fuel expenses.

    Enjoying the articles? Check out our other responses to the Top 10 Mistakes.
    Read #5      Read #4      Read #3      Read #2      Read #1

     

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  • Hello and welcome back to our response to the Top 10 Dumbest Fleet Managing Mistakes

    Today, we are talking about. . . 

    5. Allowing Exceptions

    Stand by company policy.

    The Problem- Allowing exceptions to company policy makes fleet managers ineffective and damages their respectability.

    The Solution- A fleet card lets you set your policy in stone.  Purchasing controls ensure that drivers will always stick to policy because they do not have the means to break it.  When the rules are enforced, drivers aren’t able to break them.  And if you ever need to make an exception to the rule, it’s as easy as logging into your account and making the necessary change for the driver who is in need, whether it is for unexpected maintenance costs or an emergency quart of oil at the convenience store.  When you choose how your money is spent, you’ll keep a lot more of it in your account.
     

    Join us tomorrow for our response to the #6 mistake you can make managing your fleet fuel expenses.

    Enjoying the articles? Check out our other responses to the Top 10 Mistakes.
    Read #4     Read #3     Read #2     Read #1

     

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  • Over the past few days, we have talked about a few simple things fleet fuel managers can do to avoid costly mistakes. Today, we are talking about. . . 

    4. Assuming Management Knows What You’re Doing

    Toot your own horn. Show your boss how success you are.

    The Problem- Fleet reports don’t always make it to upper management without being lumped into larger budgets, so fleet managers shouldn’t be afraid to let the boss know what they’re really accomplishing.

    The Solution- When it comes to the big budget reports on your company’s bottom line, the guys at the top understands one thing: savings.  If you can tell management that you’ve saved their fleet 15% on total fueling expenses, they’ll stand up and take notice. 

     

    Come back Monday for our response to the #5 mistake you can make managing your fleet fuel expenses.

    Read #3     Read #2     Read #1

     

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  • In today's installment, we are discussing

    3. Determining What to Outsource

    Be Superman. Manage fleet fuel management with appropriate support

    The Problem- The perception that managers who outsource a majority of fleet tasks outsource themselves out of a job.

    The Solution- You don’t have to be Superman. With a fleet card, you actually eliminate the need to outsource most everything, including yourself. In fact, it’s like adding a fleet manager who specializes in in-sourcing perks. A fleet card controls fuel expenses, schedules and tracks maintenance, and comes with 24/7 driver assistance, windshield repair, and certified technicians to keep business moving along. And as the one responsible for all those new in-house efficiencies, heck, you might even get a promotion

     

    Visit us Friday for our response to the #4 mistake you can make managing your fleet fuel expenses.

     

    To see #2 click here.

    To see #1 click here.

     

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  • This week’s Automotive Fleet safety tip is about driving at night. Pass this information along to your drivers so that they can stay safe on overnight trips.

             Prepare your car for night driving. Clean headlights, tail lights, signal lights and windows at least once a week.

    Don’t be left in the dark about night driving

             Have a mechanic check your headlight aim twice a year.

             Avoid smoking when driving at night. Night vision can be worsened by the effects of nicotine and carbon monoxide.

             Turn your headlights on at dusk. Lights will not help night vision in early twilight, but they'll make it easier for other drivers to see you.

             Reduce your speed while driving at night and increase your following distances. Remember not to overdrive your headlights. You should be able to stop inside the illuminated area.

             When you're driving at night and there is another driver ahead of you, keep your headlights on low beams so you don't blind the other driver. If an oncoming vehicle doesn't lower its beams from high to low, avoid glare by watching the right edge of the road and using that as a steering guide.

             If you're on a long road trip that includes night driving, make frequent stops for light snacks and exercise. If you're too tired to drive, stop and get rest.

             If you have car trouble while driving at night, pull off the road as far as possible. Turn on your flashers and the dome light. Stay off the roadway and get passengers away from the area.

             Observe night driving safety as soon as the sun goes down. Twilight is one of the most difficult times to drive, because your eyes are constantly changing to adapt to the growing darkness.

     

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  • 2. Handling Advice Requests

    The Problem- Fleet Managers tend to become known as “the car guy” in the company and should not give advice on automotive-related issues, such as what car another company employee should buy.

    The Solution- Tell your manager that unless they want to go on deliveries for you, there’s not much you can do for him. But there is something else you can do. Someone from another department may not have a clue what your job is all about, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t teach your fellow employees a little something.  It’s a lot easier to help your colleagues understand your role when you can simply show them your fuel reports online.  Who knows, they just might be really impressed.  

    Visit us tomorrow for our response to the #3 mistake you can make managing your fleet fuel expenses.

    To see #1 click here.
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  • In Atlantic City, cab fares are regulated by the state of New Jersey.  Within the city limits, no single fare can exceed $13. Now, with fuel prices staying high, many taxi companies are seeing large decreases in profits…and pay.

     

    "Since the price of gas got more, it's $100 more a week," said cab driver Ahmed Rashawn, 58. Rashawn said he works 12-hour shifts, seven days a week in Atlantic City, in a car with more than 206,000 miles on it. Over the past year, higher gas prices have cost him between one-third and one-quarter of his weekly take-home pay.

    Not Fare: Fuel Prices Impacting Taxi Drivers

     

    Greg Brock, one of the owners of Mutual Cab in Atlantic City, said gas prices were making business difficult, but that customer loyalty and steady business has kept the company going. Mutual's Lincoln Town Cars typically fill up once per 12-hour shift, Brock said. Drivers can travel hundreds of miles, including as far as Virginia or Massachusetts.

     

    Helen Gonzalez, one of the owners of Green Cab, said gas prices have led drivers to ask city officials to raise minimum taxi rates from $3, but no action has been taken.

     

    "This is really killing us," she said. "Me, myself, I have a mortgage. I can't make what I'm making off the cabs. I had to go into my savings because of what's going on. The thing is, if you've been in the business as long as I have - 15 years - you can't just get rid of the cab. So you stick it out and hope for the best."

     

    [via pressofAtlanticCity.com]

     

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  • Idiot-proofing your fleet: Avoiding the 10 dumbest mistakes you can make managing your fleet fuel expensesWhile it is true that it is easy for one silly mistake to have a real effect on some less-than-savvy fleet managers, the right system can help any business avoid the pain of costly mistakes (and that sting from smacking yourself in the forehead when it’s your fault).

    So, for the next 10 days, we’re taking a look at how a fleet card can keep your fleet safe from any of these top 10 blunders.

     

    1. Giving Too Much Detail

    The Problem- Too much information going to upper management can result in the reports being over-analyzed or the point being lost in the flood of information. Either way, the fleet manager can look bad.

    The Solution- If you try to shuffle through a box of receipts one by one with your manager, they’ll probably be asleep in ten minutes. The reporting provided by a fleet card makes sure that your managers get accurate information on your fleet fuel spending with whatever level of detail you desire. Go over every transaction or simply look at the budget vs. spending. Now you look like an efficient fleet-managing machine.

    Visit us tomorrow for our response to the #2 mistake you can make managing your fleet fuel expenses

     

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  • House Republicans and Senate Democrats derided each other’s responses to rising gasoline prices Tuesday, setting the stage for competing measures that could pass one house but stall in the other.

    House of Pain: Government Locks Up on Fuel Price Plans

    The House is focused on accelerating permits for oil and gas drilling and on opening up new areas where drilling has been off-limits for decades. A bill up for a vote in the House on Wednesday, if it became law, would open the waters off New Jersey to new leases as early as next year.

    In the Senate, New Jersey Democrat Bob Menendez has support from Majority Leader Harry Reid for a bill he introduced Tuesday to eliminate some oil company tax breaks and subsidies. His plan would apply the $2 billion a year in increased tax revenue toward reducing the deficit, which this year is $1.5 trillion.

    Republicans in the House, and the industry lobbying group the American Petroleum Institute, argued that raising taxes on oil companies would make things worse.

    Menendez said that the five largest oil companies are projected to have $125 billion in profits this year, and there is no justification for the tax breaks he is seeking to eliminate.

    “If the big five could just live … with $123 billion in profits in 2011, they could pay their fair share in taxes, help lower the deficit and not raise the price of gasoline,” Menendez said.

    What do you think is the solution for higher prices? Leave a comment and let us know.

     

    [via northjersey.com]

     

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  • It turns out that the price of the gas going into your tank isn’t the only fuel-related woe for some vehicle owners.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating reports of a fault that can cause fuel tank fires on Ford’s iconic F-150 pickup:

    Hot Topic: F-150 Tanks Vulnerable to Fire

     

    Federal regulators have expanded the investigation into 2.7 million Ford F-150 pickups over complaints fuel tank straps have rusted and failed, putting vehicles at risk of a fire.

     

    In a notice posted on the NHTSA website Sunday, the agency said it had upgraded its investigation into 2.7 million 1997-2001 F-150 pickups after reviewing about 300 complaints.

     

    NHTSA said there are two reports of fires. In one, leaking fuel ignited, but quickly burned out. In the other incident, Ford said "the leaking fuel ignited and the … fire destroyed the vehicle." No injuries have been reported.

     

    NHTSA said its investigation is focused on the steel straps holding the fuel tank and attaching it to the truck frame, saying it "can corrode and break."

     

    If the straps break, the tank might tilt, drop and hit the road, causing a fuel leak. The leaking gasoline can potentially cause a fire, NHTSA said.

     

    NHTSA said its investigation "yielded information that strongly suggests the subject defect as the cause of the reported problem."

     

    [via The Detroit News]

     

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