• 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

    Categories
    • Industry News


  • 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.

    Photo copyright of altemark under the Creative Commons License
    Categories
    • Industry News


  • 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

    Categories
    • Industry News


  • 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

     


    Photo copyright of hesskennedy under the Creative Commons License
    Categories
    • Industry News


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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

    Categories
    • Industry News


  • 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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    • Industry News


  •  

    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

    Categories
    • Fleet Resources


  • 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
    Categories
    • Industry News


  • Fleets 2.0

    May 14, 2009
    Keeping your business connected.

    Some of the smartest small businesses out there today stay ahead by keeping up with the latest technology. We’ve rounded up a short list of mobile phone applications that we love for fleet businesses on the move:
    • Cheap Gas (Free, iPhone): Just like the name says, this application will help you find the cheapest gas nearest to your current location. Powered by our friends at GasBuddy.com, the app will also map the shortest route to the station from your current location.
    • FYI Mileage ($4.99, iPhone): Track your business and personal mileage quickly and easily. Application supports multiple drivers and vehicles, and data can be exported to a .CSV or HTML format. Of course, we strongly recommend using the reporting that your fleet card provides to track mileage.
    • iXpenseIt ($4.99, iPhone): Simplify daily expense tracking for easy reimbursement of travel expenses. IXpenseIt will store photo receipts, itemize expenses and track them against your allotted budget.
    • Rest Area (.99, iPhone): This application will retrieve the closest rest area to your current location, as well as provide detailed information about the area’s facilities.
    • Take Me to My Car (Free, iPhone): Like the name says, if you often forget where you parked your big-rig (and who doesn’t?), this application will remember for you. Before you get out of your vehicle, tap to save your current location. Then when you’re ready to leave, start the application for turn-by-turn (with compass!) direction back to your ride. We predict this will be a life-saver at the holiday season.
    • TeleNav GPS Navigator (monthly subscription, Blackberry): Turn your Blackberry into a full-fledged GPS, complete with turn-by-turn directions, 3-D maps, and a directory full of information by category.
    • WeatherBug (monthly subscription, Blackberry): Check the conditions of the road before you hit it with WeatherBug mobile. Similar to the web version, you can get live, local weather updates and detailed forecasts of what’s to come.

    These are just a few of the applications out there that can help you run your business more efficiently. What applications would you recommend adding to this list?

    Photo copyright of Johan Larsson under the Creative Commons License

    Categories
    • Industry News


  • Whether an employee is leaving voluntarily or involuntarily, losing an employee is never easy. And unfortunately, in today’s economy, employee turnover is more common then not. CNN reports that businesses with fewer than 500 employees collectively shed an estimated 414,000 jobs nationwide in April, the 15th consecutive month of employment declines at America’s small businesses.

    Before your employee walks out the door for the last time, be sure that you do the following:
    • Collect ALL company-issued property, which can include laptops, cell phones, building keys, etc.
    • If your employee had a company credit or business fuel card, be sure to collect their cards and contact your issuer immediately to cancel their accounts.
    • Collect any email or voicemail passwords from the employee, then change or disable account access. This can prevent frustrated ex-employees from sending out embarrassing or potentially damaging messages (and we’ve heard some stories) from their old corporate accounts.
    • Be sure that the employee’s contact information is up-to-date. This will prevent you from contacting Dog the Bounty Hunter when you have to send out their W-2’s at tax time.
    • Keep the employee’s personnel file and paperwork in a safe place – do NOT throw it away. You may need the information to give a reference check, refute a claim or verify employment dates.

    These are just a few, but important tips. We recommend adding additional ones specific to your company, then distributing the list to trusted colleagues – managers, human resources, or your assistant, so that it doesn’t fall on your shoulders only.

    Read the article here


    Photo copyright of woodleywonderworks under the Creative Commons License

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