• The National Safety Council recently released a kit that helps companies create internal policies that encourage safe driving and since early March of this year have sold more than 200 of them to companies across the country.

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration claims that 80 percent of all collisions are the result of driver inattention and one of the main causes of distraction is cell phone use.

    The cost in life, lost work time due to injury and in terms of dollars, has forced companies to take a closer look driving habits of employees, as well as other drivers on the road. The NSC’s kit called the Distracted Driving Resource Kit helps employers educate drivers on the risks of using cell phones and other hand held devices while driving.


    The kit helps companies implement policies using a realistic timeline and is made available on CD and includes: A “call to action” for a distracted driving policy, an informational article on the risks associated with distracted driving, the top ten reasons for a no-cell driving policy, posters for the workplace, tips for distraction-free driving, a training program on distracted driving and Distracted Driving Safety pamphlets.


    The Distracted Driving Resource Kit costs $39.95 for NSC members and $49.95 for non-members. More information is available at www.nsc.org/product.
    Categories
    • Fleet Resources


  • Location and Education Pay Off

    Despite the daily assault of news on the economic downturn, maybe things aren’t all that bad for those of us running a fleet business.

    Seventeen percent of commercial fleet managers earned more than $100,000 last year, and 8-percent of them banked more than $120,000, according to a post on Automotive Fleet, which will soon publish its compensation survey in the May 2009 issue of Automotive Fleet.

    Not bad, when the median household income in the U.S. is $50,230
     and 8.5 percent of the U.S. is out of work, as reported by Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    We also learned that fleet managers in the Midwest had the highest median salary, as did fleet managers with some post-graduate study. And only 14 percent of fleet managers made less than $50,000.

    More information and additional statistics will be published in the May 2009 issue of Automotive Fleet.

    How does your paycheck stack up to the rest of the American work force? Check out this month’s Parade magazine’s feature story “What People Earn 2009.” You can even compare your salary to others’ in your zip code, or find out what you’d earn if you relocated., changed jobs altogether, and moonlighted as a fleet industry blogger. Ok, not really. But there are some interesting earners on there.

    Categories
    • Industry News


  • Second Car Smoke

    Apr 21, 2009

    Protecting Your Fleet Investment

    For many drivers, a fleet vehicle may not necessarily get the same treatment as their own personal car. But, as a manager, it’s important for you to keep tabs on the condition of your company vehicles both inside and out.

    One of the areas that can sometimes be easy to overlook, but can be easily avoided is the overall cleanliness of a car or truck and cigarette smoke is one of the main culprits.

    Cigarette smoke will stain any cloth fabric in a vehicle and a lit cigarette can burn holes in seats, carpet and upholstery.

    Regular smoking will also leave an odor in the car that is virtually impossible to get rid of.


    We all know it’s a tough habit to kick, but if you’re thinking long term, you may want to consider the fact that reassigning a vehicle that was occupied by a smoker often comes with a $200 price tag to clean and fumigate.

    Also, smoke, and the damage it causes, can devalue a car or truck dramatically if you are trying to trade a fleet vehicle in.

    So, while the cost of smoking may not affect your driver’s wallet, it will definitely make an impact on your bottom line.

    Many companies today are adopting policies that ban smoking from their cars and trucks much like what has been done in the workplace.

    In this day and age when every penny counts, if you haven’t instituted a policy to protect your investment, it may be time to have your drivers find a new place to smoke.

    Check out the complete article about the cost of dangers and smoking here:
    http://businessdriver.epubxpress.com/bd1

    Photo copyright of keepwaddling1 and re-used under the Creative Commons license.

    Categories
    • Fleet Resources


  • NAFA 2009 Institute & Expo on April 25-28

    If there’s such a thing as a “fleetspert,” or a fleet expert, there’s never been a better place to mingle with them. The National Association of Fleet Administrators (NAFA) is hosting hundreds of fleet managers from across North America for the NAFA 2009 Institute & Expo on April 25-28.

    According to
    www.nafaIandE.org, the I&E is the best place for fleet managers of all levels to network (read “job opportunities”), build resources, get cutting-edge training and education, and be surrounded by fleet experts.

    This year’s Expo provides 60+ hours of fleet training, educational sessions, and workshops along with more than 200 exhibitors offering their products and services just for fleet managers. Other highlights include:

    • Update on the State of the Global Auto Industry” –Keynote speaker Graeme Maxton, a writer and presenter who specializes in Asian business, economy and the world’s auto industry. On April 26th, 11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., he’ll discuss the strengths of the international automotive business and international economies.
    • The Green Fleet Ride-and-Drive – The Ride-and-Drive on Monday, April 27th, from 1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. gives attendees the chance to test-drive the latest alt-fuel vehicles (natural gas, propane, ethanol and biodiesel).
    • CAFM/CAFS Boot Camp – CAFM/CAFS students will get two chances to pass their CAFM exams during the Boot Camp. Attendees enrolled in the CAFM or CAFS programs are encouraged to study in advance; test on Friday, April 24; attend CAFM Boot Camp sessions on those disciplines they haven’t yet passed; and stay to retest on Wednesday, April 29, if necessary.
    • Public Safety Group (PSG) Roadeo – Public Safety Fleet Managers will get behind the wheel and go head-to-head against their peers at timed events on April 25th, from 11:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., learning how to skillfully maneuver vehicles through different courses.
    • NAFA’s 2009 Green Fleet Awards – This award honors the most innovative fleet pioneers who’ve helped with their employer’s green initiative.

    NAFA Fleet Management Association (NAFA) is a not-for-profit, individual membership professional society serving the needs of members who manage fleets of automobiles, SUVs, trucks and vans, and a wide range of specialized mobile equipment for organizations across the globe. For details, visit http://www.nafaIandE.org.

    Categories
    • Fleet Resources


  • April 17th – Just two days after tax day. The perfect time to begin preparations anew for next year’s IRS deadline, and do it in a way that makes your life easier.

    Start with a self-audit. Where did business fall short last year (besides the bottom line)? How can you create efficiencies? What can you do to get a jump on all that paperwork?

    For several reasons, you might want to consider a fleet card that offers online controls and a reporting system. Not only will such a system aid in day-to-day organization, save time and money, it will prevent a last-minute scramble through damaged, dated and downright legitimate receipts. Some other benefits include:

    • Document ALL purchases electronically for error-free record keeping
    • Eliminate unwanted purchases and surprise expenses altogether, like hard-to-explain beef jerky, coffee and smokes
    • Track purchases in real-time whenever you like
    • Set the controls. You decide who gets a card, how much they can purchase with it, and where they can use it.
    • Many happy returns. The right fleet card can save you thousands of dollars a year of fuel and maintenance costs, which is great for building your business.

    If you don’t already have a fleet card, are looking for a more comprehensive fleet management program, or just want to get an idea of what’s out there, start at FleetMatch™.  It was created to for the sole purpose of custom-matching fleet cards with fleet-driven businesses like yours.

    Photo copyright of jacobms under the Creative Common license

    Categories
    • Fleet Resources


  • This week’s CB lingo lesson covers the letter’s G & H, which means we’re getting close to the alphabetical equivalent of the heartland of America.  The drivers in your fleet are sure to have noticed  a difference in your trucker talking ability by now.

     G

    Gas Jockey – Gas station attendant

    Get horizontal – Lie down to sleep

    Get Trucking – Make some distance.

    Girlie Bear – Female cop

    Go Ahead – Answer back.

    Go Juice – Truck fuel

    Got a copy? – Can you hear me?

    Go to 100 – Restroom stop.

    Green Stamp Collector – Police with radar

    Ground Clouds – Fog

    Guitar Town – Nashville

    H

    Hack – Taxi

    Haircut palace – Bridge or overpass with low clearance

    Hammer Down – Accelerate

    Hay Shaker – Trailer transporting a mobile home

    Highball – Go nonstop to your destination at a rapid pace.

    High Rise – A large bridge or overpass.

    Hip Pocket – Glove box.

    Hot Lanta – Atlanta, Georgia

    How tall are you? – How tall is your truck?

    Hundred mile coffee – Strong coffee

    Check back with us next week as we keep rolling down the alphabet highway, or you can get a dictionary full of terms from the book, Woody’s World of CB.

    10-4 from Hot lanta.

    Categories
    • Fleet Resources


  • $50 Friday Contest

    Apr 20, 2009

    To continue on with our Friday contest series, this time we want to know what the craziest thing you or an employee did a company vehicle. Off roading? Crazy game of chicken?

    Let us know, and the one that makes our jaws drop will get a $50 Mastercard gift card.

    Contest will be open until next Thursday, April 23. Leave a comment below or on our official Twitter page.

    Categories
    • Friday Contest


  • A story out of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania that might get you to think twice about putting off proper maintenance for your fleet vehicles:

    On April 7th of this year, Pennsylvania state police placed nearly 250 commercial trucks out of service during a one-day enforcement effort on rural roads and highways off the interstate.


    Conducted by members of the state’s police motor carrier enforcement teams, the initiative aptly named C.R.A.S.H. (The Commercial Motor Vehicle Commonwealth Rural Roads and State Highways detail) was carried out as a way to combat recent statistics that revealed more than 50 percent of commercial motor vehicle accidents and fatalities take place in rural areas and highways located off of major interstates.

    Of the 1,258 commercial vehicles inspected, 243 vehicles were taken out of service, 791 traffic citations were issued and 1,917 warnings for vehicle and driver violations were written.

    As you know, state safety inspections involve more than just kicking the tires and checking under the hood. Look at your states DOT website to see if they provide a checklist for their safety inspection.

    It could save you a lot of headaches down the road.

    Photo copyright of Kerri2009 and re-used under the Creative Commons license
    Categories
    • Industry News


  • Inspite of record-high gas prices a year ago, U.S. consumers still put fuel economy towards the end of their wish list when looking for a new vehicle, according to a recent press release.

    In a study conducted by Alexander Edwards, president of automotive research for Strategic Vision, Inc., consumers were given a list of 124 attributes to rank in order of importance for their next vehicle purchase.

    Overall environmental friendliness of the vehicle ranked 53rd, emissions controls ranked 87th, fuel economy/good mileage ranked 120th and fuel efficiency ranked dead last at 124th on the list.

    Edwards will present the results of the entire study on a panel on Tuesday, April 21. Check back to see if iPod connectivity ranked number one on consumer’s wishlist.

    Are you surprised that fuel economy came in last? What are some of the attributes that would be in your top 10 list?

    Categories
    • Industry News


  • Recent survey shows that many owners feel that they did

    A recent survey in the City Business Journal Network found that close to 60 percent of small business owners think the Obama administration doesn’t understand the needs of small firms and that more than 40 percent are less optimistic about the state of the U.S. economy than they were when the president took office.

    Though the majority identified themselves as Republicans, that number also revealed nearly half of those surveyed think Obama will only serve one term based on what he has accomplished in the first 3 months of his presidency.

    Much of the frustration that small businesses are feeling comes from how the bailouts of banks and the auto industry have overshadowed the needs of companies who are suffering from irresponsible action of larger companies during this economic crisis.

    The sentiment stems from the fact that all of the bailout money may help larger firms tread water for a while, but that money is not making it’s way to smaller companies.

    Many feel Obama doesn’t understand that all it takes is losing one client or having to wait on payments from other clients for a small business to really suffer, or be unable to meet payroll.

    Another frustration is that smaller businesses are still having a hard time getting bank loans, preventing them from expanding, hiring and growing their business.

    Some owners are even calling for Obama’s administration to require that banks loan money to smaller businesses based on their credit history and existing debt, citing that businesses that have been run well should be allowed to run things the way they see fit, and businesses that are failing should be allowed to fail no matter how large or small.

    Those who continue to support Obama point out that his administration is only 90 days in to dealing with a situation that was handed to him and took initial steps that were necessary to stabilize the economy and that more time is needed to see if this administration has done more harm than good.

    For more information about the survey taken and insight in to how your small business might be impacted by recent actions taken by the president, read the article Small Business: Obama Doesn’t Understand Us, click here.

    Categories
    • Industry News