• In an interesting article posted on Business Fleet on March 10th, the topic of “reverse expansion” is covered.  This is the politically correct way of saying that vehicles need to be retrieved from terminated employees and reassigned.  These days, some fleet managers are comparing the practice of reverse expansion to a game of “musical cars”.

    The article gives managers a number of common mistakes and some basic tips when or if you find yourself in the position of having to collect and redistribute fleet vehicles.

    Planning and communication are pointed out as key in dealing with HR situations involving terminated employees.  The last thing you want to do is claim a vehicle from someone who doesn’t even know they’ve been terminated yet.


    Coordinating insurance coverage, allowing time for an employee to purchase their company vehicle, storage advice for vehicles not in use and knowing the right vehicle to reassign to the right driver are just a few of the topics that the writer covers with great detail.

    While the article appears to focus on larger fleets, the information provided seems like it could help managers who find themselves in a situation where they need to downsize – a scenario that is affecting more and more businesses each month.

    Read the entire article here.

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    • Industry News


  • Beverage World recently wrote an article about the importance of managing roller coaster fuel costs in today’s economy. In the article, they site FleetCards USA’s FleetMatch as a “matchmaker” to pair up fleets with the right fuel card to benefit their business.

    To read the entire article, click here.

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    • FCUSA In the News


  • In addition to an unstable economy, fleet managers and business owners now have to contend with fleet management costs on the rise.

    Our colleagues at Business Fleet have released some key findings from GE Capital Solutions Fleet Services 14th annual fleet passenger car maintenance study. One major finding was that fleet management costs have risen 5% from 2007 to 2008.

    The main source for this uptick in costs came from increased prices for replacement tires along with higher labor rates. Since oil is a key ingredient in the tire manufacturing process, when oil prices sky-rocketed, so did the price of tires. Add to that the cost of labor rising 3-4% from the previous year due to shops feeling the economic pinch, and you can see how these costs can quickly add up and affect your bottom line.

    One way to combat these rising costs, especially in relation to tires, is with the maintenance reporting that a fleet fuel card offers. You’ll know exactly when your vehicles need their tires replaced, so you’re not spending extra money replacing them too often and you’re not letting them go so long that something else breaks.

    Read the entire story here,
    and we want to know: what will you be doing in 2009 to combat rising fleet management costs?

    Categories
    • Industry News


  • That’s right, America’s vehicles are aging.  For the past two years, the median age of passenger cars in operations held strong at 9.2 years, but 2008 data from R.L. Polk & Co. shows that age has increased to 9.4 years.

    Polk consultants blame the economy, rising gas prices and limited discretionary income as the reason for the increase, since folks may find it cheaper to fix or repair a car rather then buy a new one.

    Passenger vehicles weren’t the only types to see an uptick in age. Other vehicles whose age has increased from last year:
    • Trucks: up to 7.6 years from 7.3
    • Light trucks: up to 7.5 years from 7.1

    For those businesses feeling the economic pinch and needing to hang on to their vehicles a little longer, consider the maintenance reporting that a fleet fuel card provides. A fleet fuel card can help you keep track of maintenance schedules for all of your vehicles so you can get the most mileage-and years-out of them.

    Does the Polk report accurately reflect the age of your company’s vehicles? Are yours newer or older?

    For the complete report, click here.

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  • While not nearly as unpredictable as this time last year, oil prices are on the rise, which means fleet managers will once again need to start watching the price at the pumps.

    According to an article posted on MSNBC.com, as of mid March 2009, crude oil has jumped in price to almost $50 a barrel, partly due to traders knowing that summer driving season is just months away.

    But, the rise in crude prices could mean something more. After trading as low as $33 a barrel in December 2008, some analysts say that demand, or the lack of demand in the marketplace, may have hit bottom and is now beginning to rebound, other say it simply couldn’t have gotten any worse.

    These days, the price of oil seems to be affected by and connected to how the stock market is doing as well as other economic indicators like the housing market and food prices.

    Knowing this might give you the ability to see a spike in gas prices coming before your supplier even does…and nothing helps you run your fleet better than knowing what lies ahead.


    Read the entire article here.



  • 2008 brought astronomical gas prices along with a higher percentage of the American public seeking alternate modes of transportation. The American Public Transportation Association recently reported that 10.7 billion trips were made on public transit in 2008, which represents a four percent increase over 2007.

    Researchers are, however, hesitant to say if the increase in public transit riders is directly related to the recession and skyrocketing gasoline prices, or if it just marks a shift in the travel habits of Americans.


    What do you think: was public transit on the rise due to shifting perceptions or because of the exorbitant cost of fuel in 2008? How were your travel habits affected in 2008?

    Read the whole story here.
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    • Industry News


  • This is it.  We’ve reached the end of the road.  Come to the last stop on the alphabet highway.  By now you should have a real handle of the CB lingo and hopefully you’ve enjoyed the ride along the way.

    So, without further adieu here’s your final language lesson featuring the letters X-Y-Z:

    X

    XYL – The wife of a CB’er

    YL – Young lady, Miss

    Y

    Youngville – Young children using the channel

    You got it – Letting another station know he has the “floor”.

    You gone? – Are you still there?

    Your telephone is ringing – Someone is calling for you.

    Z

    Z’s – Sleep

    You can get a dictionary full of terms from the book, Woody’s World of CB.

    10-4 from Hotlanta

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    • Fleet Resources