Fleets Staying Small to Save

Aug 03, 2010

Commercial fleets nationwide are still feeling the effects of the recent economic recession.  With money more scarce than it has been in the past, many fleet operators are looking for ways to cut back.  The solution?  Many are hesitant to purchase new fleet vehicles, and those that are purchased are becoming more and more fuel efficient, according to Light & Medium Truck Online.

In a survey of 53 commercial Fleet managers, Light & Medium Truck found that those managers planned to purchase 6,937 trucks in the coming year, a drop of 22.7% from last year’s figure of 8,978.  The planned number of pickup truck and cargo vans dropped by a little less than 10%.

The recession has been responsible for many factors leading to this cutting back of spending; fuel prices went up in 2008 followed by a decline in business when hard times hit the average customer in 2009. Consumer demand remains weak, keeping profits down and driving a need for cost savings.

“We’re looking at leasing versus buying,” said Laura Lueder, public relations manager for MDU Resources Group (No. 10), Bismarck, N.D., a company that provides utility and highway construction services.

“One of the challenges for us is the increasing cost of [vehicles]. The company is trying to cut back on spending so we can purchase fewer units with the same money.”

Many fleets are looking at reduced-weight trucks to combat costs, but alternative fuels are also an option, with many fleets investigating compressed natural gas as a viable alternative. 

Do you have ideas for extra cost savings in these difficult economic times?  Leave us a comment and let us know what you think!

Photo courtesy of didbygraham and re-used under the Creative Commons license.