September 17, 2019

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Editor’s Analysis & Top Industry News

We Celebrate AFLA Award Winners!

AFLA has really outdone itself celebrating its 50th anniversary at its 2019 Annual Corporate Fleet Conference, running three days at the spectacular Arizona Grand Resort & Spa in Phoenix. Of course, the main fare is another fine series of presentations on all things fleet, but the highlight was last night’s awards dinner.

Congratulations to Erin Gilchrist, director of fleet for Safelite AutoGlass, this year’s winner of the Fleet Manager of the Year award and Kenneth Jack, VP of fleet operations at Verizon, who was honored as Fleet Executive of the Year. AFLA celebrated four new inductees to AFLA’s Fleet Hall of Fame: Theresa Rogazine, recently retired VP for fleet procurement at Johnson & Johnson; Joe LaRosa, former SVP at Merck for global fleet management; and two late industry leaders, Bud Morrison, AFLA’s first president, and Bob Miesen, one-time SVP GE Capital Fleet and the originator of floating rate fleet finance.

Look next week for our own Mark Boada’s take on this year’s gala conference.

Janice Sutton
Editor in Chief

VIDEO: Success, and the Willingness to Fail

The willingness to fail is actually quite important to the success and longevity of all sorts of companies, fleet management companies included.

VIDEO: The Evolution of Delivery

 Could What is Happening with Food Deliveries Happen with Fleets?

As the distribution, logistics and fleet industries continue to evolve and change, why couldn’t what is happening with food deliveries in cities happen with fleets that are delivering goods?

VIDEO: Changing It Up

 A Time of Transformation

Kris Bush is excited about his new role at LeasePlan USA, where he is charged with both creating new products and also with improving and enhancing existing ones.

The Fleet Spot

Calling All AFLA Volunteers for 2019-2020 Task Forces!

AFLA is driven by its members. Sometimes it’s through running for a board seat, sometimes it’s by handing out name badges at the conference and sometimes it’s by serving on the various task forces that move us forward as an organization.

If you’re an AFLA member, now is the time of year for serving on the task forces that keep our organization ticking.

Serving on a task force is a great way to network with colleagues in the industry, brush up your leadership skills and to give back to the corporate fleet community, and most of AFLA’s task forces require a commitment of 2-5 hours each month for the year (the new task force year begins in October).


Driving Dynamics 2019 Summer-Fall DriveReady Schedule is Here!

This foundational behind-the-wheel driver safety course, held each year at more than 200 locations across North America, is designed for drivers of passenger cars through medium-duty vehicles.

Highlights include: 30+ Years Experience in Fleet Driver Safety; The One Second Advantage Philosophy; Full-Time Professional Instructors; Low Instructor-to-Student Ratio; Sophisticated Adult Instructional Design; Mobile Classrooms Onsite with Driving Exercises; Patented Controlled Slide Car; Offered as an Employer-Dedicated Course

Learn more, and get the schedule.

NAFA Webinar: Solving Distraction Behind the Wheel (Sponsored by NAUTO)

Live Webinar Date: Wednesday, September 25 @ 12:00 – 1:00pm Eastern

Event location: Register Online

Topics: Distracted driving is an urgent problem for commercial fleets, with nearly 70% of severe collisions attributed to this risky behavior. To improve driver safety prevent collisions, and maintain productive drivers and vehicles, it’s critical to stop distractions at the moment they occur. Join Nauto and Atlas Financial Holdings, Inc. for a conversation on scaling fleet safety with artificial intelligence-powered technologies to reduce collisions by over 35%.

eDriving Wins Fleet Safety Product Category in Brake’s Australasian Fleet Safety Awards

The award was presented for eDriving’s innovative smartphone-based fleet driver risk management solution, Mentor by eDrivingSM.

“It’s fantastic to see our risk management product, Mentor, continue to excite our customers worldwide and in particular in the Australasian market where we have been working locally now for over 10 years in partnership with Zurich Risk Engineering supporting their customers’ primary safety mission – to help protect their drivers while driving for work purposes. Exciting day at eDriving – ripper!” said Cory Fee, eDriving’s Vice President, Customer Success, AMEA.

Caroline Perry, Brake’s NZ Director, said: “We are delighted to have run our fifth Fleet Safety Awards, celebrating the achievements of companies and individuals who are striving to make a real difference in the world of fleet safety. Congratulations to all the award winners and highly commended entrants for their impressive work reducing incidents involving at-work drivers and vehicles.”


Safety & Risk

By: Art Liggio, CEO of Driving Dynamics

As reported by the National Safety Council, the U.S. has experienced three straight years of at least 40,000 roadway deaths.

In 2018, there was a decline of roughly one percent from road deaths in 2017, but a 14 percent increase from four years ago. One of the contributing factors is the continuing increase in the number of drivers on the road and miles driven, which correspondingly increases the crash risks for your driver population.

Considering this increase of time spent on the road with other untrained drivers, you must strengthen your understanding of the nation’s traffic safety culture in order to identify all the risks and then develop effective solutions or communications based on the findings.

For the last ten years, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s annual Traffic Safety Culture Index survey identified American drivers’ attitudes and behaviors regarding road safety. The results of this year’s survey, which focused on drivers’ road activity in the 30 days preceding their participation, are consistent with the years prior. Risky behaviors are still taking place, and unfortunately the “do as I say, not as I do” mentality is still prominent amongst non-fleet drivers.



Work Truck Forum

By Steve Spata, Technical Assistance Director, NTEA

Vehicle operations are no exception to the continuous improvement goal of doing more while spending less.

Reducing vehicle weight provides organizations with opportunities to keep enhancing operational efficiencies.

Weight has direct influence on regulatory compliance for motor vehicle safety, emissions and bridge law limitations, in addition to operational elements such as motor carrier/driver requirements, maintenance and vehicle life cycle. It’s a critical factor in the acquisition process. This overview primarily focuses on vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,000 pounds or less.

As driver regulations (such as electronic data logging for hours of service and other qualifications) increase, the trend to downsize into vehicles with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less (Class 1–2) continues.



In the Public Interest

By Mark Boada, Executive Editor

When you hear talk about right-sizing a fleet, is the first thing that comes to mind getting rid of vehicles?

Often, the prompt for right-sizing is either a directive from senior management in order to cut overhead expenses, a merger or employee layoffs.

But if as a fleet manager, what if you’re not met with one of these challenges? Does that mean your fleet, as it’s currently configured and deployed, is “right” for your organization?

That point was driven home last week by Ed Smith, CEO of Agile Fleet, who was the lead speaker at a webinar hosted by the National Conference of State Fleet Administrators titled, “Right-Sizing the Right Way: Achieving the Right-Sized Fleet for Your Organization.”


Fleet Trends & Issues

The Continuing Battle: SUV vs. Sedan, Detroit vs. Foreign

The New York Times

S.U.V.s and pickups generate higher per-vehicle profits than cars, and are grabbing a record 70 percent of the American market.

The sales of midsize sedans have nose-dived.

Detroit’s Asian and European rivals continue to invest in smaller cars, hedging against changing consumer tastes or soaring fuel prices. Even in worst-case scenarios for the economy or fuel crises, Ford believes that most consumers will simply downsize to a smaller or more affordable S.U.V. rather than go back to cars.

Fiat Chrysler now relies on pickups and S.U.V.s for roughly 90 percent of its United States sales. Light trucks account for 84 percent of G.M.’s American sales and 83 percent at Ford, record highs for both companies.

Read the article at The New York Times.

EV Fees Higher Than Gas Taxes In Some States

Consumer Reports

Almost all states have gasoline and electric vehicle taxes to help pay for transportation projects, but higher EV fees can potentially discourage an important environmentally friendly technology.

A new Consumer Reports analysis shows that of the 26 states that currently impose EV fees, 11 charge more than the amount owners of similar gas-powered cars pay in gas taxes, and three charge more than twice the amount.

Among 12 states considering proposals, 10 would have fees greater than what a driver on average would pay in gas taxes. Seven of those states would ratchet up the fees over time to twice the amount.

Read the article at Consumer Reports.

New Study Helps Buyers Find Thier Ideal Vehicle

The Detroit Bureau

When you are in the market for a new car, how do you choose the right one for you?

Research firm AutoPacific, Inc. conducted a study by asking owners to rate their vehicles on a list of attributes, including performance, fuel economy, design, safety features, quietness, infotainment systems and interior storage.

Volvo’s XC60 was the highest-rated vehicle overall and won in the “Aspirational Luxury Crossover SUV” category.

Most manufacturers still fell short of customer expectations, at least in some key areas, which represents major opportunities for automakers to improve.

Read more about the study at The Detroit Bureau.

Some Drivers Apparently Think a Red-Light is Just a Suggestion to Stop

USA Today

The number of people killed when someone plowed through a red-light rose 31% to 939 in 2017, a 10-year high, according to a recent study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Three intersections in Florida, two in Texas and two in Tennessee are among the 10 tracked by red-light cameras where the highest number of vehicles blow through the light.

The intersection with the most incidents tracked by red-light cameras? That’s in New Orleans.

Read the article at USA Today.

Disruptive Leadership

It’s up to every business leader to determine his or her company’s ultimate fate: is it a disruptor itself or is it destined to become one more casualty?

By John Wysseier, CEO and President, The CEI Group, Inc.

In the world of business, disruption is more than a buzzword, it’s a fact of life for most companies.

According to Accenture, a global consulting company, 71 percent of the 10,000 companies around the globe it analyzed last year for its second Disruptability Index were in the throes or on the brink of significant disruption brought on by technological innovations, new competitors, new regulations, and by social, cultural or demographic shifts. So, it’s likely that yours is one of them.

What’s more, Accenture found that none are entirely free of some level of current or potential disruption.



Global Oil Prices


Oil prices hit their highest in four months after two attacks on Saudi Arabian facilities on Saturday knocked out more than 5% of global supply.

At the start of trading, Brent crude jumped 19% to $71.95 a barrel, while the other major benchmark, West Texas Intermediate, rose 15% to $63.34.

State oil giant Saudi Aramco said the attack cut output by 5.7 million barrels per day, at a time when Aramco is trying to ready itself for what is expected to be the world’s largest stock market listing. The drone attacks on plants in the heartland of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry included hitting the world’s biggest petroleum-processing facility. The US has blamed Iran.

Read the article at BBC.


Weather Disasters and Telematics

“When there’s a hurricane, fleets need to know that their vehicles are capable of operating for hundreds of miles over several days to evacuate endangered areas and to help victims of the storm”

By Mark Boada, Executive Editor

By now, most fleet managers are familiar with many of the potential benefits of telematics. Among the most well-known are real-time reports on where their vehicles are, how many miles they’ve logged, engine trouble monitoring, and assessing driver behavior for improved fleet safety.

But how many know that telematics can also help fleets be prepared for hurricanes and other weather emergencies? That came to this writer’s attention last week when Geotab reached out about a blog on its website with the headline, “Florida prepares for Hurricane Dorian: real time data insights.”


Fleet Management Resources


Offering a nationwide vehicle delivery and relocation service; serving the corporate and commercial fleet industry.

eDriving partners with its clients to engage with drivers and their managers to create a culture that supports lasting behavioral change to reduce collisions, injuries, license violations as well as a fleet’s total cost of ownership.

SuperVision is a fleet driver management solution for MVR & license monitoring, fleet management, fleet safety oversight and driver performance and retention.

The CEI Group Inc.
CEI is North America’s largest provider of fully integrated fleet accident management, driver safety and risk management services.

NAFA Fleet Management Association
NAFA is the association for the diverse vehicle fleet management profession regardless of organizational type, geographic location, or fleet composition.

WEX fuel cards and fleet management solutions give you powerful tools to reduce spending — for any business, any fleet, any size.

Driving Dynamics
Driving Dynamics was established to help corporate fleet drivers develop expert, safe driving skills using proven, advanced driving techniques.

PARS’ mission is to provide you with high-quality service at competitive prices for all of your transportation needs.

Wheels, Inc.
First in fleet for 79 years. Wheels helps you build tomorrow’s fleet today.

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