March 31, 2020

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Editor’s Analysis & Top Industry News

Fleets on the Front Line

As happens during most natural disasters, fleets are on the front line, and that’s never been more true than during this catastrophic global pandemic. New York City has been especially hard hit and we keep our friend Robert Martinez, deputy commissioner at NYPD, in our thoughts. We applaud all of the unsung heroes in our fleet family and keep in our hearts the amazing healthcare community who earn our gratitude every single day.

Even as managers deal with devastating circumstances, we’re also looking ahead to improve efficiencies and trim costs. Scott Conlon, managing director at Mercury Associates, offers us his thoughts on taming the complexity of managing a fleet operation in Reduce TCO, Improve Efficiency Through Fleet Standardization.

We are delighted to publish FMW’s exclusive interview with Edward Kulperger, Geotab’s senior vice president for Europe. In An Inside Look at Geotab, A Global Telematics Powerhouse, Kulperger discusses this fascinating company’s fleet focus and agenda for the transition to electric vehicles. .

Drive safety and keep well!

Janice Sutton
Editor in Chief

VIDEO: Data Can Show You Which Challenges to Tackle First

Fleet managers are always having to decide which challenges to tackle first. Safety? Productivity? Something else? Continuous improvements to Geotab technology are making it easier than ever to data-driven get insights to help make these decisions.

VIDEO: SureCam’s Video Telematics

 30 – 60% Reduction in Claims Costs with Video Telematics

Fleets are seeing 30 to 60 percent reductions in claim costs with video telematics from SureCam.

WEBINAR: Keeping Pool Fleets Clean

 Think Tank: COVID-19 and Pool Fleets

This timely webinar from Donlen focuses on keeping pool fleet vehicles clean and safe in the time of COVID-19, but there’s plenty of great info here for all kinds of fleet vehicles.


The Fleet Spot

FDNY Mechanic, An ‘Unsung Hero’ Who Kept Ambulances Running, Dies Of Coronavirus

New York Daily News

An ambulance mechanic and U.S. Army veteran on Sunday became the first FDNY member to die of coronavirus.

James Villecco, 55, a Staten Island resident, was hailed as an “unsung hero.”

“This is the kind of unsung hero who doesn’t get the credit he deserves,” Mayor de Blasio told reporters. “This is the kind of man who keeps us safe because he kept the ambulances in good repair so they could get there to help all of us.”

Read the article at New York Daily News.

The COVID-19 Pandemic and Pool Fleets: What Fleet Managers are Doing to Protect Their Drivers

By Mark Boada, Executive Editor

The COVID-19 pandemic poses a new challenge to fleets, particularly pool fleets, those for which different drivers may be assigned to use the same vehicle day to day or even shift to shift or hour-to-hour.

The reason is that the coronavirus has been found to remain active on surfaces for up to 96 hours and infected drivers who don’t show symptoms may be passing the virus along to the next one.

Last week, Donlen, one of the largest fleet management companies in North America, hosted an hour-long, webcast “think tank” in which company executives, panelists and what a Donlen co-host said was a “packed” virtual audience of fleet professionals shared the measures they are taking to try to keep their shared vehicles virus-free.


RepairSmith Launches New On-Site Service Bringing Repair and Maintenance Direct to Fleets

RepairSmith just announced the launch of on-site fleet service with ASE-certified mechanics delivering diagnostics, repair, maintenance, tire service and state-regulated inspections (including BIT) direct to fleets.

“The rise of at-home services has increased the demand on fleets. To keep pace, it’s more important than ever to minimize vehicle downtime,” said Joel Milne, CEO of RepairSmith. “By bringing top-quality, convenient service direct to fleets, RepairSmith enables fleet managers to avoid service disruption, unnecessary expenses and the headaches of traditional fleet service.”

Read the entire press release.

NAFA Webinar: Annual Business Meeting with NAFA President Patti Earley, CAFM

Attend the Annual Business Meeting with NAFA President Patti Earley, CAFM, this Wednesday, April 1, 12:00-1:00pm Eastern.

During this webinar, President Earley will discuss NAFA’s efforts from 2019, initiatives for the coming year, and will discuss how NAFA is moving forward in light of the current challenges facing the industry and the world. Learn how your association intends to emerge better and stronger, building on the value foundation established during the past 12 months.


Coronavirus and Driver Safety

eDriving COVID-19 Resource Center

Around the world many people who work in health care, delivery, service, emergency response, government, and many other industries are continuing to leave their homes to ensure that essential supplies and services continue to reach those in need during this difficult time.

To help keep those who drive for work safe, eDriving has shared the following Driver Safety Tips, published as part of its dedicated COVID-19 Resource Center. Visit the Resource Center for Workplace Safety Guidance, Fleet Manager Guides and information on eDriving’s upcoming COVID-19 safety-related webinar and eLearning module.



Fleet Tracking and COVID-19

How one fleet company leveraged IoT for disruption — and to manage fleets in response to COVID-19

In this webinar, Ash Phayer, Telemax General Manager, will discuss how his company leveraged IoT connectivity to become one of the only companies to offer a complete end-to-end fleet solution in the Australia and New Zealand region.

He will also share the biggest connectivity challenges Telemax faced and how they overcame them. In light of COVID-19 and its impact on the fleet market, this webinar will also share some insights on how fleet companies are using IoT to manage their business through the pandemic.

Register for the webinar today!



In the Public Interest

By Scott Conlon, Managing Director, Mercury Associates

Ask any fleet manager about fleet standardization and they will tell you that it can reduce the complexity of managing a fleet operation in many different areas.

The discussion will likely focus on improved technician proficiency, reduced on-hand parts inventories, and simplified purchasing—and having personally managed a transit bus garage, I know firsthand that these are all important benefits. What is equally important, though, is how much these benefits affect total cost of ownership (TCO), and what other efficiencies are gained. I recently had the opportunity to investigate that exact question.

Mercury Associates was recently hired to conduct a study of a large county fleet that—starting in the late 1990s—initiated a fleet standardization strategy for their light-duty vehicles. The strategy allowed the fleet division to designate a primary original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for new vehicle purchases in order to minimize the effects of a mixed fleet. The standardization strategy was authorized by the board of supervisors in successive five-year periods and was under review prior to an upcoming vote for renewal. Facing skepticism of this targeted procurement approach from newly elected board members, the fleet manager was asked to bring in a third party to document the pros and cons of continued standardization.


Fleet Trends & Issues

Check Out This Electric Vehicle Total Cost Of Ownership Calculator


California utility PG&E Corporation has a cost of ownership calculation tool for 52 electric vehicles on the market in California (plug-in hybrids as well as fully electric vehicles).

The 5 year cost of ownership comparison takes into account estimates for upfront price, electricity costs, gasoline costs, maintenance costs, and insurance costs.

One thing missing from the PG&E model is resale value. Since it’s a 5 year cost of ownership model, that doesn’t really matter if you plan to keep the car for longer – say, 10 or so years. However, resale value should be a part of any true total cost of ownership calculation

Read the article at CleanTechnica.

Pickup Truck MPG Has Lagged For Decades: Will Diesel And Electric Do Better?

Green Car Reports

Nearly all vehicle types now achieve more than double the gas mileage that they achieved in 1975, when the EPA started compiling trends for vehicle emissions and fuel economy – all except pickups, that is.

Among pickups, Honda has held the highest average at 21.8 mpg. Pickups from other automakers all averaged in the 18-20 mpg range, but it’s of note that Toyota ranked the lowest at 18.2 mpg.

Ram, General Motors and Ford now have light-duty diesels with mpg ranging from 29 – 33 highway miles. Electric pickup trucks will arrive soon. But the question is how much they will cost and whether they’ll deliver enough range to satisfy owners when they tow and haul.

Read the article at Green Car Reports.

Truckers Step Up As Coronavirus Pumps Demand For Necessities, But Face Mounting Obstacles

The Washington Post

With people across much of the country ordered to stay home to slow the spread of the virus, truckers are still plying the highways in an effort to ensure those loads of food, soap, toilet paper and cleaning supplies can keep moving.

As the virus has taken hold, truckers say they have had to contend with new challenges on the road: State governments that have ordered rest areas closed, meaning truckers no longer have places to eat or use the bathrooms.

Truck drivers spend much of their time alone and can sleep in their cabs. They’ve been taking small measures to protect themselves: Using their own pens to sign forms, carrying hand sanitizer and trading cans of Lysol spray among themselves.

Read the article at The Washington Post.

The Ride Hailing Industry Is Getting Turned On Its Head By Coronavirus


The coronavirus pandemic has caused an abrupt shift in consumer behavior and is upending the on-demand industry, where the biggest companies were built first and foremost around ride-hailing services rather than food deliveries.

Moving to food delivery may help some companies weather the crisis, but it could come at a cost. Uber’s meal delivery business has been a “money-losing” venture that has weighed on the stock. The margins on delivery are lower than ride-hailing/

For some companies, the trend has led to rapid expansion. Instacart, the grocery delivery startup, said this week that it plans to bring on 300,000 additional workers in North America over the next three months to help meet its surging demand.

Read the article at CNN.

Geotab and the Mobility Revolution

By Mark Boada, Executive Editor

One of the central components of the so-called “mobility revolution” is the booming application of telematics, the wireless digital connection of automobiles. Canada-based Geotab is a world leader in the field, and in this exclusive interview with Fleet Management Weekly, Edward Kulperger, the company’s senior vice president for Europe, provides an inside look into the company, discussing its size, growth rate, fleet focus and agenda for the transition to electric vehicles.

Geotab’s message to the global fleet market right now?

A couple of things. First, that we’re the largest telematics company in the world now. We have a little over 2 million connected vehicles. We’ve been investing heavily into electric vehicles and big data for many years, and we feel that we are well-positioned as a telematics data platform to take advantage of the next wave of investment into connecting your vehicles.

We have 40 billion data points coming into our system every day, so we are one of the largest Cloud organizations on the planet. As industry leaders have said, mobility – understanding and more efficiently managing the movement of goods and vehicles – is going to be the next megatrend, and we think we’re well ahead of the curve there. We’re entirely fleet-focused, and our investment into Big Data, EV technology, and enabling fleets to go and operate electric.



Continuous License Monitoring

By Trent Dressen, Director of Sales, SuperVision

Employers typically pull a driver’s motor vehicle record (MVR) prior to hiring and once a year after that.

Although completing the initial and annual pulls meets the minimum obligation, there is added value in continuous monitoring for employers.

Myth: Continuous MVR Monitoring is Unnecessary —Pre-Employment & Annual MVR pulls are “good enough”

Fact: Annual MVR pulls give risky drivers grace periods of up to a year

Drivers can receive a driving violation or license status change any day of the year; a company should be paying attention to their drivers’ records every day as well. Pulling an MVR just once a year means a violation can go unnoticed for a long period of time. For instance, if a driver gets a DWI the day after the MVR is pulled, he or she has a “grace period” of 364 days before a serious and potentially costly source of liability is discovered by the employer.



Fuel Economy Rollback

The Detroit Bureau

Sometime in the coming week, the White House is expected to announce a modest 1.5% annual increase in fuel efficiency, rather than a summary freeze in vehicle mileage, but one that still falls well short of the current mandate.

The Trump administration’s “Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Rule” attemps to justify a CAFE rollback in several ways, most notably by claiming that the push for better mileage would result in vehicles that are lighter and less likely to stand up to a crash.

The administration’s proposal would actually add $300 billion in higher fuel costs this decade. That figure is also a matter of debate and would depend on fuel prices. Gas is quickly falling towards a national average of under $2 a gallon and is already well below that in some areas. Fuel prices will likely recover once we get past the coronavius crisis.

Read the article at The Detroit Bureau.

Fleet Management Resources


The Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association. Advancing corporate fleet worldwide.

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 80 years. Wheels helps you build tomorrow’s fleet today.

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