June 22, 2021

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Editor’s Analysis & Top Industry News

The Quest for Excellence!

We were intrigued by Debbie Lodge-Balestra’s story of how Driving Dynamics quickly – and successfully — pivoted from in-person to on-line driver training during the pandemic. This wasn’t easy; there were a lot of moving parts that had to be considered, but the positive reviews from the drivers are heartening. Well done!

I’ve been in the fleet business for a few decades, and I don’t recall a time when we weren’t looking for ways to lower TCO. FLD Remarketing’s Richard Mallek talks to his company’s approach to the quest.

In SuperVision’s latest column Driver Safety Data: Evolution to Real-Time Analytics, Adam Danielson warns. “With rising costs of accidents to employers and recent trend towards nuclear verdicts in negligent entrustment liability cases, like the record $280 million award against a fleet in a 2019 case, the need for real-time data has become apparent.” $280 million!!

Enjoy this issue and please do check in with us for daily updates!

Janice Sutton
Editor in Chiefs

VIDEO: A Look at the UK Market Now

The market in the U.K. is looking strong in the wake of the pandemic. One key factor is the huge financial incentive for taking an electric vehicle as a company car.

VIDEO: Driver Training

 Driver Training: 72% of Students Prefer the Instructor-Led Virtual Classroom

Driving Dynamics has found that 72% of their students prefer the instructor-led virtual classroom over face-to-face when it comes to driver training.

VIDEO: AFLA’s Monthly Coffee Break

 Network and Learn with AFLA’s Coffee Break Series

Join AFLA’s monthly Coffee Break Series, where you can network while you learn about timely topics – like the semiconductor shortage and how to get back in the groove for work travel.


NTEA Executive Leadership Summit

October 12, 2021 Hilton Columbus Downtown, Columbus Ohio

NTEA’s Executive Leadership Summit brings perspective to economic and business trends influencing companies in the work truck industry.

From global implications to individual company strategies, content is geared toward furthering industry knowledge, growth and profitability.

Commercial vehicle professionals in any capacity and their teams can come together to collaborate and get targeted information from economists, thought leaders and strategists.

Learn more!

Merchants Fleet Earns 2021 Great Place to Work Certification™

Merchants Fleet is proud to be Certified™ by Great Place to Work® for the sixth year in a row.

Great Place to Work® is the global authority on workplace culture, employee experience, and the leadership behaviors proven to deliver market-leading revenue, employee retention and increased innovation.

“This year’s Certification is especially significant for our team, who worked incredibly hard to keep our wonderful corporate culture alive despite a year of distancing and uncertainty in the world,” said Alicia Hart, VP of Human Resources at Merchants Fleet.


NETS 2021 Virtual Strength IN Numbers® Fleet Safety Benchmark Conference

October 19, 2021—October 21, 2021 10:00 AM-5:00 PM ET

NETS annual STRENGTH IN NUMBERS® Benchmark Conference convenes each year to bring together Global, Corporate, Government, and Non-profit employers.

Conference participants include NETS member companies from diverse industries, representing a collective global fleet of more than half-a-million vehicles, ~80% passenger vehicles, that travel nearly 11 billion miles annually.

  • Share road safety case studies, new research, and emerging issues
  • Review NETS annual STRENGTH IN NUMBERS® Fleet Safety Benchmark Report
  • Gain exclusive access to industry-leading Road Safety Sponsors
  • Network with other conference participants which include NETS member companies
Donlen Launches RemarketingAdvantage™ Program

Donlen announces the launch of RemarketingAdvantage™. This new vehicle remarketing program offers customers the opportunity to sell fleet vehicles quickly and efficiently to Donlen.

With traditional remarketing auction channels, vehicle sales take an average of 28 – 30 days to sell in addition to a turn-around time for sales proceeds. By choosing RemarketingAdvantage™, customers have cash in hand within a week with the added benefit of immediate billing credits. Because Donlen takes care of the titling and transportation, the process is completely hassle free.

Khalid Latif, Donlen’s Senior Vice President of Operation and Supply Chain, said, “This past year has been a tough economic year for organizations across the world and we’re pleased to offer a program that provides cash flow to our customers.” Anna Stanke, Donlen’s Vehicle Remarketing Process Manager, adds, “Donlen assumes the risk with each vehicle sale, which makes the process even more valuable to our customers.”

Safety & Risk

By Ed Pierce, Contributing Editor

For over 30 years, Driving Dynamics’ classroom driver training and behind-the-wheel exercises, e-learning, and simulation training have been a model for the fleet industry in effectiveness and innovation.

According to Debbie Lodge-Balestra, Vice President of Client Relations, 2020 required a whole new level of adaptation for the company, its customers, and their drivers.

“We had to adapt our programs quickly when the pandemic hit because in-person classes were scheduled for all 2020,” she remembers, “we needed a plan to train drivers while keeping them safe.

“In the beginning, we had a lot of students that were having trouble adjusting to the change. Some even had to have their children show them how to log onto the Zoom classes! Fortunately, that issue was short-lived, and today, we’re hearing from many students that they actually prefer the online classroom training over the in-person method.”



Remarketing Today

By Richard Mallek, Director of Business Development, FLD Remarketing

Earlier this year I wrote an article for Fleet Management Weekly titled There May Never Be a Better Time to Remarket Vehicles and Equipment.” And despite the fact that the fleet industry continues to experience a variety of challenges, that may be even more true today than it was just 4 short months ago for several reasons, including:

  • Historically high resale prices caused by new vehicle and driver shortages
  • The need for fleets to right size at a time when business models and missions are changing
  • A desire for liquidity and flexibility
  • Risk avoidance
  • Higher ROI

But of all the reasons there may never be a better time to sell used vehicles and equipment, the truth is that one stands head and shoulders above the rest.



Safety and Analytics

By Adam Danielson, Director of Sales, SuperVison

In its infancy, safety and accident analytics were reactive, focusing on motor vehicle reports (MVRs) and analyzing broad-based data per million miles.

As recently as two decades ago, the standard practice was to review a driver’s MVR at hire and, possibly, annually after that. It was rare for any additional analysis, beyond ensuring the driver had a valid license.

In the last ten years, fleet safety programs have become an industry standard. Aimed at reducing accident frequency and severity, safety program tactics like established safety rules, comprehensive driver training, regular inspections, and maintenance have become essentials in operating a safe fleet. Simply investing in road safety can reduce crash rates by 50%.



Workhorse Sues USPS Over $6 Billion Oshkosh Mail Truck Deal


In February, the U.S. Postal Service awarded a deal for up to 165,000 new mail trucks worth up to $6 billion to defense contractor Oshkosh. The search for new delivery vehicles took the USPS around seven years, and once the Internet learned what the quirky new van would look like, much merriment ensued. Not everyone was happy, though.

This week, Workhorse sued the postal service over the terms of the deal, especially whether or not the mail carrier ever seriously considered Workhorse’s electric vehicles as suitable replacements for the Grumman “Long Life Vehicles” that are commonly seen delivering mail today.

Workhorse’s lawsuit is vague, as the company said that revealing all of the contract information would release details about its bid for the contract and the company’s EVs that would be helpful to competitors.

Read the article at MSN.

Voters Overwhelmingly Passed a ‘Right to Repair’ Law in Massachusetts. Carmakers Are Fighting Back

The Drive

A trade group representing at least 22 automakers and other original equipment providers are still fighting against Massachusetts’ recently passed right to repair referendum. That law not only reaffirmed and updated a 2013 right-to-repair law, but it also added a common method of accessing over-the-air telematics data. Now, the car companies are pushing back.

On Monday, the group began its testimony in front of a federal judge in an attempt to block the referendum. Its argument states permitting consumers and independent repair shops to wirelessly access telematics data from their vehicles would conflict with federal laws pertaining to emissions regulations.

The right to repair property that you purchased is something everyone deserves. To close the doors on valuable data is helpful only to those who have the key, and in this case, it certainly isn’t the consumer.

Read the article at The Drive.

What Happens to Gas Stations in the Future?


The future of gas stations will require a shift back to the old days, embracing the concept of “service stations” to reimagine the 150,000 pieces of real estate in the US today.

The National Association of Convenience Stores says 120,000 so-called “C stores” also sell fuel, accounting for the majority of gas stations. While the gasoline brings you in, the C store makes the business really work. Boston Consulting Group calculates that between 25% and 80% of gas stations could be unprofitable by 2035.

While some gas stations generate revenue from car maintenance and smog tests, EVs need little of the former and none of the latter. Beyond the changes in cars themselves are other pressures: Local bans on new or updated gas stations, and the expansion of food and meal delivery services that may connect people with those much more fuel-efficiently than all of us making trips in our own cars.

Read the article at CNET.

Manchin Cites ‘Grave Concerns’ About U.S. ‘Going to the EV’

The Detroit News

During a Senate Energy hearing, West Virginia senator Joe Manchin was questioning Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm about her department’s budget proposal when he expressed his doubts about the push to transition to EVs, citing the industry’s reliance on an overseas supply chain.

He suggested the clean-energy priority should instead be carbon capture technologies, natural gas, renewables and nuclear power, which would not require relying on foreign suppliers.

Granholm, a former Michigan governor, replied that President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan includes funding for the United States to develop a domestic supply chain for critical minerals that would ensure “we’re not reliant on China or other countries who are under China’s umbrella.”

Read the article at The Detroit News.

EV Fleets


Ford has two electric vehicles in the pipeline — the E-Transit cargo van and F-150 Lighting Pro —aimed at commercial customers. Now, the automaker is rounding out its future EV commercial business with the acquisition of battery management and fleet monitoring software startup Electriphi.

Terms of the acquisition weren’t disclosed. Ford is betting that the software developed by the three-year-old San Francisco startup will help it capture more than $1 billion in revenue just from charging by 2030.

“As commercial customers add electric vehicles to their fleets, they want depot charging options to make sure they’re powered up and ready to go to work every day,” said Ford Pro CEO Ted Cannis.

“With Electriphi’s existing advanced technology IP in the Ford Pro electric vehicles and services portfolio, we will enhance the experience for commercial customers and be a single-source solution for fleet-depot charging.”

Read the article at TechCrunch.


Vehicle Transport Services

By Ed Pierce, Contributing Editor

“Not all transportation quotes are created equal.” That’s the cautionary message from Teri Ross, vice president of sales and client relations for PARS.

“Quotes for transport services may seem like a simple matter of specifying the cost for moving a vehicle from point A to point B,” says Teri.

“Transport company quotes are not the same and can result in ‘apples to oranges’ comparisons that astute fleet managers must drill into to discover the real cost. Otherwise, an unaware fleet manager will find unexpected charges on the invoice,” she notes.

“At first blush, a quote from one vendor may look to be $20 more expensive than another, leading to a decision to go with the cheaper quote,” Teri explains. “Once the invoice arrives, fuel costs can be $60, $80, even $100 more than the original quote depending on the distance.



Legal Marijuana and Crash Rates


Crash rates spiked with the legalization of recreational marijuana use and retail sales in California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, a new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and another by the affiliated Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) show.

However, the preliminary results of a separate IIHS study of injured drivers who visited emergency rooms in California, Colorado and Oregon showed that drivers who used marijuana alone were no more likely to be involved in crashes than drivers who hadn’t used the drug.

Driving simulator tests have shown that drivers who are high on marijuana react more slowly, find it harder to pay attention, have more difficulty maintaining their car’s position in the lane and make more errors when something goes wrong than they do when they’re sober. But such tests have also shown marijuana-impaired drivers are likely to drive at slower speeds, make fewer attempts to overtake and keep more distance between their vehicle and the one ahead of them.

Read the article at IIHS.

Fleet Management Resources


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

The fast, easy way to remarket without risk. Get an offer in hours, paid in a few days. Improve TCO. Save time, money and resources.

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

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

Fleet Street
Fleet Street has 30+ years of experience and knowledge using a spectrum of wholesale and retail channels to simplify your involvement in the remarketing process.

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

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.

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

Wheels, Inc.
First in fleet for 80 years. Wheels helps you build tomorrow’s fleet today.

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