December 14, 2021

Follow us

Editor’s Analysis & Top Industry News

Mergers Can Offer a Lot of Positives

Shlomo Crandus, CEO of Wheels-Donlen penned a great column for today’s issue explaining how there are a number of positive reasons for mergers, including “to increase client base and market share; create diversification in product offerings; and build economies of scale.” He also says that merging very different corporate cultures can be tricky, but points out how complementary and compatible the Wheels and Donlen cultures are.

Are You Marketing to Fleet Professionals?

If the answer is yes, Fleet Management Weekly has a variety of effective and affordable options to help you reach fleet decisionmakers in the coming year. Just email me at ted@fleetmanagementweekly.com to ask for a proposal and/or set up a quick meeting to explore the best options for your organization.

Ted Roberts

VIDEO: It’s Easy to Incorporate EVs Into Your Fleet, Starting Now

Element’s partnership with ChargePoint and WEX makes it even easier to incorporate EVs into your fleet, starting now.

VIDEO: Smart Cost Reporting

  Intelligent Automated Cost Reporting for Fleets

Fleetio automates cost reporting and makes it incredibly easy to track fuel, maintenance and other expenses.

VIDEO: The Hidden Flaw

  The Hidden Flaw is Now Playing

There’s a critical flaw that’s hiding in virtually every fleet’s supply chain. Sometimes in plain sight.

WATCH “The Hidden Flaw.”


Tesla is Selling Fleet of Hundreds of Model 3 Electric Cars to New York City


The city of New York is currently proposing a contract to buy a fleet of Model 3 vehicles from Tesla. It would create a fleet of hundreds of electric cars for the city.

The number of Model 3 vehicles involved in the contract wasn’t disclosed, but if the value of the fleet is around $12,360,000, it should be between 200 and 300 electric vehicles. New York operates a large fleet of vehicles throughout many departments.

It became the latest of many police departments across the US that decided to buy Model 3s to replace gas-powered patrol cars. The gas savings have proven to make a massive difference in their fleet costs. The Tesla Model 3 fleet would help cover the first promise to replace 300 fossil fuel-powered vehicles with electric cars.

Read the article at Electrek.

Don’t Trust These 2 Car Features When It’s Raining

Money Talks News

A sudden downpour can make it difficult to see when you are driving. But heavy rain also can obscure the “vision” of your vehicle’s safety system, possibly putting you in danger, recent testing finds.

According to an analysis by AAA, moderate to heavy rain can reduce vehicle safety system performance significantly.

In closed-course testing that used simulated rainfall, AAA found that test vehicles with automatic emergency braking collided with a stopped vehicle 33% of the time when traveling at 35 mph and test vehicles with lane-keeping assistance technology departed from their lane 69% of the time.

Read the article at Money Talks News.

Stormy Weather: Winter Driving Tips to Keep You Safe


The variability and unpredictability of winter weather can create stressful driving situations, even for folks with lots of road experience during winter months. 

For veteran snow drivers, the following tips should be considered reminders, and for those less familiar with harsh conditions, these pointers should help make the experience a bit more manageable.

Allow Extra Time – This may not seem like a driving tip, but it’s where safe winter driving starts: Allow extra time to get to your destination. The same trip in winter weather – even if it’s only rain and poor visibility, but especially in snowy or whiteout conditions – will take longer than it does on a clear, dry roadway.

Read the article at MSN.

Merchants Fleet Expands EV Portfolio with Step Van Orders

Merchants Fleet announced that it will continue to expand its offering of electric fleet vehicles with an intent to buy EV step vans from Xos Inc., a leading manufacturer of fully electric Class 5 to Class 8 commercial vehicles.

The electric Xos step van is designed to accommodate an extensive variety of medium-duty bodies, making it an ideal solution for Merchants’ extensive portfolio of last mile delivery clients throughout North America.

“Merchants is eager to partner with emerging OEMs like Xos, who are innovating and making a significant impact in the industry,” said Hari Nayar, Merchants Fleet Director of Electrification and Sustainability. “Adding Xos step vans to our fleet provides our clients with a durable, reliable and cost-effective option, especially for last mile delivery services.”


Merger Update

By Shlomo Crandus, CEO Wheels-Donlen

There are typically many good reasons for mergers: to increase client base and market share; create diversification in product offerings; and build economies of scale. And, there are many reasons that mergers and acquisitions can hit bumps in the integration road; we’ve all read the business media accounts of some challenging ones.

While many ingredients combine to create both successes and failures, according to the experts, one key risk factor can be the clash of two very different corporate cultures. As an integration risk, culture clashes can impact both operations and growth decisions and prevent the two organizations from fully coming together as one.

With that said, the Wheels Donlen merger has the culture hurdle covered and then some.



Engine Oil

By Adam Weber and Mark Daniels, Field Testing Technicians

Heavy duty trucking fleets have a lot to worry about. Fuel prices are on the rise, finding drivers can be a challenge, and the global supply chain crunch continues to put pressure on the freight and shipping industry.

Amidst all of this, it can be easy to overlook some operational details. But for these same reasons fleets find themselves challenged, optimizing those details has never been more important.

One of the operational details is your choice of engine oil. The right oil can help you protect your engine hardware, ensuring that your trucks run reliably and are less susceptible to costly downtime. And while providing long-term durability and protection remains an oil’s most important performance characteristic, there are additional benefits to be had with lower-viscosity formulations available today.

And right now, as annual contract renewals approach, is a good time to be considering whether you’re servicing your fleet with an optimized formulation.



Residual Values

By Ed Pierce, Contributing Editor

In 2021, we’ve heard about chip shortages, supply chain disruptions and OEM slowdowns ad nauseum. In the midst of all this chatter, one bright spot that has sparked the enthusiasm of both the fleet industry and the average consumer is the coming EV revolution.

Anticipated to take place more or less over the next 10 years, these changes will not be without some bumps in the road. One concern is the development of infrastructure. Another “bump” receiving less attention could be volatility in residual values—for either or both electric vehicles (EV) and internal combustion engine vehicles (ICE). What is your risk to exposure?

We decided to ask the experts on risk. RVI is an organization that has managed residual risk exposure since 1989. Residual value insurance is purchased primarily to provide accounting coverage, increased loan to value ratio and asset value coverage. We had the opportunity to speak with two RVI executives, Wei Fan, Senior Vice President of Risk Management and David McKay, Vice President of Business Development and Sales. They provided some perspective on residual value risk for an industry facing a once-in-a-century type of change.



Here’s Biden’s Plan to Create 500K New EV Chargers with Universal Standards

The Drive

The Biden Administration intends to put electric vehicles on track for 50 percent market share in the United States by 2030, and the recently-passed $1 trillion infrastructure bill will play a key role in achieving that vision.

EV adoption has been hindered by two main obstacles: the cost to consumers, and the woefully inadequate patchwork of charging networks in this country.

The White House released a plan on Monday that calls for a new joint office from the Departments of Energy and Transportation that will be tasked with spending $7.5 billion to effectively quintuple the American public charger network to 500,000 stalls operating on the same universal standards.

Read the article at The Drive

How the 3G Shutdown in 2022 Could Screw Your Car

The Drive

Major 3G cellular networks will be shut down in the U.S. in 2022.  A large number of new cars made in the last decade, even some in the 2021 model year, were built with their connected services running on 3G.

That includes things like in-nav traffic and location data, WiFi hotspots, emergency call services, remote lock/unlock functions, smartphone app connectivity, voice assistants, and even concierge services. With few exceptions, most of those features in most of those cars will no longer work by the end of 2022 when AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile all pull the plug.

Automakers’ plans range from upgrading people’s vehicles to 4G or 5G (for a fee, of course) to shrugging their shoulders and quietly acknowledging that their cars are about to lose a lot of features.

Read the article at The Drive.

Fed ZEV: Government Plans On Going Full Zero Emissions Fleet by 2035


The U.S. federal government is going to lead the charge on national zero emissions vehicle adoption by mandating a full zero-emissions fleet by 2035. This executive order dictates what federal agencies must do, not what private business nor citizens of the U.S. are required to do.

This could lead to good things for EV consumers, considering that the U.S. government fleet is made up of about 645,000 total vehicles—and nearly 200,000 of those are passenger vehicles. Any business that does fleet contract work for the GSA will definitely need to begin working towards being able to service those vehicles right now.

A few changes have already occurred, such as the U.S. Park Police using EV bikes and motorcycles, and the Department of Homeland Security plans to utilize Ford Mustang Mach-Es.

Read the article at MotorTrend.

‘Retirement Vehicles’ Raise the Risk of Crash Fatalities for Older Drivers


Older drivers, who are less likely to survive severe crashes than any other age group, also tend to drive outdated vehicles that lack crucial safety features, recent studies from the IIHS show.

Researchers determined that crash fatalities could be reduced by 3 percent for drivers 70 and older and 5 percent for drivers 80 and older if they drove vehicles with the same safety profile as their middle-aged counterparts.

“The older drivers who participated in the survey didn’t appear to understand the value of today’s vehicle safety features,” Jessica Cicchino, IIHS vice president of research and a co-author of both studies says. “At the same time, they perceived less need to replace their older vehicles because they don’t drive many miles per year and think of low mileage as synonymous with overall vehicle safety.”

Read the article at IIHS.

AVs and ADAS

Streetsblog USA

The majority of vehicle owners think that the installation of advanced driver assistance technology qualifies their car as a “fully automated self driving vehicle,” a new study shows – and experts worry that over-confidence could cost lives.

Experts worry that the finding could indicate that drivers think advanced driver assistance systems are just as good at preventing crashes as hypothetical autonomous driving technology that has yet to be invented – a dangerous assumption that’s already proven to lead to distracted behavior behind the wheel.

Even worse, the researchers found that the phenomenon of “automation complacency” doesn’t go away when drivers learn more about the true capabilities of advanced driver assistance-equipped cars, including when they actually buy and start driving them – and in some cases, automakers themselves may be actively adding to the confusion. Hearteningly, a substantial majority of survey respondents indicated they were willing to attend education classes about the proper operation of cars at all levels of automation.

Read the article at Streetsblog USA.


Customer Driven

By Laura Jozwiak

What do you think of when you hear the word “change?” For some people it can conjure up feelings of uneasiness. For others it can signal opportunity.

Change is inevitable, and in our industry, it is happening at a rapid rate. Many of us in the industry remain as we enjoy the fast-paced environment – there’s never a dull moment! With fleet being so fast paced, it’s difficult for any one person to stay on top of every aspect. That’s why I believe that our industry thrives due to supportive and passionate people.

I often visit LinkedIn to see what sage advice and timely insights I can glean from my industry peers. During a recent LinkedIn scan, I came across the article, “The Upside of an M&A for Impacted Customers,” written by FMW contributing editor, Ed Pierce. I immediately stopped scrolling to dive into what Ed had to say.

It was the perfect time for me – and for many of us – to receive Ed’s sound advice.



Crash-Free Culture

By Ed Dubens, CEO/Founder of eDriving

It’s always an interesting time of year, when we look ahead to what might happen over the next 12 months.

Some of the hottest topics over recent months have been the global driver shortage, COVID-19 and the reduction in miles driven vs the increase in collisions, Brexit, supply chain issues/shortages and inflation, fuel prices, maintenance costs, and sustainability.

But where does driver RISK MANAGEMENT & SAFETY fit in?

Here are my top five predictions for 2022:


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.

Index to FleetManagementWeekly.com  

Fleet Management Weekly Newsletter Archive
Access to back issues of the FMW newsletter.

FMW Mobility
How mobility is rapidly changing the fleet management landscape.


FMW Fleet Videos
Video clips of industry leaders speaking on a variety of engaging hot topics in fleet.

FMW Autonomous Vehicles
The constantly evolving landscape of autonomous vehicles.

Contact Us

FMW Fleet Trends & Issues
A wide scope of topical news for today’s fleet professionals.

FMW Fleet Safety
News and practices to help you bring your drivers home safely, every day.

Media Kit