March 22, 2022

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Editor’s Analysis & Top Industry News


FMW has had the pleasure of interviewing many of our industry leaders to get their thoughts on the industry’s shift towards electrification and how this revolution aligns with their company’s sustainability goals.

Thus, we are delighted to feature Ed Pierce’s interview with Emily Graham, Director of Sustainability at Holman Enterprises, and Kevin Kushman, CEO of Electrada, to learn about their new electric mobility partnership to help fleets seamlessly transition from ICE vehicles to EVs. It’s an excellent and timely read.

Just today we learn from NPR’s Morning Edition that the SEC is proposing new rules for companies to disclose data on their greenhouse gas emissions along with details on how climate change is affecting their business. There is no time to waste, our planet is in crisis.

Business travel is back! We saw evidence of that in the piece Work Truck Show 2022 Was Positively Electrifying! This news bodes well for NAFA I&E – Columbus, OH – April 11-13. See you there!

We Stand with Ukraine,

Janice Sutton
Editor in Chief

VIDEO: Technology That Makes Technicians’ Jobs Exponentially Easier

The younger generation of technicians expects technology to make their jobs easier, and that is even more important as vehicles become increasingly complex.

VIDEO: The AFLA Conference in Tucson

  Forward Together: Looking Forward to AFLA

There’s something very powerful about practicing and emphasizing the human aspect of doing business, and it ties in nicely with AFLA’s theme of Forward Together.

VIDEO: Fleet Maintenance

  Fleet Maintenance Consulting and Cost-Saving Solutions

From in-house training for technicians to overall maintenance analysis, fleet maintenance consulting offers efficiencies and cost-saving solutions.


House Democrats Seek Probe of USPS Mail Truck Contract

Democrats on the oversight panel asked the agency’s inspector general to investigate whether the USPS complied with the National Environmental Policy Act and other laws when awarding a 10-year contract to Oshkosh Defense to supply up to 165,000 new mail trucks.

Only 10% of the initial order will be for EVs; the remaining 90% will use traditional gasoline-powered engines.

The Postal Service decision conflicts with President Biden’s goal to convert all of the federal government’s vehicles to zero-emissions models by 2035. The Postal Service is controlled by a board of governors and does not take orders from the president.

via Autoblog

IIHS: Left Turning SUVs More Deadly to Pedestrians

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), crash deaths involving pedestrians have risen almost every year since 2009, increasing nearly 60% through 2020, when more than 6500 deaths were recorded.

A leading cause may just be the escalating pervasiveness of bigger vehicles like SUVs, pickups, vans, and minivans. Moreover, it appears these vehicles have a greater propensity to strike pedestrians while turning.

A new study by the IIHS indicates that larger sized vehicles may not have as clear a view of crossing pedestrians as smaller cars. Additionally, previous research done by the IIHS supports the notion that larger vehicles are more deadly to pedestrians than their outsized counterparts.


Eliminating Distracted Driving in Commercial Trucking

The risks of driving with distractions increase exponentially when you factor in the size and power of a commercial truck.

Compared to personal motorists, commercial truck drivers are 23 times more likely to cause an accident when texting at the wheel, seven times more likely when reaching for their electronic devices, and six times more likely when dialing a phone. While the FMCSA has imposed strict mobile phone restrictions for commercial motor vehicle drivers, cell phone use continues to be a common risky behavior in the industry.

To help improve the safety of America’s roadways, Nationwide is teaming up with NoCell to curb distracted driving among trucking fleets.


Merchants Fleet Named to Fast Company’s World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2022

Merchants joins the ranks of Canva, Microsoft, SpaceX, and more  

This year’s list honors businesses that are making the biggest impact on their industries and culture as a whole—ultimately thriving in today’s ever-changing world.

“We are honored and humbled to be recognized with this esteemed award,” said Brendan P. Keegan, CEO of Merchants Fleet. “Innovation is at the core of our culture at Merchants Fleet—it’s the powerful driving force behind who we are and how we inspire and connect with each other as a team, that keeps our company on the cutting edge of the fleet industry.”


Holman and Electrada

By Ed Pierce, Contributing Editor

The new partnership of Holman and Electrada presents a major step forward for fleets transitioning towards electrification.

Holman, which provides fleet management services to corporate, government, and utility fleets, recently announced a partnership with Electrada, who designs, builds, owns, operates, and maintains EV charging infrastructure. Their partnership will help companies that operate fleets make a seamless transition to electric vehicles in a way that provides reliable service and simplified fueling costs.

The successful transition from internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to EVs involves much more than selecting vehicles. Of equal importance is a focus on infrastructure, namely the power needs, charging locations, and reliable operation of charging stations. This adds quite a few new factors beyond the ICE costs that most fleet managers are familiar with. By partnering with Electrada, Holman will be able to ease the transition for their customers and help them meet their corporate sustainability goals.

In order to get more information about the new partnership between Electrada and Holman, we sat down with two of the top leaders from both organizations. Emily Graham is the Director of Sustainability at Holman while Kevin Kushman is the CEO of Electrada. They answered a variety of questions about their new partnership and what their thoughts were of the general shift towards electrification among fleets.



Fuel-Efficient Lubricants

Diesel fuel may be exiting a sustained period of low pricing. Higher adoption rates of fuel efficient lubricants, including API FA-4 oils, may be a good way to offset fuel price hikes—and may be an indicator of the future.

By Barrie Masters, Director at Lubrizol

Reducing overall cost of operations is always a top priority for fleet owners and operators. And as a variety of factors continue to challenge fleet owners to maintain efficient operations, it’s worth investigating any means by which to boost the bottom line.

The 2022 year has already displayed the increasing cost of diesel fuel. Recent data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows that diesel fuel costs have risen almost one dollar per gallon in comparison to this time just last year.

Simultaneously, other challenges exist.



Business Travel

More than three-quarters of business travelers who stayed off the road during the pandemic say they are ready to get back to business travel.

A new survey fielded by Morning Consult for the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) reveals that almost two-thirds of this group believes that working remotely adversely affected their productivity and workplace culture.

“The last two years of virtual work arrangements and travel restrictions have underscored the importance of travel and face-to-face meetings for businesses, employees, and customers alike. These results are proof of that,” said AHLA President and CEO Chip Rogers. “Most Americans recognize the unmatched value business travel and face-to-face meetings provide. And after the last two years, the return of business travel is more important than ever.”



Ford F-150 Lightning Beats Forecast — Delivers Up to 320 Miles Range

March 21, 2022 The Ford F-150 Lightning will be offered with a choice of two battery packs. Those models equipped with the short-range pack, including the base Lightning Pro SR and Lightning Lariat SR, will still get the originally promised 230 miles per charge, according to the newly released EPA final estimates.

The long-range pack will get about 7% better than forecast initially – about 20 miles more. That includes the fleet-focused Lightning Pro ER and two retail models, the Lightning XLT ER and Lariat ER. The official EPA rating jumps to 320 miles. The top-line Lightning Platinum sees its EPA rating climb from 280 to 300 miles per charge.

via The Detroit Bureau

How Ford Is Managing the EV Supply Chain Crunch and Could Avoid Tesla-Like Price Hikes for Now

March 18, 2022Nickel is a crucial component in many electric vehicles because it’s used to construct battery cathodes. Russia accounts for 10 percent of the world’s nickel supply and 20 percent of the world’s “class 1” nickel supply, which is the purity level usually required for EV applications.

Tesla uses a nickel-cobalt-manganese blend of metal in its batteries, which have cathodes that are 90 percent composed of nickel. Ford had negotiated longer-term contracts for its nickel supplies, leaving it locked in at pre-conflict pricing and supply.

Nickel is a crucial metal that Ford can relax about while other manufacturers scramble to reestablish their own supplies, and with the F-150 Lightning hitting the market in short order, it may position Ford well for the coming few years of EV sales.

via The Drive

Energy Agency: 10 Steps Would Save 2.7M Barrels of Oil a Day

March 19, 2022The Paris-based International Energy Agency says that “practical actions by governments and citizens” could quickly reduce global oil demand by 2.7 million barrels a day by cutting down on car and plane travel, helping to ease the supply crunch caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The IEA said its 10-point plan could, if fully implemented in advanced economies, cut oil demand by the same amount as all the cars in China within four months.

The plan includes encouraging the adoption of electric and more efficient vehicles; reducing speed limits on highways; opting for high-speed and night trains instead of planes where possible.

via Autoblog

You Absolutely Need a Tire-Pressure Gauge

March 17, 2022Tires are precisely engineered to perform multiple, often conflicting, functions: They must grip the road securely, cut a safe path through puddles and snow, turn with precision, contribute to good fuel economy, help smooth the ride, and be strong enough to resist damage from potholes and road debris.

In order to function properly, tires must be filled with a specific amount of pressurized air.  Too much pressure can be problematic, but far more problematic and, unfortunately, more common is having too little tire pressure.

Having a good tire-pressure gauge in one hand and the air hose in the other means you can set the pressures precisely.

via Car and Driver

Fuel-Efficient Pickups

March 18, 2022When it comes to pickup trucks, American manufacturers provide the best combination of fuel efficiency, capability and performance. It’s no surprise that hybrids and diesel powertrains make their good fuel economy possible.

You might not think so, but you can a get a more fuel-efficient pickup truck, and you don’t have to give up size to do it.

According to the EPA, the most fuel-efficient 2022 model-year pickup trucks is a mixed bag, with the turbodiesel-powered Chevrolet and GMC providing some of the best numbers for towing and payload among midsize pickups. But the Ford and Ram gas-electric hybrids offer more capability, albeit at higher prices.

Note that GMC will not reveal pricing on its diesel-powered Canyon, noting that consumers should “see dealer for pricing.” Now there’s something to look forward to.

via The Detroit Bureau


Crash-Free Culture

By Ed Dubens, CEO/Founder of eDriving

In driver risk management, efforts are typically focused on preventing collisions from occurring, and on reducing the seriousness of collisions that do occur.

At a company level, this often involves efforts to reduce dangerous behaviors such as speeding, distracted driving and tired driving, as well as reinforcing safer behaviors, such as the use of seat belts, not handling phones while driving, and leaving a safe following distance.

However, an aspect of driver risk management that receives little attention is emergency response, and companies don’t always consider the role they can play in looking after their drivers in their most critical time of need.

The unfortunate reality is that crashes continue to occur.



The Work Truck Show

Focus on Electric Vehicles Takes Front and Center

By Tod Trousdell

While this year’s Work Truck Show seemed to forgo any specific theme, the week’s proceedings left little doubt in anyone’s mind about the real focus of this year’s convention.

Electrification and electric vehicles.

From manufacturers eager to showcase new models, to allied service providers anxious to prove their EV readiness, it was impossible to wander more than a few feet around the Indianapolis Convention Center without swallowing a heaping helping of all things electric.

Perhaps most encouraging, attendance was robust. And attendees were excited and engaged. All good signs that hopefully the challenges of the last two years are receding, and that the trucking, fleet, and vehicle spaces have their best days ahead.


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