June 7, 2023

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Editor’s Analysis & Top Industry News

Using Incentives to Drive Safety

Safety is always top of mind in this industry, and we were intrigued by Ed Dubens’ article, Mentor Rewards: Can Incentives Help Us Drive More Safely? today. This program is “designed to motivate and help drivers focus on the driving task while developing an evolved set of defensive driving behaviors and habits behind the wheel” and offers reward points that can be used for gift cards, merchandise and unique experiences.

Enabling Sales, Earning Thought Leadership

Are you to marketing to fleet professionals? If so, Ed Pierce’s columns in these electronic pages should be on your reading list! Today’s column focuses on All the Ways Fleet Industry Marketers Can Enable Sales & Earn Thought Leadership, with effective B2B marketing that is keenly focused on enabling the sales team.

Finally, if you are marketing to fleet professionals, please email me at [email protected] to learn about our brand acceleration, content sponsorship and advertising offerings.

Ted Roberts

VIDEO: Fleet Customer Service Experts: How Passion Drives Success

Have you ever wondered what drives Wheels employees to excel in customer service? In this video, Wheels bring together a group of fleet management professionals who share their love for customer experience and reveal the secrets behind their passion.

VIDEO: Charging Up the USPS

  Blink Charging Wins USPS Contract

Blink Charging was recently chosen as a supplier for the United States Postal Service.

Zoom Video Interview with You Here?

  Request for Zoom Video Interviews

We now conduct the majority of our interviews via Zoom, and are looking to speak with a variety industry experts (and we know that many of you are reading!).

Please feel free to suggest yourself, or someone you know. Any and all timely industry topics will be considered, and we look forward to speaking with you!

Email Ted Roberts to learn more: [email protected].


Merchants Fleet Appoints Kirk Hoffman as New CFO Merchants Fleet Appoints Kirk Hoffman as New CFO

Merchants Fleet is pleased to announce the hire of Kirk Hoffman as the company’s new Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer.

“I am thrilled to welcome Kirk to our executive team as Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer,” said Merchants Chairman, CEO & President, Brendan P. Keegan. “Over the last three years I have had the pleasure to work with Kirk as our lead financial partner, and now look forward to working side-by-side with him to fulfill our company’s vision.

Hoffman assumes the position at Merchants as the company prepares for the retirement of Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Jerry Pavelich.


NAFA Announces the 2023 Green Fleet Awards Competition NAFA Announces the 2023 Green Fleet Awards Competition

The 16th annual Green Fleet Awards are now open for applications from all public and commercial fleets!

Recognizing peak-performing sustainability efforts and its environmentally-minded practices in fleets, this contest provides you an opportunity to:

-Showcase inventive green programs
-Gain recognition for your practices
-Lead the industry with valuable green insights

Entry deadline is July 14, 2023. Winners will be announced in August.

Start your application today by clicking here.


FMW Brand Acceleration FMW: New Branding and Marketing Support for Fleet Product and Service Providers

Customized Approach Ensures a Perfect Fit from Tactical Projects to Integrated Strategic Efforts

Whether your business has an internal marketing team, relies on an agency, or calls on multiple specialists, FMW has a new, customized, fleet-specific branding program — FMW Fleet Brand Acceleration – that can meet any marketing and sales generation need or budget.

It’s Easy to Get Started


Webfleet Cold Chain: Helps Refrigerated Fleets Deliver Goods at Right Temperature Webfleet Cold Chain: Helps Refrigerated Fleets Deliver Goods at Right Temperature

Webfleet, Bridgestone’s fleet management solution, introduces Webfleet Cold Chain. With its real-time monitoring power, the single-platform solution helps temperature-controlled fleets maintain cargo quality and safety.

“We’re proud to help transport fleets protect goods, prevent costs and satisfy their customers,” said Raj Bajaj, Vice President of Fleet Management Solutions International. “Webfleet Cold Chain provides temperature-controlled fleets with the tools and insights they need to thrive.”


Crash-Free Culture

By Ed Dubens, CEO/Founder of eDriving

In this exploration we delve into the realm of tailored rewards and incentive programs, designed to motivate and help drivers focus on the driving task while developing an evolved set of defensive driving behaviors and habits behind the wheel.

Mentor’s newly released Rewards Program provides a variety of incentives that help organizations recognize drivers that remain crash-free, incident-free, injury-free, license violation-free, and compliant with safe driving behaviors.

Rewards points can be redeemed for gift cards, merchandise, and/or experiences through a global marketplace. Mentor’s rewards program can also be connected to a larger corporate rewards program where safe driving points can be combined with those accumulated through other corporate initiatives.



Fleet Marketing

By Ed Pierce, FMW Brand Acceleration

Last month, we reviewed some of the ways fleet marketers can help a fleet service or product provider’s sales team close more deals by generating qualified leads and providing them with the information and tools they need to effectively engage with those leads.

Now let’s review strategies for Sales Enablement and Thought Leadership. There are several ways B2B marketing can support sales enablement for the sales team. Effective B2B marketing can provide the sales team with the necessary tools and insights to engage with potential customers effectively and close more deals.

B2B marketing can play a crucial role in helping a company effectively implement a thought leadership program.



Preventing Bicycle Crashes

Early versions of Subaru’s EyeSight crash avoidance system prevented real-world crashes with bicyclists traveling parallel to the road, a new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) shows.

EyeSight is a suite of advanced driver assistance features that includes automatic emergency braking (AEB) and other technologies and is enabled by two cameras mounted behind the windshield.

“It’s promising that these early versions of EyeSight prevented crashes with bicycles traveling parallel to the road, but to have a meaningful impact, AEB systems also need to be able to prevent crashes with bicycles that are crossing in front of the vehicle,” said Jessica Cicchino, vice president of research at the Institute and the author of the study.



EV Numbers Rise in Some Conservative Places

Americans are divided on going electric for their transportation needs. One recent study found the country split into thirds, with one-third ready to go electric, one-third still unsure, and one-third set against it. The breakdown often mirrors political lines.

The Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center reports that, in 2021, California led the nation in EV registrations. But deep-red Florida and Texas took second and third place. A recent poll found that “Tesla’s net favorability among self-described Democrats in the U.S. fell to an average of 10.4% this month through Nov. 27, down from an average of 24.8% in October. It rose to 26.5% from 20% among self-described Republicans during the same period.”

via Kelley Blue Book

Federal Agencies Could Save $6B by Electrifying Their Fleets, Report Finds

The federal government could save $6 billion over the next 15 years by converting its fleet to electric vehicles, according to a new report, which found the long-term savings far outweigh the upfront costs.

The government will have to put up $4.6 billion in added costs to buy the new vehicles over the more standard variety, the ICF Climate Center found, but would break even by 2028 and realize billions of dollars in savings thereafter.

The federal fleet consists of more than 650,000 vehicles and less than 1% of that total are currently electric. The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions would result in added social benefits valued at an additional $1.2 billion.

via Government Executive

How Panasonic is Working on Connected-Vehicle Technology in Three States

Connected vehicle and smart sensor technologies are advancing at the same time 5G wireless networks are growing, making it possible for Panasonic, and 14 other companies to develop applications to enhance transit and traffic safety and efficiency.

Panasonic has equipped transit buses, ambulances, fire trucks — and, in Utah, snow plows — to communicate with roadside transmitters, said Chris Armstrong, vice president of products at Panasonic Smart Mobility. “We’re also trying to help DOTs prepare for a more connected future both on their infrastructure side and on the vehicle side,” he said.

Colorado and Utah are testing roadside sensors that communicate with state DOT vehicles and personnel while Georgia is testing broader “vehicle-to-everything” technology monitoring road conditions.

via Smart Cities Drive

Fleet Sales Continue Hot Streak in May

Sales into large fleets, not including sales into dealer and manufacturer fleets, increased 37.2% year over year in May to 228,342 units, according to an early estimate from Cox Automotive.

“May fleet sales had another strong month of gains over last year with rental, government and commercial all rising,” said Cox Automotive Senior economist Charlie Chesbrough. “However, it is rental fleet showing the largest volume increases, suggesting that the supply chain limitations of 2021 and 2022 are now in the rearview mirror.”

via Cox Automotive

A Culture of Safety

By Adam Danielson, Director, Business Development & Sales, SuperVision

Now more than ever, safety has become a top priority for many fleets.

In addition to protecting drivers and the public, companies are realizing that a focus on safety also maximizes company assets and cuts unnecessary operational costs.

As a result, driver training programs are becoming more comprehensive and effective, helping to improve driver risk profiles and curtail liability costs from accidents.

But these benefits are only part of the safety story.



Demographics and Accidents

A new study reveals that White males between the ages of 21 and 25 are more likely to get into a car accident. The study, conducted by personal injury lawyers Neufeld Lawfirm, analyzed data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System.

On a national scale, white males between 21 and 25 seem statistically more likely to get into a car crash with 3,036 car accidents in 2021, followed by 26- to 30-year-olds with 2,958 accidents and 31- to 35-year-olds in third place with 2,821.

A spokesperson for Neufeld Lawfirm commented on the findings: “The data shows how all over the U.S., the demographic which is more likely to get into a car accident are people between 21 and 25 years old, which is the second youngest category of drivers…”



Mental Health

By Carlos Oropeza, Wheels

(This article first appeared in Fleet Insight, AFLA’s member newsletter, May 25, 2023)

Recently, I was struck by an essay written by a teenage relative. How often have any of us been in this place of being “stuck” and yet not recognizing it as a mental health issue?

I don’t need to tell you that being a fleet professional is stressful. We face numerous challenges that keep us up at night, such as cost reduction, driver safety, doing more with less, staying up to date with data for strategic decisions, and staying on top of the latest fleet trends.

As a fleet family, let’s look out for one another and offer a helping hand if we see someone struggling because they are stranded on the side of the emotional road. There are so many mental health resources available, but the first step is to acknowledge your situation.


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.

Helping vehicle fleets exceed their business goals since 1939, Wheels is committed to truly understanding your unique needs and providing solutions to help you succeed.

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