Automotive Fleet views itself as a facilitator to provide a platform for different voices from the industry to sound-off on today’s challenges. This regular column is designed to encourage discourse for fleet professionals to let their voices be heard to their peers and other industry professionals.
Here is what is top of mind for fleet professionals today:
Avoid Dual Wheel Vehicles
Good job on the Market Trends blog “More Vocational Fleets Adopt Lightweighting Strategy.” Another point on reducing the weight of the truck is to avoid dual wheels. With singles on the rear, the turning radius is far less. This point was made to me by an electric utility line worker who needs to carry a lot of gear, yet move in/out of tight places. There are many innovations in materials and processing, and the costs are coming down every day.
Andrew Halonen, President for Mayflower Consulting, LLC
Great article about how more vocational fleets are adopting vehicle lightweighting strategies, I have been using lightweight bodies on our utility vehicles for about five years now. We changed over to aluminum bodies for all of our F-350s through F-650s since 2016. This cut the curb weight of our F-650s by 3,000 pounds, our Transit 350 cutaways by over 1,000 pounds. I would like to add that we have not had one single problem with the body strength holding up under the load that we are carrying on a daily basis. We had 350 cutaways with a GVW of 9,600 pounds driving around at around 10K to 11K. When I changed them out to the Transit cutaway GVW 9,900 pounds with the Reading aluminum body, we cut the weight down to under 9,400 pounds fully loaded.
Bruce Ottogalli, Transportation Manager for Suez North America
Driver Engagement Focus
The Market Trends blog entitled “Driver Engagement & Cross Department Collaboration” is one of the best and most comprehensive articles I have read on the topic. It literally covers all the points I look for during scorecard implementation.
Ward Warkentin, CEO for Fleetmetrica
Personal Use Consequences
Good article on “The Negative Consequences of Personal Use.” We run into this a lot in insurance loss control. We once had a motorist call-in that had witnessed one of our company service trucks driving around with kids in the truck bed. The service employee had used the vehicle for personal conveyance home the night before as his next day job was in the same direction. He faced a dilemma the next morning when his wife who was running late for work informed him he would have to drop the kids off at school/day care. Thanks to the Safety First (1-800 How's My Driving) motorist call in and the risk was mitigated. Unfortunately, that was a major violation and the employee had to be terminated. A related issue is company use of personal autos. How do we control vehicle maintenance? Are we named as additional insured? Are we properly qualifying the driver?
Tom Flaten, VP Field Operations for Thorn Valley Safety
An Everyday Conversation
Great article on “The Overt (and Hidden) Cost of Vehicle Abuse” Unfortunately, I have conversations about this with fleet managers every day...
David Pope, Senior Government Sales Manager for GPS Insight
I found the Market Trends blog on “The Overt (and Hidden) Cost of Vehicle Abuse” to be highly relevant that speaks volumes about driver attitude. Thanks for sharing.
Anthony Warenzak, Safety and Compliance Manager for Trutech Wildlife Service
Signs of Vehicle Abuse
The Market Trends blog entitled, “The Overt (and Hidden) Cost of Vehicle Abuse” was a good article. As a fleet manager, it is hard to see this type of abuse, but you can see the signs. When one driver can make a set of tires last for 50K miles versus a driver who has to have tires every 20K-30K miles on the same exact vehicle. The same with brakes. You need to do your best to make managers aware when you see these situations and signs of abuse. Abuse really comes to light when a vehicle has been in an accident. The pictures of the interiors are always telling of who is taking care their vehicle and who is not. Like mom always used to say, “make sure everything is clean in case you’re in an accident, even your undergarments!”
Alex May, Fleet Consultant
A Compelling Blueprint
The Market Trends blog entitled “Driver Engagement & Cross-Department Collaboration” provides a compelling blueprint for driver engagement and systematically builds a fleet culture.
Ron Zima, CEO for GoGreen Communications