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Over 80 fleet management professionals and fleet solution providers were in attendance at the 100 Best Fleets Seminar held in Santa Ana, CA, August 26 to discuss best fleet management practices and to solutions to current issues in government fleet management. The seminar was presented by Government Fleet magazine. Tom Johnson, founder of the 100 Best Fleets, was the opening speaker at the fleet management event.
John Alley, CAFM, deputy director, fleet services for the City of San Diego, was named Government Fleet’s 2010 Public Sector Fleet Manager of the Year. Congratulations Mr. Alley! Among his notable accomplishments in 2009, Mr. Alley helped save the City of San Diego nearly $12 million through a fleet reduction program that reduced underutilized and obsolete fleet vehicles by more than 300 units. More on Alley’s award-winning fleet practices will be featured in an upcoming issue of Government Fleet Magazine.
The Fleet Management Department in the city of New Orleans, LA, is revising its city employee take-home vehicle policy. The Fleet Management Department is significantly reducing the number of take-home vehicles for city employees, according to a statement from Mayor Mitch Landrieu. As the city faces a huge budget shortfall, take-home cars have been a recurring topic under scrutiny. The new policy, according to Landrieu, reduces the total number of fleet vehicles from 937 to 473, effective Sept 1, 2010. Starting right away, the extra 464 vehicles will now only be used during regular business hours or auctioned off, according to the mayor’s office.
The new policy also eliminates take-home fleet vehicles for those living 40 miles or more outside of New Orleans, “as it is impractical for them to respond to on a 24 hour basis in a timely manner,” said the statement from the mayor’s office.“We are changing the way business is done at City Hall,” said Landrieu. “The revised policy will save hundreds of thousands of dollars annually and is just another way we are streamlining government, eliminating waste and more effectively managing city assets.”
As many cities struggle to cut costs without jeopardizing the safety and well being of citizens, the number of city owned fleet vehicles and equipment is being questioned. A GPS fleet tracking system can help any city to determine the optimal size of its fleet. A GPS fleet system tracks critical vehicle data enabling fleet managers to quickly and easily gain valuable insight into fleet activities.
Fuel costs are one of a fleet manager’s largest expenses. Applying the best fleet fuel practices such as idling reduction efficient routing are highly effective approaches to reducing fuel costs. Using a web-based fleet GPS management system, purchasing fuel-efficient vehicles, and relocating a key fueling station are also ways to reduce fuel consumption and employee hours.
Fleet Managers should apply the following basic principles of good fuel management because these are proven to be the most effective approach trimming fuel costs and consumption. Once these “best of” fleet management practices are implemented and consistently executed, innovative solutions can further promote control of one of fleet’s most expensive operational costs. The Best Fleet Fuel Management Principles include:
- Right-sizing fleet vehicles.
- Idling reduction.
- Fuel-efficient vehicles.
- Consistent scheduled maintenance.
- Eco-Smart driver education.
- Tracking fuel expenses.
- Efficient route planning.
The following article discusses how government fleets around the US are successfully managing and reducing fleet fuel expenses. This Part One of a Series of Articles. Next to to depreciation, fuel is the second greatest public sector fleet expense. Municipal, county, and state fleets reveal their best practices in reducing fleet fuel expenses.
Identify underutilized vehicles and equipment with high maintenance costs
The City of San Antonio’s Fleet Management Department reviews fuel requirements and usage, vehicle mileage, and fleet maintenance costs to identify underutilized vehicles and unnecessary equipment with high maintenance costs with fleet tracking telematics equipment. San Antonio’s fleet is comprised of approximately 5,050 vehicles and equipment, mostly sedans (1,500) and specialized equipment (3,000-plus), including refuse trucks, trailers, and off-road equipment. The city has been successful in reducing the size of its fleet and when necessary purchase more fuel efficient fleet vehicles.
“In an effort to further reduce fuel costs and emissions, the City is currently evaluating the introduction of both E-10 (10-percent ethanol) and B-5 (5-percent biodiesel) fuels,” said Florencio Peña, fleet manager, City of San Antonio. “Compressed natural gas (CNG) is used to power 30 of the City’s side-loader refuse trucks, and propane has been used for several years to power both vehicles and equipment.”
Replaced outdated fuel card reader systems with an automated fuel fleet management system
FiedlLogix CEO, Yukon Palmer, will be speaking at the Green Fleet Management Conference on Wednesday, October 13, 2010, in Palo Alto, CA put on by Agrion. In his discussion, Yukon Palmer, a green fleet telematics expert, will provide attendees with valuable insights, ideas, and examples to help fleet managers create the most cost-effective and environmentally conscious Green Fleet possible for your company. Telematics is the use of technology to manage fleet vehicles and Mr. Palmer will discuss how it can help make your fleet greener and more efficient.
Mr. Palmer’s speech will reiterate that in light of today’s environmental issues and corporate responsibility expectations, the concept of Green Fleet Management should be important to all fleet managers, whether you have a fleet of one or one thousand. Developing and managing a green fleet requires a thorough knowledge of available products, technologies, and an in-depth cost-benefit analysis, plus much more.
A green fleet of taxi cabs is expected to develop in Salt Lake City.A recently proposed Salt Lake City ordinance will make the city’s Taxi Cab fleets lean, clean and “green.” The taxi cabs will be installed with GPS fleet tracking systems and will follow specific airport and evening schedules. The city has been working to improve its taxi cab fleet management issues for more than five years.
The proposed ordinance will be discussed further in September. The ordinance will place all city taxi vehicles under the authority of the Salt Lake City International Airport. “At any one time, we have 50 taxis that we know of, just sitting at the airport, waiting two, three or four hours for a fare,” says Salt Lake City Council Chair J.T. Martin. “We have enough taxis. We just don’t have them in the right place at the right time.”
Installing a fleet GPS management system is expected to enhance the city’s ability to optimize the city’s taxi cab drivers and vehicles. The city plans to develop green, eco-friendly operating and ADA compliant vehicle standards under the new ordinance. The fleet GPS management system will enable dispatchers to send out the nearest vehicle which will improve customer service, reduce fuel costs and vehicle emissions and ultimately put more money in taxi driver’s pockets.
Many changes are coming this year for the fleet trucking industry. CSA Regulations have already caused a great deal of uncertainty and fear for many fleet operators, but do not fret. Based on our research, the actual impact is expected to be less than the potential and most feared impact. New legislation is always daunting, but the doom-and-gloom scenarios you may have been hearing are really not worth losing sleep over.
In the short term, until it becomes clear what the roadside inspectors are going to do differently, how the scoring systems are going to work, and what the auditors will do if and when they visit – there’s definitely going to be some confusion . This uncertainty puts fleet operators on edge and can make it more difficult to make your next business decision. Because of CSA companies may start to freeze their processes, to pull back from expansion plans, or to delay on hiring new truck drivers. If enough fleet operators take this cautious stance, in the short term, it will produce a real constraint on trucking capacity, which will in turn increase the upward pressure on truck driver pay and freight rates.
When Interwest Construction Inc. wanted to catch the thieves that had stolen one of their trucks before they stripped it, they activated the fleet vehicle’s GPS tracking system and the chase was on. FieldLogix, an industry leading GPS vehicle tracking device and green fleet management system, was successfully utilized to recover the missing fleet vehicle in just a few hours.
According to Kristal Wagner of Interwest Construction, Inc., “We had a truck stolen on Monday during the night. Tuesday morning, when the foreman was panicking & calling the sheriff, I used the the real-time GPS tracking device to pull up the vehicle’s exact location and gave the Sheriff the information. We recovered the truck within a couple of hours. Some small items that weren’t valuable were stolen from the truck, but the vehicle was not harmed at all!”
GPS fleet tracking systems are recommended to all drivers by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) to prevent motor vehicle theft. According to NICB, a car is stolen every 26 seconds in America. Nearly half of these are never recovered, and are commonly scrapped for parts or smuggled to another country. NICB’s vehicle protection approach recommends four layers of security based on the risk factors pertaining to a specific vehicle. Vehicle Tracking Systems are one such layer, and are described by the NICB as “very effective” in helping police recover stolen vehicles. Vehicle GPS tracking systems are an important and integrated part of the “layered approach” to protecting fleet vehicles.
Real-time fleet tracking helps HVAC, plumbing and electrical service companies manage overall mobile worker performance, reduce expenses and increase customer satisfaction. Whether you manage a fleet of 5 vans or hundreds of fleet vehicles, GPS fleet tracking solutions can improve your bottom line. If your residential or commercial HVAC company doesn’t have a GPS tracking device, then you may be missing a valuable opportunity.
HVAC Challenges & Controlling Operating Expenses with GPS Tracking:
Lack of accountability for drivers – Having a widespread fleet makes tracking worker location and activity. GPS fleet tracking can make your mobile employees and contractors more accountable. Improving employee performance will not only make your customers more happy but it will make your drivers safe and at less risk of an accident.
High Cost of Fleet Vehicle Maintenance and Insurance – Managing a large group of fleet vehicles has high operational costs for most HVAC and building service contractors. Many HVAC managers have trouble keeping up with vehicle maintenance logs because they have to wait for drivers to manually submit their mileage records. But with a vehicle tracking system, electronic driving records are available 24/7 with just a click of the mouse. A modern GPS fleet management system can also help you to get better resale values when it’s time to sell or trade-in vehicles. Also, installing a fleet tracking device can instantly reduce your company’s insurance premiums and will help to immediately improve your ROI.
Have you heard about the 9th annual Fleet & Asset Management USA 2010 Conference & Expo on November 17-18 in Atlanta, GA? It is an important forum for the commercial Fleet and Telematics industry.
The program will have speakers from the Department of Transportation (DOT), NHTSA, John Deere and more.
Here is a list of topics that will be covered at the Fleet Management Show.
- Innovative Joint Ventures Elevate Industry Benchmarks: Assess which future partnerships will enable your business to surpass competition and achieve supremacy through deliverance of next-generation products and services.
- Commercial Logic of Green Solutions Unearthed: Capture the fiscal benefits fundamental to adoption of green-fleet initiatives by positioning solutions to deliver competitive idle-time and route optimization capabilities to help fleets slash costs! Learn how green GPS fleet tracking systems like FieldLogix can help you go green and save green.
- Create the Winning Formula for Insurance Telematics : Discuss how best to create successful alliances with the insurance community and see how resulting products and services will be integrated within the fleet space.