The Green Fleet Conference will be taking place in San Diego next month. 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.
The Green Fleet Management Conference will provide “two intense days of education and dynamic dialogue for green fleet managers,” according to Bob Brown, conference chairman and Automotive Fleet associate publisher. The Green Fleet Management conference “is the only alternative-fuel and technology event that combines and focuses solely on car and truck fleets with an environmental sustainability component,” Brown explained. The Green Fleet event features in-depth education sessions, a first-time ride & drive event, and valuable networking opportunities.
The team at FieldLogix, an industry leading provider of the most unique Green GPS Fleet Management System, is looking forward to the Green Fleet Management event. Not only is it in San Diego where FieldLogix is based, but the Green Fleet Conference 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.
GPS fleet tracking systems should be used by any and every business involved in field services – even small business with only a few fleet vehicles – and here’s why. Whether you operate a fleet of one or one thousand, the impact of today’s fleet management solutions are universal. It seems now is the prime time to be taking advantage of fleet management solutions — no matter what the size of your fleet. Now, more than ever before, GPS tracking and fleet management solutions are a must-have because without it, you’re leaving money on the table.
When most people think of GPS fleet management, they think of large corporations like FedEx or UPS who operate thousands of trucks across the nation. It’s easy to imagine how using a fleet GPS management system would benefit companies like this. But it’s not as intuitive to realize the huge impact that a GPS fleet management system can have on a business with just a few vehicles. When the GPS fleet tracking industry first began, systems were bulky and very expensive to install and operate, but this certainly isn’t the case today. Over the last few years, fleet management systems have evolved and are much more affordable, reliable and useful than even before. Just as the internet and smartphone technologies have exploded, so have the advancements and capabilities of the telematics industry.
In the past, a small business involved in local field services just couldn’t justify the investment in a GPS fleet management solution. But today this is not the case. The largest growth in the GPS fleet management industry is coming from local service fleets because, for the first time, they are able to experience a significant ROI. Now that GPS fleet tracking and management systems are more affordable than ever before, investing in one makes more sense than ever. First and foremost, a GPS fleet management system improves the bottom line. In light of today’s tough economic climate, small businesses need all the help they can get to increase profits. This is what’s driving the growth in the rapid increase in small business implementation. But in addition to cutting costs, fleet management systems enable better decision making and simply make life easier.
During a summit on distracted driving this week in Washington D.C., U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced new laws restricting mobile phone use and texting specifically geared for truckers. LaHood also announced that a final rule on texting while driving, which affects all commercial drivers, was now “the law of the land.” The rule, which will be effective 30 days after it is published in the Federal Register, essentially codifies current federal enforcement practices. The penalty for conviction is stiff. There is a fine of $2,750 for the truck driver and $11,000 for the carrier. The truck driver can also be disqualified.
During the rulemaking process, FMCSA modified its definition of what “texting” is and what it isn’t. OOIDA’s public comments on the issue urged FMCSA to make distinctions about texting with devices such as GPS fleet management systems, smart phones and laptops. The Association contends that many small-business truckers use phones or laptops for GPS navigation or other functions not related to typing, texting or e-mail. Therefore, those devices should not be completely banned for truck drivers.
FMCSA incorporated some of those distinctions in its final texting rule. According to FMCSA, texting does not include:
“Reading, selecting, or entering a telephone number, an extension number, or voicemail retrieval codes and commands into an electronic device for the purpose of initiating or receiving a phone call or using voice commands to initiate or receive a telephone call; inputting, selecting or reading information on a global positioning system or navigation system; or using a device capable of performing multiple functions (e.g. fleet management systems, dispatching devices, smart phones, citizens band radios, music players, etc.) for a purpose that is not otherwise prohibited in this part.”
Regardless of what type of vehicle you drive, there are several ways that you can cut your gas costs while also becoming a better, safer driver. It’s no secret that fuel efficiency and the chances of you getting in an accident or a speeding ticket is dictated by the way you drive. Changing your driving behavior can greatly reduce your carbon footprint, keep you safe while behind the wheel, and even yield large savings in gas costs over the course of a year.
Drive Smart. Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gas. It can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds and by 5 percent around town. Sensible driving is also safer for you and others, so you may save more than gas money.
Don’t Speed. While each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed (or range of speeds), gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. You can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.24 per gallon for gas. Observing the speed limit is also safer.
“Pulse and Glide” is simply a style of driving that allows you to obtain a desired speed while using less fuel and emitting less pollution. Say for instance the desired speed you wish to maintain is 60 miles per hour. Instead of controlling the gas pedal to maintain 60-65 miles per hour, slowly accelerate to 70 miles per hour (pulse) and then release the gas pedal and allow the vehicles inertia to coast the vehicle down to 55-60 miles per hour (glide). Repeat this over and over throughout your drive. Doing this allows you to carry an average speed of 60 to 65 miles per hour but much by using the “Pulse and Glide” technique, you have greatly increased your efficiency instead of driving along maintaining a steady 60-65 miles per hour.
The key to this technique is in the “Glide”. While the “Pulse” does use slightly more fuel then maintaining a desired speed, the “Glide” uses only a fraction of fuel needed to average out to the desired speed. Metrompg.com tested this driving technique with a Toyota Prius and was successful at obtaining a whopping 109.3 miles per gallon average! That is a 54.7 percent increase in miles per gallon over the Toyota’s listed miles per gallon average of 49.5 miles per gallon!
GPS fleet tracking devices are being used by Washington County highway superintendent John Deakins Jr. to resolve several fleet management issues such as reducing vehicle misuse, improving employee productivity and improving emergency vehicle response time. “All GPS fleet tracking measures have resulted in lower county fuel expenditures and a more capable fleet, not to mention safer roads for Washington County citizens,” said John Deakins Jr., Washington County, TN, highway superintendent.” Once Deakins Jr. saw how much the GPS fleet tracking devices were able to put an end to fleet vehicle misuse, he realized the fleet management devices could also be used to improve employee productivity. (This is Part Two of a 4 Part Article.)
Before installing GPS fleet tracking devices, Deakins Jr. had heard several accounts of vehicle misuse, motivating him to research online and purchase the fleet tracking devices. For example, Deakins Jr. recalled one truck driver who was only authorized to drive his truck to and from work everyday. However, the truck driver was using the County owned fleet vehicle for personal errands – about 12 miles on average per day. While this may not sound like a lot, according to Deakins, “These trucks only average 11-12 miles per gallon. So the cost in fuel adds up quickly.”
In addition to the personal use of County fleet vehicles, Deakins Jr. acknowledged there were other issues that almost all fleets deal with, such as long lunch breaks and unauthorized time off during work hours. Thanks to the County’s GPS fleet tracking devices, Deakins Jr. can now monitor a driver’s exact location within roughly 10 – 15 feet. He also set speed limits for fleet trucks and automatically receives notification alerts each and every time a truck driver exceeds that limit.
GPS fleet tracking devices are now being used by Washington County to make huge improvements in county operations, monitor employee behavior, productivity and reduce unauthorized vehicle use. Washington County, located in the state of Tennessee, contains over 800 miles of rural highways. So tracking and managing its fleet over 24 pickup trucks 24/7 has been quite a challenge.
Why did Washington County install GPS tracking devices?
Because Washington County is so large and spread out, the County’s highway superintendent, John Deakins Jr., was struggling to manage all of the County’s mobile employees. He had received reports that employees were sometimes taking long lunches and using county vehicles after hours, which was not authorized usage of the County’s fleet vehicles. Before installing GPS tracking devices into the county’s vehicles, pinpointing the truck’s exact locations was nearly impossible. There were times when he needed to locate and dispatch the nearest vehicle and driver to a time-sensitive job. Also Deakins Jr. was concerned about speeding, optimizing routes and reducing fuel consumption due to budget constraints.
Deakins Jr. chose the best solution to solve these fleet management problems. He installed GPS fleet tracking devices into all of his vehicles. The results of installing the GPS system have been impressive. According to Deakins Jr., “We saw a lot of abuse and reports of county vehicle misuse. I went online one day and researched GPS tracking devices. When you have that much territory, it helps to have these devices.”
GPS devices are easy to use, affordable and use real-time vehicle GPS tracking technology. With a web based interface, modern GPS systems can be used anywhere to stay informed about your fleet. Email alerts, SMS alerts and advanced tracking reports keep you updated on your fleet 24/7.
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.
GPS tracking system, FieldLogix, can quickly slash vehicle fuel consumption and fuel expenses plus reduce greenhouse gas pollution and CO2 vehicle emissions. FiedlLogix GPS system will give your fleet managers a GREEN Fleet Management Report that is easy to understand and utilize to develop a green fleet strategy. These automated Green Fleet Score Reports work around the clock, so you can quickly see increases in profitability, performance and greenhouse gas emissions reductions. With this type of GPS system, even a small fleet can save thousands of dollars per vehicle per year.
Vehicle GPS systems enable drivers to easily set attainable goals to reduce vehicle emissions and show tangible results. Reports that used to take days or months to compile now take just seconds thanks to recent improvements in fleet telematics technology. Modern GPS tracking systems can do things today that they were unable to do even just a few years ago. As the demand for Green features increases, the wireless telematics GPS technology is evolving.
Whether you have a fleet of one van or one thousand, all fleet managers should consider installing a GREEN GPS system into their fleet vehicles to monitor engine diagnostics, fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. With “Green” fleet GPS systems, it’s easy for fleet managers to identify areas for improvement and take decisive action on key issues such as:
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.
GPS fleet tracking systems can increase the profitability and productivity of any company, especially those with mobile employees or vehicles. How would you like to increase your small business’ bottom line by over 7 percent while improving service and tightening your performance? Whether you have a fleet of one or one thousand, GPS fleet tracking devices are a rock solid investment. GPS fleet tracking requires only a small initial outlay that will increase the productivity of your business in a huge way. Real-time GPS systems using industry leading telematics technology can save businesses thousands of dollars per yer per vehicle. GPS fleet tracking lets you become the master controller, with dynamic updates on where your investment is going at any time.
GPS fleet tracking systems can increase profitability by: