Managing the Financial Side of Commercial Fleets

Market Trends

Year-over-year increases in off-lease vehicles will exert downward pressure on resale prices. Source: J.D. Power & Manheim Consulting

Remarketing Déjà Vu: Will the Resale Market of 2016 be a Repeat of 2002?

Many of the dynamics in today’s market are eerily familiar to the resale value softness that occurred in the last decade, which ultimately peaked in 2002. At that time, year-over-year increases of off-lease vehicles entering the wholesale market exerted downward pressure on resale prices. It appears that we are on the same trajectory, with off-lease volumes peaking in 2016. What are you doing to prepare for these different market dynamics? READ MORE

Extending Vehicle Service Life Negatively Impacts Sustainability Goals

The long-term trend in vehicle cycling for commercial fleets has been a gradual increase in vehicle service lives. An increasing number of companies cut costs by extending vehicle replacement cycles so cash flow can be diverted to other expenditures. When extending vehicle cycles, the most significant (and uncertain) expense is the impact on the maintenance budget. Another argument against extended replacement cycling, albeit less vocalized, is the impact on corporate sustainability. READ MORE

Component Theft and Vandalism: A Growing Expense for Truck Fleet Managers

Protecting vehicle assets from vandalism and theft is a growing problem for many fleets.Industrywide, these thefts run the gamut from catalytic converters, tailgates, and spare tires, all the way to the vehicle itself. As fuel prices increase, fuel theft becomes more common, especially fuel siphoning. Trucks parked overnight are found the next day with holes in the fuel tanks to steal the drained fuel. Here's what companies need to do to secure unattended vehicles. READ MORE

The Adverse Impact of Staggered Production Schedules on Fleet Planning and Ordering

Nowadays, OEMs introduce new models throughout the calendar-year. For many fleet managers, the staggered release of new models complicates fleet planning and the ordering process. Some model lines may have variable final order and startup dates due to muttiple plant assignments and model configurations. Fleet-minded OEMs have been terrific partners to fleets and, together, there should be a way to mitigate the impact of staggered production schedules for their largest customers. READ MORE

Return of 'Normal' Used-Vehicle Market Demands Seasonal Remarketing Strategy

For the past three years, everyone has been a remarketing genius. The low inventory of used vehicles in the wholesale market helped inflate resale values by about 10 percent. However, as greater volumes of used vehicles begin to enter the wholesale market, vehicle supply will start to meet buyer demand, which will put downward pressure on resale values. In many ways, the new used-vehicle market will demand returning to the basics, namely recognizing the seasonality of the used-vehicle market. READ MORE

Traits Needed to Successfully Implement a Fleet Sustainability Program

Even with senior management support, implementing a green fleet sustainability program is not for the faint-hearted. Inevitably, there will be pushback from all sides, which, at times, can seem overwhelming. A fleet manager’s mettle will be tested, but there are 13 traits that will help you be successful. READ MORE

IRS to Focus on Auditing Fleets for Personal-Use Reporting & Compliance

Last August, the IRS announced areas it will prioritize for audits in 2014, one of which is fringe benefits, especially the personal use of company vehicles. Managing personal-use compliance is a headache. It is also expensive, with internal costs ranging from $35 to $75 per year per vehicle. Here's what you need to do to be prepared should your friendly IRS agent come knocking on your front door. READ MORE

Top Trends in Truck Fleet Management in 2014

Calendar-years 2014 and 2015 will be pivotal years for truck fleet management due to the discontinuation of long-time commercial vehicles and the all-new replacement models and upfit packages entering the market. This is prompting vehicle and equipment specification revisions from the perspective of fleet efficiencies and driver satisfaction. Here are the Top 12 trends. READ MORE

How to Minimize the Risk of an Internal Audit of an Employee Sales Program

When selling out-of-service fleet vehicles to employees, companies need to ensure fleet policy is uniformly applied — without exception — and that all buyers are treated uniformly and consistently. If you are involved in individual price negotiations, it is prudent to document the sales process. Auditors want to ensure that policy is being enforced uniformly and consistently throughout the organization. Here's what you need to do to ensure you sail through an internal audit with flying colors. READ MORE

Policy Non-Compliance Can Void OEM Warranties

Many fleet vehicles require specialized synthetic motor oil, special coolant fluids, filters, OEM-manufactured spare parts, and strict adherence to manufacturer-recommended maintenance schedules to guarantee new-vehicle warranty coverage. The OEMs have become more stringent in requiring adherence to their maintenance service recommendations for a vehicle to remain eligible for new-vehicle warranty coverage. READ MORE

Is the Fleet Industry Grossly Under-Estimating Personal Use Miles of Company-Provided Vehicles

If you asked fleet managers what the industry average is for personal use of company vehicles, most would say it is approximately 15-18 percent. But, is it? Most of us will agree that some drivers fudge their personal-use mileage, but no one knows by how much. There is a growing suspicion that personal-use mileage is far greater — perhaps substantially greater — than what the industry accepts as conventional wisdom. READ MORE

How to Get Employee Buy-in for Green Fleet Edicts

The best way to motivate employees to embrace sustainability initiatives is to link them to either the company’s bottom line or to the driver’s own personal benefits. The danger to corporate green edicts that don’t make this connection is that they sometimes backfire into driver disinterest. READ MORE

10 Ways to Further Improve OTD

All OEMs have been proactive in providing order-to-delivery (OTD) status updates on fleet vehicles in transit. In addition, fleet management companies have launched a multitude of enhancements to their abilities to track OTD for ordered fleet units. However, there is still much more that can be done. READ MORE

Concern Voiced About FMCSA Proposal to Eliminate Submission of No-Defect Driver Inspection Reports

The FMCSA has proposed eliminating the requirement that pre- and post-trip driver vehicle inspection reports (DVIRs) be filed with the FMCSA when no defects are identified. There are concerns voiced by some fleet managers about the unintended consequences of this proposal, especially from a safety and operational perspective. READ MORE

'Fleet Creep' and Vehicle Over-Spec'ing Thwart Green Fleet Initiatives

The larger the vehicle, the greater the emissions. The more vehicles there are in a fleet, the greater the cumulative emissions. In every fleet operation, you will find employees driving larger-than-needed vehicles to fulfill the fleet application. READ MORE

The Emerging Industrial Internet and Its Impact on Fleet Management

The “Industrial Internet,” a term coined by GE, refers to the integration of a variety of complex pieces of machinery, such as vehicle fleets, with networked sensors and software. Other companies, such as Cisco, similarly believe this convergence of machine connectivity remotely generating actionable data via the Internet will change the way we work, ushering in a new era of innovation in fleet management. READ MORE

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FleetFAQ

Fuel Management

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Fleet Tracking And Telematics

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Fleet Management And Leasing

Jack Firriolo from Merchants will answer your questions and challenges

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Author Bio

Mike Antich

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Editor and Associate Publisher

Mike Antich has covered fleet management and remarketing for more than 20 years and was inducted in the Fleet Hall of Fame in 2010.

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