Automotive Fleet

OCT 2013

Magazine for the car and truck fleet and leasing industry

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Page 13 of 81

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR of like for the travel industry. I think this is a fantastic concept for our application, especially to get just a little more battling among those who are bidding. The concept is brilliant! Facundo Tassara, MPA Fleet Operations Manager City of Ormond Beach, Fla. Amazing Technology Can Lead to Distracted Driving I read with interest your special report on the use of telematics in feet. (See the supplement that accompanied the July 2013 issue of Automotive Fleet.) It's amazing what can be accomplished and the data that can be developed. This is data that once had to be laboriously extracted manually, which is a real plus for feet managers today. Having said that, the mention of adding dash units in cars, I feel, should be a matter of concern, as it will add one more distraction for drivers and impact driver safety by diverting their attention from the road, along with smartphones, texting, etc. I believe this will only work if a way can be found for their use only when the car is parked. Al Cavalli Retired Fleet Manager Past NAFA President Massapequa, N.Y. Hugged a Mechanic Lately? There are some 23 million unemployed workers in America, but there are some felds where there's a shortage of qualifed employees. Professional auto and truck mechanics is one area of growing concern. Estimates cite 30,000 vacancies are being added per year in the U.S. alone. Why is this something to take particular notice of? Quality, skilled technicians are fundamental to the nation's trucking and feet operations. A shortage of technicians erodes transportation effciency and proportionately raises vehicle operating costs. Despite promising employment opportunities, vocational schools report 8 AUTOMOTIVE FLEET I OCTOBER 2013 declining enrollments year after year. Major manufacturers also report a lack of younger entry-level employees to fll the growing number of skilled mechanics nearing retirement age. The solution is not salary or advertisement, but rather "industry enticement." We, as leaders in the industry, must support and promote the profession of mechanics and recognize they are a life blood of the industry that cannot be solved from an outsource or off-shore solution. I recently sat with a group of young students at a local vocational school and listened to the enthusiasm of each. "I really love it, there is so much to learn and so much variety, I could never just sit at a desk and stare at a computer. Here I use a computer to fx a machine," commented one. Let me know what you think or, more importantly, what you are doing to shape the future of the industry. Greg Miller President and CEO FleetLogik LLC Chicago The Nemesis of Fleet To paraphrase Stephen Hawking by adding one phrase — feet management — "The biggest danger to [feet management] knowledge is not ignorance; it is the illusion of having [feet management] knowledge." The nemesis of all feet managers are those who conclude they already know as much as you — your customers. Stephen Kibler, ACFM Fleet Manager City of Loveland, Colo. Stephen Hawking is a renowned British theoretical physicist. — Editor Walking a Fine Line I currently have one of my drivers doing a beta test of sorts for a vehicle I may consider adding to our selector list. So far he has high praise for the vehicle as a driver, but reports if he needs to carry a passenger in the back seats, it is cramped, and he would be hesitant trying to ft two passengers in back. My suggestion of carrying a bucket of bear grease didn't seem to go over too well. I need to walk that fne line of improving fuel economy, while maintaining performance and comfort. This is where it is so important to have those lines of communication with my drivers. Cold numbers on a page don't always translate to warm fuzzy feelings from the driver. Tom Krause Purchasing/Fleet Manager Financial Services West Bend Mutual Insurance Co. West Bend, Wis. Many Fleet Managers are Underpaid for Their Duties In reply to AF's annual salary survey, without knowing the number of respondents in each category and how responsibilities are assigned, it is hard to say whether feet managers today are better off fnancially than before the Great Recession. (See April 2013 AF.) Generally speaking, I fnd that many managers of small to medium feets (both public and private sectors) are often underpaid for the duties they perform. Those with advanced schooling, signifcant experience, certifcation, and/or employed by large feets seem able to hold their own in the marketplace. Ultimately, the managers who pursue educational opportunities, actively seek advancement opportunities, and who are willing to act on those opportunities will lead the pack when it comes to survey results. One element missing from the surveys was whether the participants were happy with their situations — money, while important, isn't everything. John Brewington, CAFM, CEM President Brewington & Company Fleet Asset & Management Consulting Mount Airy, N.C.

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