Automotive Fleet

NOV 2013

Magazine for the car and truck fleet and leasing industry

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Interdepartmental Friction really enjoyed the Market Trends editorial on the conficts that feet managers experience dealing with other departments within their companies. (See September 2013 AF.) One way a feet manager can get buy-in is by having good data to give to department managers that shows how their department can save money if they improve some metric of running the feet. As all department managers are either responsible for or compensated on their department's fnancial performance, this information will be very effective in bringing about desired changes. A recent analysis of one of our customer's feet idling statistics, based on the company's GPS data, revealed that substantial savings could be had across the feet if idling were reduced by just 10-15 percent. The logic behind this is that most people can manage a small number that achieves an objective, which doesn't substantially affect their work or habits. The success of a small change can then be used as leverage for other similar initiatives that collectively add up to more signifcant savings. Another thing that feet managers can do is to educate their department managers on how safer driving is often a byproduct of cost-saving measures with the feet. Using the speed-reduction example from above, driving a vehicle a few mph below the maximum speed limit also reduces the potential for accidents, as a I Increasing Dependency Since feet management companies (FMCs) are increasingly developing solutions to take the administrative burden off of their clients, thus requiring less internal staff by corporations, feet managers will now have fewer opportunities to observe frst-hand operational issues and feet effciencies. As a result, they will need to run the feet by exception and reports, which are supplied by the lessor. I think, as this happens, feet managers will become more dependent on the FMCs to provide strategic ideas and direction to their internal clients, because feet managers will not have the day-to-day contact with the behind-the-scene processes that yield these results. Author wished to be anonymous result of improved reaction time and reduced stopping distances. Depending on the culture of the company, managers and staff may be more incentivized by saving money on fuel than "safe driving." It makes sense for the feet manager to go with whatever message works to get the desired results. Finally, we advise feet managers to collect data on the company's feet at all possible intervals, regardless of the number of vehicles managed. Learning to summarize that data to show cycles and trends is an effective way to convey specifcs about the feet and make important points about cost savings and safety measures. I'd like to close by saying the discussion on how to reduce the friction between feet and other departments was a great topic for an editorial. Thank you for your continued efforts to educate. Dona Baker Special Projects Driving Force Edmonton, Canada indicator in preventable accidents, representing about 90 percent of accidents. With that said, it's imperative for feet/ safety managers to identify early on the behaviors that can cause accidents. GPS technology, by itself, lacks the complete insight managers need to identify highrisk drivers, which makes driver profling challenging. Consequently, a feet safety program should encompass a combination of initiatives, such as MVR monitoring/ rating, GPS, driver observation ("How's My Driving" bumper stickers), and driver training. It is important to run these initiatives in parallel in order to accomplish a robust safety program. Edwin Sosa General Manager Embark Safety LLC Orlando, Fla. It's Behavior, Not Skills While the annual accident management survey in the August 2013 issue was a very informative article, I think it failed to mention that driver training assumes that accidents occur as a result of lack of skill. In reality, accidents occur as a result of drivers' behaviors, which are the lead 6 AUTOMOTIVE FLEET I NOVEMBER 2013 Voice-to-Text Apps Still Pose a Danger for Drivers I can't imagine that a voice-to-text app would not require at least some "futzing" with the cell phone. Herein lies the rub: A driver is supposed to be driving. Even in this day of instant communication and gratifcation, is it worth it? I think not, but, then again, I know I don't concentrate on the road as well when I'm trying to do something else at the same time. The big difference is that I'm honest about it. I've also vowed not to text and drive and to stay off the phone altogether while driving. It didn't take a public service campaign to sway my decision, either. It's the right and safe thing to do. No one's looking out for me when I'm behind the wheel but me. On the bright side, it does lend a note of credibility to the old notion, "Crank up the tunes and drive." Ed Miller Fleet Manager Morris Communications Augusta, Ga. Hit the 'Digi-Junkies' Hard I read in AF that the New Jersey Appeals Court decided that text senders are potentially liable in distracted driving cases. I say good! Hit them and hit them hard. It's example-making time for the digi-junkies! Submitted via e-mail by Chris Schaeffer

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