Blog

The Element Fleet blog is written by various fleet experts we've invited to participate. They offer their opinions and comments on issues related to fleet management, maintenance, telematics, trucks, vehicle accident management, driver safety and more. You also have the opportunity to respond or ask questions. So go ahead and join the conversation.

Just a note: The opinions of the writers don’t necessarily reflect the position of Element Fleet Management on these subjects.

Today is Employee Appreciation Day, an “unofficial” holiday begun in 1995 to encourage employers to honor their employees. We did that today throughout our offices in the United States and Canada – and with good reason.
 
Element Fleet Management is in the business of managing assets for our clients – but our own greatest asset has always been our people, who care so much about delivering the highest quality service to our customers and their drivers. 
 
In addition, we’re proud to work with thousands of companies who also feel that their employees are of ultimate value. These clients care about their drivers’ safety and providing the right vehicles to help them be more productive, and we’re honored to help them do it.
 
As one of our activities for Employee Appreciation Day, our folks wrote cards to each other to say “thanks,” and our Senior Leadership Team personally distributed over 1700 cards throughout our offices in the U.S. and Canada. It has been a great day – and we celebrate all our Element employees for their dedication, hard work, creativity and caring hearts!
 
We’re excited to be participating once again in the NTEA Work Truck Show in Indianapolis on March 4-6. The Work Truck show is the largest, most comprehensive place for fleet managers to see all that is offered in the work truck arena – from manufacturers, upfitters and truck suppliers to educational sessions that address your major challenges.

Let Element Fleet Management’s truck experts help you navigate the show. 

We’ll help you meet the folks involved in your fleet, introduce you to new contacts, and walk the show floor with you to make the experience more valuable in every way.
 
Visit us in Booth #3767 to talk trucks and get some expert help in seeing the show. And while you’re there, enter our drawing to win a wireless Bose speaker.
 
See you in Indy!
 

If you’re new to fleet management, there are some fundamentals you need to know. To help you with information on leasing and replacement strategies, as well as understanding Total Cost of Ownership, we’ve developed a webinar that’s divided into a series of short, 2-3 minute videos located on our YouTube channel.
Here are the topics you can explore:

  • Determining Optimal Fleet Vehicle Replacement
  • Determining the Optimal Lease Term for Your Company Fleet
  • Determining Total Cost of Ownership of Your Company Fleet

To watch this webinar series, go here.

Let me know what you think of our fleet management webinar series – does making each topic separate fit your schedule better than having all three in one longer webinar?

Effective cost management is every fleet manager’s goal. You’re responsible for reducing costs while increasing driver productivity – and you need to be able to show how your fleet enhances your company’s bottom line. That’s why it’s so important to understand what your costs are, what drives them and how to measure them. 

For insights into typical fleet costs and best practices for measuring them, get our tip sheet:
Here are the questions it covers:
 
  • Do you know your fleet’s primary costs?
  • What key metrics should you be tracking?
  • What sources of data are available to you?
  • What factors that drive depreciation, fuel expenses and maintenance costs, and how can you control them?
  • To what benchmarks should you compare your metrics?
Let me know what you think.
 
Also check out this blog, which includes good information about understanding material handling equipment costs
 
Valentine’s Day is a big day in the greeting card industry, second only to Christmas. For card companies like American Greetings, an Element Fleet Management client, getting seasonal card products to market is key to success. And one crucial aspect of ensuring its card inventory is in the stores is its vehicle fleet.
 
This video about American Greetings shows you how its fleet, led by an agile and responsive team, had a major positive impact on the company’s bottom line:

Effective fleet management can make a real difference to sales, service and distribution – the “heart” of any organization. Have a happy Valentine’s Day!
 
My latest article is up on Fleet Management Weekly – “Strengthen your strategy by getting a grip on your material handling costs.” If your organization operates material handling equipment, it’s important to understand the direct and indirect costs, as they can be large enough to impact your bottom line and are worth investigating, documenting and reducing.
In this article, I discuss the various factors that go into understanding material handling equipment costs. 
 
Read the article here.
 
Other articles in this series can be found here and here
A top priority for all fleet managers and operators is to ensure the safety of your drivers and the general public. When it comes to trucks and equipment, this commitment is especially important, as you must be compliant with regulations. So we’re beginning a monthly safety blog specific to your needs to help you augment your truck safety program.
 
This month: Ensuring your wheel lugs are tight.
 
Loose wheel nuts can occur for a variety of reasons, including undertorquing, overtorquing and other factors. If too many lug nuts are loose, the wheel could detach from the wheel stud, with potentially catastrophic results.
 
One solution: wheel nut indicators. These are small tags which are fixed to the lug nuts – see the pictures below with two different options for positioning the tags). The tag rotates with the nut, and if the nut becomes loose, the point of the tag shifts noticeably out of alignment with the other tags. Your driver only has to look at these indicators for loose lugs, and they can be tightened before the situation escalates into a lost wheel, with all the resulting expense and danger to the public.
 
  Wheel lugs    Tirecropped
 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and if there are truck safety topics you’d like me to cover in this blog.

Fleet managers: You know that a good fleet telematics program can help you change driver behavior, enforce policies and reduce fuel costs. Regardless of your industry or type of fleet, telematics can also help:

  • Show you what you've been missing
  • Measure results

That's what you expect – and that's reason enough to consider implementing telematics in your fleet. But what additional benefits have our clients discovered?

We've put together an eBook on fleet telematics that provides more details on how this technology helps fleet managers operate more effectively. There's a whole section on “hidden advantages" that aren't often identified when talking about telematics – but are proving to have powerful impact on fleet effectiveness.

Get the Telematics eBook here.

Let me know what you think or if you have found additional benefits that you didn't expect.

Fuel prices are at a five-year low. While that’s great news for fleet managers who are seeing positive impacts on their fleet budgets, we all know those prices won’t last forever.
 
In addition to enjoying the current environment, there are some things you should be thinking about doing now that will help you in the future when prices rise again. You can find out what those are in our new tip sheet, “4 Considerations for Fleets While Fuel Prices Are Low.


Read it and let me know what you think of these ideas – and whether you have other ones you would add.

 

What are the characteristics of a successful fleet manager? In our experience, the most successful are usually strategic thinkers – people who find ways not to get bogged down in the tactical, day-to-day administration of a fleet, but who see the bigger picture and ensure their fleet is helping their organizations achieve their goals.

We’ve put together a tip sheet called “7 habits of strategic fleet managers” that identify ways you can ensure you are managing your fleet strategically. I encourage you to check it out and let me know what you think!

Page 2 of 5