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Czech Automaker Skoda Will Wait To Enter U.S. Market

Skoda said it would make a decision this year on whether or not to enter the U.S. market, but it looks like the Czech automaker needs more time to make up its mind. According to a report from Autocar, Skoda is putting its U.S. ambitions on hold to focus on low-cost cars for India.

Earlier this year, Volkswagen Group teamed up with Tata Motors in the hopes of building a low-cost car for emerging markets. Skoda was recruited to lead the project for VW, leaving the brand little time to focus on its plans for the U.S. “We will need more time to work on the U.S. plans now,” Skoda CEO Bernhard Maier told Autocar.

“There is no hurry to rush into the U.S. and no deadline to even decide if we should be looking to go there,” Maier added. “There’s no need to make a decision right away.”


Source: Autocar

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Cummins Takes shot over the bow of Tesla with heavy duty truck powered by electricity


Cummins Beats Tesla to Creating First Electric Heavy Duty Truck

One of the leaders in the natural gas and diesel engine making industry, Cummins, has unveiled a new heavy-duty truck cab. This leader in the commercial truck industry showed the world an advanced Class VII truck cab that comes with an advanced 140 kWh battery pack that will be sold in 2019 to both commercial truck fleets and bus operators. Referred to as AEOS, named after the mythological winged horses that pulled Helios, the Sun God across the sky is an 18,000-pound tractor cab that is currently just a demonstration model. However, they also unveiled a second item, a hauler tractor that is not only fully operational but can haul a large trailer.

Why Is This So Important?

This is an important development for a couple of reasons. First of all, the company Tesla has been working on this for quite some time and Cummins has beaten them to it. It is well-known that companies that are first in anything tend to be the most successful, and they have rightly placed themselves at the forefront of this industry. Second, it has a 100-mile range which means the Cummins electric powertrain is going to be targeting specific types of vehicles such as urban delivery trucks that bring food or drinks to stores within a short radius. As long as it has access to a 140 kWh charging station, it can be ready to go in just about an hour. The goal is to reduce that to 20 minutes, something that they see as achievable by the year 2020.

When Does Extensive Production Begin?

The production of these vehicles, as well as an extended range version which will use an onboard generator and efficient diesel engine, will begin in 2019. This will offer 300 miles of travel time in between charges, offering 50% fuel savings, even when compared to hybrids with zero emissions that utilize diesel engines today. Hopefully, this will be a very positive start for an industry that is environmentally conscious that will also carry over into the public sector to help increase the number of cars that can run off of electricity.

Lytx Rair Checks Multiple Data Points for ELD for HOS FMCSA Compliance

October 22, 2017


According to Lytx, Rair can validate electronic and paper logs with events and all the supporting documentation against the driver’s duty status.

Photo: Lytx

The log falsification checks are validated using data from fuel cards, GPS, EZPass, roadside inspections, accidents and other data points. This gives a precise analysis of documentation gaps and flags for falsified, incomplete, or inaccurate logs.

“Lytx’s expertise in taking huge volumes of data and translating it into the actionable insights that will have the biggest and most positive impact on drivers’ performance,” said Rick Walters, Lytx Rair general manager. “The powerful new Rair workspace presents those insights in an ‘at-a-glance’ dashboard of a driver’s compliance status and helps safety and compliance managers prioritize their actions to reduce risk.”

The updated RAIR workspace dashboard shows at a glance:

  • Hours-of-service violation statistics, quickly answering whether they’re trending upward or downward, how they are performing against specific HOS rules, and how violations are influencing CSA scores.
  • CSA Group BASIC scores, showing the CSA percentile for the associated DOT number in each of the 7 BASICS compared to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) intervention threshold for each BASIC. This allows users to evaluate how performance is trending and see what violation types contribute the most to the score.
  • Group ranking, quickly identifying which terminals/locations are struggling with HOS or CSA violations, enabling the safety and compliance manager to detect and address the groups or locations that are having the biggest impact on both risk and compliance.
  • Driver ranking, quickly revealing which drivers are generating HOS or CSA violations, enabling the safety and compliance manager to work with the drivers who are having the biggest impact on both risk and compliance.
  • Location Ranking, enabling the safety and compliance manager to view a roll up of performance trends by a specific location.

Rair accesses the FMCSA portal daily and the Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) database monthly to capture all violations so the Rair workspace dashboard always reflects the most current information available.

“Rair can help ensure a smooth and seamless transition as companies move from paper to electronic logs,” said Walters. “Rair will continue to offer a robust paper logs and timecard auditing solution for those companies who continue to have that need or who are exempt from the ELD mandate.”

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Is A Fleet Manager Career Right For You?

There are many opportunities for a young man or woman who is considering a career in the transportation industry.

One of the better choices would be to plan your career around becoming a fleet manager. This person can provide a key pivotal role for any transportation or logistics company. They will have a lot of responsibility but they are well compensated for their expertise and hard work. They will be responsible for all of the company’s vehicles. They will make sure that the vehicles can provide proper deliveries and distributions on a timely basis and within the company’s established budget.

A fleet manager will have a variety of skills

A fleet manager will have a variety of skills in various areas such as logistics, operations, creating and maintaining software programs, overseeing and monitoring both the drivers and the fleet of vehicles. For a company to be successful they will require the expertise of a well trained manager of their fleet. For this reason, the services of such a person are in constant demand and attaining this position is an excellent career choice.

This article will deal with some of the responsibilities that this type of job has. The article will also discuss some of the opportunities and wages that a career in this field offers. Anyone who has an interest in the transportation industry should consider this position as a long-term goal. There is an abundance of excellent online information to help you decide whether you have the aptitude for this type of work or not.

One of the most important aspects of the managers’ job is to select specific vehicles

A manager of the company’s fleet will not only make important decisions about which type of vehicles to purchase but he/she will also make the decision on how many to purchase. A company may decide to purchase the vehicles outright or they may decide to lease the vehicles. The manager will advise the owners of the company which is the better option based on a variety of criteria. When the vehicle is no longer required by the company he will then try to recover as much money as he can if the vehicle is being sold.

Obviously, a large company would require many different types of vehicles. For example, a food manufacturing company would require semi-trucks for long-haul distribution, smaller cargo vans for local distribution, and company cars for managers, owners, and salesman. Often a wise manager, who is employed by a larger company, would deal directly with a car manufacturer for the purchase or lease of the entire fleet. A manager that is employed by a smaller company may deal primarily with a local car or truck dealership.

Other important aspects of the job are to keep impeccable records

A manager would be required to license and register all of the vehicles plus keep any government inspections current and up to date. There are many state and federal regulations that companies must adhere to when it comes to vehicle maintenance and condition. This will be especially true if the vehicles are used to transport people from one location to another.

For example, a company that provides transportation for school children would be required to have vehicles that were mechanically immaculate for the safety of the children that were being transported from their home to the school and then back. A manager would be required to make sure that these vehicles are kept in tip top shape and he would need to have accurate records of vehicle maintenance and repairs.

Therefore, another part of the job description would be overseeing the maintenance and repair of all vehicles. A profitable company relies on the dependability of their vehicles and therefore the maintenance of such vehicles would be of top priority. We all know that vehicles have the habit of breaking down at the worst possible time. If a distribution company depended on a strict delivery schedule then the manager would make sure that each vehicle was properly and regularly maintained. In addition, he would make sure that there were backup vehicles ready to work in case of mechanical problems occurring with the vehicles in the regular fleet.

Scheduling Mechanics

The manager would be responsible for the scheduling of all mechanics that were employed by the company. Larger companies often have their own mechanical repair and maintenance centers where their vehicles are maintained on a regular basis. The manager would oversee the operation of this center and would work hand in hand with the lead mechanic in hiring and scheduling qualified mechanics. A smaller company, on the other hand, may have to outsource the repairs and maintenance of their vehicles. This would not be as convenient as having their own repair center and therefore the fleet manager would have to be more diligent in making sure that all vehicles were in good working order to meet customer needs and demands.

Another responsibility would be to manage the drivers of the transportation vehicles. This would entail that the manager would have excellent communication skills. A profitable transportation company depends on reliable drivers. A poor driver could be a big problem for a company if they had a habit of erratic driving, receiving tickets for speeding or other traffic offenses, or incurring fines or lawsuits. Today, we see that many managers are using GPS trackers to help weed out poor drivers. They use GPS trackers for all of their vehicles so that they can monitor where the vehicle is and what type of driving habits the driver has.

Lowering Costs and Maximizing Profits

Company management expects their fleet managers to maximize profits while at the same time keeping costs down. The majority of the managers do this by utilizing various accounting software to collect and record important data about the fleet. They use this data to search for patterns that show them where they can reduce administrative costs or cut expenses. They often are considered a key person in the transportation company because of their ability to save the company huge amounts of money. Most profitable transportation companies understand the value that an experienced fleet manager provides.

If this type of work appeals to you then you should consider becoming a fleet manager. To obtain this prestigious position you will need several years of experience in the transportation industry and an associate’s degree. It is imperative that you become proficient and familiar with the transportation industries practices, concepts, and procedures. Having a bachelors degree in either accounting or logistics will be especially beneficial for anyone who inspires to become this type of manager.

If You Are Looking for Job Security

The job is also an excellent career choice because of the salary and job security. Currently, the average fleet manager makes a salary of $80,000 per year. Also, the need for experienced and qualified managers has continued to rise year after year. The transportation industry expects the need to continue to grow and therefore the job outlook is quite good. It is a fact that many transportation companies have a desperate need for qualified and efficient managers. This has resulted in a vigorous competition for the narrow talent pool of experienced fleet managers. In fact, an experienced manager can usually command an above average wage.

Therefore, if you are willing to educate yourself and spend the necessary time required in the transportation industry then a career as a fleet manager may be just the thing for you. It is both an exciting and rewarding career. Finally, if you are fortunate enough to work for a larger company then you may also receive additional benefits such as stock options and company perks.

Cleaning Company Stocks Fleet with Police Cruisers

One business owner took advantage of buying retired police cars when she found employees were reluctant to drive their own vehicles and that other options just didn’t work out as hoped for. For around $5000 per car, the owner was able to buy used police cars at auction. The cars, which are all Ford Crown Victorias, tend to lend themselves to the needs of the company and are very eye catching.

Key Takeaways:

  • Wendy Clark, an owner of a cleaning business, created a vehicle fleet in order to improve efficiency.
  • Clark encountered several obstacles such as finding cheap cars and her workers not knowing how to drive.
  • Clark found success in purchasing used police cars and then redesigning their exterior for the purpose of her business.

“Clark remembered a tip from money management guru Dave Ramsey to buy used cars at auctions.”


California Funds More Hydrogen Stations

Equilon Enterprises LLC, a Houston based company was recently awarded $16 million to help develop hydrogen stations in California. The money was awarded by the California Energy Commission and the stations will be placed in San Francisco, Berkeley, Sacramento and Walnut Creek. Equilon Enterprises LLC has been commissioned to make 60 of these stations and already have 29 that are up and running throughout the United States.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Californian Government is investing in Hydrogen stations
  • The Californian Energy Commission has paid 16 million dollars toward new Hydrogen stations in Northern California.
  • Currently 29 of 60 hydrogen stations funded by this investment are open.

“The California Energy Commission has awarded $16 million to a Houston-based company to develop seven new hydrogen stations in the northern part of the state, according to a release.”


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