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Fleet Operating Costs Remain Stable for Fourth Consecutive Year

Tires are a Depreciating Asset: 10 Ways to Slow the Rate of Depreciation

As a wear item, tires are a depreciating asset. Your job, as the fleet manager, is to slow the rate of depreciation. Replacement tires as a cost category are a fleet’s second-largest operating expense, exceeded only by fuel. By maximizing tire tread life, you lower per-mile costs, resulting in fewer premature removals and optimizing the condition of tire casings, allowing for multiple retreads.

November 21, 2016

Do Your Drivers Know their Company Vehicle is not Equipped with a Spare Tire?

As a fleet manager, it is your responsibility to let drivers know their company vehicle is not equipped with a spare tire. The danger is many drivers do not know their vehicle doesn’t have a spare – until they need it. Drivers often say they were never told their new company vehicle didn’t come with a spare. Approximately 36 percent of model-year 2015 vehicles were not equipped with a spare tire. This compares to 5 percent in 2006.

December 4, 2015

Impact of Chinese Truck Tires on Fleet Aftermarket

One factor driving the deluge of Chinese exports of replacement truck tires to the U.S. is China's immense tire production overcapacity. In 2015, China manufactured 120 million tires, with an overcapacity rate of almost 25 percent. The influx of Chinese truck tires is also having a detrimental effect on the tire retreading industry, because many of these “bargain” tires have only one life because they cannot be retreaded.

July 26, 2015

The Danger of Lower Fuel Prices

The recent drop in fuel prices has been as breathtaking as earlier run-up in prices. If sustained, these reduced fuel prices will begin to make a dent in overall fleet fuel expenditures.

December 5, 2014

15 Factors Putting Downward Pressure on Fleet Operating Costs

For the second consecutive year, total fleet operating costs have remained flat for commercial fleets when compared to the prior year. This blog identifies the 15 factors that are putting downward pressure on fleet operating costs.

October 20, 2014

10 Strategies to Curb Medium-Duty Truck Operating Costs

There is ongoing upward pressure on operating costs for medium-duty truck fleets. Factors impacting operating costs are volatile diesel prices, replacement tire costs, and longer service lives, which are increasing maintenance expenses due to component failures, escalating parts prices, and higher labor rates. Here are 10 strategies fleets are employing to mitigate these cost increases.

March 18, 2013

The Impact of Larger Diameter Tires on Fleets

The average replacement tire cost per month rose 15 percent, and, on a cost-per-mile basis, rose 10 percent in 2012 compared to 2011. There are a variety of factors influencing tire costs, such as commodity prices and increased global demand; however, the industry-wide retail trend to larger diameter OE tire sizes is a key factor in driving up replacement tire prices in the past decade.

February 28, 2013

Top 15 Fleet Maintenance Trends in 2013 & Beyond

Vehicle quality continues to improve and extended powertrain warranties have covered some expensive repairs, which occur at higher mileage. Although quality has increased, vehicles are becoming more complex, especially with the proliferation of new onboard technologies. In this context, what follows are the top 15 maintenance trends for passenger cars that are facing commercial fleet managers in 2013 and beyond.

February 13, 2013

What Percentage of Your Budgeted Fleet Dollars are Wasted?

How much of a fleet’s annual budgeted dollars are wasted? Is it 5 percent, 10 percent, or even more? In my mind, eliminating waste is the proverbial low-hanging fruit. Before implementing new fleet initiatives requiring new dollars, let’s make our No. 1 priority to stop the waste of existing dollars. Let's examine the fleet-related areas that are rife with waste and discuss the protocols you need to minimize it.

January 17, 2013

Top Fleet Maintenance Trends for 2012-2014

The price of parts is expected to rise as raw materials and manufacturing costs increase. There will continue to be ongoing upward pressure on replacement tire prices, particularly for commercial trucks. Oil drain intervals will continue to be extended, especially as OEMs migrate to the GF-5 motor oil standard, which provides better wear protection. However, two-thirds of all fleet maintenance expenses continue to be PM-related, which requires relentless monitoring of driver PM compliance.

February 21, 2012

Rising Tire Prices Take a Bite Out of Fleet Budgets

Tire industry experts foresee another round of tire price increases during calendar-year 2012. In the past, national account tire manufacturers have done their best to shield the fleet industry from price increases by holding prices for a 12-month period. Nowadays, there is concern that national account vendors will no longer be able to continue to absorb these cost increases.

January 4, 2012

The Cost of Operating a Fleet Will Increase

It will become more expensive to operate a fleet in the coming years. Vehicle acquisition costs will increase. Fuel prices, in all likelihood, will trend upward and maintenance costs will ratchet higher due to more companies adopting extended replacement schedules. In addition, vehicle-related taxes will increase. Let's examine the dynamics that will force fleet expenses to escalate.

May 10, 2010

Replacement Tires: A Growing Fleet Expense

Replacement tires are the third-largest expense category for fleets. In the past three years, this expense category has grown as a result of multiple price increases from all major tire OEMs. In 2008, year-to-date tire replacement costs have increased 4-10 percent. This follows a 3-4 percent price increase in 2007 and an 8-10 percent price increase in 2006. The consensus is replacement tire prices will increase again in 2009.

October 14, 2008