Did You Know? Helpful Fleet Management Facts

Posted by Kyle Forbush on Jan 14, 2019 2:17:57 PM

A good teacher can explain complex topics in ways that are clear and concise. And, as anyone who has managed a fleet knows, keeping track of all the tedious details that come along with managing vehicles can be a daunting task. This is why the industry experts at LeasePlan have prepared a useful infographic that exhibits the basic tenets of fleet management in an organized and comprehensible format. For highly advantageous tips, interesting facts and vital insider information: click here! 

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Topics: Fleet Considerations, Lowering Fleet Costs

Outsourcing your fleet? Now, that's a good question . . .

Posted by Kyle Forbush on Jan 11, 2019 11:08:09 AM

Making informed decisions often requires one to ask the right questions. If you are reading this, you are likely already asking yourself this important question: Would it make sense to outsource the management of my fleet?

Here’s the short answer: Enlisting a professional fleet management organization that has an advanced analytical toolkit, close relationships with each auto manufacturer and years of experience can reduce costs in a great many areas, while also allowing your organization to focus on your own core business. However, before deciding whether partnering with a professional fleet manager is the right move for your Community, there are a few more details to consider, and Caritas would like to smooth the decision-making process by asking a few questions of our own...

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Topics: Fleet Considerations, Lowering Fleet Costs

Pocket Protectors: Understanding Life-Cycle Cost

Posted by Kyle Forbush on Jan 9, 2019 3:32:17 PM

To help kick-off 2019, Caritas Vehicles Services is pleased to introduce a new series of articles called, “Pocket Protectors." This series will highlight the many ways we help clients to reduce the overall cost of operating their vehicle fleets. Our first article covers one of the key metrics for determining the actual cost to operate each vehicle in a fleet, which is referred to as a vehicle's  total  life-cycle cost. 

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Topics: Fleet Discounts, Fleet Considerations, Lowering Fleet Costs

Our Mission Is To Serve: Meet Brad!

Posted by Kyle Forbush on Jan 8, 2019 3:02:21 PM

Caritas Vehicle Services is proud to introduce our newest blog series, "Our Mission Is To Serve"! Named for our mission statement, this series will provide personal profiles of the unique individuals that keep the Caritas vision alive with hard-work and dedication to the task of serving those who serve the community (religious communities and Congregations of Sisters). 

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Topics: Fleet Considerations

5 Great Tips for a Safe & Happy 4th of July!!

Posted by Jody Johnson on Jul 1, 2016 2:01:08 PM

The 4th of July is one of the most celebrated holidays of the year; to travel, get together with family and friends, and enjoy the many fun festivals throughout the holiday weekend.

Unfortunately though, according to The National Safety Council, the 4th of July also has the highest number of vehicle accidents of any other holiday throughout the year. 


5 great tips from the NHTSA to help us all have a safe and happy 4th of July: 

1.  Plan a safe way home before the fun begins by designating a sober driver

2.  If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation so you                are sure to get home safely

3.  If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact local law enforcement

4.  If you know people who are about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make                other arrangements to get to where they are going safely

5.  And remember, Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving 

To read more safety and vehicle accident information related to the 4th of July holiday weekend, click on U.S. Department of Transportation, and please all be safe.

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Franciscan Federation 2016 Annual Conference

Posted by Jody Johnson on Jun 24, 2016 3:54:02 PM

The Franciscan Federation 2016 Annual Conference was held in Milwaukee, WI this past weekend, June 17-20.  And this year they're celebrating their 50 year Anniversary.

The Franciscan Federation's Mission is to "promote the exploration and study of Franciscan Evangelical Life and its implications for these ties and for the world."

"The Federation provides national and regional opportunities to collaborate, gather and celebrate so that brothers and sisters can better live the Third Order Regular call to conversion, contemplation, poverty and humility."

During the four day conference, we met many wonderful Franciscan members who are doing absolutely amazing work throughout the world, to help those in need to have a better life and an ongoing closer relationship to God, as this year's conference theme of "God's Love and Mercy, it is the Franciscan Federation's desire to bring God's love and mercy to all."

Caritas Vehicle Services, Director of Development/Operations,  Jerry Condon explains to one of the attendees of the conference, Caritas Vehicle Services supportive relationship of CARITAS For Children, a non-profit child sponsorship organization.   


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Remembering the True Meaning of Memorial Day

Posted by Jody Johnson on May 27, 2016 4:05:39 PM


As I was reading an article from the website, I realized that over the past few years, with life having become busier, and spring bringing warmer weather with lots of fun plans, I had become distracted from acknowledging the full meaning of Memorial Day. 

In reading this article, I was deeply moved and reminded just how important it is for us all to always remember the true meaning of this incredibly special day, remembering that Memorial Day is a day of recognition, honor and everlasting gratitude for the more than 1 million American service men and women who sacrificed their lives, to protect all of ours and the freedoms that we enjoy every day.

I am so thankful for the invaluable reminder this article has given to me, that I want to share it with all of you... please click on this link Let Every American Remember and help pass this important reminder on.



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The History of Earth Day . . .

Posted by Brad Forbush on Apr 22, 2016 5:05:07 PM

The following is an excerpt from website:

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Topics: Driving Green

How to Renew Your Vehicle Fleet

Posted by Brad Forbush on Feb 15, 2016 2:03:43 PM

Great Idea #6 - from RCRI Workshop

"Sustainablity and Transportation?"

 According to our national survey of RCRI members, one of the Top   Challenges in managing Religious Communities' vehicles is not having  the budget to replace all of their old, high-mileage vehicles. This is a  growing problem that requires a creative financial solution. The  following Case Study highlights how one Community devised a  workable  solution for "renewing" their vehicle fleet. 

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Topics: Fleet Considerations

How To Improve Fuel Economy in Winter Weather

Posted by Brad Forbush on Dec 28, 2015 4:03:31 PM

Are you aware that driving in cold, winter weather conditions can significantly reduce your vehicle's fuel economy by as much as 30%?  Who knew? According to the U.S. Department of Energy, cold air has a chilly effect on a vehicle's mpg, which can drive up the cost of operating a fleet during the winter months. The good news is these costs can be contained by following a few simple tips. To learn why your fuel economy is lower in the winter, and what drivers can do to improve fuel economy in cold weather, read the U.S. Dep't if Energy's tips here.

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Topics: Remarketing, Fleet Considerations

How to Manage The Lifecycle Cost of Your Fleet

Posted by Brad Forbush on Dec 22, 2015 1:13:47 PM

Great Idea #5 - from RCRI Workshop

"Three Ways To Manage Lifecycle Cost"

 According to our national survey of RCRI members, one of the Top 5 Challenges in managing Religious Communities' vehicles is not knowing how to calculate the Lifecycle Cost of a vehicle and how this information can help identify ways to reduce the operating cost of your fleet.  Our panel of guest speakers offered several Best Practices to consider. Let's take a look . . .

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Topics: Fleet Considerations

When and How to replace old vehicles in your fleet

Posted by Brad Forbush on Dec 16, 2015 5:27:03 PM

Great Idea #4 . . . one more to come!

"When is the right time to replace a vehicle?"

 According to our national survey of RCRI members, one of the Top 5 Challenges in managing Religious Communities' vehicles is knowing when a vehicle should be replaced, and how to obtain the highest possible selling price. Our panel of guest speakers offered several Best Practices that are easy to implement. Let's take a look . . .

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Topics: Fleet Considerations

Reduce Fleet Costs with Measurement

Posted by Brad Forbush on Dec 8, 2015 3:39:05 PM

Great Idea #3 . . . two more to come!

"You can't manage what you don't measure"

Whether your community has 30, 100 or 500 vehicles, how in the world do you track all the dollars spent to keep each vehicle properly maintained over its lifetime? When a driver takes their vehicle to a shop and is presented with a $1,000 estimate that includes a long list of items, how can the driver possibly know for certain if everything on the list is really necessary? Or, how can you find out which vehicles in your fleet cost the least to maintain and which ones cost the most? During our RCRI workshop, we turned to one of our guest speakers, Mr.Geof Fowler, who is a VP with LeasePlan, the world's largest fleet management company that manages over 4 million vehicles globally. Geof commented that it all begins with having a system with the right tools and process in place to track and analyze information. He also highlighted three Best Practices . . .

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Topics: Fleet Considerations

Improve Safety for Aging Drivers

Posted by Jerry Condon on Nov 30, 2015 7:00:00 AM

During the RCRI Conference in Orlando, CARITAS conducted a workshop focusing on the Top Five Challenges & Solutions for managing the transportation needs of Religious Communities. A panel of guest speakers presented Best Practices and attendees had the opportunity to ask questions  and decide which of the Best Practices should be implemented back home in their own communities. We received copies of everyone's Ideas into Action worksheets, we've summarized all of the ideas, and we are passing these along to assist in your planning efforts. 

Great Idea #2 . . . three more to come!

Address Aging Driver Issues Proactively

According to our national survey, one of the most difficult challenges facing communities today is managing issues around aging drivers. The list of issues includes making sure drivers are completing routine maintenance, and that all fender benders are being properly reported, but the toughest issue by far is knowing when is the right time for someone to stop driving due to physical or cognitive limitations, and what is the right way to communicate this sensitive message. Here are a few suggestions from the workshop:

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Topics: Driver Safety

Reduce Cost of Vehicles for Religious Communities

Posted by Brad Forbush on Nov 17, 2015 1:03:02 PM

During the RCRI Conference in Orlando, CARITAS conducted a workshop focusing on the Top Five Challenges & Solutions for managing the transportation needs of Religious Communities. A panel of guest speakers presented Best Practices and attendees had the opportunity to ask questions  and decide which of the Best Practices should be implemented back home in their own communities. We received copies of everyone's Ideas into Action worksheets, we've summarized all of the ideas, and we are passing these along to assist in your planning efforts. 

Have you started working on a Strategic Plan for managing your vehicle fleet in 2016? This is the first article in a five-part series that shares Great Ideas from the workshop. You can use these ideas to form your community's Strategic Fleet Plan for 2016 . . .now is a good time to plan improvements for next year. We hope this information is helpful!

Great Idea #1 . . . four more to come!


Auto manufacturers have different fleet incentives and VIP programs with pricing tiers that are based on the volume of vehicles to be purchased by a community in the coming model year. These volume discounts allow your community to acquire vehicles for thousands of dollars less than typical retail prices at car dealerships. Here are the basic steps to include in your plan that will ensure you'll receive the maximum fleet discounts:

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Topics: Lowering Fleet Costs

Top 5 Habits for Greener Driving

Posted by Gabrielle Bobinsky on Nov 12, 2015 4:26:58 PM

Sister Katherine wants to do more to help the environment. She’s done all she can within her own home, but she's determined to find ways to do more. She can’t afford to buy a new electric car, but wonders if there’s anything else she can do with the car she has to improve its fuel economy or reduce the output of carbon emissions. After spending considerable time searching the internet and reading articles, Sr. Katherine decided to follow these five suggestions to become a "Greener Driver" . . .

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Topics: GreenTechnology

Learn How To Reduce Carbon Footprint

Posted by Gabrielle Bobinsky on Nov 10, 2015 6:04:48 PM

If you happen to be a Michigan State fan, then you know "Go Green" is part of the school's battle cry, but for most folks, Go Green  has become a familiar reference to the effort made my an individual or an organization to minimize our society's pollution and carbon footprint. Initially, “going green” sounds like a herculean effort requiring significant changes to one's lifestyle, however this isn't always the case. Being planet-friendly can come from simple changes such as recycling and using natural light instead of electricity. For car owners, going green is becoming much easier. Car companies are developing planet-friendly technology that minimizes pollution caused by gas-powered vehicles. Knowing where to find up-to-date and accurate information about carbon vehicle emissions isn't easy. No worries, because we’ve found a great website that gives you access to a database of vehicles that are scored on a range from “greenest” to “meanest”.

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Topics: GreenTechnology

Drive Safe for July 4th Holiday Weekend!

Posted by Gabrielle Bobinsky on Jul 2, 2015 3:28:00 PM

4 Safe Driving Tips for the 4th of July Holiday Weekend!

The Fourth of July weekend brings thoughts of hotdogs, fireworks, and family fun, but what people don’t think about are the dangers on the road that accompany it. The National Safety Council (NSC) has released its predictions for fatalities and injuries caused by auto accidents during this holiday weekend and the numbers are sobering. The NSC is projecting the highest number of major auto accidents during a 4th of July weekend since 2008 with an estimated 409 fatalities and 49,500 serious injuries. 

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Topics: Driver Safety

Driving While Drowsy

Posted by Gabrielle Bobinsky on Jun 24, 2015 2:12:00 PM

What happens on that summer road trip after you run out of things to do? First, consider our 5 tips for enjoying your summer road trip, then consider what will happen when you get sleepy, because at some point you will get drowsy. The National Sleep Foundation notes, "1 out of 10 drivers have fallen asleep at the wheel in the last year." Keep reading to learn more about how to stay safe on the road this summer.

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Topics: Driver Safety, Driving Suggestions

Does Your Community Have A Safe Driving Program?

Posted by Gabrielle Bobinsky on Jun 19, 2015 4:26:00 PM


Here at CARITAS Vehicle Services driver safety is our number one priority, and we know it’s your top priority too. So, it’s important for your company to implement a safe driving program for all of your drivers. A safe driving program protects your drivers well being, and minimizes liability exposure for your entire community. Continue reading for our tips and links to help optimize your fleet safety program.


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Topics: Driver Safety

5 Tips for Enjoying Your Summer Road Trip

Posted by Gabrielle Bobinsky on Jun 11, 2015 11:30:00 AM

Summer is our chance to go on vacation and visit friends, family, and various travel destinations. Vacations come with travel and sometimes the best way to travel is by driving, so keeping those drives interesting is important. Here are a few tips that can help make your road trip more enjoyable . . .

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GE Fleet Up For Sale . . .

Posted by Brad Forbush on May 7, 2015 9:39:00 AM

Automotive Fleet reported that General Electric recently annouced plans to sell its Fleet Management business unit by 2018 in a move to shed its non-core businesses. This continues a recent flurry of buy-sell activity among the top four Fleet Management companies in the U.S. Click on the link below to read the full story . . .

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Topics: Fleet Considerations

12th Annual Green Vehicles Workshop & Showcase Highlights

Posted by Sarah Huber on May 1, 2015 3:55:00 PM



Vehicle technology is constantly evolving.  Alternative fuel sources, such as hybrid, diesel/ bio diesel, as well as electric powered, are becoming more cost effective for today's everyday commuter and for fleets of varying sizes.  These advances allow for reduced environmental impact.


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Topics: Maintenance Tips, Driver Safety, GreenTechnology

Does Your Community Need A Vehicle Coordinator?

Posted by Brad Forbush on Apr 16, 2015 3:51:00 PM

Top Three Reasons For Appointing a Vehicle Coordinator

At 7:30 a.m., Sr. Barbara who is the Finance Manager for a Congregation of Catholic Religious Women, arrives at her office and immediately receives a call from a driver who had just been in an accident. Fortunately, nobody was seriously injured, but the vehicle was disabled and the driver was stranded in a remote location without transportation. While speaking to the driver, Sr. Barbara receives another call from from a repair shop to review a $2,000 repair estimate for another vehicle. It takes the next two hours to gather information, sort through the details, call the insurance company and rental car agency, and make sure that both drivers are properly taken care of. During the flurry of commotion, Sr. Barbara remembers that she needs to return two emails from other drivers with questions about their vehicles, and she has to figure out which four cars the community should replace before the annual budget committee meeting, which is in two days. It's now 11:00 a.m. and Sr. Barbara hasn't even begun the work she had planned for the day.

 For many Religious Communities, this scenario is all too familiar, and for those who've ever wondered if there's a better way, I would like to introduce you to Sr. Carol Janowiak, Vehicle Coordinator for the IHM Sisters of Monroe, Michigan. For the past 20 years, Sr. Carol has served her community of Sisters as their "go to" person for all of their auto-related needs. I recently had the pleasure of visiting with Sr. Carol to learn about her experience and how she has managed to juggle the responsibility of managing over 200 vehicles along with her other duties for these many years. What she shared can be summarized into the top three reasons your community should appoint a Vehicle Coordinator . . .

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How to Select a Fleet Management Partner?

Posted by Eliott Fitch on Apr 9, 2015 10:05:00 AM

5 Tips for Selecting a Fleet Management Company 

You have the idea that you might need a fleet manager to aid with your vehicle management strategies...but where do you start?  To help, we have provided five tips for selecting a fleet management company:

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How to turn a penny into $120,000 !

Posted by Brad Forbush on Mar 6, 2015 12:03:00 PM

To the average person, a penny is only worth one cent. But, if your organization owns and operates 30, 100, or over 500 vehicles, one penny can be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. How can this be so? It’s all in the math . . . let’s take a look:

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Topics: Lowering Fleet Costs

Three Best Ways to Reduce Fleet Operating Expenses

Posted by Jerry Condon on Feb 27, 2015 2:04:00 PM


With 2015 well underway, it's the right time to make these three Best Practices part of your strategy to reduce the cost of transportation for your community.

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Topics: Lowering Fleet Costs

When To Consider Fleet Management?

Posted by Jerry Condon on Feb 18, 2015 4:08:00 PM

It’s not uncommon for small to medium-size organizations including many of our non-profit and faith-based clients that use vehicles in the normal course of running their operation to underestimate the financial impact of managing vehicles. Vehicles are depreciating assets that can become a “black hole” of expense when not properly managed. The solution is to develop and implement a Fleet Management system that is designed to reduce the operating cost of your vehicles. But, how do you know if you really need a Fleet Management program? Answer the following 10 questions to find out . . .

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Topics: Lowering Fleet Costs, Fleet Considerations

Top Ten Ways to Green Your Fleet

Posted by Beatrice Maynor on Jan 29, 2015 11:53:00 AM


             How can you reduce your fleet's carbon footprint?                 

Top performing Fleet Managers pay close attention to the overall "health" of each vehicle in their fleet, they focus on improving driver behavior, and implement the following best practices:

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Topics: Lowering Fleet Costs

Cheap Gas, at What Cost?

Posted by Beatrice Maynor on Jan 22, 2015 9:49:00 AM

There’s a lot in the news about the pros and cons of cheaper oil prices.

Gas prices are at an historic low. Sales of SUVs are up because people can afford to fill their bigger, thirstier tanks. Ford, Toyota, Fiat Chrysler and GM all saw increases in the sale of their SUVS according to a Bloomberg report. Theoretically more people are driving, simply because they can afford to do so. When gas prices were high, likely folks were more conscious of combining all of their errands into one trip, or sharing a ride, or riding the bus, or train.

Depending on your outlook, cheaper fuel prices may or may not be a good thing.

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Topics: GreenTechnology

Receive your complimentary Fleet Analysis . . .

Posted by Brad Forbush on Oct 7, 2014 5:07:00 PM

Greetings from your friends at CARITAS Vehicle Services . . . we hope you're enjoying the arrival of the fall season!  This is the time of year that we conduct annual Fleet Analysis Reports as a courtesy service for Catholic Religious congregations from all around the country. The report includes 16 pages of detailed information that can help your leadership team discuss and make decisions regarding your community's drivers and vehicles. Some of the topics covered include:

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Topics: Fleet Considerations

Outsourcing Fleet Management and Maintenance

Posted by Brad Forbush on Jul 14, 2014 4:26:00 PM

When should you consider a Virtual Fleet Manager?

Whether you have a fleet of 15 or 500 vehicles, proper fleet management will reduce your organization’s operating costs and save a significant amount of time for your administrative team. So, when does it make sense to consider partnering with a professional fleet management firm? The following questions will help you determine whether or not you should consider outsourcing your fleet management.


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Topics: Lowering Fleet Costs

Elderly Driver Safety

Posted by Brad Forbush on May 6, 2014 4:59:00 PM

5 Practices for Protecting Aging Drivers

  • Develop a written Vehicle Safety Policy – Today, most insurance companies require organizations that provide vehicles to their associates to have written safety policies. The purpose of having these policies in place is threefold.
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Best Practices Guide

Posted by Eliott Fitch on Feb 11, 2014 3:48:00 PM

Greetings from you friends at Caritas Vehicle Services!  We hope your new year is off to a very smooth and productive start!  As part of our ongoing effort to maintain high standards of service, we recently conducted a survey with our Catholic Religious clients to seek their input on how we may better serve their transportation needs.  A strong consensus emerged around a particular idea, which is to have Caritas provide a detailed summary of Best Practices for managing a Congregation's vehicles.
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Green Your Fleet

Posted by Eliott Fitch on Feb 6, 2014 4:53:00 PM

Green Fleet Best Practices

 One of the most important aspects of vehicle management going forward is ensuring that we minimize our destructive environmental impact as much as possible. Environmental management for fleets typically focuses on greenhouse gases, air pollution, and MPG; and it includes the following:

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Vehicle Management for Religious Communities

Posted by Eliott Fitch on Jan 31, 2014 1:58:00 PM

Vehicles are a major expense to any business...Religious Communities are no exception.

While vehicles are necessary tools for working within your chosen ministry, their purchase and upkeep may not be foremost in the drivers mind. All drivers have the Community's best interest at heart, but lack of expertise can end up costing thousands of dollars in unnecessary repairs and downtime.

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Measurement and Analytics: How to Improve Your Fleet Management’s Productivity

Posted by Eliott Fitch on Jan 29, 2014 5:04:00 PM

How to improve your fleet management performance?

We recently asked top performing Fleet Managers from around the country to identify one aspect of their job that drives the greatest overall improvement in their fleet operations. The #1 response – Measurement!


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What Does a Fleet Manager Do?

Posted by Eliott Fitch on Jan 23, 2014 4:27:00 PM

What Are the Key Responsibilities of an Effective Fleet Manager?

A Professional Fleet Manager is your “go to” expert for everything automotive. A Fleet Manager’s primary role is to protect your company’s investment in vehicle assets and this requires someone with a high level of auto industry expertise, advanced management and consulting skills, and the personal commitment to partner with your management team as a trusted advisor. Whether you have $100k or $50m in vehicles on the road, a skilled Fleet Manager’s job is to reduce the risk and operating expense of your fleet. So, exactly how do successful a Fleet managers do this?  Let’s take a look . . .

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Safe Vehicle Practices for Assisted Living Communities

Posted by Eliott Fitch on Jan 7, 2014 1:46:00 PM

Safe Vehicles and Good Driving Practices

In an assisted living community, nothing is more important than the safety of the residents in their care.  These individuals and their families entrust the community to maintain a level of service that is second to none.  All assisted living communities take major steps to ensure the safety of their residents within the confines of the establishment by capable staff, but what steps are being taken to ensure the safety of the residents when they must be moved by on-site vehicles? 

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