There are many fleet management systems available, but only one is free, according to Kevin Nohelty, COO of Golden Logic, Inc. Nohelty and his partner, Dave Nosker, have developed and launched FleetAssets, a free Web-based system that manages vehicles, drivers, accidents, company policies, and provides reports for each of these modules.
The system depends on advertising revenue on the site ( www.fleetassets.com
), not user fees. Every page has a banner ad across the top and a column of ads down the left side, though the set-up feels less intrusive than most free Web sites. Google is listed as a sponsor.
Nohelty says the system works best for companies that have vehicles in a distributed environment; “vehicles that don’t come home at night.” Drivers log on from any Internet connection off-site and provide pertinent vehicle information at scheduled times. The system sends email messages to inform users when maintenance or renewals are due. It also alerts users to an often overlooked maintenance item, a monthly tire pressure check. According to the Department of Energy up to 25 percent tire life, plus five-to-ten percent fuel efficiency can be lost on vehicles with underinflated tires, Nohelty claims.
“You get a total cost of ownership of the vehicle,” Nohelty says. “You can track scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, lease payments, certification and training of drivers and accident costs against your drivers.” These features are standard on most fleet management systems. Yet, according to Nohelty, the level of functionality FleetAssets offers is found on some systems costing $40,000. Nohelty believes his system is suited for companies with smaller fleets that can’t justify a large expenditure on management software.
Joe Bishop, owner of Park Supply, a heating and air-conditioning distributorship based in Chicago, Illinois, uses FleetAssets to manage his fleet of fifty-plus vehicles. Bishop was using operating software that had a vehicle-tracking module in it, but it didn’t notify for maintenance, and his drivers couldn’t log on offsite. He says he hasn’t used the new system long enough to render a final verdict, though he likes what he sees so far. “[FleetAssets] formalizes and structures a reporting system for our outlying branches and allows us in Chicago to know that the Paducah Kentucky branch is treating its vehicles right,” he says. “I now feel that I have control of my fleet, and I haven’t had that feeling.”
The system is in its infancy. Nohelty says they’ve signed up 75 clients since its launch in mid-January 2004, and he expects two to four hundred by the end of the year. Web sites pop up and disappear faster than a prairie dog, so Nohelty and Nosker are working on a contingency plan for users should the site go under -– he’ll provide the software to download for a small fee to continue with the service.
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