Small Fleet Profiles

March 2013

Finding a Fleet Management Fit

Integrating a telematics system allowed this plumbing services company to take control of fleet management from a leasing company that wasn’t proving effective.
March 2013
<p>This trailer was outfitted with a combination of rolling toolboxes mounted without the wheels and custom-built shelves and cubby holes. The garden hose reel houses an electrical cord to plug into a job site for trailer power.</p>

Rethink Your Tool Hauler

If you’re hauling a lot of tools for your contracting business, dump your pickup and consider this type of custom-built rolling toolbox.


March 2013
<p>From left to right, Peter Berres, owner of Berres Brothers Coffee Roasters, and Josh Budworth from Charter Fuels.</p>

Propane Factors for a Small Fleet

This coffee roasting company says that at 50,000 miles annually per vehicle, the bi-fuel propane autogas conversion on two vans will likely pay back in less than one year.
January 2013
<p><em>Photos courtesy of Better Life Maids.</em></p>
<p>Better Life Maids recently added two Chevrolet Volts to its fleet.</p>

Better Life Maids Sees the Value of Fleet

Providing company vehicles is helping this cleaning company grow its business, retain workers and market itself as an environmentally friendly brand.
January 2013
<p>Photos courtesy of Power Washer Sales.<br />This fleet modified Reach vans with a winch to aid loading, as well as e-track in the box to secure the equipment, and a file cabinet for parts storage and desk space.</p>


Spec'ing the Extra Mile with Do-It-Yourself Modifications

This sales fleet used some do-it-yourself modifications on the Isuzu Reach to create the optimal operating environment for its drivers.
January 2013
<p>Expanding into commercial services and responding to emergency calls, Sure-Fire Inc. in Wisconsin has to be prepared with a full inventory in each vehicle. This added weight makes each driver&rsquo;s fuel efficiency a top priority.</p>


The Power of Data: Changing Driver Behaviors

Technology can help monitor your drivers’ behaviors, but this small fleet puts the data into the drivers’ hands with a friendly peer competition.
November 2012
Photos courtesy of Duane Reade. Duane Reade's all-electric trucks are from Smith Electric. Duane Reade chose the 80-kWh battery-electric Newton 24-ft. box truck.

The Urban Maze: Making Deliveries Count in NYC

Operating its chain of drug stores in the tight spaces of New York City, Duane Reade has engineered a new concept in inventory management while optimizing its fleet for electrification.
July 2012
<p><em>Photos by Vince Taroc<br /></em>When owner Gordon Payne of the E.L. Payne Company first saw the Scion xB it reminded him of a mini version of a 1950&rsquo;s milk or bakery truck.&nbsp;<em><br /></em></p>

Downsize to Rightsize: Service Fleet Leaps into the Scion xB

This HVAC company downsized its service vehicles from traditional cargo vans to the Scion xB — without a technician revolt. Read how the company made the vehicle work and saved significantly on gas.
July 2012
<p>An Everclean Maid Services supervisor standing with the recently purchased Honda Fit, one of seven vehicles in fleet that the company has put logos on in hopes to "territorialize" the company.</p>

Cleaning Company Utilizes Drivers as Mini-Fleet Managers

For a company with just a few vehicles to manage, and with crews working out of them daily, Everclean Maids tells Business Fleet in this web exclusive how it relies on its drivers to not only manage the accompanying cleaning crews but the vehicles as well.

July 2012
<p>Photo courtesy of Summit Ice.</p>

Ice Distribution Company Weighs Leasing, Rental Costs Over Ownership

In this web-exclusive feature of ice manufacturing and distribution company, Summit Ice President Brian Washnock looks at how the company manages its mix of owned, leased and rented fleet, and more importantly, how he gets the ‘peace of mind’ that his drivers and trucks are safe.

May 2012<p>Jason Ebert, GO Riteway&rsquo;s fleet and facilities coordinator, stands next to the company&rsquo;s new propane refueling station, which was funded entirely through a Clean Cities grant.</p>

Inside the Green Fleet Decision Process

With a directive to go green, numerous fleet applications and so many alternative-fuel and power options, what’s a fleet manager to do? Work the grants system, fit the vehicle to the task and calculate a favorable ROI.
January 2012
<p><em>Photo by Jason Rhee</em></p>
<p>The Big Apple Circus' Tom Larson manages a fleet that includes 10 Ford F-350 pickups.</p>

The Juggler: How a Fleet Manager Moves a Circus

For the Big Apple Circus, transporting this small fleet requires a big top’s worth of planning. Learn how Tom Larson and his crew take the circus on the road, where the fleet manager becomes the ringmaster.
December 2011
<p>Bikes At Work uses a medium-sized trailer to transport this heavy duty oven across town for one of their customers.&nbsp;</p>              

Pedal Power: The Ultimate Alternative Fuel?

Bicycles used in a business can help save on more than just fuel expenses. Bikes reduce wear and tear on an existing fleet and lower expenses such as vehicle licensing and registration, insurance, damage repairs and parking tickets. 
September 2011
<p>Gary Oliver, CEO of Mobile Thrones, by one of his Ram 5500 service trucks.</p>

Portable Toilet Company Makes Best Use of GPS Tracking

Mobile Thrones, a portable toilet company in northern Texas, spends $10,000 a month on diesel fuel, making route management an integral part of keeping costs down for this small business. 
May 2011

Propane-Powered and Profitable

Austin Gutter King, a rain gutter installation and maintenance company, is realizing reduced fuel and maintenance costs after converting four vehicles to run on propane. The company has a total of 18 vehicles in its fleet.
March 2011

The Science of Rightsizing

Steve Fisher uses a proactive approach to fleet cycling and procurement to rein in fleet costs for Communications International, a Vero Beach, Fla.-based public safety communications systems provider. 
January 2011
<p>Smith is able to monitor Vector&rsquo;s fleet from a custom-built command center in his office.</p>

Managing A Quickly Growing Fleet

Since Will Smith joined Vector Resources, the company has expanded from a cable installation business to a major IT network provider for Fortune 500 companies. Learn how Smith has managed the fleet to keep pace. 

January 2011
<p>Owners Candace and Charles Nelson at their upscale cupcake bakery Sprinkles in Beverly Hills, Calif.</p>

Good Enough to Eat: From the Bakery to the Van

Owners of an upscale cupcake bakery have transformed their Mercedes Sprinter into a mobile sales center and an extension of their brand. Their traveling enterprise started at the movie studios, but setting up shop in their plain white vans and generic folding tables wasn't cutting it.
November 2010
<p>&ldquo;Specialized&rdquo; barely begins to describe the needs of the PHS/SPCA fleet, which facilitates the nonprofit&rsquo;s animal rescue and control efforts and mobile clinics.</p>

Maintaining Control through Customization and Open-Ended Leases

Learn why the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA switched to custom-built vans and open-end leases. With so many of the organization's rescue vehicles at the end of their lifecycle, it looked to purpose-built vans as a reasonable alternative to trucks.
September 2010
<p>Mike Jagger, president of Provident Security in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, has been cycling Toyota RAV4s into his fleet for several years. &ldquo;The RAV4s are more expensive, but they work for us,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;I have found that, the more you spend upfront, the fewer maintenance issues.&rdquo;</p>

Somebody Call Security!

For security system installers, the big, white van with shelves in the back and ladder racks on the roof has long been the standard bearer. Over the past several years, however, a challenging economic climate and soaring fuel costs have forced fleet managers in that industry to consider new options.
July 2010

Small Fleet Right-Sizes Lease Program

With the right lease partner, the proper lease structure and driver controls, Roller Bearing Co. now has few worries these days. And that works well, as the person managing the fleet not only handles the vehicles, but everything from worker's comp, property/casualty insurance programs, benefits, union contract negotiations, long-term customer contracts and real estate.
January 2010
<p>Eric Hansen takes delivery of the first propane-powered Ford F-350 from Jack Roush at the Roush Performance assembly plant</p>

Propane Provides a Competitive Edge

When Eric Hansen set out on his mission to create the first propane-powered lawn care crew in 2008, he couldn't have imagined the attention his 10-vehicle fleet would eventually attract.
November 2009
<p>The jobs performed by Roughneck Concrete Drilling &amp; Sawing Company require specialty equipment such as slab saws, core drilling machines and Bobcats. Two full-time and two part-time mechanics service the vans and equipment.</p>

In It For the Long Haul

This 53-year-old concrete drilling business, Roughneck Concrete Drilling & Sawing Company, is high maintenance when it comes to fleet, which also requires specialty equipment such as slab saws, core drilling machines and Bobcats. The result is a low incidence of breakdowns and vans that last up to 15 years.
July 2009

A Clean and Uniform Fleet

With onsite refueling, custom-built vans and proactive maintenance, Ziker Cleaners and Uniforms uses unique partnerships with local vendors to keep its fleet running smoothly. The third-generation, family-owned company has formed unique partnerships with other longstanding local businesses such as a Ford dealership, an oil company and custom van builder Utilimaster to aid the company in managing its fleet.
May 2009
<p>Doug Flesher of Wessin Transport takes damaged vans and does a "part out" of every usable part-from doors and steering columns to relay switches and transmissions-and inventories it.</p>

Preventive Maintenance from 40,000 to 400,000 Miles

Three small fleet administrators and a lessor share tips on preventive maintenance, from sensible PM for low-mileage vehicles to strict guidelines to help get your vehicles to 400,000 miles.
March 2009

Controlling Fleet Costs through Metrics

By using systems that monitor maintenance, advertising, payroll and job tracking, Joe Christenson has improved his fleet's efficiency and alleviated the need to outsource fleet management.
January 2009
<p>Ed Taylor, owner of Down East Seafood in Bronx, N.Y., received a grant from the Center for Sustainable Energy to purchase the Smith Edison electric truck.</p>

Fleets Become Electrified

These "first adopters" have created a blueprint for other companies on how to green their fleets while staying within budget. Four fleets—two universities, a construction company and a seafood delivery company—reveal the process of adopting different types of electric vehicle technology and how they made it work within budget for their individual applications.
November 2008

Bug Doctor Crushes Fleet Costs

Stuart Aust operates a fleet of 27 vehicles, which includes Ford Rangers and F-150 pickup trucks. The F-150s carry termite and power spray rigs, while managers and inspectors drive Volkswagen Beetles, and Aust drives a Hummer H2.
September 2008
<p>Ed Kassab, AT Home Care&rsquo;s CEO, stands next to a Chevrolet HHR with a nurse. The company has decided to move to a five-door Chevy Aveo and estimates it will save $55,000 a year on fuel and lease costs.</p>

High Fuel Costs Push Companies Toward Managed Fleet Program

Even small fleets that reimburse at the IRS rate are being hit hard. Multiplying the 8-cent increase by 30 vehicles that drive 12,000 miles per year adds about $30,000 per year in fleet expense.
January 2008

Bakery Goes Green and Saves Green

Charles Feder, owner and operator of Rossmoor Pastries in Signal Hill, Calif., fortuitously stumbled upon a goldmine when he purchased his first natural gas vehicle (NGV) at auction in April 2006. The dedicated compressed natural gas (CNG) Dodge van, with only 14,000 miles, cost $4,300, while the gasoline-fueled vans were going for around $7,000.
May 2007

Benchmarking Keeps this Fleet on Track

Larry Gemma's trucks average 7.35 miles per gallon. His cost for preventive maintenance is 69 percent of his total maintenance and repair bill. And when a driver is off the road due to vehicle maintenance, the lost potential revenue is about four times the amount of the vehicle repair cost. How does Gemma get these important statistics about his fleet costs? Benchmarking.
March 2006

Small Fleet Best Practices: Purchasing

These delivery and service companies say personal relationships and painless transactions win out over price haggling. See what these seven companies say have helped them through the years, and lessons they've learned along the way.
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