How Safe is Your Fleet?

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Safety. Priority Number One


For commercial fleet managers, driver safety continues to be a hot topic. In fact, in a recent survey by the industry publication Automotive Fleet, commercial fleet managers were asked what was the greatest challenge facing their fleet operations, and driver safety was right there at the top. Donlen recognizes the challenges of maintaining driver safety and we have identified a number of proven actions fleets can implement to help ensure their drivers stay safe.

Recently, Nick Ehrhart, Donlen Manager of Product Solutions, was part of the “Latest Trends in Driver Safety” panel at the Fleet Safety Conference on July 24, 2014 and he brings us the following tips:

“The first step for fleet managers is to develop a safety policy that identifies what is expected of drivers in terms of safety,” says Nick. “It sounds simple, but a comprehensive safety policy is really the foundation of an effective safety program.” Once a policy has been created and approved, the next step is to monitor the policy. Different fleets have different safety issues and a safety policy needs to take into account the ever changing fleet and driver make-up.

The next step is to measure and manage specific safety issues as they relate to your fleet. The most efficient way to achieve this is through regular use of scorecards. Donlen’s DriverPoint® Telematics scorecard offers consolidation of all a company’s driver behavior data into a review and analysis tool. The scorecard also allows users to quickly pinpoint areas of opportunity.

“The difference is like night and day,” he went on to say. “The first thing I do in the morning is check out my dashboard in FleetWeb®. The information I need is right there, consolidated with our other fleet costs including fuel and maintenance costs.”

In addition, DriverPoint scores each driver on a monthly basis based on their safe and efficient driving habits. Drivers with high scores have been shown to be at a much lower risk of accidents than drivers with low scores. Each month, drivers are provided with a monthly scorecard that describes their driving behaviors. The scorecard also ranks them against their peers and provides tips to become a safer and more efficient driver.

The following are additional benefits of safe and efficient driving:

Environmental: DriverPoint Telematics has shown that there is a direct correlation between safe driving and reduced fuel consumption. This means better efficiency, decreased carbon output, and less waste.

Economic: Collisions have more associated costs than the repair of the vehicle. Other costs to consider include property damage, third party liability costs, loss of productivity, and possible employee training.

Societal: When a company-branded vehicle is involved in an accident, the incident can reduce the goodwill that your organization has built in the community. Any associated traffic slow down or emergency response can be attributed to your company as a whole.

Utilizing data gathered through DriverPoint Telematics, Donlen can help you identify and focus on lowest-performing drivers. Donlen can then develop a custom safety training program for any of your drivers. Donlen’s GreenDriver® online training provides efficient driving techniques for service vehicles, commercial trucks, large passenger vans, medium duty vocational trucks, and passenger vehicles. This web-based training is accessible on many mobile devices.

In addition, reviewing motor vehicle records on a regular basis is another way for fleets to stay on top of safety. An important part of the process is the ability to identify and assign safety training to drivers to address specific needs and challenges to improve driving behavior. Donlen provides more than 70 comprehensive online safety training modules to help fleets manage this key aspect of their overall safety program.

To learn more about making your fleet safer, contact Donlen.

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Lifecycle Cost Management: 36-Month versus 60-Month Sedan Lifecycle Cost Analysis

Donlen-Lifecycle-AnalysisNo matter what type of asset you have in your fleet – cars, trucks, or equipment – understanding the entire lifecycle cost is the only way for you to effectively manage cash flow.

Donlen Strategic Consultants conducted a lifecycle cost analysis using a typical intermediate sedan from within the Donlen fleet portfolio. The case study includes analysis of 36-month versus 60-month:

• Overall Annual Cash Flow Comparison
• Rental Cost
• Fuel Cost
• Maintenance Spend
• Resale Proceeds

For the full analysis, download here


Texas Drivers: Registration Changes are Coming

Friday-Fleet-TEXASThe Texas Department of Motor Vehicles announced upcoming changes to the vehicle inspection and registration process that will take effect on March 1, 2015. Currently drivers have two separate stickers, one for vehicle inspection and one for registration, each with different expiration dates. Beginning March 2015,a vehicle inspection will be required before initial, transfer, or renewal of registration. Drivers will then be issued one sticker with one expiration date. Donlen is preparing for these changes and will continue to share more detail about what it means for you and your drivers.

For more information about the “Two Step, One Sticker” initiative from the Texas DMV, click here.

Truck Driver Safety Letter – CSA Refresher

In 2013, large trucks were involved in more than 132,000 fatal and non-fatal crashes, according to the Motor Carrier Management Information System. Driver safety and compliance, or lack thereof, is a reflection not only on the driver, but also the company. Studies conducted by the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA), a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety, show a small percentage of drivers to be involved in a large number of crashes.

CSA’s Safety Measurement System (SMS) focuses on seven categories related to crash risk of Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories:

1. Unsafe Driving
2. Hours of Service Compliance
3. Driver Fitness
4. Controlled Substances/Alcohol
5. Vehicle Maintenance
6. Hazardous Materials Compliance
7. Crash Indicator

You can learn more about the CSA and what you can do to influence the results by:

1. Being informed. The best thing to do is be well-informed and visit the CSA website to provide more information about the program.
2. Knowing and following safety rules and regulations. Check out safe driving tips for commercial motor vehicles by visiting Click on “driver” in the Quick Links panel.
3. Reviewing inspection reports before driving away. Ensure data is accurate to avoid corrections later; keep copies of reports.
4. Pre-Screening new drivers. Check potential driver candidates during the pre-employment screening to see their safety record at
5. Researching company’s safety record. Check carrier safety records online at
6. Staying connected to CSA. Subscribe to the RSS feed or e-mail list to stay up-to-date on CSA news and information at

Together we can focus on our goal: to make America’s highways safer for all drivers. For additional information on Truck Safety, please contact Steve Jansen, Director, Truck Fleet Services.

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72-Hour Roadside Truck Safety Inspection Results

From June 3 – June 5, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance certified inspectors conducted roadside inspections of 73,475 trucks and buses throughout the Unites States, Canada and Mexico. Level 1 inspection is considered the most thorough roadside inspection consisting of 37 steps that examine both the driver and the vehicle.

Below are some highlights from the 72-hour inspection period:

  • 67% were in violation
  • 23% had Out-Of-Service violations
  • 825 seatbelt violations

To learn more about International Roadcheck, visit

Donlen Releases Q2 Snapshot

Donlen releases the Q2 snapshot. Check it out. Be sure to contact your Account Manager if you want more information on any of these initiatives.

Click on the image to download a copy today.


Donlen Conducts Idling Research

TRUE OR FALSE: Two minutes of idling equals enough fuel to drive one mile?


On August 5, Donlen employees had the unique opportunity to witness a live research event being conducted by our Strategic Consulting team on the effects idling has on vehicles. Ten vehicles including a Chevrolet Silverado, a Ford CMAX Hybrid, and a Donlen-Idling-Event-Exhaust-135pxDonlen-Idling-Event-Sam-135pxFord Transit Connect Wagon sat for three hours idling in the Donlen employee parking lot, some of which were connected to a DriverPoint Telematics device.

DriverPoint Telematics is used on fleet vehicles to monitor driver behavior. With telematics and map views, managers can determine the exact location a vehicle is idling and prevent unnecessary maintenance costs, by educating the driver. DriverPoint allows fleet managers real-time data to help decrease costs, manage driver productivity and increase safety.

Results will be published in a future whitepaper report. For further information about reducing unnecessary idling in your fleet, or for more information on DriverPoint, please contact us.

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Donlen to Sponsor AFLA


Donlen is proud to be a Diamond Sponsor at the annual AFLA Conference being held in Las Vegas, NV September 7-10. Learn, Innovate and Win is the theme carried throughout this year’s convention by speakers and events.

Donlen learns your business from the top down, inside and out, and customizes our fleet services to fit your needs. Innovation is what drives our award-winning technology and the technological advances made in fleet management. Win when you engage with Donlen’s best-in-class customer service team.

Are you attending this year’s AFLA Conference? Let us know. Members of the Donlen team will be in attendance. We would love to connect with you.

Driver’s Corner


Maintaining the correct tire pressure benefits you in a number of ways. Vehicles with tires that are under-inflated have higher rolling resistance and therefore require a greater amount of fuel to maintain a given speed. Increased fuel efficiency is not only better for the environment with lower CO2 emissions; it is better for your bottom line with reduced fuel spend.

If your tires are under or over inflated, they are more likely to sustain damage. The result is that you need to replace tires more frequently which can be costly over vehicle’s lifecycle. All tire information can be found on information placards located on the driver side doorjamb or “B-pillar.” The placard also includes OEM tire sizes and inflation pressures as well as the vehicle’s total weight capacity.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reinforces that it is the vehicle, not the tire, that determines the correct tire pressure for the tires on your vehicle. Tires are manufactured to fit multiple vehicles, and each vehicle is built differently. If you would like more information on tire safety from NHTSA, click here to download their brochure.


And Finally

And finally, it’s never too late to complete a dream you have. Take for example Linden, New Jersey’s 97 year-old Vera Abruzzi. Her dream was to drive a big rig truck, and her grandson made that dream come true with the help of Winsor’s Tractor Trailer Driving School. Anything is possible when you put your mind to it.

> See the Video

Have a great weekend. Safe travels

Originally appeared in FridayFleet on August 22, 2014

About Donlen
Donlen is the industry’s most customer centric and technically integrated provider of financing and management solutions for corporate fleets. Utilizing a highly consultative and strategic approach, Donlen helps fleets reduce cost, improve utilization, and increase driver safety and productivity. Donlen’s innovation has been honored with the Computerworld 2012 Honors Laureate for Economic Development, the 2012 and 2013 InformationWeek 500 List of Top Technology Innovators Across America, and recipient of the 2013 CIO 100. Their workplace excellence has been recognized on the IAOP The Global Outsourcing 100® list for eight of the last nine years, and as one of the 101 Best and Brightest Places to Work For in Chicago each year from 2007-2012. Founded in 1965 and headquartered in Northbrook, IL, Donlen is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Hertz Corporation (NYSE: HTZ). For more information about Donlen, visit