Idling, an Expensive Pastime; Tracking Gas Prices, How to Drive in High Winds

Idling: An Expensive Pastime

Do you know exactly how many hours your vehicles sit idling every day? With gas prices continuing to rise, this extremely important piece of information could save you thousands of dollars every year.

“Until the advent of telematics devices, idling was not perceived to be a major problem for fleets. But once engine data was captured by fleets on a large-scale basis, it quickly became apparent that idling represented a significant problem,” said Mike Antich in a recent issue of Business Fleet.

We couldn’t agree more with Mike’s comment. In fact, we’re seeing very good results when fleets utilize DriverPoint™ Telematics to control idle time.

“One fleet reduced their idle time by 21% from January to February after being on the program only 2 1/2 months,” said Nick Ehrhart, Donlen’s Manager, Telematics Sales & Operations. “It’s apparent that measuring behavior while monitoring route productivity can have significant impact on costs.”

Results from our recent survey on telematics usage in the fleet industry clearly indicate a trend toward utilizing telematics. “From the survey, we can conclude that fuel cost savings and sustainability are becoming significant factors for those considering telematics,” said Ehrhart. “Not surprising to us is that improved driving behavior continues to be the number one reason for implementing a telematics solution.”

Ehrhart went on to say, “We’re seeing the impact DriverPoint has in other areas as well. Not only are fleets reducing overall fuel costs, but many are realizing increased safety within their fleet and even reduced maintenance costs in some cases.”


DriverPoint Telematics recently earned the prestigious Gold Stevie® Award for Business Intelligence Solution. The winning entry showcased ABS Global, a fleet that achieved significant results utilizing DriverPoint’s extensive route management, productivity, and reporting capabilities.

The overall MPG for the company’s U.S. fleet is at an all-time high, and as an added bonus, maintenance costs are decreasing. When reviewing individual drivers’ DriverPoint Scorecards, ABS noticed that over time, drivers with higher “green” ratings — those who avoid rapid acceleration and hard stops, for instance — have less wear on brakes and tires than those with lower ratings. The fleet manager noted, “DriverPoint Telematics is helping us create efficiencies across the fleet that save us time and money.”

Read more about ABS Global and their achievements using DriverPoint.

Earlier this month, Donlen was the recipient of two very important industry awards. In addition to DriverPoint™ Telematics earning the Gold for Business Intelligence Solution, Donlen’s Customer Service Team received the Silver Stevie® Award for Front Line Customer Service Team of the Year. This award recognizes Donlen’s proactive and highly personalized service approach.

As the first point of contact with every Donlen customer, the Customer Service Team is a key component to Donlen’s year-after-year high customer satisfaction results. Collectively, they work with customers to help them streamline internal processes, increase productivity, and drive efficiencies within their fleet. Denise Semcken, Donlen’s VP of Customer Service, (pictured above) accepted the Gold Award, saying, “Donlen’s commitment to innovation and customer satisfaction drive all of our major business decisions. This award honors our commitment to create products and continuously enhance our service delivery to ensure our customers have the resources they need to achieve their objectives.”

Industry News


Tracking gas prices can provide valuable information to help you plan ahead. Two great resources are available to you. provides a color-coded heat map showing gas prices around the U.S, searchable by city, state, or zip code. Donlen GreenKey® has an interactive graph to help you see trends in past fuel prices, and what’s expected in the coming months.
> You can access both of these here

If you’re heading to the 2012 Car Rental Show, don’t miss the keynote address on March 12. In their joint address, Mark Frissora, Hertz Chairman and CEO, and Gary Rappeport, Donlen CEO, will discuss the imminent convergence of auto rental with other vehicle mobility solutions, ranging from car sharing, traditional car rental, and long-term auto, truck and equipment rental and leasing. In an earlier statement, Frissora said, “Hertz’s mission is to offer consumers the widest range of mobility solutions, with products and services today including hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly vehicle rentals, as well as, with the acquisition of Donlen this year, business fleet management solutions, including multi-year leases.”

Driver’s Corner

Headlines told the weather story this week: “High Wind Warning,” “High Winds Headed Our Way,” “High Winds Cause Property Damage.” Just as with any other severe weather condition, knowing how to drive in high wind is equally important. > Follow these tips for driving in high wind

And Finally…

And finally, movies and cars just seem to go together. This list of Top 10 Movie Cars includes the Batmobile from The Dark Knight, the Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger, and The Dukes of Hazzard 1969 Dodge Charger. But we think there are a couple missing from the list. How about every Audi (couldn’t just pick one!) used in the Transporter series? And could any list be complete without including the King of Cool himself: Steve McQueen driving some of the most beautiful cars ever seen (and heard) on film in LeMans? We think not! What do you think?

Have a nice weekend. Safe travels.

Originally appeared in FridayFleet on March 9, 2012

About Donlen
A wholly owned subsidiary of The Hertz Corporation (NYSE:HTZ), Donlen (, with headquarters in Northbrook, IL, is the fleet industry’s most comprehensive and integrated provider of financing and asset management solutions. Since 1965, Donlen has offered its clients highly personalized and responsive customer service, and their workplace excellence has been recognized as one of Crain’s Chicago Business “List of 20 Best Places to Work in Chicago” each year from 2009-2011, a Leader on “The Global Outsourcing 100®” list by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP) for six of the last seven years, and a National Association for Business Resources “101 Best and Brightest Places to Work For in Chicago” each year from 2007-2012. Donlen’s innovation has been awarded with the Computerworld “2012 Honors Laureate for Economic Opportunity,” named to “2012 InformationWeek 500” for innovative technology; the Stevie® “2012 Gold Award for Business Intelligence Solution,” the Silver Award for “2012 Front Line Customer Service Team of the Year,” and the “2011 Corporate Environmental Responsibility Program of the Year.”