Most Popular Stories from 2013

Have questions or comments? We want to hear from you.

It’s always fun for us to look back on the year and see which stories you found most interesting. Thank you for reading, and thanks to those who provided feedback throughout the year. We enjoy hearing from you and value your input.

So, without further ado, here are the ten most popular stories from 2013:

10. Branding Fleet Vehicles: Benefits and Opportunities (May 10)

To wrap or not to wrap, that is the question.

Well, at least one of the questions fleet managers often ask. Most companies who wrap their vehicles – the process of adhering a logo and/or other graphics to their vehicles – make the decision to do so at the corporate level, so fleet managers need to be informed. Weighing your options and having a good understanding of your investment can help you make the decision whether to wrap or not.

> Read more

9. Alternative Fuel Vehicles: ROI, Trends, Comparisons (July 12)

Donlen-Alternative-Fuel-VehiclesHave you considered alternative fuel vehicles (AFV) for your fleet? When you begin to analyze the total cost of ownership of today’s hybrids, CNG vehicles, and propane options, it can be a viable solution for many fleets. Download the report that includes:

  • Hybrids: TCO Analysis
  • CNG: Infrastructure and ROI
  • Propane: Lifecycle details
  • Advantages and challenges of AFVs

> Read more

8. Donlen Order-To-Delivery Times (October 25)

Donlen-MY2013-Order-to-Delivery-Times-thumbAccording to Automotive Fleet, order-to-delivery (OTD) times for MY 2013 were affected by a number of factors, including OEM quality holds and transporter-related issues. Weather delays and production backlogs were also contributing factors in higher-than-industry averages.

“Although some models experienced increases, there were many models that improved or didn’t change. Some of the OTD delays that did occur, particularly early in the model-year, were due to multiple recalls on a specific model and material/quality holds,” said Cindy Gomez, Donlen’s Director of Vehicle Acquisition Services. “However, as the model-year progressed, OTD times seemed to improve.”

> Read more

7. One-Stop-Shopping for Trucks and Equipment (March 1)

donlen-herc-ready-finance-equipmentFor all your truck and equipment needs, Donlen offers HERC Ready Finance™, a groundbreaking equipment acquisition program in collaboration with Hertz Equipment Rental Corporation (HERC).

Why HERC Ready Finance?
“Today’s hard-pressed credit markets often make it difficult to access capital, especially for small to mid-size companies,” said Mike Lewis, Donlen Executive Vice President. “Customers are looking for options, and HERC Ready Finance gives them a seamless financial solution for the purchase of HERC equipment.”

> Read more

6. Ten Winter Driving Tips (November 27)

Donlen-Winter-Driving-TipsYep, it’s that time of year again. Winter is here, and with it comes dangerous road conditions, special requirements to keep your vehicle running, and additional wear-and-tear on vital components such as tires. We asked a few of our experts to weigh in with some tips you can pass along to your drivers.

> Read more

5. Sale-Leaseback: Advantages and Opportunities (August 23)

donlen-lease-vs-own-example-analysis-thumbThe term “sale-leaseback” is exactly what it sounds like: a financial transaction where a company sells an asset then leases it back so they can continue to use it but no longer owns it. So for instance, that means a company would sell their vehicles — cars, light-dutys, trucks, equipment — to Donlen and in turn, we lease those assets back to the same company.

So what’s the advantage of a sale-leaseback?
“Plenty,” says Ryan Grodzki, a Donlen Client Consultant. “From a cash-flow perspective, leasing fleet vehicles is typically more attractive than owning when you analyze the total cost of ownership.”

> Read more

4. Fuel Program Lost Opportunities; Pay-at-Pump Limits (March 15)

donlen-comdata-fuel-savings-report-web“Fuel prices can easily vary 10-15 cents per gallon within a few blocks,” said Kathy Quinn, Donlen Fuel Program. “For many fleet managers, it’s shocking to see the potential savings if their drivers would go to a different station within the same area.”

Shocking is right. For one large fleet, Kathy pulled a Lost Opportunity Report available from Comdata, Donlen’s fuel program partner and provider of our Donlen Fleet MasterCard® Card. The Lost Opportunity Report compares a fleet’s actual fuel locations versus lower cost fuel locations within the same zip code. For the months of January and February, the report uncovered potential savings of $60,000 and $50,000 respectively. Yes, that’s a per month potential saving.

> Read more

3. Updated Reporting Tool Released (November 1)

Donlen-Enhanced-Reporting-ff“For our customers, reporting is one of the most important functions within FleetWeb, so we’re very excited about this release,” said Dennis Straight, Donlen SVP and CIO. “We worked with customers to obtain their feedback throughout the development process, and we’re confident this enhancement will help them increase their day-to-day productivity. This is always the most important aspect of anything we do here.”

It was important to understand what customers needed, so we utilized a number of processes over the past year to obtain feedback. Surveys, webinars, phone calls, and in-person conversations were all part of the development process.

Don’t forget:

DataMart access ends on December 31, 2013


2. Meet Carla Garfinkle, Donlen General Counsel (January 18)

donlen-carla-garfinkle-thumb“We have a ‘yes’ attitude at Donlen, and we bring that to every aspect of our customer relationships, even in the legal group.”

FridayFleet® sat down with Carla Garfinkle, Donlen’s General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. Since joining Donlen in 2003, Carla has been actively involved in business expansion and product development. As a member of the Senior Leadership Team, Carla is instrumental in helping to shape Donlen’s strategic direction.

> Read more

1. Donlen Q3 Snapshot (November 8)



> Download the PDF

Driver’s Corner: Expanded Version

Driver Safety: Avoiding Drunk Drivers

The holiday season is in full swing and that means parties, celebrations, and festivities —; many of which involve alcohol. Avoiding drunk drivers can be done if you keep alert when driving, and always be on the lookout for abnormal driving behavior.

Some telltale signs that a driver may be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs are:

  • Unable to maintain lane position or swerving from lane to lane
  • Erratic speeding up or braking
  • Driving without headlights at night
  • Making unsafe lane changes
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road
  • Speeding or driving too slow
  • Tailgating another car or driving in an agitated manner

So what should you do if you observe any of the above behaviors?

  • Be prepared to take evasive action
  • Do not attempt to intervene personally
  • Give yourself plenty of distance between you and the offending driver
  • Try to get completely out of way if possible
  • Don’t ever try to pass a driver in this condition
  • If a car is coming head-on towards you, move to over to the shoulder, stop, honk your horn, and blink the headlights
  • When safe to do so, call 911 and report the incident, noting your location and other pertinent information

Thanks to our friends at NPTC for the valuable information.

Safety Tips for New Year’s Eve (Reprinted from

If you are hosting a New Year’s Eve party, following a few simple rules could prevent a tragedy:

  • Plan ahead by naming a “designated driver.” Make this your responsibility as the host.
  • Contact a local cab company to provide rides for your guests.
  • Serve non-alcoholic beverages as an option to your guests.
  • Stop serving alcohol to your guests several hours before the party ends.
  • Provide your guests with a place to stay overnight in your home.

If you are attending New Year’s Eve parties and celebrations:

  • If you drink, don’t drive.
  • Plan ahead and always designate a sober driver before the party or celebration begins.
  • If you are impaired, call a taxi, use mass transit, or get a sober friend or family member to come pick you up.
  • Or, stay where you are until you are sober.
  • Take the keys from someone if you think he/she is too impaired to drive.

FleetWeb® Tips

A friendly reminder that the “old” reporting tool, DataMart, will be terminated on December 31, 2013.

Quickly access a helpful reference guide in the new Reports tool in FleetWeb by clicking on the question mark in the Reports window.



Hertz Value Lease® Deal of the Week

donlen-hertz-value-lease-toyota-rav4-base-05132012 Toyota RAV4 Base*

  • Estimated Mileage: 27,555
  • Exterior Color: White
  • Hertz Value Lease Base Price: $17,500

*Representative of available vehicles. Contact your Donlen Account Manager to learn more about Hertz Value Lease.

And finally…

And finally, we send our heartfelt wishes for a safe and happy holiday season to everyone who reads FridayFleet each week. It’s our sincere hope that throughout the year we’re providing information that you find meaningful, helpful, and sometimes just enjoyable!

FridayFleet® will be on vacation next week, but we look forward to a great 2014 with you. Happy holidays everyone.

Originally appeared in FridayFleet on December 20, 2013

About Donlen
Donlen is the industry’s leading provider of integrated 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 the 2013 CIO 100. Their workplace excellence has been recognized on the IAOP The Global Outsourcing 100® list for seven of the last eight 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