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March 2007

MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT - LEONARD HUFFMIRE

The winter doldrums are coming to an end and I might be speaking too soon but we were fortunate with the weather. I am sure that many of us are tired of the hibernation and are biting at the bit to get out.

With spring in the air I would like to remind everyone in April we have the Expo and in June the Kiddy Picnic and Golf outing.

The Expo is an important event for the Society’s Associate Members so I am reaching out for our Members to distribute the FREE admission tickets to as many people as possible. I am looking forward to a full house on both sides of the tables.

During the February meeting, the Society announced that there will be 13 scholarships available to the Members and their families for 2007 to be awarded at the Annual Scholarship Awards Dinner on January 12, 2008. Forward your scholarship application to the Scholarship Committee Chairman, Carl Orza.

There are only a few more General Meetings left before the summer break. The next General Meeting is on March 21 and I would like to see you all there.

ARRANGEMENTS ? FRANK ALMONA

The EXPO is coming soon. Please reserve your exhibit table now. Applications are available on our web site or call me at (718) 388-0426.

Due to renovations underway at the INN at New Hyde Park, our vehicle displays will have to be cancelled for this year’s EXPO. We hope to continue vehicle displays at the next year’s EXPO.

Free admission tickets will be sent to the Membership at the beginning of March for distribution to your co-workers or anyone you wish who you think would benefit from coming to our EXPO. We have additional tickets available and you can order them from our web site, email Member Richie Chan at [email protected] or call him at (347) 866-0208.

BYLAWS - TIM HARTE

As of February there have been only two Bylaw changes submitted. Bylaw changes are accepted up to the end of the March meeting. All Bylaw submissions must be in writing. Following submission, all Bylaw changes will be read at the April General Membership meeting. Copies of proposed Bylaw changes will be mailed to each eligible Member and voted upon during the May meeting. If you are considering a Bylaw change please contact me via email or at the meeting.

Excerpts from our Constitution and Bylaws:
Bylaw XI Honorariums

1. The Secretary of the Society, the News Editor of the Supervisors News, the Treasurer of the Society and the Data Services Chairperson shall receive the sum of ($99.00) ninety-nine dollars annually. (Amended 5/17/95)

2. This honorarium will be distributed at the beginning of each fiscal year. (Amended 5/18/94)

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DATA SERVICES - RICHARD CHAN

Associate Member Kirk Lombardi invites you to Nassau Suffolk Truck’s web site at http://www.NassauSuffolkTruck.com the next time you are on the Internet.

Our present Membership is comprised of:
Members 115
Life Members 17
Editorial Members 0
Associate Members 42
Honorary Members 4
Original Equipment Manufacturer 3
Apprentice Fleet Supervisors 1
Student Members 18
Total Membership 200

Attendance at the February meeting:
Members 49
Guests 13
Total 62

Current CONSECUTIVE attendance records are:
Honorary Member Bill Misita, Retired – 99, 9/92 – 2/05
Member Robert Lagnese, Farmingdale University – 80, 1/97 –
Member George Pastor, H. John Davis, Inc. – 70, 5/94 – 5/03
Member Carl Orza, Advanced Fleet Maintenance – 70, 3/97 – 2/06
Life Member Nuno Tardo, Universal Ford – 63, 3/89 – 1/97
Member John Cigna, Retired – 50, 2/94 – 3/00
Member Pat De Martino, Con Edison – 44, 10/90 – 2/96
Member Robert Spiotto, Frank Siviglia & Co., Inc. – 43, 11/01 –
Life Member Nuno Tardo, Retired – 41, 3/97 –
Member John Dozis, Fink Baking Co. – 37, 1/96 – 5/00

LEGISLATIVE - MICHAEL CALISE

FUEL NEWS
An American company, U.S. Sustainable Energy Corp. (USSEC), has developed a patent-pending new biofuel manufacturing process that creates more than three times more biofuel per bushel of soybeans than any other comparable process. In addition, the company says its product is able to serve as a permanent replacement to diesel, without any of the negative traits associated with traditional biodiesel or other green fuel alternatives.

According to USSEC, the technology uses a highly efficient process to break down vegetable feedstock, such as soybeans, and extract the most energy possible, so that nearly 100 percent of the feedstock results in three usable products: biogas, carbon ash and liquid biofuel.

The company uses the biogas to provide 100 percent of the power for its manufacturing facility. Carbon ash is a rich natural fertilizer containing nitrogen, potash and orthophosphate that can be used to replenish the soil used to grow the feedstock. This organic fertilizer is renewable and sustainable and produced from 100 percent biomass. One bushel of bean yields 20 pounds of organic fertilizer.

The liquid biofuel produced by this process has a number of advantages over conventional biodiesel, says USSEC: It's cheaper to produce, and yields more biodiesel per bushel of soy, with higher energy output in less time.

In addition, the company claims that when it comes to performance, its product excels. Testing shows that the resulting biofuel does not clog engine filters at temperatures as low as -70°F, and that it remains liquid and retains its ability to be pumped at temperatures down to -90°F. These features have plagued traditional petroleum diesel and conventional biodiesel products.

ON THE ROAD
The use of Telematics – the combination of global positioning systems (GPS) and remote diagnostics – in fleet continues to grow, providing fleet managers the ability to monitor vehicles and enhance driver productivity, thus saving money by controlling unnecessary idling and miles driven, fuel purchases, accidents, and other fleet functions. Telematics systems allow fleet managers to obtain real-time, downloadable status reports on driver behavior, including vehicle speed, location, and route compliance; monitor vehicle diagnostic components; and set customized alert parameters, among other features.

Many fleet managers are experiencing positive results through the use of Telematics, including slower vehicle speeds and decreased mileage, which also decrease a driver’s chance of getting into an accident, according to David Coleman, vice president, Telematics strategy for PHH Arval. The total cost of accidents is estimated at $160,000 per million vehicle miles traveled (MVMT). Risk exposure can be calculated at 16 cents per mile, meaning fleets are covered for 16 cents of risk exposure for every mile a vehicle is on the road when physical damage and all other associated expenses are factored. Conversely, fleets save 16 cents for every mile not driven, according to Coleman.

If fleet managers can eliminate unnecessary mileage, they eliminate risk exposure. “For instance, with service fleets, managers can track and eliminate odd-hour and unauthorized usage and excessive speeding through implementing a Telematics program,” said Coleman. “For every study we have done, data shows monitored drivers are less likely to be involved in an accident. We know they drive slower because policies are enforced and drivers are aware of the device’s presence in the vehicle.”

Once a Telematics device is installed in a vehicle, the organization can act promptly to resolve any issues with an employee’s driving activities, regardless of whether the driver is a senior executive or star salesperson. “This is the new battleground for helping companies control risk exposure and negligent entrustment,” says Coleman. “We no longer need to wait to receive a bad motor vehicle record, identifying who has been caught exhibiting bad behavior.”

“Looking at a population of historical driver data to identify contributing elements that result in an accident, we can identify people whose current behavior will likely result in an accident, and most importantly, correct that behavior ahead of time,” says Coleman. “The goal is to identify the right training for individuals based on their behaviors, actions, and risk signature.”

In the past five years, the average company’s annual fuel expense has risen from $5 million to $40 million. Therefore, to counteract this added expense, an organization must increase sales by $20 million, according to Coleman. “Telematics are helping fleets reduce fuel expenses by eliminating unauthorized use, reducing idle time, decreasing miles driven through better routing, and lowering speeds. But the big ‘wow’ in terms of reducing costs is when you can avoid the cost of accidents. We’re moving from reactive to proactive. And that’s good news for driver health, safety, and productivity.”

DRIVING AND SEATBELT USE
You’ve seen the “How’s my driving?” bumper stickers on the backs of delivery vehicles and big rigs. Have you ever called the 800 number to report erratic driving? Do you think anyone answers the phone? Have you wondered about the underlying purpose of these programs, and if one could work for your fleet?

Those bumper stickers are part of a safety hotline (or driver monitoring) program. The goal of a program is, simply, to reduce vehicle crashes.

Safety hotline programs are used by a broad range of businesses, from delivery and service fleets to contractors to long-haul trucking fleets. Drivers in these situations are non-professional (except truckers) and are often more focused on the job rather than the trip.

Programs are generally used by companies with fleet vehicles identified by company logos or markings. Fleets with unmarked, anonymous vehicles (such as sales fleets) generally stay away from these programs for fear that fleet-identified vehicles expose them to the greater possibility of staged crashes and people looking to take advantage of deep pockets. Also, companies using employees’ vehicles for business resist these programs because employees don’t want the bumper sticker on their personal vehicles.

Safety-Firsts’ clients either use the service directly (generally larger, self-insured fleets) or through their insurance carrier. For direct-fleet clients, Safety-First charges $15 per vehicle per year, with discounts depending on fleet size. For smaller fleets, most insurance carriers pay for the program out-of-pocket — it’s free to the policyholder. Check with your insurance company to see if it offers a program.

Because most insurance companies pick up the cost of a driver-monitoring program, they continually conduct studies to measure a program’s effectiveness. Results range from at least a 20-percent reduction in claims to a 52-percent loss dollar reduction.

Fireman’s Fund Insurance conducted a three-and-a-half-year study of 30,000 vehicles spread across 200 fleets. The study pool included small fleets, large fleets such as Western Exterminator (900 vehicles), and fleets of tractor-trailers. The study found that fleets using a safety hotline program saw an average across-the-board reduction in crashes of 22 percent.

The study also found that about 80 percent of all the drivers in these fleets never received a complaint. Of the 20 percent of the drivers who got calls, about half, 10 percent of the total, got only one call ever. The problem drivers comprise the last 10 percent. This group should be identified as soon as possible. These behaviors can thus be identified long before they turn up as infractions or accidents on an MVR (motor vehicle record).

The companies with the best results were the ones that consistently conducted prompt counseling sessions and returned the reports. The ones that merely applied the stickers showed only about a 3-percent reduction in crashes.

Just putting a sticker on a truck isn’t going to make a difference in someone’s behavior talking to them about the reports will. Safety hotlines are best used as complements to existing safety initiatives, such as motor vehicle record checks, recognition programs, safety classes, and behind-the-wheel training.

Evidence of a properly managed safety hotline program can help protect against a negligent entrustment lawsuit. The signed report from the counseling session becomes a positive paper trail that the company took action on a dangerous situation.

Reducing aggressive driving can lessen wear and tear on a vehicle, which in turn lowers maintenance and fuel costs. A safe-driving employee will avoid an increase in personal insurance rates.

Costs per vehicle range from $10-$16 a year. Programs vary. Some are strictly Internet or voicemail based (i.e., no live operators). Some programs offer employment-screening services in conjunction with the safety hotline. Other companies avoid outsourcing altogether and set up an in-house program. Programs without live operators may have lower fees, but also lower complaint follow-up rates. Make sure operators are specifically trained for driver-safety complaints.

New York State Senator Seeks to Criminalize Drowsy Driving
ALBANY, N.Y. --- New York State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky has introduced a bill that would make drowsy driving illegal.

A recent poll of American drivers showed that 37 percent admit they've nodded off while driving. The bill would impose a penalty fine of $500 for first offenders. Subsequent offenses would carry a $1,000 fine along with a six-month license suspension.

Critics of the bill, however, argue that such a law would be difficult to enforce. Drowsiness isn't as easy to prove as drunkenness.

Another version of the bill was introduced two years ago, but didn't survive long enough to make it to a floor vote in either the Assembly or Senate.

Drowsy drivers kill about 1,500 Americans each year and cause more than 71,000 injuries, according to a report from CBS. In New York alone, drowsy driving is responsible for about 30 percent of all fatalities.

Advocacy Group for Blind Warns that Hybrids Are Dangerously Quiet
NEW YORK --- The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) says that hybrid vehicles pose a threat to blind pedestrians because the vehicles are so quiet.

When operating on the electric battery at a stop light, blind pedestrians don't hear the car at all. A sudden right turn just after the light changes can prove to be particularly risky if the pedestrian doesn't know the car is there and enters the crosswalk without the driver noticing.

Members of the NFB's Committee on Automobile and Pedestrian Safety have discussed asking automakers to add sound cues to help alert pedestrians. One possible solution is to include a device built into the axle that emits a sound as the wheels rotate, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal.

MEETING HIGHLIGHTS - ROBERT LAGNESE

Garland McCain, Territory Manager for Cummins Engine, gave an informative presentation on the methods Cummins is utilizing to address diesel engine emissions. We wish to thank Cummins Metropower, Inc. for sponsoring the February meeting program and cocktail hour.

The winner of the Big Draw of $50.00 was Member David Findley of Farmingdale State College.

PROGRAMS - ALBERT BUEHLER

The March cocktail hour and program will be sponsored by Telma Corp. on the Telma frictionless brake system, its uses in various applications, and how it can save you money by getting more life on your brakes and saving you on brake jobs. Robert Dininni, Northeast Regional Sales Manager for Telma Corp. will be the speaker.

I am still looking for a program for April and May. If you have a topic in mind that you would like to hear about, please let me know and I will find a speaker for the topic.

SCHOLARSHIP - CARL ORZA

We had a very successful 2006 Golf Outing and that has bloomed into a banner year for the amount of scholarships we have to award in 2007. The Executive Board has approved $16,000.00 in scholarship money to be awarded this year. Three $1,000.00 Hank Hasiwar Scholarships will be made available to students in the automotive curriculum at a school of higher learning and 13 $1,000.00 scholarships are available for the Members and their families of the Society of Fleet Supervisors. Just remember that all Members have an attendance obligation of attending at least 15 meetings in the three years prior to November 2007 to be eligible for a Society of Fleet Supervisors, Inc. Scholarship.

WELFARE & EMPLOYMENT – JOHN COSTANTIN

No news is good news on the health and welfare of our Members.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY wishes for our following Members and their spouses:
4/2 Phyllis Kodner (Mark)
4/4 Anna Provisiero (Ralph)
4/6 Josephine Logan (Robert)
4/7 Ivan Crandon
4/11 John Donato
4/12 Richard Fevang
4/12 Michael Schuler
4/14 Ruth Dutot (Phil)
4/14 Marion Taub (Alan)
4/20 Gino Arbasetti
4/22 Steve Dardzinski
4/23 Richard Sciortino
4/23 Nuno Tardo
4/25 Mortimer O’Sullivan
4/26 Jennifer Mucciacciaro (Mario)
4/27 Tom Mitrakos
4/30 Robert Johanson

 


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