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September 2008


The time has come for our first meeting of the year. I hope that everyone had enjoyed their summer and I am looking forward to seeing everyone at our September meeting.

As this year’s President, I would like to say how grateful I am to lead this organization and that you would find me worthy of such an important position. I am sure you will be pleased at what the Executive Board and I have in store for you this coming year. We have already lined up some programs that we hope you will find very interesting.

I want to thank the four new Executive Board members for stepping up to the plate to help out this year. We welcome Don Aull and Robert Crandall as the Co-Chairmen of the Programs Committee, Tom Munno as the Chairman of the Special Activities Committee and John Guarriello as the Chairman of the Welfare and Employment Committee.

We have a lot of work to achieve in keeping the Society a success as it has been in the past. We need everyone’s help in bring in new membership to keep us growing.

Thank you in advance for your support.


September is our first meeting of the year. We are back at the Immaculate Conception Center in Douglaston, NY for our General Meetings.

During the summer, my committee members, some Executive Board members and I have looked at numerous alternative locations for our meetings but were unable to come up with a location that has the ample parking, good food and at the same time keep the dinner price affordable. If you have a location that you think would be good for our meetings, please give me a call.



We are accepting Bylaw change proposals in writing. The deadline to submit any Bylaw change proposal is the March meeting.

Excerpts from our Constitution and Bylaws:
Article X
1. All Members in time of hardship will be dealt with equally. The Executive Committee, under the President, shall be the final interpreter and make available a sum of ($250.00) two hundred fifty dollars. In addition any Member who becomes disabled or cannot work due to physical condition can have his/her dues deferred for the length of his/her disability, but the dues deferment is to be reviewed by the Executive Committee yearly.


2008 Constitution, Bylaws and Rosters will be distributed at the September and October meetings. If you would like your copy mailed to you, please let me know.

Our present Membership is comprised of:
Members 106
Life Members 19
Editorial Members 0
Associate Members 35
Honorary Members 3
Original Equipment Manufacturer 3
Apprentice Fleet Supervisors 0
Student Members 7
Total Membership 173

Current CONSECUTIVE attendance records are:
Honorary Member Bill Misita, Retired – 99, 9/92 – 2/05
Member Robert Lagnese, Farmingdale University – 91, 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
Life Member Nuno Tardo, Retired – 48, 1/02 –1/08
Member Robert Spiotto, Frank Siviglia & Co., Inc. – 47, 11/01 –9/07
Member Pat De Martino, Con Edison – 44, 10/90 – 2/96
Member Leonard Huffmire, Atlantic Express Inc. – 44, 11/02 –


Bronx Community College’s Automotive Technology Program
Over the past year, Bronx Community College’s Automotive Technology Program has received a complete overhaul. We have all new equipment and have renovated the buildings. The cost of tuition per semester is $1,400 which is a bargain in today’s times. If you should know of a potential student, please have them contact me for a personal tour and overview of our program. Contact: Clem Drummond at (718) 289 -5367 or [email protected]

Program Description
Bronx Community College’s Automotive Technology Program is the only Associates in Applied Science (A.A.S) Degree in CUNY. In addition, it includes a 1-year Automotive Technician Certificate Program. Our facilities feature “state-of-the-art” wheel alignment equipment, digital brake lathes, modus scanners, ATECH simulation boards and a new computer lab with the latest automotive software. This program features a specialized course on Alternative Fuel Technology that overviews alternative fuels: ethanol, methanol, compressed natural gas (CNG), liquid natural gas (LNG), propane, hydrogen, electricity (i.e. hybrids) and fuel cells. It explains the sources and processing of alternative fuel, including a discussion of alternative fuels currently in use and in development. Comparisons are made between the benefits and drawbacks of each type of fuel. The course also covers major policies and governmental regulations pertaining to the installation, operation and inspection of all alternative fuel vehicles.

Chevrolet Volt
The extended-range electric vehicle is no longer just a rumor. We have put tremendous design and engineering resources in place to make this vehicle a reality. The Concept Chevy Volt, with its revolutionary E-Flex Propulsion System, will be different than any previous electric vehicle because it will use a lithium-ion battery with a variety of range-extending onboard power sources, including gas and, in some vehicles, E85 ethanol(1) to recharge the battery while driving.
When it comes to plugging in, the Volt will be designed to use a common 110–volt household plug. For someone who drives less than 40 miles a day, Chevy Volt will use zero gasoline and produce zero emissions.(2) For longer trips, Chevy Volt's range-extending power source kicks in to recharge the lithium-ion battery pack as required.


Now that the summer of 2008 is over and we find ourselves easing into our daily routine, I am asking the Membership to take a moment or two to fill out a Journal Ad application (contained within this Newsletter) and make a commitment to The Society of Fleet Supervisors and our Member of the Year, Mike Cordiello.

The purchase of a Journal Ad and/or Upgrading your Journal Ad (if you’re an Associate Member), lets the Members of our Society know that you support them and are proud of the work that they do on your behalf. In addition, a Journal Ad is a very economical way of advertising and growing your business. We are all well aware that these days every dollar counts and there is no better way of getting the “best bang for the buck” than by purchasing a Journal Ad.

May I remind you all that we have less than three months before the Journal Ad deadline arrives and we have a long uphill road to travel to match last year’s effort.

I have had the privilege of seeing what our Members are made of and have every reason to believe that once again, this year, they will rise to the occasion for the 2008 Journal celebrating Member of the Year, Mike Cordiello as they have always done in the past.

So please take the Journal Ad Form, fill it out and send it in! Make the commitment to the Society and show Mike how much he is appreciated!



Industry Group Backs Bill Seeking Tax Credits for Safety Technologies
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) is actively backing Senate legislation that seeks to provide tax credits for purchases of trucks and buses equipped with certain safety technologies.

Senate Bill 3428, introduced just prior to the August recess by Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and George Voinovich (R-OH), aims to significantly reduce commercial vehicle crashes and save lives.

"This bill is the right thing to do," said Stephen F. Campbell, CVSA's executive director. "It is about encouraging investment in safety through the purchase and installation of technologies on trucks and buses that have been tested and proven to work. It will certainly help reduce heavy truck fatalities which have been hovering around 5,000 per year for the last 10 years."

The bill provides tax credits for four safety technologies identified by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in its recent Large Truck Crash Causation Study. The four technologies that would help reduce truck crashes and fatalities are: collision avoidance, lane departure warning, stability control, and brake stroke monitoring systems. The tax credit would be equal to 50 percent of the cost of a qualified system, up to $1,500; allow a total credit of up to $3,500 per vehicle; limit the qualifying taxpayer to a maximum credit to $350,000 per taxable year; and extend credit eligibility for the purchase of school buses, intercity buses and vehicles used in commerce.

The Senate bill's approach has also drawn support from the FMSCA and National Transportation Safety Board. In testimony last year before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, NTSB Chairman Mark V. Rosenker said the quickest way to promote widespread use of motor vehicle safety technologies was through the tax incentive approach.

On Capitol Hill, Senator Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) also signed on to the measure as an original co-sponsor. It is a companion bill to HR3820, which was introduced in the House last October by Representative Mike Thompson (D-CA) and Ron Lewis (R-KY). There are now 16 co-sponsors of the House bill.

"Efforts to gain as much support as possible for this legislation are being made in order to ensure it becomes a high priority for consideration in next year's reauthorization bill," said Campbell.

CVSA is a nonprofit group comprised of motor carrier safety officials and industry representatives from North America.

EPA Keeps Biofuels Levels in Place after Considering Texas’ Request
Following extensive analysis, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Stephen L. Johnson announced his decision to deny a request submitted by the State of Texas to reduce the nationwide Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). As a result, the required total volume of renewable fuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel, mandated by law to be blended into the fuel supply will remain at 9 billion gallons in 2008 and 11.1 billion gallons in 2009.

“After reviewing the facts, it was clear this request did not meet the criteria in the law,” Johnson said. “The RFS remains an important tool in our ongoing efforts to reduce America’s greenhouse gas emissions and lessen our dependence on foreign oil, in aggressive yet practical ways.”

Current law authorizes EPA to waive the national RFS if the agency determines that the mandated biofuel volumes would cause “severe harm” to the economy or the environment. The agency recognizes that high commodity prices are having economic impacts, but EPA’s extensive analysis of Texas’ request found no compelling evidence that the RFS mandate is causing severe economic harm during the time period specified by Texas.

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 established the RFS program – and included amendments to the Clean Air Act to set strict criteria for RFS-related waivers. RFS nationwide volume mandates were increased in the Energy Independence and Security Act, which was signed into law in December 2007.

EPA conducted detailed analysis, consulted closely with the Departments of Energy and Agriculture, and carefully considered more than 15,000 public comments in response to the Texas request. This is the first RFS-related waiver request. In a Federal Register notice, EPA is publishing a detailed rationale that will also serve as a framework for any future waiver considerations.

Fleet Safety Must be Your No. 1 Job Priority By Mike Antich, Automotive Fleet
Last week, I attended a superb Fleet Safety Summit produced by Fleet Response, a fleet management company headquartered in Cleveland. I applaud Fleet Response for putting a spotlight on fleet safety and the safety-conscious fleet managers who took time out of their busy schedules to attend the two-day event. As one of the symposium presenters, I expressed my perspective on fleet safety, which is that some fleet managers do not consistently view safety as a top priority. I know many will disagree with me and say fleet safety is indeed a top concern, but when you talk with suppliers of fleet safety programs and services, they point out that the “talk” often does not translate into action.

Do You Walk the Talk?
In two decades of chronicling the history of fleet management, I have seen interest in fleet safety ebb and flow. Currently, fleet safety is a hot issue. In fact, in an annual survey I conduct of fleet managers, they rated fleet safety as their No. 2 concern, right behind the cost of fuel. Why the renewed interest in fleet safety? More and more fleet managers are reporting an uptick in preventable accidents. The primary cause is driver distraction, which accounts for 25-30 percent of all auto accidents. Driver distraction is increasing because drivers are multitasking while driving. The workload of company drivers, as with all of us, has increased tremendously. Drivers use “windshield time” for cell phone calls, texting, reviewing documents prior to meetings, eating while driving to the next appointment, etc. Although cell phone use is the primary cause of driver distraction, texting is becoming a growing (and more dangerous) factor.

Drivers engaged in mobile texting spend 400 percent more time taking their eyes off the road and are 70 percent more likely to swerve out of their lane. If you’re traveling 65 mph, taking your eyes off the road for three seconds while texting is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field. Texting represents a major liability exposure for fleets. One fleet received a legal judgment to pay $4.1 million for an accident caused by a driver using a personal digital assistant (PDA). It is not uncommon to see drivers resting a BlackBerry on a steering wheel while using their thumbs to type a text message. Texting is more dangerous than using a cell phone. At least a driver talking on a cell phone is watching the road ahead. Someone texting has his or her eyes off the road staring at their hands pecking a message on a miniature keypad.

As fleet managers, we need to ask ourselves if we are doing enough to ensure the safety of our drivers. Second, are we doing enough as fleet managers to train our drivers to operate vehicles in a safe way? In other words, is safety your top concern? My contention is that it should be your No. 1 priority. Fleet managers have a personal stake in fleet safety. If they are derelict in their duties, they potentially could be liable for negligent entrustment and/or negligent retention of unsafe drivers.

In addition, fleet managers are feeling pressure from other corporate departments to increase fleet driver safety. For instance, corporate risk management is becoming more influential in the types of vehicles added to fleet selectors. Some corporate risk management departments dictate that only models with NHTSA 5-Star ratings can be added to a fleet selector. Another department with a growing influence on fleet safety is the Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) Department. It is responsible for employee safety issues elsewhere in the company, such as the factory floor and workstation ergonomics; why not fleet vehicles? EHS Departments are extending their reach into fleet because company drivers are one of the largest sources of Workers’ Comp claims. For instance, driver-related ergonomics issues that result in Workers’ Comp claims are on the rise at truck fleets. These include injuries from pushing, pulling, lifting, and bending often caused by upfitting specifications that did not take into account driver ergonomics. Under OSHA regulations, an employer must provide a workplace free from recognized hazards and company vehicles are considered a workplace. In addition, good ergonomics contributes to accident avoidance. Think about it, poor ergonomics reduces driver comfort, which increases fatigue, a key contributor to preventable accidents.

Fleet Safety Can Reduce Fleet Costs
Fleet safety is on the “radar” of senior management. Liability exposure resulting from preventable accidents has made senior management more sensitive to enforcing fleet safety policies. Unfortunately, this sensitivity sometimes arises after the fact following a lawsuit or a fleet-related fatality.

The annual accident rate for commercial fleets is around 20 percent, with some industries, such as pharmaceuticals, even higher. I’ve always accepted this statistic as a natural byproduct of our industry until it was put into perspective by Eric Strom, maintenance & safety product manager for GE Capital Solutions Fleet Services. Chenier used a manufacturing analogy saying any fleet-related accident should be viewed as a defect. What industry would view a 20-percent or more defect rate as acceptable? Fleets do. In addition, this defect – fleet accidents – is a controllable expense. Of the 20 percent of vehicles involved in an accident, about 40 percent were preventable accidents resulting from driver negligence. If 40 percent of your accidents are preventable, this represents a huge opportunity to reduce fleet costs. Industry studies show that accidents represent 14 percent of a fleet’s total expenses, although it is probably even higher since these studies do not take into account soft costs such as downtime, lost employee productivity, etc. Hypothetically, if fleets could eliminate all preventable accidents, the expense rate would drop to about 8 percent. It is impossible to reduce all preventable accidents, but simply cutting in half the number of preventable accidents would yield substantial cost savings. In today’s fleet management world, there are few areas where such dramatic cost reductions can be achieved.

Although fleet safety can reduce fixed fleet costs, the more important reason to make fleet safety your No. 1 job priority is because it’s the right thing to do. As good corporate citizens, it is our obligation to ensure the safety of not only our employees, but also the public with whom they interact. Your actions (or inaction) can be the difference that prevents (or contributes) to a family tragedy.


I would like to take this opportunity to welcome everyone back for a new year. We still are looking for potential Members and have not received many candidates in the last few months. Please, we need your help in recommending potential candidates to increase our Membership and support the Society.

I encourage all Members to speak to their co-workers, friends, customers and anyone in the industry who may benefit from joining the Society. If anyone is interested they can contact me for a membership application.

Also, we are looking for recommendations for Member of the Month. If you know of anyone who has showed outstanding performance in the Industry you should send their name to me or Richard Chan.

Remember being a member is important, but we must attend meetings to support the Society.

Members on the move:
• Member William McVeigh is now the Director of Transportation for Maggies Paratransit Corp. of Brooklyn, NY.


Well, here we are again, the summer is almost over, the kids are getting ready for school, traffic is going to get worse again and I have to try to persuade everyone that's going to attend September’s meeting that "this year will be much better and different from all the past ones." Let’s be honest, if we as a Society don't want change, it will never happen.

One of the main and most important aspects of the Society of Fleet Supervisors is to bring the latest technology from the Industry to us in a presentation form so we as a group can benefit and excel in or fields of participation. The Society attendees seem to think that it’s OK to talk, ignore or even walk out when a presenter is offering their time knowledge and money for the cocktail hour. Of course this is not reflective of everybody in the Society but the few that forget their obligation.

Jonathan Smith, Regional Sales Manager for Prestolite Electric/Leece Neville will be bringing to us the latest in Starter and Alternator Technology. One of the most misdiagnosed systems on a vehicle today is the starting and charging system. Everybody thinks the system is straight forward and easy to diagnose but the reality of it is that the average mechanic does not know the fundamentals of how the system works.

I hope to see many of the old faces and a considerable amount of new at the September Meeting. If anyone would like to make suggestions or has any objective input please don't hesitate to talk to me at the meeting. Thank you.


I mailed a letter to all of our retirees over the summer and I hope all and their families are in good health. I’m looking forward to hearing from the retirees and sharing any news with the Membership.


Hank Hasiwar Scholarship interviews were held in June at Farmingdale University. Member Bob Lagnese provided six candidates from Farmingdale University’s Automotive Technology Department and Member Clement Drummond provided one candidate from Bronx Community College’s Automotive Technology Department to compete for three $1,000.00 scholarships. These scholarships will be awarded at the October meeting.

The Society of Fleet Supervisors, Inc. Scholarship has eight $2,000.00 scholarships to award to our Members and their family members. At the present time, we have received 11 applications to date and all Members have met the attendance requirement for eligibility. These scholarships will be awarded by random drawing at the Annual Scholarships Awards Dinner in January. If you have not submitted your application, the deadline is the November meeting.



My name is Tom Munno of Double Check Auto Electric and I am the new Chairman of the Special Activities Committee. If anyone would like to help on the committee for the Scholarships Awards Dinner, Kiddy Picnic or have any suggestions please let me know. I can be reached by telephone at (516) 510-2301 or by email at [email protected]


My name is John Guarriello and I am the new chairman of the Welfare & Employment Committee. I work for We Transportation and run their Smithtown shop. I can be reached at (516) 233-7513 or (631) 766-2029 or by email at [email protected] for any Welfare and Employment issues you may have.

Get well and speedy recovery wishes go out to Carole Costantin, wife of Member John Costantin who is recovering from surgery at the end of June.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY wishes for our following Members and their spouses:
10/01 Larry Bellack
10/01 Vincent Cinotti
10/02 James McElwee
10/04 Sara Klebanoff (Alan)
10/04 Dale Lawson (Jack)
10/06 Robert Logan
10/07 Michael Bruce
10/07 Virginia Drummond (Clement)
10/08 Edgar Ebert
10/09 Christine Gulmi (Ronald)
10/11 Maria Coranoto (Daniel)
10/11 Barbara De Martino (Pat)
10/11 Michael Mazzio
10/13 Peter Kearney
10/15 Marianne Bancke (Keith)
10/15 Robert Bisciotti
10/15 Tim Harte
10/18 Nicholas Pavlides
10/19 Dennis Gibbons
10/20 Frank Felicetta
10/21 Frank Carpenter
10/21 Karen Munno (Thomas)
10/23 Doreen Dent (Roger)
10/26 Karen Kearney (Raymond)
10/30 Prodromos Angelopoulos


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