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December 2009


At this time I would like to say, "Thank You" to the Members for a great turn out at the November meeting.

With the help of Clem Drummond and many others, we inducted two (2) new full Members, one Associate Member and brought numerous guests and potential members to the meeting.  As always, I knew when asked our members would come through.

It is the membership that keeps this Society STRONG!

I thank you all for your help.

I would also like to wish everyone a Safe and Happy Holiday Season!


Just a reminder that we are at the Immaculate Conception Center on the third Wednesday of each month from now through May except for December which there is no meeting.

What a great night for the Society as attendance was up and our guest speaker did a fantastic job.  Our Spotlight Supplier, HOP Energy, was excited about the wonderful opportunity to meet and greet our Members while featuring their resources and capabilities.  Michael Cafiero, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for HOP Energy, said it was a pleasure to offer their brochures and services to the finest professionals in the transportation industry.  He went on to say that our Members were excited to see his display and meet his sales team and discuss opportunities with their respective companies.  We encourage all Member grades to join our Supplier Spotlight Program as it supports not only educational awareness for critical support functions but builds Membership as well.  Our entire team is excited about this new venue and will work with any and all companies or suppliers that need assistance.  Please see me or call as soon as possible so we can continue to make this program a success for all.  The cost of this opportunity would be $250.00 for all grade Members and $350.00 for non-member suppliers.  Our Members will make a difference in the quality of our presentations and together we all can benefit from this outstanding organization.

I wish all our Members and their families a safe and wonderful Christmas and Holiday Season!


We are now accepting Bylaw change proposals in writing for the 2010 Constitution and Bylaws.  Please send me your change proposals by email or regular mail.

Excerpts from our Constitution and Bylaws:
Bylaw X        Payment of Dues

The fiscal year, for dues purposes shall be the calendar year.  

Dues shall be payable January 1 or on notice except for the President of the Society while in office.

Those Members joining during the first (6) six month's of any year shall pay a full current year's dues; those joining after July 1st shall pay (1/2) one half of the annual dues for the balance of the fiscal year.  Any Member inducted at the November meeting would be exempt from dues for the current year.  (Amended 5/19/93)

Any Member whose dues remain unpaid by January 31st shall be deemed delinquent and a second notice shall be mailed.  All new Members’ dues are due at the time of their induction to the Society.  Any privileges will not be granted to any new Member until such dues are paid in full.  (Amended 5/17/95)

The Membership Committee shall have the power to terminate Membership if the dues are not paid within (30) thirty days after a Member or an Associate is deemed delinquent.

Any Associate Member inducted during the November meeting would be required to pay in full the coming year’s dues. (Added 5/19/99)


2010 dues notices were mailed out to all dues paying Members on December 1, 2009.

We have openings for page sponsors on our website.  For a nominal fee of $50.00 your ad would run from September through August and would be hyperlinked to your company’s website.  Please contact me for further information.

Our present Membership is comprised of:
Members    107
Life Members     19
Editorial Members     0
Associate Members    36
Honorary Members    3
Original Equipment Manufacturer    3
Apprentice Fleet Supervisors    0
Student Members    7
Total Membership    175

Current CONSECUTIVE attendance records are:
Member Robert Lagnese – 102, 1/97 –
Honorary Member Bill Misita – 99, 9/92 – 2/05
Member George Pastor – 70, 5/94 – 5/03
Member Carl Orza – 70, 3/97 – 2/06
Life Member Nuno Tardo – 63, 3/89 – 1/97
Member Leonard Huffmire – 55, 11/02 –
Member John Cigna – 50, 2/94 – 3/00
Life Member Nuno Tardo – 48, 1/02 –1/08
Member Robert Spiotto – 47, 11/01 –9/07
Member Pat De Martino – 44, 10/90 – 2/96

Attendance at the November meeting:
Members    57
Guests    27
Total    84


Gallons Per Mile / Comparison
As gas prices rose earlier this year, consumers started paying a lot more attention to their cars’ miles per gallon. Good luck with that. The apparently simple unit of measurement is a highly misleading one, as two Duke management professors demonstrated in a June issue of Science. They favor an alternative measure of fuel economy: gallons consumed per 10,000 miles.

The problem with mpg, argues Richard Larrick, who wrote the article with his business-school colleague (and carpooling partner) Jack Soll, is that it leads consumers to significantly underestimate the gains in fuel efficiency that can be achieved by trading in very low mpg vehicles — even for one that gets only a few more miles per gallon. Less detrimentally, mpg also misleads people about the fuel savings achieved by moving from an ordinary family sedan into a Prius.

Larrick emphasizes that his long-term goal is to get everyone into the most fuel-efficient vehicles that exist. But right now, he says, “as a national-policy question, the urgency is getting people out of the 14 mpg vehicles.” And mpg ratings aren’t the most useful prod, largely because the real significance of differences in m.p.g. is often counterintuitive. The jump from 10 to 20 mpg, for example, saves more gas than the one from 20 to 40 mpg. The move from 10 to 11 mpg can save nearly as much as the leap from 33 to 50 mpg.

Consider the much-mocked S.U.V. hybrids, which seem to offer only incremental gains. Someone who trades in an all-wheel-drive Cadillac Escalade (14 mpg) for an Escalade hybrid (20 mpg) would save 214 gallons of gasoline over the course of 10,000 miles. That’s about as much fuel as would be saved by two people currently driving 33 mpg cars who switch to 50 mpg hybrids, assuming everyone drives the same distance.

Consumers don’t get this. The Science article summarized three studies in which Duke students or participants in an online survey botched calculating mpg trade-offs. In one case, 75 percent of the test subjects got the question wrong. When the calculations were reframed, however, using both mpg and gallons used per 100 miles — 64 percent got it right. (Gallons per 10,000 miles further clarifies efficiency differences, the authors say.) Not long after the Science article appeared, the Energy Department and Environmental Protection Agency Web site added a feature that lets users compare cars using gallons per 100 miles. Not a bad first step. Article by CHRISTOPHER SHEA / NY Times


The Journal Ad Committee would like to thank one and all who have contributed to the 2009 Society of Fleet Supervisors Journal honoring our Member of the Year, Mark Kodner.

Even though this year has been especially difficult for all of us, somehow, someway our Membership has risen to the occasion.  You, our Members have once again contributed generously to help make this year’s Journal a strong testament of your support of our great Society of Fleet Supervisors and equally to our most worthy honoree, Mark.

This year’s Journal (as always) will be distributed at our Annual Scholarship Awards Dinner at Leonard's of Great Neck on January 9, 2010.  We hope to see you there!

Thanks again for your continued support and wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah and a Happy and Healthy New Year to you and yours!


Tough New Braking Rules for Large Trucks Will Save Hundreds of Lives Annually
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today issued stringent new braking standards that will save lives by improving large truck stopping distance by 30 percent.

NHTSA estimates that the new braking requirement will save 227 lives annually, and will also prevent 300 serious injuries. It is estimated to reduce property damage costs by over $169 million annually.

“Safety is our highest priority,” Secretary LaHood said. “Motorists deserve to know they are sharing the road with large trucks that are up to the safest possible standards, so they can get home alive to their families.”

The new standard requires that a tractor-trailer traveling at 60 miles per hour come to a complete stop in 250 feet. The old standard required a complete stop within 355 feet.

The new regulation will be phased in over four years beginning with 2012 models.

The new rule should speed up the introduction of the latest brake technology into America’s freight hauling fleets and will help truck drivers avoid collisions with other vehicles.

The new rule applies only to truck tractors, and does not include single-unit trucks, trailers and buses.

The latest statistics from NHTSA show that large commercial vehicles continue to show a decrease in their involvement in fatal crashes. In 2008, 4,229 people were killed in crashes involving large trucks, down 12 percent from the 4,822 deaths recorded in 2007.

U.S. Department of Transportation Releases New Action Plan to Address Motorcoach Safety Issues
The U.S. Department of Transportation today released its Motorcoach Safety Action Plan which lays out concrete steps for improving motorcoach safety across the board. The action plan addresses major safety issues such as driver fatigue and inattention, vehicle rollover, occupant ejections and oversight of unsafe carriers.

"We are committed to making sure that bus travelers reach their destinations safely," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "These improvements will not only help reduce the number of motorcoach crashes, it will also help save lives and reduce injuries."

While motorcoach travel is a very safe mode of highway transportation in the United States, carrying 750 million passengers annually, an average of 19 motorcoach occupants are killed in crashes each year according to data collected by DOT's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Additional fatalities result among pedestrians, and occupants of other vehicles involved in these crashes.

To address this issue, Secretary LaHood directed DOT's agencies to take a fresh look at motorcoach safety issues, identify actions to address outstanding safety problems, and develop an aggressive schedule to implement those actions.

The comprehensive action plan announced today proposes enhanced regulatory oversight of new and high risk motorcoach operators, as well as the increased use of new technologies. To address driver distraction, it proposes to initiate rulemaking to prohibit texting and limit the use of cellular telephones and other devices by motorcoach drivers. It also discusses requiring electronic on-board recording devices on all motorcoaches to better monitor drivers' duty hours to address fatigue, and enhanced oversight of unsafe carriers.

In addition, the action plan proposes to better protect motorcoach occupants by requiring the installation of seat belts and discusses additional measures such as the establishment of performance requirements for enhanced roof strength, fire safety, and emergency egress. It also calls for safety improvements using technologies such as electronic stability control to prevent rollovers.

U.S. DOT Proposes New Tire Fuel Efficiency Ratings for American Consumers
The U.S. Department of Transportation today proposed a new, consumer-friendly replacement tire label which would include, for the first time, information about the tire’s impact on fuel economy and CO2 emission reductions. Tires with lower rolling resistance – and proper inflation pressure - can contribute to improved fuel economy.

In addition to the new fuel efficiency ratings, the proposal by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also would provide consumers with two other key pieces of tire performance information - wet weather traction and tread wear. All three ratings would be prominently displayed on a removable label attached to the replacement tire at the point of sale.

The new, three-tiered ratings also will appear on to help consumers in compare ratings as they shop for new tires.

“Today’s proposal takes the guess work out of buying the best tires for your vehicle,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Our proposal would let consumers look at a single label and compare a tire’s overall performance as it relates to fuel economy, safety and durability.”

NHTSA is required by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 to issue a final rule by December 2009.


Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Kicks Off Historic Summit to Tackle Dangers of Distracted Driving?New Research Finds Increase in Use of Hand-Held Devices Among All Drivers
WASHINGTON - Leading the call for a cultural shift in how Americans view safe driving, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today challenged over 250 safety experts, industry representatives, elected officials and members of the public to help put an end to distracted driving.  The Secretary's call to action kicked off a two-day Distracted Driving Summit in Washington, DC that will highlight the under-recognized dangers of distracted behavior behind the wheel.

“Every single time someone takes their eyes or their focus off the road - even for just a few seconds - they put their lives and the lives of others in danger,” said Secretary LaHood. “Distracted driving is unsafe, irresponsible and in a split second, its consequences can be devastating.”

Secretary LaHood today announced new research findings by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that show nearly 6,000 people died in 2008 in crashes involving a distracted or inattentive driver, and more than half a million were injured.  On any given day in 2008, more than 800,000 vehicles were driven by someone using a hand-held cell phone.

Across the board, federal researchers who have directly observed drivers of all ages found that more and more people are using a variety of hand-held devices while driving – not just cell phones, but also iPods, video games, Blackberrys and GPS systems.  In particular, cell phone use for talking and texting is now more prevalent on our nation's roads, rail systems and waterways, carrying a dangerous potential for accidents.

Cell phones and texting are now the primary means of communication for many people, especially young adults.  NHTSA’s research shows that the worst offenders are the youngest drivers: men and women under 20 years of age.

“We now know that the worst offenders are the youngest, least experienced drivers,” said Secretary LaHood.  “Unfortunately though, the problem doesn't end there.  Distracted driving occurs across all age groups and all modes of transportation, from cars to buses and trucks to trains. We must work together to find solutions that will prevent crashes caused by driver distraction.”

To further study how cell phone distraction affects commercial truck and motor coach drivers, Secretary LaHood also announced a new study the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is undertaking this month through June 2010.  The study will help FMCSA better understand the prevalence of cell phone distraction in conjunction with crashes and near-crashes.

The two-day Summit has brought together safety experts, researchers, industry representatives, elected officials and members of the public to share their expertise, experiences and ideas for reducing distracted driving behavior and addressing the safety risk posed by the growing problem across all modes of transportation. 

Authoritative speakers from around the nation have been invited to lead interactive sessions on a number of key topics including the extent and impact of distracted driving, current research, regulations and best practices. At the summit’s conclusion, Secretary LaHood will announce concrete steps the Department is taking to combat this problem.


A great big thank you goes out to Member Steve Justice for his very informative program on the f optimization of the Allison Transmission and drive axle for best fuel efficiency.  We also thank Drive Train Truck Parts for sponsoring the cocktail hour.

The winner of the Big Draw of $50.00 was Member Anthony Cavouto who donated his proceeds to the Society Scholarship fund.


Inducted at the November meeting:
George Patchoros, Automotive Instructor at Bronx Community College as a Member.  George is a Master Certified Audi and Volkswagen technician and a Certified NYS Secondary Education Instructor.
Vincenzo Rigaglia, Automotive Instructor at Bronx Community College as a Member.  Vicenzo has 35 years of experience in automotive repair.
Thomas Munno, Manager for Pro Built Auto Electrical of College Point, NY as an Associate Member.  Tom has over 30 years of experience in automotive electrical systems and was a former Associate Member of the Society and has rejoined the Society.


We are no longer accepting applications for the Society of Fleet Supervisors, Inc. Scholarship for 2009.  We received a total of eight scholarship applications this year.  Scholarships will be awarded by random drawing at the 2009 Annual Scholarship Awards Dinner on Saturday, January 9, 2010.  I hope you will be able to join us at the dinner as we award the scholarships.

There was an error reported in the November Newsletter for the monetary amount for the Society of Fleet Supervisors, Inc Scholarship awards for 2009.  The correct scholarship amount is $1,000.00 and six are available this year.

I want to wish a safe and wonderful Holiday Season to all.


Just a reminder on Saturday, January 9, 2010, we will be having our annual Scholarship Awards Dinner.  It will be held at Leonard’s of Great Neck at 7:00 PM.  Please call me at (516) 510-2301 or email me at [email protected] for Brick raffle tickets and table reservations.  The Society needs our support.  Please attend this wonderful event and have a great time.

See you then!


No news is good news regarding the health and welfare of our Membership.

On the employment side we have Consolidated Bus looking for a full crew from a Supervisor to mechanics.  Those interested can call 718-346-9600 x 352 and ask for Steve.  

HAPPY BIRTHDAY wishes for our following Members and their spouses:
01/02    Martin Mandel
01/02    Edward Williams
01/07    John Logerfo
01/12    Peter Domante
01/12    Mark Kodner
01/12    Carol Mirabella (William)
01/20    Henry Consiglio
01/20    Antonio Ceville
01/21    Margaret Rogers (Michael)
01/22    John Collura
01/23    John Davis
01/24    Victor Araujo
01/24    Marie Collura (John)
01/26    Patricia Davis (John)
01/26    Ira Reiter
01/28    Patricia Dejana (James)
01/28    Pasquale Taddeo
01/29    Carl Orza
01/30    Matthew Konig
01/31    Keith Bancke
01/31    Robert Crandall

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