Wendy Leavitt

Director, editorial & market development
Fleet Owner

 

Wendy Leavitt joined Fleet Owner in 1998 after serving as editor-in-chief of Trucking Technology magazine for four years.

She began her career in the trucking industry at Kenworth Truck Company in Kirkland, WA where she spent 16 years—the first five years as safety and compliance manager in the engineering department and more than a decade as the company’s manager of advertising and public relations. She has also worked as a book editor, guided authors through the self-publishing process and operated her own marketing and public relations business.

Wendy has a Masters Degree in English and Art History from Western Washington University, where, as a graduate student, she also taught writing.  

Articles by Wendy Leavitt
Using data to save fleets dollars

There is so much enthusiastic talk about the value of big data these days that it sometimes sounds almost magical in its ability to transform fleet operations and turn losses into profits. While using data analysis is certainly not be as easy as waving a wand, it can make invisible realities suddenly visible for fleets and put isolated information into relevant and revealing context—and that really can make a difference to the bottom line.

Saving hours 

Company: Jim Beam Brands-Maine, Lewiston, ME

Operation: Dry van, private fleet of eight tractors primarily delivering finished products such as vodka and rum and backhauling raw materials and other loads for a Lewiston, ME, plant and other shippers

Problem:

Sylectus launches iPhone-based mobile app 

 

St. Augustine, FL. Sylectus, a business unit of Omnitracs Canada, Inc., recently announced the launch of its iPhone-based Sylectus Mobile application.  The announcement was made just ahead of the company’s 2014 User Conference, being held here February 7 to February 9.

PeopleNet now offering Drivewyze weigh station bypass app 

 

Drivewyze, Inc. and PeopleNet, a Trimble Company, recently announced that the Drivewyze PreClear weigh station bypass application is now available for PeopleNet onboard devices, effective immediately.

Telogis unveils Fleet 11 to transform business with big data + business intelligence

This morning, Telogis, Inc. introduced Fleet 11, the latest major upgrade to its comprehensive, cloud-based, fleet management software platform.

Time to buy trucks? 

“We think there will be a gradual improvement [in the economy in 2014],” says Kenneth Vieth, president and senior analyst of ACT Research.  “We call this period the ‘Great OK.’  Things are too good to be sad and too bad to be happy.”

Vieth is voicing what fleets all over the country are experiencing as they begin a new year—an economy that is clearly doing better, but in a lackluster sort of way.  This absence of economic vibrancy is forcing truck buyers to be cautious as well.

The tie that binds: Connecting drivers to vehicles

 Mercedes-Benz recently announced a strategic partnership with Silicon Valley-based  Pebble Technology. As a result, attendees at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES) will have the opportunity to see first-hand (or first wrist in this case) where human-to-vehicle interaction might go next.

Brutally cold weather on the way for much of U.S. and Canada

Record-breaking cold weather is sweeping down through Canada toward the U.S. as the year draws to a close, according to the AccuWeather Global Weather Center. The coldest air of the season so far, featuring temperatures well below zero, is on the way to the Northern Plains, the Upper Midwest and part of the Northeast before 2014 arrives, AccuWeather warned in a news release today.

Slow going still seen for truck and trailer sales in 2014

The outlook for truck and trailer sales in the New Year remains a modest one, with the need to replace aging equipment offset by continued uncertainty about the strength of the U.S. economy.

Smart devices and fleet desires 

Go to any public place, from a bus stop to a shopping mall, hospital or restaurant and you will probably find the assembled populace with heads bowed, eyes intent, fingers endlessly moving over the small communications/computing devices each carries in his or her hand.  Computing, untethered from the private confines of the office, is making millions of converts on the street.  This phenomenon has been commonly referred to as the “consumerization” of computing devices.

Person first 

While I am not much of a fan of self-help books (as the people who know me might quip is pretty darned obvious), one such book caught my attention recently because it is all about communicating in the digital age.  Is it just me, or are we humans increasingly behaving as though we are at the bidding of our handy little technology tools instead of the other way around?

In his new book Stop Talking, Start Communicating, published by McGraw-Hill Education this year, author Geoffrey Tumlin describes our digital dilemma this way:

Turning water and carbon dioxide into crude oil

Researchers at Ben-Gurion University (BGU) of the Negev in Israel report that they have developed a process to convert carbon dioxide and hydrogen into a renewable alternative for crude oil. If they are correct, liquid fuels made from this substitute for crude oil could be in the pipeline within five to ten years, revolutionizing transportation and the battle to reduce emissions in the process, not to mention shaking up the oil market worldwide.

Adapting to a mobile world 

Mobile computing is quickly taking the world by storm. Companies such as XRS, PeopleNet and Omnitracs as well as a host of other firms are working to provide the solutions carriers are looking for, whether they are based on legacy platforms or new mobile platforms. The result is a quick-moving transition to the future of computing and fleet managers are facing decisions on how to proceed.

Operations: Cat’s cradle 

Operating a truck fleet has always seemed a little like a game of Cat’s Cradle.  There are so many overlapping and interdependent variables to consider all at once: available trucks and tractors and their location, customers’ pickup and delivery requirements, time and distance factors, fueling, weight, drivers’ available hours, weather and routing.  The difference between a perfectly planned and executed operation and a tangled mess can be one wrong move.

The rules are changing 

To say rules and regulations have an over-reaching effect on trucking operations is like saying the sky is blue.  No one will dispute it.  Yet, outside of the industry, few understand just how much regulation there is in trucking these days, and how much is still on the loading dock waiting for delivery.

Newsletter Signup

Search 3.8+ million listings

Buyer's Guide

Connect With Us

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×