You're finally resigned to the situation and accepted that this isn't a temporary phenomena: diesel prices are high and likely to continue climbing even higher. Now you need a comprehensive plan to help your fleet survive in this new, far more expensive environment.

Experience will help you create that plan, as will familiarity with your fleet's individual operating requirements and resources. But this is also the time to look outside your organization for help. You simply can't afford to ignore any resource as you look to systematically identify every potential contribution to maximum fuel efficiency.

Fleet Owner has joined with Truckload Carriers Assn. (TCA) to bring you some of that expert advice in an interactive way. On June 17 we will launch the first of three webcasts we're calling “Survivor's Guide to the Fuel Crisis.”

This first seminar will focus on operational issues that affect a fleet's overall fuel consumption. It will offer practical advice on how to analyze your operations to make sure you're serving the right customers and accounts, the ones that offer the best return on your fuel expenditures. It will examine questions of route efficiency, reducing out-of-route miles, deadheading and other fuel-wasting practices. And it will offer a look at the tools available to fleets of all sizes for optimizing fuel management and purchasing.

Part two of our webcast series will address the driver's contribution to fuel economy. Scheduled for August 5, the one-hour online event will outline ways to monitor driver behaviors and identify fuel-saving opportunities. It will also address how to train drivers and support their efforts to maximize fuel economy, as well as how to best motivate them to change their driving habits.

The third Fleet Owner/TCA webcast on September 23 will turn to equipment issues. It will discuss both new technologies and proven ones that can help you specify the most fuel-efficient trucks for your operations, as well as those that might be of dubious value. Methods of evaluating return on investment will be covered, as will the contribution of routine maintenance items.

We've chosen the webcast format for these three seminars as the most efficient way to bring you practical, how-to information that can be quickly implemented in your operations. All that's required is an Internet connection and a web browser — no expensive travel or lost time away from the office. Just register, log on at 2 p.m. (EST) on the day of the webcast, and participate in a live presentation by subject experts chosen for their breadth of knowledge and objectivity. During each session, you'll have the opportunity to submit questions for the presenters, and once the webcast is complete you'll be given a link to access an archive of the entire webcast for up to one year.

All three webcasts are free for fleet managers thanks to sponsors who want to contribute to the industry's efforts to deal with the fuel crisis. You can register now for the June 17 operational seminar at www.fleetowner.com/fuel-webcast. We'll email you instructions on accessing the webinar and send you a date-and-time reminder just before the event goes live. Registration for the other two free webcasts will open later this summer.


E-mail: jmele@fleetowner.com

Web site: fleetowner.com

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