Hurricane Irene headed for East Coast
The National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center expect that Hurricane Irene will hit the Mid-Atlantic United States on Saturday and move through much of the Northeast over the course of the weekend.
The safety of our clients and drivers is our top priority, and as those in the projected storm zone brace for Irene’s impact, Wheels would like offer some suggestions for actions drivers can take to help ensure that they and their vehicles are safe and prepared:
- Be sure to fill your gas tank before the storm hits, as fueling stations may be out of service or unreachable after the storm passes through.
- If possible, move your vehicle to high ground to reduce the risk of it being damaged or displaced as the result of flooding.
- Hold off on non-essential repairs and maintenance so that your vehicle is not at a service location during the storm.
- Double-check your spare tire to ensure it is in full working condition, and ensure you keep a first-aid kit and mobile phone handy.
- Avoid driving during periods of severe weather.
- Do not attempt to drive where water is covering large portions of the road, as flood waters can be deceptively deep and conceal significant damage to pavement or terrain. If the water level is deep enough to enter the vehicle’s cabin or engine, it can quickly disable the vehicle's electrical system and cause stalling.
- Keep radios tuned to a local news or weather station, and follow all emergency instructions.
Drivers whose vehicles are enrolled on our maintenance or collision services can contact the Wheels Driver Services Center for assistance, and emergency support is available 24 hours a day. Wheels is anticipating an influx of driver calls in Irene’s aftermath, and we are making the appropriate preparations to ensure we are ready to service any drivers who may be in need.
It is important to remember that the best way to avoid the dangerous driving conditions is to stay off the roads entirely during severe weather. We hope everyone takes the appropriate precautions to ensure their safety throughout the storm.Back to top
Tips for effectively communicating with drivers
As you review and update your fleet policy or encounter any other situations in which you need to distribute communications to drivers, it is essential to ensure that your message is being delivered clearly and effectively. Effective communication not only keeps drivers informed, it also helps you garner useful driver feedback that may help when making adjustments to your policy or ordering process.
Here are some tips to keep in mind for creating and distributing communications to ensure you are always delivering a clear message:
State the goal. Each communication serves a purpose, and that purpose should be obvious to the reader right away. Generally, the goal will be to distribute information or to provide a call to action for the recipient.
Less is more. Communications should be concise. Drivers on the road often do not have time to decipher long and complicated communications, and might miss key details if they are buried amongst large blocks of text.
Drive a mile in their car. As you develop the communication, try and think like the recipient. Let someone who isn't as familiar with the content read it for you and provide feedback. Did that person identify any areas as being unclear or confusing? If so, it is possible other readers would have the same reaction, so be sure to reword or reformat those areas as necessary to make the message clearer.
Timing is everything. Even well-developed communications may generate phone calls. While the goal should be to address all key information points up front, questions should still be anticipated. Knowing this, carefully determine the best time for distributing the communication. It will be easier on the recipient and those fielding the calls if they don't hit at a peak time for the call-taker. Generally, inbound call volumes peak on Monday and Friday, so if possible, try to schedule communications for Tuesday through Thursday receipt.
Communicate the communication. Before you distribute the communication to the drivers, send it to anyone who may be in a position to receive driver questions or comments on it. This could include internal stakeholders as well as external partners, such as Wheels, if we field your driver calls. Ideally, you want to give these parties the opportunity to understand the nature of the communication, and provide any feedback they may have on its content before it goes out to drivers.
Please keep in mind that FleetView includes functionality that allows users to set maintenance and oil change reminder e-mails based on new parameters such as the vehicle's unit type, year, make and model. This allows you to better account for manufacturers' year-by-year changes to recommended intervals for oil changes and other preventive maintenance tasks.
We would be happy to review any fleet communications you are preparing. Please contact a member of your account team if you would like assistance.Back to top
Managing your fleet with FleetView reports
The FleetView report schedule gives you tools to help monitor fleet activity and assist in making key strategic and tactical decisions. Based on the schedule, FleetView offers a number of reports we recommend reviewing in the month of September. These reports are listed below. For a copy of the complete report schedule, please contact a member of you account team.
Reports to run if you are on Wheels' services
Claim Activity Detail: Use as required to monitor collision claim activity (e.g. weekly or monthly).
Collision Subrogation Recap: Run this report quarterly to view a summary of subrogation activity, progress and results for a select period of time.
Collision Management Recap: Run this report quarterly to view a summary of overall collision activity for a select period of time.
Enterprise Open Rental: Run monthly to monitor open rentals, costs and days.
Fuel Velocity: Run this report monthly to help you track fuel card utilization, exceptions and expenses.
Regional Fuel Comparison: Run this report quarterly to compare regional fuel costs against Wheels' average fuel costs.
Maintenance Incentive Summary: Run three times per year to track maintenance incentives.
Fleet management reports to run
Combined Billing: Run each month to audit and monitor expenses.
Driver Name and Address: Run every other month to compare with your HR database for data quality purposes and to support driver mailings.
Order Status: Run this report during the ordering cycle to follow progress of new vehicles on order, from order placement to unit at dealer.
Year-to-Date Order Activity: Use this report to help monitor tier levels for incentives.
Rental Billing: Run twice yearly to audit and monitor rental expenses.Back to top