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About me

The secrets to managing a fleet

I get it. Managing your company’s cars and trucks can be a drain on your time, your profits and your patience! Whether you run a fleet of two or 200, you may find yourself making the same mistakes or puzzling over the same issues over and over. And wondering: is there a better way to do this?

As owner of Lockhart Automotive Inc., a Toronto-based brokerage, I offer a personalized fleet vehicle shopping experience for my clients, backed by 30 years of industry experience and a proven system that helps them save time, lower costs and eliminate the headaches of managing a fleet.

Now I’ve distilled that wisdom into The Fleet Book, a practical, step-by-step guide to help you make the perfect vehicle choices, reduce your real costs and boost your profits. I think you’ll find it useful—maybe even eye-opening!

To learn more and better manage your fleet, you can contact me at 1-800-476-8407 or email at info@thefleetbook.com. I’d love to hear from you!

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Sean Lockhart

Author

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Why read The Fleet Book?

Your trucks and cars may just be the hardest-working members of your team. But acquiring, maintaining and selling them can be expensive and stressful. This book will help you make smart decisions about which vehicles to buy, how to pay for them, and how long to keep them.

Learn how to:

  • Create a long-term strategy that really works
  • Improve your company image
  • Plan the lifecycle of your fleet
  • Lower your Total Cost of Ownership
  • Take the guesswork out of paying cash, financing,
    or leasing
  • Use technologies guaranteed to save time and money
  • Know the rules of the road for fleets in Ontario
  • Reduce stress and watch your profits rise!
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Chapters:

  • Acknowledgment 
  • About the Author 
  • Introduction 
  • Chapter 1. Tactics vs. Strategy: Applying both to your fleet 
    • Strategy vs. Tactics 
    • What’s the difference for my business? 
    • One risky tactic: Focusing on the lowest price
    • A strategy for success
  • Chapter 2. What are your vehicles saying to clients?
    • First impressions count
    • Trucks and oranges 
    • You are in the loop and not the good kind 
    • Your unofficial vehicle replacement policy
  • Chapter 3. The lifecycle of a fleet vehicle
    • Planning Phase
    • Financing
    • Acquisition 
    • Maintenance
    • The end (is where you start)
  • Chapter 4. The fleet review
    • To know where you’re going, know where you started
    • Once the data is gathered, what’s next?
    • Know what you are spending now
  • Chapter 5. Your purchase strategy
    • Focus on one number and save thousands
    • Calculating your Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
    • Next: Break everything down to cost per hour 
    • Comparing TCO
    • Think of them as mechanical employees, not vehicles 
    • Your goal is to lower the TCO
    • Example: Jack the Landscaper buys a truck
  • Chapter 6. Cash, finance, lease: Which is best for me? 
    • Should I pay cash?
    • What about leasing?
    • What’s best for tax breaks: purchase or lease? 
    • Work the deal backwards
    • Securing the money ahead of time 
  • Chapter 7. Financing and Leasing 
    • Long-term financing: buyer beware!
    • Leasing and Affordability 
    • Open-end and closed-end leases
    • What are the benefits of leasing? 
    • Borrowing costs: trust but verify!
    • Think in cost per kilometre
    • Financing 
  • Chapter 8. Know the laws of the road 
    • Weights and measures 
    • Licensing for drivers
    • Class D license 
    • Z-Endorsement 
    • Class A license 
    • Restricted Class A license 
    • Staying within the G license limits
    • Trailers with a Class G license
    • PMCVI (yellow sticker) Periodic Mandatory Commercial Vehicle Inspection
    • Do I need a CVOR? (Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration)
    • Protecting your CVOR 
    • Weigh scales 
    • Speed limiters 
    • Vehicles with snow plows and trailers
    • Most common offences and their fines
  • Chapter 9. The Future of Transportation 
    • Do you know where your truck is?
    • When will we see self-driving vehicles?
  • Chapter 10. How long should I keep a vehicle?
  • Chapter 11. On the road again 
  • My invitation to you
  • Appendix A: Client Testimonials 
  • Appendix B: Material Weights 
  • Appendix C: Glossary
  • Manage your fleet like a pro
Section Testimonials
Testimonials
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Chapter 1

The beginning

Tactics vs. Strategy: Applying both to your fleet
Let’s talk first about decision-making. Most business
owners believe they make strategic decisions in their business, and some do. But my 30 years in the automotive
business have taught me that, when it comes to vehicle fleet management, decisions tend to be more along the lines of reactionary and tactical. Business owners often use the same tactics when deciding which vehicles and how to buy them, over and over. The problem is, those tactics sometimes work, and sometimes don’t.

Strategy vs. Tactics

The Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of a Tactic is a) the science and art of disposing and manoeuvring forces in combat; or b) the art or skill of employing available means to accomplish an end.

The definition of Strategy includes the science and art of employing the political, economic, psychological, and military forces of a nation or group of nations to afford the maximum support to adopted policies in peace or war; a careful plan or method: a clever stratagem; the art of devising or employing plans or stratagems toward a goal; an adaptation or complex of adaptations (as of behaviour, metabolism, or structure) that serves an important function in achieving evolutionary success.

What’s the difference for my business?

A strategy is an overarching plan that allows you to benefit from the (various) tactics you use. If you have a good strategy, the plan works even when particular tactics fail or no longer serve your best interests.

If your business is growing year-over-year and you’re buying lots of vehicles, you may feel you’re doing it right.
But with a clear-headed, long-term strategy, your decisions
could be much more effective, especially for your bottom
line. Let me give you one example of a typical tactic that
misses the bigger picture.

One risky tactic: Focusing on the lowest price

Don’t get me wrong; the price you pay for vehicles and
equipment is important. What I do all day long is negotiate,
trying to reduce my clients’ initial purchase price for their
new vehicles.

But here’s where it becomes problematic: Say a business
owner gets an unbelievable deal on a bunch of trucks. He is
so happy to get such a deal. The reason for purchasing these
vehicles, in particular, was the lowest price. He searched
everywhere, and nobody could beat this deal. After taking
the new trucks’ delivery, the business owner discovers the
trucks he bought have lower than expected payload capacity.

The way the chassis and bodies were installed, they could
never legally carry the size of loads he wanted them to.

With the lower payload rating for each truck, extra trips
are necessary to move the same amount of material. These
additional trips mean higher-than-expected operating costs.
The drivers need to take more trips, burn more fuel, and expend more labour hours to do the job than driving the ‘more
expensive’ truck.

Whenever something is significantly lower-priced than everything else in the market, be careful. Typically, though not always, you get what you pay for.

A strategy for success

I’m going to show you a proven strategy for managing
your fleet. You can still use specific tactics if you like, and
some will certainly work. Understanding that if you use the
strategy laid out in this book, you won’t need to worry about
the tactics so much.

The book is a guide to saving time and money and focusing
on the essentials—the choices that matter. Ultimately,
you want your business to run better, which is why you are
reading this book in the first place.
I wrote it to show my clients how to think long-term
about their fleets. Not just about today’s decision, but how
you will shape your business and become even more successful in the future.
When I see waste and inefficiencies, it drives me crazy.
I would rather see money spent on a better vehicle that
increases profits rather than spent on wasted fuel or unneeded
repairs. The benefits go all the way down the line:
The recaptured resources can be allocated to improving the
business and its bottom line. Your employees will now have
better tools to work with. These better tools (new vehicles)
mean better work, more efficiencies and satisfied happy
customers. In the end, there is more profit for the owners.
As a business owner myself, I know it would make me glad
to have better vehicles and lower costs.

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eBook Coming Soon!

Call Now or Request a Call

1-416-849-0493 & 1-800-476-8407
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Our contacts

Get in touch

  • 1-800-476-8407
  • sean@lockhartautomotive.ca
  • 9A Dibble Street Toronto ON M4M 2E7
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