Staying educated

Published in the January 2018 issue of Fleet Affiliation

One of the most important aspects of fleet management is staying educated about new technologies and products, as they are constantly introduced, sometimes leaving fleet managers overwhelmed with the pace and quantity. The bottom-line challenge is to find the resources so you can gain knowledge and stay on top industry trends and innovations. An inefficient and outdated fleet operation is one potential consequence of not staying educated. Although the economy is recovering, many organizations are still expected to operate on a lean budget. Pressure on fleet managers to reduce operating and maintenance costs is continual. Some of the immediate cuts are often in training and education budgets. At some point in the future, cutting these programs will have long-term and far-reaching effects.

Successful fleet managers need information, training and education to make their fleets as efficient as possible. Upper management may not be aware of the day-to-day operations in the same way fleet managers are. Sometimes trade shows are considered low value when looked at from a return on investment (ROI) angle. Well-crafted communication (and some hand holding) takes time, but explaining the benefits and showing the long-run value can often help upper management see the usefulness in learning through trade show attendance.

Making the best of your time
As with budgets, time is a limited commodity. Making the most of your limited time budget is a critical skill that must be learned. Identifying a trade show and developing a strategy to get there is the place to start. Planning ahead can maximize the benefits while away from your office. Throughout the year, there are several trade show choices worth your time and money. In reality, you may be able to attend only one or two events. Selecting the show that provides you the most exposure to quality educational programs, vendor contacts and peer networking is one of the most important aspects to achieve maximum ROI — both time and money.

The Work Truck Show® 2018
The Work Truck Show, North America’s largest work truck event, held in Indianapolis, Indiana, March 6–9, 2018, features the latest commercial trucks, vans, vehicle components and truck equipment on an exhibit floor covering more than 500,000 square feet — a must-attend event for fleet managers featuring some of the most extensive education and training to help you become a more productive fleet manager.

Fleet Technical Congress
This event, held in conjunction with The Work Truck Show, March 6–8, 2018, brings together top fleet managers for technical and operational training — enabling you to explore the latest technology solutions while gaining management insights from leaders of some of the country’s biggest fleets and suppliers. Fleet Technical Congress is designed for both established fleet managers and those moving into more senior fleet management roles.

Green Truck Summit
At this annual conference, held March 6–8, 2018, fleet managers, truck equipment distributors, upfitters and truck dealers from around the world learn the clean energy developments and decisions shaping the journey toward the goal of zero-emission transportation, and the future of the work truck industry.

Visit for details. Questions? Contact us at 800-441-6832 or