We've all seen the claims, "Just put this in the tank and you'll get 5 more miles to the gallon," or "Install this widget to the thing-a-ma-bob and increase your mileage by 10 percent." If these claims sound too good to be true for the average car owner, just imagine how they sound to a fleet manager in charge of dozens or even hundreds or thousands of vehicles – the products could save millions of dollars for these fleet owners if the claims were true. Each year, NAFA members look at the latest claims and reveal the answers in "Mythbusters: The Snake Oil Saga." The popular educational session returns on Monday, April 26 during the Association's 2010 Institute & Expo at the Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan.
Attendees will learn a litany of the types and designs of products making claims on the market today and how they are marketed; what engineers and scientists say about such products (both good and bad); the results of several "real world" tests completed on a cross-section of the products currently available; and best practices and effective strategies to survive in ever-changing market conditions.
"As a fleet manager, you really need to keep an eye on the world around you," explained Sgt. William R. Hunt, Jr., Manager, Fleet and Logistics, Windsor Police Service, Windsor, Ontario, who was involved in the product tests. "You can make anything work in the lab, but when you put it in a real world setting you won't get the same results. Results will change both positively and negatively. In our tests, some products worked and some didn't work. The trick is to find the ones that work without spending a lot of money."
Fleet managers like Hunt are constantly bombarded with products advertising ways to increase fuel mileage. While some of the products tested actually do work, the majority do not. Unfortunately, fleet managers are also hounded by bosses who see the same ads and sometimes fall for the product claims. "Mythbusters: The Snake Oil Saga" will help these fleet managers understand what to look for when evaluating such product claims and offer ways to explain the good products from the bad to their boss.
The session examines products that deal with fuel, air, fluids, and maintenance issues. Products are continually created and promoted to fleet managers because the fleet market is extremely lucrative for these companies. It only takes a small percentage of fleet owners to make a ton of money for a company based on the potential of hundreds or thousands of vehicles per fleet.
"Mythbusters: The Snake Oil Saga" will be taught by Sgt. William R. Hunt, Jr. and moderated by William Massey, CFM/CAFM, Fleet Operations Manager, City of Gainesville, Gainesville, Florida. It is just one of more than 40 different educational sessions – adding up to over 60 hours of fleet training, education, and workshops -- at this year's Institute & Expo, which runs April 24-27.
The 2010 I&E marks NAFA's return to Detroit for the first time since the 1980s and features Keynote Speeches from high-ranking executives of the Detroit 3 including Robert A. Lutz, Vice Chairman of General Motors; Mark Fields, Executive Vice President of Ford Motor Company; and Peter Grady, Vice President – Network Development & Fleet of Chrysler Group LLC. The Keynote Presentations will take place on consecutive days starting Sunday, April 25.
About NAFA's Institute & Expo
Official media sponsors of the 2010 I&E include: Fleet Owner, International Fleet World, Automotive Fleet, Automotive Digest, Government Fleet, Fleet Financials, Canadian Automotive Fleet, CamAuto, Fleet Digest, Fleets & Fuels, Fleet Maintenance, Naylor, Fleet Focus, and FLEETSolutions.
About NAFA Fleet Management Association
NAFA (nafa.org) is the world's premier non-profit association for professionals who manage fleets of sedans, public safety vehicles, trucks, and buses of all types and sizes, and a wide range of military and off-road equipment for organizations across the globe. NAFA is the association for the diverse vehicle fleet management profession regardless of organizational type, geographic location or fleet composition. NAFA's Full and Associate Members are responsible for the specification, acquisition, maintenance and repair, fueling, risk management, and remarketing of more than 3.5 million vehicles including in excess of 1.1 million trucks of which 350 thousand are medium- and heavy-duty trucks.