FleetNet America and the American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council collaborated on a benchmarking study that found a continued increase in the average cost of mechanical trucking repairs. Costs rose in the industry for the second quarter in a row. The Truckload Vertical Benchmarking Study covered events in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Although average costs went up, there were also numerous examples of fleets that were able to reduce their costs, with one fleet setting a new industry standard for distance between unscheduled maintenance. A FleetNet America executive stated that this record breaking example was an indication of a wider potential in the industry. Jim Buell, FleetNet EVP for marketing and sales, commented on the use of "data to direct where you have the best opportunities to improve."
The top fleet studied was able to go 75,528 miles between repairs. In Q4 2018, the average distance for carriers between breakdowns was 10,663 miles. This represented a 3% drop year over year.
In Q2 2018, the average roadside repair stood at $299. This increased to $317 in Q3 and $334 in Q4.
The report itself served as a testament to the comments made by Buell, as the data shared by truckload carriers was able to be analyzed through a tool provided by the purveyors of the study. The tool allows companies to drill down into the data they produce with Vehicle Maintenance Reporting Standards (VMRS) from TMC to compare their performance to industry averages.
The leverage that knowing your data gives you will only increase over time. As the trucking industry implements more automation technology, the performance of a fleet will become more tied to that company's ability to interpret events, quickly find problems and work out viable solutions.
We can only expect the cost of repairs to increase over time as well. The technology that is required to maintain a modern fleet is only becoming more expensive. Vehicles that are based on a hybrid of software and mechanics are quite complex, and no fleet should be behind the curve when learning how to implement repairs. It is contingent upon every company to pay attention to relevant reports and perform an analysis often to see how the company's trucks measure up to industry standards.
A huge part of avoiding unexpected repairs and avoiding their rising costs is partnering with an equipment management company that you can trust. Road Scholar Transport has never been cited for a piece of fault equipment involved in an accident. We do pre- and post- trip inspections and operate newer equipment. When your parts and equipment are quality OEM or verified third party providers, you save more than money. You also get peace of mind.
The costs of repair in the trucking industry will likely continue to rise. The competition that you face will always grow, and your clients will become less patient with the downtime that comes from repairs. Give yourself a leg up in the industry by partnering with Road Scholar Transport for all of your shipping needs.