National Connections, Local Ownership
National Connections, Local Ownership

Mitigating the Rising Cost of Fleet Maintenance and Repair

Maintenance and repair costs as a percentage of a fleet’s total average marginal cost has increased by approximately 40 percent since 2008. That’s a significant rise.

The American Transportation Research Institute released their report on the operational costs of trucking which found that maintenance and repair costs increased yet again in 2016 over 2015. Jane Clark, Vice President of Member Services for NationaLease, wrote about this in a recent IdeaXchange blog.

The numbers speak for themselves: In 2008, when ATRI first began this report, truck maintenance and repair costs were 10.3 cents per mile or $4.11 per hour, amounting to 6 percent of a fleet’s total average marginal cost. In 2016, that cost was 16.6 cents per mile or $6.65 per hour amounting to 10 percent of the total marginal cost.

One caveat: Jane points out that the average miles driven per vehicle have also increased, from 80,868 miles to nearly 104,000 miles and that increase in miles driven means a greater need for maintenance and repair. One way to mitigate this increasing cost is to outsource maintenance and repair to a service provider.

Considering how truck technology keeps changing and how there is a growing shortage of technicians, working with a provider eliminates the need for ongoing recruitment and training to keep maintenance and repair in-house. But you need to do your due diligence when choosing a third-party provider. Jane offers a number of questions you need to ask:

  • What is the provider doing to increase the efficiency of their maintenance and repair operation?
  • Are they taking advantage of any group purchasing of parts?
  • Are their techs properly trained in both diagnosis and repair?

You can’t eliminate these costs, but you may be able to stem their growth and that goes directly to your company’s bottom line.

Read Jane’s full blog to learn what additional questions you should be asking before choosing a provider.

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