In fourth quarter 2020, the American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council found a wide disparity in the periods between unscheduled roadside maintenance among fleet types, based on the TMC/FleetNet America’s Vertical Benchmarking Program’s latest results.
During the fourth quarter, the average fleet operated 36,315 miles between unscheduled road repairs, which is largely in line with previous quarters, TMC officials said in a press release.
However, the frequency of unscheduled road repairs varied widely between the three verticals (truckload, less-than-truckload and tank). Truckload carriers recorded a 14% improvement over the third quarter, running 25,599 miles between breakdowns. The tank vertical experienced a slight increase in roadside failures compared to Q3, running 19,983 miles between breakdowns. And the LTL vertical increased from 46,525 miles between breakdowns in the third quarter to 55,823 in the fourth quarter.
The data indicates that the maintenance practices of the best-in-class fleets in each vertical resulted in lower costs for those fleets. For example, the leading fleet in the tank vertical operated nearly double the miles between roadside breakdowns than the average for the tank vertical.
“The data tells us that if, for example, the truckload carriers running the average miles between breakdowns could reach best-in-class performance, they would increase their miles between breakdowns by 55%, and that would result in overall lower costs,” said Emily Hurst, manager of data and analytics at FleetNet America.
Understanding the frequency of roadside failures, and how a fleet’s experience compares to similar operations, can help maintenance leaders identify opportunities to improve their operations and reduce their maintenance expense, TMC officials said.