The TMC/FleetNet America report tracks miles between  breakdowns. - Photo: Siegfried Schnepf/GettyImages

The TMC/FleetNet America report tracks miles between  breakdowns.

Photo: Siegfried Schnepf/GettyImages

During the last three months of 2021, fleets averaged 42,459 miles of operation between unscheduled road repairs — up 18.4% from 34,652 in the third quarter.

That’s according to the latest Truckload Vertical Benchmark Study from the American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council and FleetNet America.

“Looking at the fourth quarter results, fleets are paying close attention to preventative maintenance while running fewer miles compared to the previous quarter, which shows an initial improvement in miles between breakdowns,” Tim Moore, vice president of TMcare at FleetNet America, said at a press conference during the TMC Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida.

“Fleets are having to spend more time paying closer attention to their PM programs than ever before,” said Paul Gildenhorn, FleetNet’s vice president of sales. “They’ve had to make that equipment last," as fleets are having to run equipment longer due to supply chain shortages that have made procuring new trucks difficult.

FleetNet uses VMRS codes to categorize breakdowns. It found the top five codes represented 67% of total repairs: tires, brakes, powerplant, cranking system, and exhaust systems.

“The data indicates that the maintenance practices of the best-in-class fleets resulted in lower costs for those fleets,” added Greg Sullivan, maintenance supervisor at Marvin Keller Trucking. “I review the benchmarking reports, paying particular attention to the miles between breakdowns as well as tires and brakes and watching trends to help get ahead of repairs.”

Benchmarking Program Enhancements

The TMC/FleetNet Vertical Benchmarking Program is changing to provide even more information to help fleets continue to reduce their unscheduled roadside repairs. Beginning with first quarter of 2022, there will be less of an emphasis on miles between breakdowns and more on insights and trends coming from the data, along with recommendations from experts in the industry.

“TMC exists to help our members run better, more profitable maintenance operations,” said TMC Executive Director Robert Braswell. “Peer-to-peer benchmarking is an exciting step toward helping fleets do just that. The next step is to share the best practices fleets employ to become best-in-class in a particular system.”

The TMC/FleetNet Vertical Benchmarking Program is a benefit for TMC members. In addition to the executive summary, which is available to TMC members, fleets that participate by sharing their data are provided an analytic tool that allows them to drill into their data, comparing it to the industry average.

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