According to an ongoing survey by Arsenault Associates, 56% of fleets that employ maintenance software use it first and foremost to automate preventive maintenance scheduling.

The survey also showed 42% are primarily concerned with administrative control of fleet assets, 36% with expense management, and 35% with maintenance/repair histories for Department of Transportation purposes and to control rework.

However, Arsenault noted, slightly less than 44% of all fleets use software specifically designed for fleet maintenance, the only kind of software capable of fully automating complicated PM service scheduling.

According to the survey, 16% use off-the-shelf software like Word, Excel, or Access, while 6% use their company's accounting or ERP software. A full 33% still use paper maintenance records if they keep records at all.

The survey is being conducted by Arsenault Associates on its website and consists of a series of multiple-choice questions designed to gauge the need, use and efficiency of fleet maintenance management systems in the U.S. More than 200 fleet executives, managers, and line staff have taken part so far.

Of fleets represented in the survey, 20% operate over the road, while 58% were domiciled fleets that returned each day. More than 22% operate in off-road environments such as construction, landfills and other venues.

Further down the list of maintenance software priorities are tire cost control at 29%, as well as parts control and fuel consumption management, both at 27%.

According to the survey, 30% of maintenance software users employ no other fleet technologies, however of those that do:

* 28% use GPS/AVL systems
* 25% use automated fuel islands
* 15% use mobile/wireless communications systems
* 13% use middleware that integrates their program with accounting, purchasing, payroll, and others
* 13% use automated tire pressure sensing systems
* 11% use automated parts ordering systems

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