There’s never a good time for a truck to go down. But a new survey conducted by the Technology & Maintenance Council of the American Trucking Associations found that when a truck does go down, it's more likely to be in the winter months than in other seasons.
On June 26 during its Fleet Data Management & Cybersecurity Conference, TMC released the results of the council’s first-quarter benchmarking survey with FleetNet America, an ArcBest company, showing a significant increase in roadside failures during the winter.
The report, from the TMC/FleetNet America Vertical Benchmarking Program, showed roadside failures rose 22% in first quarter of 2019 when compared with the fourth quarter of 2018, matching the quarterly rise from the previous two years. The increase in roadside failures was most pronounced in select systems, including exhaust and lighting systems.
“Fleets that use this data to guide their maintenance practices are going to be in a better position to reduce roadside repairs when next winter comes around,” said Jim Buell, executive vice president of sales and marketing for FleetNet America. “Knowing which systems are most vulnerable to cold weather and snow can guide maintenance practices next October and November.”
In addition, roadside mechanical repair costs increased for a third straight quarter, the report found. The average cost of a mechanical roadside repair reached $344 in the first quarter of 2019, 3% higher than the average mechanical repair in the fourth quarter of 2018, and 15% higher than the average cost in the third quarter of 2018.
“Completing repairs on the side of the road is already more expensive than completing the same repair in a shop,” said TMC Executive Director Robert Braswell. “TMC is committed to helping our members control these and all maintenance costs. We believe that the vertical benchmarking program is a tool that fleets can use to reduce unscheduled roadside repairs.”
The Vertical Benchmarking Program, announced during TMC's 2018 annual meeting, is a benefit for TMC fleet members and a partnership with FleetNet America. In addition to the executive summary, which is available to TMC fleet members, carriers 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.
The program is a strategic collaboration between TMC/ATA and FleetNet America and is open to TMC fleet executive level members and FleetNet America customers. The analytics provided via the program will be cumulative and non-fleet specific. For information, visit http://benchmarkit.fleetnetamerica.com.