American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council said its first-quarter 2021 TMC/FleetNet America Vertical Benchmarking Program found an industry-wide increase in the frequency of unscheduled roadside maintenance.
“As the economy improves going into the second half of 2021, fleets need to be vigilant in their maintenance practices to minimize unscheduled road repairs,” said Robert Braswell, TMC’s executive director. “Our data show the best-in-class fleets are doing that and others can benefit from following industry recommended practices, such as those offered by TMC.”
The TMC/FleetNetAmerica survey found that during the first quarter of this year, fleets averaged 29,506 miles of operation between unscheduled road repairs—down 18.7% from the fourth quarter of 2020.
Truckload carriers averaged 21,856 miles between breakdowns, a 13.1% decrease in miles from the previous quarter. The time between breakdowns for LTL carriers dropped 18.7% to 44,380 miles in the first quarter from 54,556 in the final quarter of 2021. The tank truck sector saw a slight increase in roadside failures, running 17,420 miles in the first quarter, down from 19,905 in the previous quarter.
“The data tell 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 89%,” said Emily Hurst, manager of data and analytics at FleetNet America, “And that would result in overall lower costs.”
The data indicate 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 twice as many miles between roadside breakdowns than the average for the tank vertical.
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.
The TMC/FleetNet Vertical Benchmarking Program is a benefit for TMC fleet 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.
Interested parties also may purchase copies of the report from TMC. Visit ATA Business Solutions for more information.
The program is a collaboration between TMC/ATA and FleetNet America and is open to TMC fleet executive level members and FleetNet customers. The analytics provided via the program will be cumulative and non-fleet specific.
For information about the TMC/FleetNet Vertical Benchmarking Program, visit benchmarkit.fleetnetamerica.com.