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Tire issues up, roadside repairs down in latest TMC, FleetNet benchmarking study

American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council and FleetNet America, an ArcBest company, recently released the executive summary of their Truckload Vertical Benchmarking Study from the second quarter, which showed an increase in tire issues, but an overall decline in unscheduled roadside repairs.

“The industry has always known that tire costs spike in warmer weather, but does it have to spike so much?” said Jim Buell, executive vice president of sales and marketing for FleetNet. “For the first time, the truckload vertical has an idea of how many miles they could be running between tire failures based on the results of the best-in-class fleet.

“As we get more information in the Benchmarkit data warehouse, we are able to get a better view of some of the maintenance challenges facing the industry.”

Details of the study were shared with program participants during TMC's 2018 Fall Meeting and National Technician Skills Competitions.

During the quarter, the miles participating fleets ran between roadside breakdowns increased 12%, indicating fleets were experiencing fewer unscheduled roadside repairs, the study found. However, mostly due to hot weather during the quarter, the frequency of tire repairs also increased 25% compared to the first quarter of 2018.

A handful of Vehicle Maintenance Reporting Standard systems accounted for 69% of all repairs in the second quarter of 2018, up from 58% in the first quarter of 2018—largely due to the observed increase in tire and wheel repairs. For comparison, these top five systems—tires, lighting, brakes, wheels/rims/hubs/bearings and exhaust systems—represented only 37% of repairs in the fourth quarter of 2017.

“TMC exists to help our members run better, more profitable maintenance operations,” said Robert Braswell, TMC’s executive director. “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. This is a great aspect of TMC membership, which supports maintenance leaders working together to make our industry even more efficient.”

The TMC/FleetNet Vertical Benchmarking Program is a new 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.

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 about the TMC/FleetNet Vertical Benchmarking Program, visit benchmarkit.fleetnetamerica.com.

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