There are going to be costs associated with any business. A survey done by GE Capital Fleet Services recently, shows that maintenance costs for fleets in the United States have increased by 7 percent for 2012. This has many fleet managers wondering just how much of an increase these costs will incur for 2013.
“In terms of monetary value, GE Capital Fleet Services found that monthly average maintenance costs for these vehicles amounted to $52.66 per vehicle, against $49.20 in 2011. Two of the most frequent elements within maintenance costs – oil and tires – both increased. GE Capital Fleet Services expects a further slight increase this year”.
Studies have shown that while the cost for monthly preventative maintenance increased in 2012, younger fleet age did help to offset some of the increased labor and parts cost. The average car maintenance cost raised about $3.46 from $49.20 to $52.66 for each vehicle each month. Factors that influenced these costs include increased preventative maintenance expenses. Costs for oil changes increased although the frequency in which oil was changed decreased which helped to lessen the total impact.
Tire expenses also increased, by eight percent and the cost of replacing tires increased by 15 percent. These increases are attributed to higher costs for manufacturing tires as well as larger rims which naturally mean more expensive tires. Overall, the quality of fleet vehicles has risen as well and continues to improve which has resulted in parts that last longer which ultimately means less frequent maintenance in the long run.
“‘While we expect passenger car maintenance expenses to rise slightly in 2013, improvements in vehicle quality will present opportunities for fleet maintenance savings in years ahead,' said Eric Strom, maintenance and safety product manager for GE Capital Fleet Services. ‘As cost savings remain the largest area of focus for both fleet and executive management, we're committed to working with customers to identify and reduce costs across their vehicle fleets.'”
Fleet management can expect maintenance expenses to continue on the upswing, particularly for fleets that are not yet accepting vehicle replacement cycles. The number of miles driven will increase the chance of component failures that could cost thousands of dollars to repair. The individual costs for replacing things like tires, changing oil and other repairs will also likely increase over the next year. Many industry experts believe that the best way to keep these costs to a minimum is to implement a fleet management system. Software programs that aid with fleet management can be very beneficial in helping to keep costs down.
Another way to offset cost increases is to cycle older vehicles. Aging of fleet vehicles is a large factor in the increased cost of maintenance and vehicles with higher mileage risk even higher costs than average.
“Cycling older vehicles is a great way to mitigate increases in maintenance spends, but careful consideration must be made not only to maintenance, but all aspects of lifecycle costs. The market today is actually favorable to cycling in many cases, due to stronger resale markets as well as better technology that is increasing fuel economy.”
Companies that are looking to keep costs to a minimum can find vast amounts of information on lowering costs. Those who do not have a software program for fleet maintenance are urged to find one. There are a number of programs on the market that will ensure that vehicles are maintenance on a regular basis. Preventative maintenance goes a long way in keeping overall costs down. As a general rule, preventing a mechanical problem is less costly and less time consuming than repairing one.
An analysis of the Maintenance BASIC under the Compliance, Safety and Accountability program from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration showed that a high number of violations are caused by requirements regarding reflective lighting. Broken lamps are another problem for many fleet managers along with wheel part repairs and chafed brake hoses.
“Seventy to 75 percent of all CSA points can be traced back to maintenance or unsafe driving violations”.
In the past, many of these issues may have been overlooked. Drivers and managers would simply have decided that while the issues were in need of repair, they were not extensive enough to actually shut down the fleet. Today however, these are issues that are commonly repaired right away because the points will count against the fleet and could possibly cause a major shutdown of operations.
Larger problems were typically always repaired right away but minor issues would have been overlooked simply because they were costly or time consuming and because they did not threaten the operation, they could be put off for a later time. Today however, the CSA looks at everything that could possibly cause an issue and ensures that managers are focusing on all aspects of operating their fleets.
Many organizations are learning that in order to comply properly with CSA standards, a pre-trip and a post-trip inspection are needed by the driver. Everyone in the organization should be focusing on CSA requirements
in order to ensure that the operation remains on track. This includes every operation that uses trucks.
“The most important thing to note with CSA is that if your business is using trucks, you are subject to it,” stresses Stephen Keppler, executive director of the Greenbelt, Md.-based Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), an international not-for-profit organization composed of local, state, provincial, territorial and federal motor carrier safety officials and industry representatives from the United States, Canada and Mexico”.
Historically, he says, a lot of refuse businesses did not really think of themselves as trucking companies; trucks were just one of many tools to collect trash and recyclables. Under CSA, they no longer have that luxury. Any business operating commercial trucks is going to be captured within this new safety net.
“On top of that, CSA uses real-time data generated from roadside inspections to put together its fleet safety ratings,” says Keppler. That means things like maintenance defects and out-of-adjustment brakes will find their way into in the public eye a lot faster than most fleets realize.
The CSA began in 2010 and since that time, the trucking industry has seen a dramatic reduction in violations, more so than in the last 10 years combined. Driver violations are down by more than 15 percent and roadside inspection violations are down by almost 14 percent. These numbers may continue in a positive direction as more and more fleet management programs are implemented by various companies.
“FCMSA's number one goal is safety: We want to ensure that every trip is a safe trip every time. And we think CSA is bridging multiple worlds in that process. And the nation's fleet maintenance professionals deserve a lot of credit for that; making older equipment work safely while learning to understand and use new technology in pursuit of low CSA scores and consistent safe vehicle operation.”
The integration of regulations by the CSA has required a number of changes within many organizations. Poor performers have been replaced and this covers every base from technicians and drivers to entire fleets. Even law enforcement officers who are tasked with carrying out vehicle and driver inspections have begun to adhere more to CSA standards in an attempt to make the roadways safer for everyone.
It's been a while since I posted. I hope everything is going well for you and yours.
In this post a new spreadsheet and a Kiba update…
Cristy, one of our California clients asked for an equipment list that shows
whether each piece of equipment is out of service or not.
So the Excel spreadsheet I created will link to and display your TATEMS data just like the other ones posted at:
This is number 63 on the list an is called oddly enough:
I know, pretty original right?
The columns included in the spreadsheet/report are:
Our of Service?
Once you refresh your data you can sort and filter any way you want to.
This video shows you the columns and how to link your data if your data is on a network or on a 64 bit version of windows:
Now for a little Kiba (our puppy, now 8 months old) news.
A few weeks ago we had a scare…
He got a hold of my pack of trident gum on my nightstand. The Gum has “Xylitol” in it which is poison to dogs.
We took him to the vet and they forced him to regurgitate and took his glucose readings…
He came through it with flying colors and is fine and hyper crazy as ever…
A few days ago we got some snow in the hills near our house here in Las Vegas. So we took him and Maya(Golden Lab) up to his first snow (about a 15 minute drive) and he had fun biting it and romping around a bit. We couldn't get very far off the highway so we had to keep them on leash.
Until next time…
By the way if you have a request for a custom spreadsheet I can create and share let me know.
After 3 weeks we finally got our second car out of the body shop on Friday. Overall they did a nice job. I never thought it would be so hard to go
without a second car for that period of time.
The weather here in Las Vegas is starting to warm up. It's supposed to be 75°F tomorrow; and gas prices are at a low of $3.69 per gallon on the north
west side of town.
Last week I posted spreadsheet number 56: TATEMS-DriverFuelEfficiencyReport spreadsheet and this week I created a quick video to show you how use it and where the data comes from and how to get it into the spreadsheet.
If you have any requests for a spreadsheet we haven't done please post a comment below.