By Joseph Evangelist
Executive Vice President, Transervice
As originally appeared in FleetOwner Magazine’s IdeaXchange
I would hazard a guess that every fleet manager is keeping track of the maintenance and repair events for their fleet’s vehicles. I would also bet that most have digitized some if not all of their maintenance reporting.
I am a big advocate of automating or digitizing maintenance and repair tracking. For one thing, it ensures the consistency of the data; every data point is collected the same way every time maintenance is performed. Automating the process also means data is collected on every vehicle every time it is serviced no matter where that service takes place. Whether you perform maintenance in your own shop, send it to an outside service provider or use some combination of in-house and out-sourced maintenance, all your data will be consistent.
This allows you to compare equipment performance on an apples-to-apples basis. You can see which assets are performing well and which are having problems. You can use the data to compare the performance of one manufacturers’ truck or component to that of another. This information can be used during the spec review when ordering new vehicles to help ensure you get the best vehicles for your various duty cycles.
The data can also help fleet managers make smart decisions about the level of warranty they should purchase. In some cases, it might be wise to purchase extended warranties for certain components.
In addition, having all this data allows you to identify training needs of both drivers and technicians. If you see a repeated problem with a vehicle (or vehicles) driven by a particular driver that is the result of poor driving habits, you can schedule some additional training and have facts to back up why you think the driver needs a refresher.
The data also can be used to identify where additional technician training may be needed. If a truck or group of trucks are in the shop frequently between PMs for the same issue, that tells you that there is a hole in your technician’s skill set. You can then take steps to schedule the training that addresses the problem.
Data from maintenance and repair events is a gold mine that you can use to help improve your overall fleet efficiency.