Roadside breakdowns spike in winter, report finds

by Truck News

ARLINGTON, Va. – If you think winter weather impacts your fleet’s maintenance costs, you’re right.

A new benchmarking report from the Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) of the American Trucking Associations, showed breakdowns increased 22% in the first quarter versus the fourth quarter of last year. That has consistently been the case over the previous two years. Exhaust and lighting systems were among the biggest contributors.

“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.”

“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,” added Jim Buell, executive vice-president of sales and marketing for FleetNet America, which conducted the report along with TMC. “Knowing which systems are most vulnerable to cold weather and snow can guide maintenance practices next October and November.”

The report also found that roadside mechanical repair costs increased for a third straight quarter. The average repair was US$344, 3% higher than Q4 2018, and 15% higher than the average cost in Q3 2018.

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