Time is the key to profitability

MISSISSAUGA, ON - Maximizing profitability in an industry where margins can be thin comes down to just one thing: time. Panelists at the Surface Transportation Summit had differing views about where fleets could make the best use of their time to convert it into dollars and cents, but both agreed that the old adage is true: time is money. "Time in trucking is a perishable commodity," said Brian Abel, a freight network engineer for KSM Transport Advisors. Abel and fellow panelist Mike Buck, president of MCB Management Consulting, spoke about different ways fleets could save time by being proactive and rooting out waste. Buck presented ways fleets could capitalize on being proactive about maintenance, creating a schedule that would mean less downtime, would control costs, and would maximize the efficiency of equipment.

IN PRINT — Clear the Air: Know how to care for your DPF

It's not quite the "blue screen of death" that appear on troubled Windows computers, but an engine fault indicator still means a bad day is about to get worse - especially if it means a parked regen. Few drivers or fleets can afford more than an hour to solve a problem that should have been addressed earlier. Aftertreatment systems are one of the most expensive maintenance items on today's trucks. Parts are costly, the associated downtime can be crippling, and many people are still confused about how to care for the systems, even though the equipment has been in the field for eight years.

The Productive Shop

Downtime costs money. Nobody wants to keep a truck in the shop any longer than necessary. So here's a question to consider: is your shop as productive and efficient as it could be? Some things you just can't change; for example, you can't suck oil out of an engine any faster than it wants to flow, but could you be doing something else to the truck while it's in the oil change bay, like topping up its tire inflation pressure or checking its alignment? So much of what used to require manual hands-on labour can now be automated, and many tasks that once had designated areas in a shop or even needed dedicated personnel can now be done simultaneously, thus reducing the time the truck is unavailable. Here's a look at a few technologies that can help refine the service process and save some real time on basic maintenance procedures.