Unscheduled roadside repairs on the rise in U.S.

by Today's Trucking

The American Trucking Associations’ Technology and Maintenance Council (TMC) is reporting an industry-wide increase in unscheduled roadside maintenance.

The findings emerged in the first quarter of the 2021 TMC/FleetNet America vertical benchmarking program.

truck towed
(Photo: istock)

Fleets averaged 47,485 km (29,506 miles) between unscheduled repairs during the first quarter of 2021, down 18.7% from the fourth quarter of 2020.

Truckload carriers averaged 35,173 km (21,856 miles) between breakdowns, a 13.1% decrease in miles from the previous quarter. The time between breakdowns for LTL carriers dropped 18.7% to 71,422 km (44,380 miles). The tank truck sector improved somewhat, running 28,034 km (17,420 miles) in the first quarter, down from 32,033 km (19,905) miles.

“The data tells us that if, for example, the truckload carriers running the average miles between breakdowns could reach best-in-class performance, they would increase their miles between breakdowns by 89%,” said Emily Hurst, manager of data and analytics at FleetNet America.

The top tanker fleet in the study also ran twice as many miles between roadside breakdowns when compared to average carriers in the class.

“As the economy improves going into the second half of 2021, fleets need to be vigilant in their maintenance practices to minimize unscheduled road repairs. Our data shows the best-in-class fleets are doing that and others can benefit from following industry recommended practices, such as those offered by TMC,” said TMC executive director Robert Braswell.

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  • The lack of people to work on the newer trucks and computers are a major part of the problem. Ont is about 1,100 truck repair personal short. We need to treat mechanics and truck drivers better and any company should be able to bring in 2 overseas mechanical person per year if they pay the gov a $10,000 fee per mechanical person.

  • The main issue I see, is the reduction in maintenance. I see a trend where maintenance budgets are being cut. Companies are worried about spending too much on maintenance then complain when equipment breaks down. the industry is being run by accountants, not truckers and mechanics.