Fleet Maintenance - 8


Is assessing
cost-per-mile enough?
The collection and assessment of data can provide a
more expansive view of a maintenance operation.

By Erica


With the amount of data now available to
fleets, there is more opportunity to deep dive
into the analytics formulated by vehicle and
company data. While cost-per-mile has been
the primary metric for benchmarking and
assessing the performance of a fleet's maintenance operation, it's just the tip of the iceberg.
Earlier this summer, the Truckload
Carriers Association (TCA) held a forum to
provide fleet maintenance personnel insight
into best practices for maintenance workflow through a seminar titled Maintenance
Workflow Best Practices, which is part of the
TCA Profitability Program (TPP). TPP events
are designed to provide best practices for
fleets in any number of departments within the fleet operation, such as maintenance,
safety, and finance.
TCA Managing Director Jack Porter led
this forum focused on maintenance, sharing
insights from his time as a consultant for both
dealers and independent fleets.
TCA's TPP manages a benchmarking
program with a select number of fleets, which
provides data points to allow for industry
Porter and TCA Program Manager Chris
Henry offered up some additional details on
other key performance indicators (KPIs) to
consider, to provide a more holistic approach
to assessing the performance of a maintenance operation.
"We want to get this data to the frontlines,"
Henry says. "With groups [within an organization], there's a tendency to keep data at the
principal level. You need to be able to provide
this information company-wide so they have
access to these tools and metrics."
Some of those maintenance KPIs that were
calculated through the TCA TPP benchmarking program included:
Ü Maintenance expense per mile. The median
amount among the 20 participating fleets
in the benchmarking program was $0.178;
the lowest was $0.1027, and the highest was
$0.241. "This [number] has grown immensely," Porter says. "[A fleet needs] more metrics
than just cost per mile. It becomes a pitfall
because you're not basing the information
on the full picture." The calculation here
includes internal labor rates for technicians,
overhead, and other data points.
Ü Maintenance expense as a percentage of
net revenue. The average here weighed in at

8 Fleet Maintenance | August 2019

and review trends on a weekly basis. "You'll
then have a number you can compare to other

Getting started

» Monitor progress through the setting
of key performance indicator goals.

9.56 percent. The lowest percentage was 6.42
percent, and the highest was 14.81 percent.
Ü Maintenance expense per truck, per week.
A large range here: the lowest expense was
$60.87 per truck, while the highest reported
$380.79 per truck, with a median of $220.83.
Ü Maintenance expense per trailer, per week.
With not as vast of a range as the tractor
segment, the median cost was $36.83 per
trailer. The lowest reported cost was $24.18
per trailer, and the highest was $49.48.
Ü Tire expense per mile. For each tire, the
expense per mile average was $0.0265.
The lowest was $0.012, and the highest
was $0.041.
Ü Maintenance expense per on-duty driving
hours. Ranging from $6 to $9 per hour, the
median cost was $7 per hour. For this calculation, Porter advised the data to calculate
this figure used a combination of active,
on-duty driving data from electronic
logging devices (ELDs). It did not take into
account idle time.
Attendees shared additional KPIs they monitor as well, mostly dealing with cost-per-mile
(CPM), to help validate shop productivity, efficiency, and expenses. They mentioned items
such as separating tractor versus trailer data,
sometimes breaking out between make and
model year; a summary of expenses by shop; a
budget versus actual spending; and shop hours
versus repair order hours.
Porter encourages fleets to select five to
10 KPIs to set a benchmark, and then track

There are a number of strategies and processes fleets can adopt to ensure the accurate and
thorough collection of data, and methods to
communicate the results of that data with all
staff members.
Be sure data and information is coded accurately and thoroughly. This includes information from reported accidents, damage, abuse,
etc. Having detailed information aids in the
comparison process, allowing fleets to know
where the costs are coming from. As it relates to
coding, also categorize damage under a different "bucket," such as safety, to ensure those
items aren't factored into the overall maintenance expenses.
To start the reporting process, manage the
hours spent on the shop floor. This is the only
way a shop can measure productivity and efficiency, Porter says. In other words, total up
the number of available working hours for all
technicians and subtract vacation and time
off. Then, establish and monitor standard
repair times to have a comparison. In this
instance, productivity is the number of hours
paid versus the number of hours put into an
actual job. Once you have this information
and have established a benchmark, monitor
progress through the setting of KPI goals,
setting budgets, and tracking and reporting.
Hold team members accountable and communicate with them to go over the numbers; set
individual and team goals and show the big
picture to the technicians.
This process can be daunting. Porter
encouraged attendees to pick one thing to
change first. Concentrate on that one thing
to get the process started.
This month's cover story, Do you know your
TCO?, provides more insights on the importance of calculating the total cost of ownership
(TCO) of a vehicle, and suggestions on how to
begin the process of setting up a program that
calculates and monitors TCO.
Is TCO integral to your fleet? If so, I'd love to
hear more from you on how you established
this process, and the changes - both successes
and failures - you've monitored within your
maintenance operations.

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Fleet Maintenance

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fleet Maintenance

Uptime: Is assessing cost-per-mile enough?
Do you know your TCO?
Vehicles: How to ensure optimum air system performance
In the Bay: The ABCs of ADBs
Shop Operations: The importance of managing fluid dispensing in the shop
Training: Invest in the future
Diagnostics: All scan tools are not created equal
Management: Are you good at PM?
Fleet Parts & Components
Tools & Equipment
Guest Editorial: Cold weather solutions for fleets
Fleet Maintenance - 1
Fleet Maintenance - 2
Fleet Maintenance - 3
Fleet Maintenance - 4
Fleet Maintenance - 5
Fleet Maintenance - 6
Fleet Maintenance - 7
Fleet Maintenance - Uptime: Is assessing cost-per-mile enough?
Fleet Maintenance - 9
Fleet Maintenance - Do you know your TCO?
Fleet Maintenance - 11
Fleet Maintenance - 12
Fleet Maintenance - 13
Fleet Maintenance - 14
Fleet Maintenance - 15
Fleet Maintenance - 16
Fleet Maintenance - 17
Fleet Maintenance - Vehicles: How to ensure optimum air system performance
Fleet Maintenance - 19
Fleet Maintenance - 20
Fleet Maintenance - 21
Fleet Maintenance - In the Bay: The ABCs of ADBs
Fleet Maintenance - 23
Fleet Maintenance - 24
Fleet Maintenance - 25
Fleet Maintenance - 26
Fleet Maintenance - 27
Fleet Maintenance - Shop Operations: The importance of managing fluid dispensing in the shop
Fleet Maintenance - 29
Fleet Maintenance - 30
Fleet Maintenance - 31
Fleet Maintenance - 32
Fleet Maintenance - 33
Fleet Maintenance - Training: Invest in the future
Fleet Maintenance - 35
Fleet Maintenance - Diagnostics: All scan tools are not created equal
Fleet Maintenance - 37
Fleet Maintenance - Management: Are you good at PM?
Fleet Maintenance - Fleet Parts & Components
Fleet Maintenance - 40
Fleet Maintenance - 41
Fleet Maintenance - Tools & Equipment
Fleet Maintenance - 43
Fleet Maintenance - 44
Fleet Maintenance - 45
Fleet Maintenance - 46
Fleet Maintenance - 47
Fleet Maintenance - 48
Fleet Maintenance - 49
Fleet Maintenance - Guest Editorial: Cold weather solutions for fleets
Fleet Maintenance - 51
Fleet Maintenance - 52
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Fleet Maintenance - S2
Fleet Maintenance - S3
Fleet Maintenance - S4
Fleet Maintenance - S5
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Fleet Maintenance - S20