What do you want from your truck repair service provider?
It’s probably safe to say that on a high level your main goals are quick, efficient and effective service. If your fleet owns its own shops, this question becomes one you have to not only ask, but answer and then make the goal a reality.
The phrase “time is money” perhaps applies to no other industry more than the trucking industry, where every second your trucks are not out on the road running routes is revenue lost. A big part of this is maintenance-related downtime; specifically, unplanned maintenance. You do your best to ensure PM practices are performed, but unplanned maintenance events still happen on the open road.
And when they do, and your truck has to be taken into the shop, the ideal result is an accurate diagnosis, a thorough repair, and an efficient process all the way through.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
It starts with the diagnosis. Think of all of the hours an incorrect diagnosis adds before the repair even begins, never mind the cost of harmful or incomplete repairs.
So how do you ensure that the diagnosis is both quick and correct?
“Having access to complete truck repair information is the key to ensure an accurate diagnosis and to avoid ‘throwing parts’ at the problem,” said Kristy LaPage, business manager for the Mitchell 1 commercial vehicle group. “With today’s advanced vehicles, technicians can no longer rely on their experience and gut instinct alone. They also need the right technology tools to get to the proper diagnosis.”
Once the cause is identified, there’s the matter of going through the correct steps to fix the problem.
One thing many heavy-duty shops tend to have trouble with is prioritizing repairs—some may take a couple hours, some a couple of days. Knowing which is which and how to tackle it is why many shops have triage lanes—a dedicated space for those four-hour-or-less repairs. This ensures they’re moving through the shop fast and not getting stuck behind trucks that may have gotten there sooner but will take days to fix.
Another solution can be having the right repair software.
Minutes spent on repair guesswork add up over the course of the day, week and month. One reason many shops use repair software is so that, once that root cause is identified, the technician can immediately and confidently begin what he or she knows is the correct repair procedure. In addition to the knowledge that the repair is being done right, there’s no better way to ensure a speedy repair than to simply know the steps you need to follow — and follow them.
Take Mitchell 1’s TruckSeries repair information software, for example. It includes diagrams and images like wiring diagrams and photos of component locations, as well as testing procedures and estimated labor times. Complete, targeted data is presented in a user-friendly interface that puts the exact information the technician needs right at their fingertips, enabling them to plan their day in a more efficient way.
“Being able to look up repair procedures and specifications in advance to understand what the job entails is valuable when scheduling a tech’s time and setting priorities for certain jobs,” said LaPage. “This includes things like the expected time to complete the job, special tools and/or equipment needed and potential skill level required.”
Now that you know what you want out of the service process, how are you going to get it?
If your fleet owns its shops, it’s worth considering the difference it could make to invest in software, on both the fleet side and the service side of the business. If time is money, then the time your shops will save by properly utilizing software is just money sitting in the bank, waiting to be withdrawn.
For a free demo of TruckSeries, call 800-620-3955 or find your local Mitchell 1 representative at mitchellrep.com