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The Importance of Total Cost of Ownership

Sponsored by Minimizer

Total cost of ownership. It is a phrase fleets are probably familiar with, but how do they minimize TCO when increasing safety, improving performance, and enhancing appearance are paramount to their business

Managing a fleet of trucks is an extensive job, with permits, licensing, driver education, and maintenance costs. Routine maintenance can be hard enough to stay on top of, let alone try to plan. However, with the right accessories, fleets can eliminate some of the most common operation interference and keep their trucks on the road.

The biggest hurdle when managing equipment is keeping costs in check and getting the best value out of equipment. Fleets are making purchasing decisions based on the price of vehicle, fuel economy, and maintenance fees—and they have to look for ways to reduce total cost of ownership. It all comes down to the right accessories and equipment, which must be durable, improve safety, and add value.

When it comes to specifying exterior accessories, such as truck fenders and mud flaps, fleets need to make sure that these items improve performance, provide functionality, and enhance the trucks’ overall appearance. Let’s be honest, while impression may not be top-of-mind when minimizing TCO, fleets must remember that the look of their over-the-road assets—right down to the wheels—is a direct reflection of the brand, including the perception of service and quality of the company that owns them.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s compliance, safety, and accountability program scores carriers and drivers on seven behavior analysis safety improvement categories or BASICs. Basic scores identify poor safety performers, who are then subject to interventions by the FMCSA. It’s interesting to note that FMCSA data indicates that 82% of CSA violations are in the vehicle maintenance sector. Trucks that are well maintained and carry that positive image down the road are less likely to receive CSA citations.

Of course, quality maintenance practices mean that trucks break down less often. That makes managing delivery schedules easier and helps to eliminate added maintenance costs.

When choosing the right accessories, fleets look for the lightest, most durable, and the longest-lasting products. When choosing fenders, consider that they should protect loads and equipment, improve fuel efficiency, and add to a truck’s appearance and lifespan.

When choosing mud flaps, the same criteria hold true—they need to provide value and be durable and long-lasting. Mud flaps also add value if carriers decide to use them to provide more information about the fleet, so it is essential to utilize a company that offers complete graphic services to put fleet logos, telephone numbers, or websites on the flaps. It’s a good use of space when you consider that most trucks average 10 million views per year driving down the road.

Nothing is worse than an ugly cab floor that stands out for all the wrong reasons—torn carpet, ripped rubber, and stains everywhere. Numerous elements team up to ensure that the floor looks terrible the very second anyone steps foot in the cab. Whether it’s a driver’s boots, the food or drink they leave behind, or the elements that inevitably make their way inside the truck, it all costs a fleet money. The cost to replace or detail the floor is expensive. The best solution is floor mats that cover the entire floor, especially those that utilize a tray system, so the mess stays on the mat. Numerous fleets that lease their trucks have saved tens of thousands of dollars by using these types of floor mats and avoiding costly lease-return penalties for floor damage.

Total cost of ownership is critical to every fleet in the business. When making decisions regarding equipment, it’s essential to pay attention to the details because every decision impacts the bottom line.

This article was sponsored by Minimizer. For more information, please visit www.minimizer.com

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