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TMC survey finds increase in unscheduled roadside truck maintenance

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Managing Editor of Fleet Equipment Magazine

A recently released TMC/FleetNet America Vertical Benchmarking Program survey found an industrywide increase in the frequency of unscheduled roadside maintenance, the American Trucking Associations announced. The TMC/FleetNetAmerica survey found that during the first quarter of 2021, fleets averaged 29,506 miles of operation between unscheduled road repairs—down 18.7% from the fourth quarter of 2020.

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Truckload carriers averaged 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 44,380 miles in the first quarter from 54,556 in the final quarter of 2021. The tank truck sector saw a slight improvement, running 17,420 miles in the first quarter, down from 19,905 in the previous quarter.

“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 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, “and that would result in overall lower costs.” 

The data indicates that the maintenance practices of the best-in-class fleets in each vertical resulted in lower costs for those fleets. For example, the leading fleet in the tank vertical operated twice as many miles between roadside breakdowns than the average for the tank vertical.

Copies of the report may be purchased from the ATA Business Solutions website.

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