Keeping Your Spend off the Shoulder and Back on the Road

In life and in business, it can be easy to fall into bad patterns. One slip can lead to another, and evolve into a series of issues that requires more serious intervention. These things are never intentional, but you can typically trace your biggest financial and budgetary strains back to small issues that continued to snowball. That is especially true when it comes to your fleet.

With that in mind, think about your budget and your vehicle spend: Do you have a maintenance strategy that successfully positions your fleet as a business asset?

When Costs Spin Out
One of ARI’s clients was grappling with increasing maintenance costs. Their fleet of 3,500 vehicles is comprised of mostly light/medium duty trucks. Costs were being monitored at a high level when roadside expenses reached a boiling point within months. Tows, lockouts, winch-outs and jumpstarts were piling up, driving their roadside spend costs up several million dollars compared to the first half of the year.

We started digging into the spend spike to identify the root cause behind the large cost increase in such a short time. We dove into a deep review of purchase orders and made the following discoveries:

  • 84 percent of costs came from towing, emergency and non-emergency expenses
  • 16 percent of costs came from lower spend assistance lockouts, jumpstarts and winch-outs
  • Drivers were opting to use a more convenient and much higher priced mobile vendor to come out and address problems as they occurred

Instead of leveraging garages for PM appointments, drivers were reacting to maintenance issues as they cropped up by relying on mobile service providers.

A Refreshed Approach to PM Spend
We implemented four specific measures to improve fleet health:

The first step toward controlling operating spend was to quickly replace older fleet units, thus reducing average vehicle age on the road. We then rolled out a more organized approach to the maintenance madness, making PM a priority to drastically cut roadside costs and expanding vendor access to make it easier for drivers to utilize reasonably-priced providers.

On the Road Again
The client didn’t need a major overhaul, they just needed to get back to the basics that can fall by the wayside for any busy business. By reinvigorating the fleet’s PM schedule, we were able to monitor vehicle health more effectively. We also made it easier for drivers to stay in control of their vehicles, giving them more ways to stay on top of their PM schedule and making trips to repair centers less of a hassle.

The client got back on the road with a focus on prevention and proactive care, and now has a policy in place that can stretch for years to come. Does your business have the potential to cut costs? Check our whitepaper to learn how to track downtime, deploy preventive maintenance, and improve efficiency.