A complete look at vehicle lifecycle management

A challenging but surmountable hurdle for fleet managers is navigating all the ways different facets of the vehicle lifecycle influence each other. In a three-part series, Work Truck examined the inter-connectivity  of the Buy, Drive, Service, and Sell cycles of light- and medium-duty trucks. Ed Powell, manager of business intelligence & analytics for ARI offered his expertise and insight for each of the articles.

Buy based on your driving needs

Powell says a successful strategy boils down to finding the ideal balance between cost and reliability based on your most critical business needs.

The article Impact of Lifecycle Management on Light-Duty Trucks offers “7 Tips for Light-Duty Lifecycle Management.” Among them are measuring the right data, staying in the know with OEMs, and depending on the right partners. In particular, Powell offered insight on analyzing financials, setting clear goals, and considering new options.

Reiterating the importance of ensuring your vehicles and specs meet your business needs, Powell added: “It is also important to consider the role the unit plays in maintaining business operations. If the vehicle serves a unique purpose, you’ll likely need additional units to function as spares or backups if unforeseen downtime begins to impact efficiency.”

To help fleets achieve this, ARI helps to identify ideal vehicle in-service time frames based on capital and operating expenses. The goal, Powell says, is to strengthen the fleet by continuously having highly reliable vehicles in service to support your business.

How often you service your vehicles can impact how often you buy

Trucks in Class 3 to Class 6 (and sometimes Class 7) can carry heavier loads and operate in more extreme conditions. Often they are customized through upfitting to perform a specific job. In the article Managing Lifecycles for Medium-Duty Trucks, Powell explains how upfitting creates more complex lifecycle needs for these trucks. This includes adhering to proper preventive maintenance schedules on the vehicle itself as well as the upfit components and equipment.

He says that in many cases units with upfitting/equipment will remain in service longer, so you’ll need to strictly adhere to preventive maintenance schedules. This includes maintaining the added equipment as well.

When it all comes to an end

The article Importance of Lifecycle Management for Work Truck Fleets says the foundation of your fleet strategy should be built on the optimal lifecycle for your vehicles. It all leads up to taking worn and costly vehicles out of service with a strong resale strategy.

Powell says, “When developing your lifecycle strategy, you’ll want to identify the ideal window to remove your vehicles from service to maximize their resale value and, in turn, lower your total cost of ownership.”

What are your fleet challenges?

When you approach fleet strategically, you can identify opportunities to streamline operations and reduce costs. To learn more, download the whitepaper Using Data to Identify, Predict and Prevent Critical Fleet Issues or visit the Fleet Is An Investment website.