All fleets need to maintain their vehicles to ensure safe and reliable performance, to avoid costly breakdowns and to allow vehicles to reach their maximum useful life. However, even a vehicle that is running safely and reliably may still enjoy substantial fuel economy savings from additional or more optimized maintenance.
- Difficult to schedule maintenance service so it does not impact productivity
- Difficult to know which vehicles have had their scheduled maintenance service and which still need to come into the shop
Demonstrating return on investment
- It can be difficult to prove that a change in maintenance caused a gain in fuel economy
WHAT FLEETS ARE SAYING
When asked how strong they felt the link between maintenance practices and fuel economy was, 75% of survey respondents said they saw a strong or very strong link between the two
“We do consider the fuel economy benefits of maintenance when making decisions to invest in a more aggressive maintenance program, whether software, personnel, tools or equipment.” — A fleet manager
“I believe there is a close correlation between maintenance and fuel economy, but my opinion may not be widely shared among my management peers.” — A fleet manager
One fleet instituted a maintenance program that allows a truck to be diverted to a maintenance facility for evaluation if the vehicle’s mpgs decrease.
- Start by reviewing OEM and component supplier recommendations.
- Consider using the Recommended Practices developed by The Technology & Maintenance Council.
- Perform maintenance on an on-going basis and in a consistent manner.
- Invest in technology that allows you to schedule and track maintenance compliance.
CONCLUSIONS & RECOMMENDATIONS
Fleet view maintenance as important, but tend to look at it as a means for reducing downtime rather than improving fuel economy.
There are a variety of sources available to obtain information about the maintenance needs of various components.
There is strong evidence that properly maintained trucks will enjoy improved fuel economy.
Including information about the increased fuel economy of well-maintained trucks can make the ROI of an investment in maintenance technology, tools, bay space, technicians or software easier to sell across all levels of fleet management.