TMC/FleetNet America report spike in roadside events

Updated Jul 8, 2021
Truck with flat tire roadside

American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council says the council’s first quarter 2021 TMC/FleetNet America Vertical Benchmarking Program found an industrywide increase in the frequency of unscheduled roadside maintenance.

“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,” says TMC Executive Director Robert Braswell.

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 percent from the fourth quarter of 2020.

Truckload carriers averaged 21,856 miles between breakdowns, a 13.1 percent decrease in miles from the previous quarter. The time between breakdowns for LTL carriers dropped 18.7 percent 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.

“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 percent and that would result in overall lower costs,” says Emily Hurst, manager of data and analytics at FleetNet America. 

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.

Understanding the frequency of roadside failures, and how a fleet’s experience compares with similar operations, can help maintenance leaders identify opportunities to improve their operations and reduce their maintenance expense.

The TMC/FleetNet Vertical Benchmarking Program is a benefit for TMC fleet members. In addition to the executive summary, which is available to TMC members, fleets that participate by sharing their data are provided an analytic tool that allows them to drill into their data, comparing it to the industry average. Interested parties may also purchase copies of the report from TMC.        

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