Truckload carrier breakdown rate up 14 percent, TMC study indicates

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Updated Apr 29, 2021
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Last week the American Trucking Associations' Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) released the results of its fourth quarter 2020 TMC/FleetNet America Vertical Benchmarking Program. TMC says the program uncovered a wide disparity in the periods between unscheduled roadside maintenance among fleet types.

"Knowledge is power, and the information in our quarterly maintenance benchmarking survey provides TMC members with an important tool to keep their fleets up and running," says TMC Executive Director Robert Braswell. "The next step is using this information to share best practices to keep trucks on the road and out of the repair bay. Part of the power of TMC is maintenance leaders working together to make our industry even more efficient."

According to the study, during the fourth quarter, the average fleet operated 36,315 miles between unscheduled road repairs, which is largely in line with previous quarters. However, the frequency of unscheduled road repairs varied widely between the three verticals.

Truckload carriers saw a 14 percent improvement over the third quarter, running 25,599 miles between breakdowns. The tank vertical experienced a slight increase in roadside failures compared to 3Q, running 19,983 miles between breakdowns. And the LTL vertical increased from 46,525 miles between breakdowns in the third quarter to 55,823 in the fourth quarter, TMC says.

The data also indicates 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 nearly double the miles between roadside breakdowns than the average for the tank vertical.

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

TMC adds that understanding the frequency of roadside failures, and how a fleet's experience compares to 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, TMC says.

To access the program, please go to

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