The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) revealed that repair and maintenance were the second-fastest growing cost center for carriers. Between 2020 and 2021, ATRI reported an 18.2 percent jump in costs for fleet maintenance. Diesel was the only faster-rising cost center.
There are many potential reasons for rising maintenance costs, such as part shortages or an increased focus on extending the life of older vehicles instead of replacing them. Carriers can take a proactive approach to repairs to mitigate various causes of increased maintenance costs.
Technology plays a key role for fleets implementing preventive maintenance. In-cab tech connects carriers with extensive data that helps to transition from reactive to preventive maintenance. Fleets who successfully leverage maintenance data reduce costs, limit downtime, and make life easier for drivers.
Download guide – Reactive to Preventive Maintenance
Technology connects fleets to preventive maintenance
Carriers aim to reduce downtime as much as possible. Preventive maintenance helps to avoid costly breakdowns on the road and issues with compliance. Instead of reacting to a breakdown, fleets can proactively apply fixes to eliminate equipment issues before they become more significant problems.
Drivers that use an in-cab system such as the ISAAC solution can quickly communicate issues to fleet managers. Sometimes, when drivers can’t detect an issue during inspection, the solution covers this gap by reporting diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) and other metrics that signal potential problems.
Trucks generate a lot of data, so carriers also use fleet management systems to filter out the noise and report the most important codes and information to prevent the most severe and costly breakdowns.
Customized Smart DVIR for your operations
Pre-trip and post-trip reports are an essential part of safely operating a commercial vehicle. Equipping your fleet with a smart DVIR solution helps to simplify the process, making it easier for drivers and fleet managers to follow their company’s inspection policy.
For example, managers can implement specific pre-trip and post-trip inspections when drivers face cold weather challenges. Fleets can deploy ISAAC’s Smart DVIR to provide a custom set of inspection points, and even some helpful reminders such as:
- Plugging and unplugging your truck
- Using required fuel additives
- Draining the air tanks
- Ensuring that air hoses are properly hooked
- Checking windshield washer fluid and wiper blades
- Preparing a cold weather emergency kit
Creating custom inspection points for DVIRs allows fleets to quickly adjust to different types of loads and industry requirements. For example, when a driver hooks a new trailer, the required inspection points automatically change based on the trailer type. After all, carriers hauling food products have different regulatory and maintenance requirements than tanker truck fleets.
Simplifying the DVIR process helps drivers save time when they perform inspections and report potential issues. When a roadside inspection takes place, drivers can get the wheels turning again by quickly showing inspectors the information they need to see on the tablet.
Empower your drivers to help maintenance
The onus is on maintenance staff to keep trucks and equipment in optimal condition, but drivers play a critical role in identifying and reporting potential maintenance issues. Fleets that use in-cab solutions to stay connected with drivers receive rapid updates and notifications that help to inform decision-making for repairs and upkeep.
Drivers stay happy when their trucks and equipment function consistently and safely. The ability to quickly communicate with drivers lets maintenance staff get ahead of potential problems. Drivers also appreciate when fleets listen to and act on feedback that keeps them safe on the road.
Clearly, it’s impossible to predict all the potential issues that can take place on the road. If a driver suddenly faces a difficult scenario, an in-cab solution can offer emergency communications that let drivers call for support from maintenance and fleet managers.
Fleets and drivers thrive through collaboration
Preventive maintenance keeps drivers moving by limiting downtime due to breakdowns and compliance issues. Proactive repairs also reduce overall maintenance and equipment costs while extending the lifespan of trucks.
Drivers appreciate when fleets minimize downtime and ensure that trucks and equipment work safely and reliably. Easy-to-use in-cab technology, such as the ISAAC solution, lets fleets stay connected with drivers to communicate important maintenance updates while simplifying DVIRs and roadside inspections.
About the author
Director Compliance, Client Service & Technical Support, ISAAC Instruments
Melanie Simard is Director of Compliance, Client Service & Technical Support at ISAAC. She brings these three groups together to ensure ISAAC clients receive best-in-class service and support, and to demystify all questions relating to regulatory compliance. She is passionate about this last subject, and well attuned to the kind of support ISAAC users need, as she was on that side of the equation before joining ISAAC. With over 20 years in the trucking industry, her field experience as a driver, dispatcher, compliance manager—not to mention an ISAAC user—the trucking DNA she brings to the table is a valuable asset to both ISAAC and its clients.