There's an old business adage that you manage what you measure.
What are you measuring when it comes to the health of your fleet? If you're not measuring the right fleet health metrics, it's difficult to measure your service process effectiveness to ensure optimal fleet management.
Here are some key fleet health metrics you should be tracking to help reduce maintenance and repair costs, improve your fleet's overall efficiency and profitability..
#1. Preventive Maintenance (PM) Currency
Do you know with any degree of certainty which of your assets (trucks, trailers, APUs, reefers, etc.) are current with their preventive maintenance schedule? Is it automatically captured or are you dependent on manual data entry? Remember, high preventive maintenance currency is one of the best ways to keep your trucks on the road.
#2. Breakdowns Between PMs
Track this data to better understand the effectiveness of your preventive maintenance program. When PMs are done correctly, the truck shouldn't have to return to the shop for a mechanical failure until its next scheduled PM inspection. Keeping track of what's causing trucks to break down between PMs provides insight into your own inspection process, technicians' effectiveness and how your internal shop and external service providers are performing.
Measuring downtime or Days Out of Service (DOS) is a great barometer of the effectiveness of your fleet maintenance and repair practices. For internal shops and external service providers, look at both wrench time and non-wrench time. Our experience shows that you'll realize the biggest uptime gains by reducing the non-wrench time portion of repairs. Also look at downtime across your providers (internal and external) by asset type, reason for repair and VMRS-coded operations. Not all service events are created equal, but VMRS-coded events give you a great benchmarking tool.
#4. Asset utilization
While 100 percent asset utilization isn't realistic because your trucks periodically need to be taken out of service for maintenance, that doesn't mean you shouldn't strive for a high asset utilization rate. When measuring asset utilization don't forget to factor in safety stock and rentals that fill the void when an asset is down due to an unscheduled service event. We have even worked with the TMC to create new VMRS codes to track rentals based on whether they are substitutes (full service lease asset failure), capacity trucks or coverage for downed assets.
#5. CSA violations and fines
Do you know how many of your CSA violations and fines are in the maintenance BASIC? If your safety department is not sharing CSA reports with you, ask to see them. They'll clearly highlight weaknesses in your maintenance efforts, especially if your trucks keep getting cited for the same problems. This also gives you insight into the effectiveness of your DVIRs and PMs.
Take the Next Step
Decide which fleet health metrics make the most sense for your operation to focus on, establish goals for each one and then start tracking your compliance.