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Achieve Optimal Fleet Maintenance With Strategic Goals

Every fleet manager understands that fleet maintenance is essential to the smooth operation of a fleet, but unfortunately, the complexity of upkeep doesn’t come cheap. Fleet maintenance is known to be one of the highest costs when it comes to fleet management, taking up a considerable portion of allotted budgets. Therefore, a preventive maintenance plan is a strategic implementation for both large and small fleets.

Considering this critical, albeit pricey, component of operating a fleet directly impacts vehicles’ longevity, fleet managers must optimize their fleet maintenance program. Successful fleet managers identify KPIs, set targets, and monitor their team’s progress toward those objectives. A clear set of goals is not only vital to maintaining a seamless fleet but also to keep costs down.

You don’t need to create a new system when it comes to optimal fleet maintenance. Luckily resources are abundant. For example, many industry associations gather and share valuable insight for fleets.

Whether your fleet has plenty of room for improvement or your fleet maintenance program runs like a well-oiled machine, it’s always a good idea to entertain opportunities that could improve your fleet. If you’re looking for a way to make sense of all the data and numerous options, the industry’s collective wisdom is a great place to start.

Key resources for optimizing fleet maintenance

American Trucking Associations (ATA) is a national organization that connects trucking industry associations all over the country. The ATA encompasses several councils that are devoted to studying the industry and sharing information with their members. One of the most influential councils in the ATA is the Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC). 

TMC benefits ATA members in a variety of ways through their substantial endeavors. This work is carried out, in part, through Study Groups and Task Forces that focus on relevant issues and universal concerns. Most of the groups are focused on specific components of commercial equipment, while the council’s S.5 Fleet Maintenance Management Study Group has a more comprehensive view of fleet maintenance operations.

TMC’s S.5 group has spent years studying and examining the complexities of how fleet maintenance functions for commercial trucking fleets. The results of their latest efforts can be found within the 2021 Recommended Practices Manuals. TMC has been helping fleets tackle operational challenges with their Recommended Practices (RP) ever since 1973.

Today, TMC’s RPs contains over 400 pieces of training that assist those in the trucking industry. Bobby Allen of Hub Group shares, “Anytime a maintenance issue comes up, I reach for the appropriate RP that is never further than my laptop. It’s one of the many membership benefits of TMC.”

Develop KPIs for your fleet maintenance operations

The breadth of TMC’s RPs can be attributed to these peer-reviewed studies, and the 2021 TMC RP 545 titled Developing Key Performance Indicators For Maintenance Operations reflects S.5’s in-depth studies. The 11 KPIs referenced are intended to help fleets take control of maintenance as a contributing element of cost per mille (CPM). The individual KPIs touch on inspections, repair work, labor productivity, warranties, and more. 

Fleets that meet or exceed targets set by the individual KPIs will be doing everything in their power to govern fleet maintenance costs and potential impact on the fleet’s CPM. Controlling as much as possible and holding the line on your fleet’s CPM will maximize your profit margins and in turn, grow your business.

Opportunities for savings can be found everywhere you turn, which is why TMC’s KPIs factor in all of the ways your fleet’s maintenance operations can save you money, improve your safety rating, and benefit your bottom line.

What are industry experts saying about TMC’s studies?

Here at Fleetpal, we were delighted to see the ambitious targets that the KPIs set for fleets in the industry. The recent TMC RP purveys industry-generated data through TMC’s Vehicle Maintenance Reporting Standards (VMRS) coding convention to identify areas worth focusing on.

While we’re partial to VMRS considering it’s the foundation of the Fleetpal platform, we believe that standardizing work orders and scheduling verbiage into one unified language is critical to the success of your fleet. We share ATA’s goal of helping fleets run safely and efficiently. Each of the KPIs noted in the recent RP is related to areas we have been assisting fleets to improve upon for years. 

To get another perspective, we spoke with Amanda Schuier, Chairman of TMC’s S.5 Fleet Maintenance Management Study Group. Schuier stated that Recommended Practices created within S.5 are particularly pertinent to TMC members’ challenges they face every day on the shop floor. These RPs allow us to implement real-world solutions.

Fleetpal helps you plan, execute, and monitor maintenance that hits your targets

Fleetpal is a fleet maintenance management software that makes it easier to take control of maintenance operations. Our platform allows you to set KPIs as targets, record performance data using TMC/ATA VMRS codes, and generate reports to help monitor progress. 

If you’re ready to set your fleet on a path toward meeting or exceeding the KPIs in TMC’s latest RP, our team is here to help. With just a few minutes, we can show you all the ways that Fleetpal can make your life easier by managing your fleet’s maintenance operations.

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Mike Valnev

Mike Valnev