Automotive Fleet

NOV 2013

Magazine for the car and truck fleet and leasing industry

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OPERATING COSTS eas, such as emission systems and advanced wiring systems, are a bigger percentage of these expenses," said Piscopo of ARI. Te ongoing technician shortage is also putting upward pressure on labor rates. "Te industry is challenged to staf fully trained and qualifed truck and upft equipment technicians. Stafng shortages create a backlog of work in many facilities throughout the country," added Piscopo. Te technician shortage is especially acute in the oil patch and rural areas. "Signifcant increases in business related to the oil and natural gas industries have produced geographical markets where the ratio of vocational trucks and equipment exceeds that of qualifed repair technicians. Tis has created delays in repair times and added expenses for feets," said Piscopo. While the introduction of diesel particulate flters (DPF) has introduced a new cost component for truck feets, there have been developments to decrease this cost. "A positive trend we are seeing in 2013 is the number of suppliers who are providing reconditioned or refurbished DPFs. In the past, consumers were limited to purchasing new components, typically from the OEM. Parts pricing for DPFs has been greatly reduced, due the number of options that have become available to consumers over the past few years," said Piscopo. But, the No. 1 factor behind reduced maintenance expenses has been the overall increase in vehicle quality. "Vehicle quality continues to improve, reducing failures for feets and their drivers. While the new technologies on today's vehicles can be expensive to repair, their failure rates are fewer and the impact is minimized," said Ciccarelli of Donlen. Also, onboard oil monitoring systems are helping to extend oil drain intervals. "Increased use of oil life monitoring (OLM) and warranties continue CRUMLETT to get better," said Mike Crumlett, manager, North American truck maintenance operations for Emkay. One complication has been parts shortages, resulting in longer downtime. "Vehicle repairs have been impacted by 'national back orders' due to a lack of instock replacement parts. Delayed repairs ofen lead to additional downtime and the need for rental vehicles, which aren't routinely reimbursed by dealers or OEMs," said Christensen of GE Capital Fleet Services. Forecast of Maintenance & Repair Cost Trends Te forecast is for maintenance costs to continue to trend downward. "Marginal diference in overall costs, they continue to trend down. Continued entrance into the 'fast lube' market by the OEMs has forced additional competition, helping to give feets and drivers more choices and again contributing to stabilization of pricing," said Fontana of Emkay. Lower your operating costs, and know what your fleet looks like…instantly. With OnceOVR™, nationwide feet management is a couple of taps away. Get real-time condition reporting on your in-service feet vehicles, obtain a fair market value assessment in less than 24 hours, and push/push your vehicles out of inventory with no hassle. App now available on: Give your vehicle the OnceOVRTM today. Learn more at or call 888-800-6712. 28 AUTOMOTIVE FLEET I NOVEMBER 2013

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