Significant savings can be made by outsourcing the maintenance of your trucks and trailers.
Managing costs is vital for fleet managers. At the beginning of 2018, the RHA (Road Haulage Association) predicted a growth of 3% in total operating costs or 4.77% including fuel for 2018, with these costs increasing further over the past few years. Significant savings can be realised by outsourcing the maintenance for trucks and trailers.
The Truck Expert made an interesting analysis of the operating costs of trailers, tractors and fixed trucks in 2018. For example, the total downtime costs (depreciation and financing) and operating costs, including tyres, maintenance and repairs for a twin-axle trailer with an initial investment of £21,709 and after 50,000 km driven, came to a total of £5,145 per year. Maintenance and repairs accounted for £1,768 or 34% of the total costs. For the same trailer that drove 80,000 km annually, maintenance and repairs accounted for £2,030 or 35% of the total costs, £5,743. Given the significant investment required to run a workshop, it makes financial sense for fleets to consider outsourcing their trailer maintenance.
Failure to perform proper maintenance can have compliance implications and may even cost the operator their business licence ("O licence").
Incorrect maintenance of trailers and trucks entails other risks; for example, endangering the safety and life of drivers or unexpected trailer and truck breakdowns, which can drive up business costs.
Running a maintenance program in-house has several aspects that can be particularly challenging, such as:
How much time is needed for administrative tasks, including health and safety, and managing an in-house maintenance program? Take the health and safety part, for example. The INRS in France, the national institute for research and safety, released a guide of 64 pages about running a garage for maintenance and repairs of trucks. This guide describes the risks that could cause accidents associated with running a garage and how to avoid these risks.
As Tim Ridyard, a road traffic attorney at Ashtons Legal, says in Commercial Motor, you need in-depth knowledge of maintenance compliance to manage in-house. It is very important that fleets meet the correct standards because the company is ultimately legally responsible for compliance. However, it may be easier, cheaper and more efficient to have a reliable third party perform the day-to-day implementation of legally compliant maintenance programs.
The level of advanced technology onboard trailers and trucks is constantly increasing. Telematics technologies such as those provided by TIP can, with the help of sensors, relay information to maintenance management systems about the status of the vehicle, both in electronic and mechanical terms. This data can help the technician to carry out maintenance and repairs more efficiently and increase the availability of the trailer. This also requires regular investment in the latest tools, diagnostics and technologies for workshops to ensure that data can be processed.
Highly trained technicians who know how to analyse the electronics and make the correct changes to the vehicles will need to be employed or trained. Because manufacturers continuously come up with new technologies, the technicians must constantly undergo additional training. As alternative trucks powered by electricity or hydrogen become more common, the need for training is growing.
The above matters can be extremely costly for a company. Significant savings can be realised by outsourcing the maintenance of trucks and trailers to a reliable third party like TIP.
The benefits are:
Outsourcing can significantly reduce overhead costs. TIP makes investments to keep up with technology, hires and trains technicians, ensures they are aware of new technologies and invests in physical workshops as well as stocking spare parts.
A large multinational maintenance provider such as TIP derives its purchasing power from the economies of scale it enjoys and can pass on a number of benefits to its customers.
The flexibility of outsourced trailer maintenance is very attractive. With the help of a company such as TIP, fleet operators can rent additional trailers to meet increased demand and don’t have to worry about recruiting additional staff internally to handle fluctuating maintenance pressures. TIP offers 24/7 maintenance and repair work all year round through a network of workshops over a large geographic area.
An outsourced trailer maintenance partnership with an industry leader such as TIP gives fleet managers time and space to leverage their key assets and focus on developing business activities that add value, such as customer service or business development.
TIP Trailer Services is a highly experienced provider of trailer maintenance and repair programs. We have been servicing trailers for over 50 years. We offer our customers maintenance and repair services with or without a contract. Our programs provide cost savings, flexibility and access to a large team of qualified technicians trained on the latest technologies and working from a network of workshops.
For more information about TIP's maintenance services, please visit https://www.tipeurope.co.uk/fleet-services/trailer-maintenance
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