Fleet maintenance costs are on the rise according to GE Capital’s Fleet Market Economic Outlook Survey that was released earlier this year. GE surveyed 413 executives who hold responsibility for vehicle fleets across multiple industries in the U.S. The participating companies ranged from $10 million to $1 billion in revenue. The key findings, as told by Steve Jastrow, a strategic consulting manager for GE Capital Fleet Services, may surprise you.
Jastrow stressed the importance of monitoring your fleet’s maintenance, performance and more importantly, being able to recognize when a truck is approaching its spiral down the maintenance drain. With labor costs on the rise, the windy road to the bottom will not only claim your truck, but thousands of your dollars. In an interview with Fleet Owner Magazine, Jastrow stressed:
“Making sure that you’re identifying the opportune time to be cycling vehicles is really important. Unscheduled maintenance events for older vehicles leads to downtime and repairs that become more expensive.”
According to the survey, the highest increases in fleet-related costs were in the areas of fuel and maintenance, most specifically, unscheduled maintenance. It turns out that replacing older vehicles just might save you some cash in more ways than one. See the following tips about how purchasing new vehicles to replace your older ones can save you money:
- Newer Vehicles Have Better Fuel Efficiency
This combats the fluctuation and rise of fuel costs while putting you ahead of the 48% of executives in GE’s study who admitted they would be bringing some alternative fuel vehicles into their fleet over the next 2 to 5 years.
- Newer Vehicles Offer Heightened Safety Features
GE’s study found safety to be one of the top objectives for fleet managers in the U.S. Jastrow claimed that the benefits of safety-proofing your fleet won’t be optional for long. He hinted that back up cameras will be mandated in the next year or so for all medium duty vehicles.
- Newer Vehicles are Optimal for After-Market Installs
Jastrow notes how crucial it is that fleet managers order after-market installs for their new and existing vehicles. This will improve driver safety and environmental impact. Methods includes implementing speed limiters, fuel and maintenance monitoring, driver education programs or a fleet management system like FieldLogix, which does all three.
When analyzing the costs and time hindrances involved with holding onto an older vehicle, both Jastrow and GE’s study agree that making the decision to replace will usually cost less than fighting to keep an older vehicle running. If you want your business to continue to evolve and grow, you must take a step back and decide which assets are capable of supporting the same evolution and growth. Replacing your older vehicles just might be the investment you need to save money and boost your company to the next level.