Our first six articles in Master Fleet’s Maintenance Benchmarking Assessment (MBA) series focus on accurately capturing and coding data from maintenance operations to get a true sense of costs. In this sixth article we’re focused on unusual mileage units, which need to be coded separately.
You’ve heard the old cliché “garbage in, garbage out.” If you’re using a database to track your shop’s maintenance costs, which we highly recommend, the reports generated from the database will only be as good as the data captured. One of the more common weaknesses we see when working with fleets across the country is the inconsistent coding of costs, and more specifically for this article, not coding for unusual mileage units.
Master Fleet continues it's series on maintenance costs, the first chapter of our MBA (Maintenance Benchmark Assessment) program, helping shop leaders and fleet owners have best-in-class maintenance operations. We encourage you, the Huddle community, to comment and share your ideas, helping us all reduce costs and improve our operations.
In our industry, the word "mileage" means different things to different people, depending on the situation. There are dispatch miles, the miles a company is paid for, and there are hub miles, the actual miles put on a tractor or trailer. Both methods of measurement are effective and each has it's own advantages.
"When it comes to tracking miles for purposes of calculating maintenance costs, we prefer using dispatch miles for a couple of reasons."
Is Master Fleet University the Solution for Your Shop?
Fleet owners know maintenance is one of their biggest operating costs; the third largest cost of operation after drivers and fuel. The good news is that, unlike fuel and drivers, there are usually significant opportunities to bring maintenance costs down and keep trucks rolling.
That's where Master Fleet University comes in. A concentrated series of classes designed to help fleet maintenance leaders build complete, best-in-class fleet maintenance programs, Master Fleet University instructors provide the plans for improving shop operations, and just as important, followup afterwards, to help ensure the plans are implemented effectively and goals are achieved.
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We’ve already established that capturing data is key to tracking true maintenance costs, the first step in moving a shop toward a best-in-class maintenance operation. In addition to capturing the data, however, is ensuring that various costs are assigned appropriately.
In our world, there are two types of accidents. The first, reported accidents, typically involve a second party, in addition to your driver and/or truck. Reported accidents are then separated into preventable or non-preventable categories. The second category of accidents are “incurred but not reported” (IBNR.) These accidents involve situations like drivers running over something lying on the road, damaging the fuel tanks. Or, a driver goes down a road with over-hanging tree branches and a branch tears a hole in the roof of the trailer.
The cost of each type of accident—reported or IBNR—should be assigned differently.
By now you have probably gathered that we like data. Keeping track of maintenance expenses and procedures and recording the data gives you a great tool for evaluating the performance of your maintenance operations. Once you have the data, there are a number of valuable ways to crunch the numbers.
A couple of weeks ago, we talked about tracking expenses by age/miles bands. Another way to use the same data is to track costs by tractor, trailer, and tire categories.