Mine Fleet Breakdown Data to Improve Operations

Properly recording and analyzing data generated during over-the-road events can impact every aspect of a fleet’s operation.

The most successful fleets are learning that the data they are collecting can be mined and analyzed in a variety of ways that will help them optimize fleet operations. One of the richest sources of valuable data is what’s learned when over-the-road breakdowns occur.

When this information is gathered into a vehicle data platform designed for recording breakdowns, it may lead to decisions that can impact everything from parts procurement and remarketing to financial planning and asset utilization. There is much that the data can teach fleet managers about how they manage their operation.

Let’s look at what’s learned when downtime is tracked and analyzed. At the end of the month, year or lifecycle of a particular batch of units, properly gathered breakdown data will show the dollar spins associated with the components of a particular truck or trailer. At the end of that time period, you can know exactly how much maintenance money you spent on that unit and exactly where you spent it.

That gives you the intelligence you need to determine if a particular motor has a lot of problems late in life and whether it makes more sense to dispose of it earlier than what was previously intended. In other words, maybe it’s a good idea to shorten the lifecycle of that component or even change brands all together.

The data might show you, for example, that a particular starter goes bad at 300,000 miles. You will want to investigate if a better value starter will result in a longer productive lifecycle. Using the data generated by VMRS (Vehicle Maintenance Reporting Standards) coding in the data platform, you’re able to identify small things within the analytics that can have a big impact on minimizing downtime.

From a lifecycle standpoint, companies like to look at the miles-per-breakdown, so they may look at this information at 1,000- or 10,000-mile intervals. They’ll be able to tell where the maintenance spin falls in that interval. Once you see that significant dollars are being spent in one time period, you know it’s time to get rid of the unit or component.

Gathering and analyzing tire data is another good example of how breakdown data can benefit a fleet. Most companies’ breakdowns or over-the-road service events are going to involve tires 35 to 60% of the time. That is always the number one problem over the road.

If you’re recording the information correctly, you may see that a given shop or set of shops have more tire-related failures than another. This might require a new look at a variety of factors, including your current level of preventative maintenance, technician training, route planning that may be unnecessarily putting units on weather-damaged roadways, etc. Maybe a new tire program may need to be put into place to help prevent the service events. There is so much that can be done with analytic data.

Fleets generate a lot of data. What matters is how this data is captured and analyzed if it’s to help improve operations. The best way to use this information productively is to give your staff the latest technology available to find the nuggets of important information they need to make the right decisions.

How are you tracking fleet breakdown data? If you’re not, contact AmeriQuest to learn how we can help.

About John Silva

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