Truck maintenance downtime causing more trouble for fleet owners

With fleet managers deploying trucks that travel thousands of miles every week, daily wear and tear is a fact of life. Tires, engines and the general infrastructure of the vehicle subjected to heavy use must be inspected and maintained regularly, or unexpected breakdowns can result in long periods of downtime as the truck is repaired, as noted in a recent article for Fleet News.

Fleet maintenance management software designed for trucks and heavy-duty vehicles can help fleet managers to operate as efficiently as possible. The use of routing software can also help fleet owners significantly reduce unnecessary miles and attendant wear and tear on their trucks.

Newer truck engines less reliable?

Equipment reliability was one of the key points of contention at the recent press conference at Volvo's new Nacarato truck dealership in La Vergne, Tennessee. Fleet managers have been searching for solutions to help them combat this growing problem.

"The biggest challenge that we struggle with is the engines that we have," Stan Pritchett, owner of Beacon Transport, said at the press conference, as quoted by the news source. "I spend so much of my time dealing with engine maintenance issues."

Dealers that sold fleet owners their new trucks are now often backed up providing maintenance to other companies that need service. Pritchett called for better training that would produce more professionals who could service trucks and get them back on the road.

"No longer can I say that because I buy new equipment, I'm not in the shop a lot," said Pritchett, who revealed his truck downtime "has become tremendous," during the press conference. "I'm looking to run new engines and I want my equipment to stay running."

GM could provide a solution
Medium- and light-duty fleet owners may want to turn to General Motors Fleet and Commercial Sales for their next vehicles. A recent press release from the company said it is rolling out a new feature to its GM Business Choice program, which now includes a new plan for maintenance on trucks it sells to commercial customers, in addition to a cash allowance for vehicle accessories or upfits.

"Our customers told us how important a maintenance plan is to them, so we listened and redesigned the Business Choice program to meet their needs as part of our commitment to providing the best possible customer experience," said Ed Peper, General Motors U.S. vice president of Fleet and Commercial Sales.

The plan covers lube, oil and filter changes; tire rotation; and a 27-point inspection for members of their GM Business Choice program for cargo, passenger and cutaway vans, chassis cabs, 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickups and the Chevrolet Avalanche.

"We've done a lot to raise the bar at GM Fleet and Commercial, and this is one example of how we are continuing to alter the way we do business to further nurture our partnerships with our customers and be their preferred choice," Peper said.