Vehicle repair costs up

Keeping fleet vehicles in top condition is essential, but with repair costs becoming more expensive, many transportation companies may seek solutions to help them cut down on costs. 

The expenses associated with vehicle repairs are on the rise, according to the latest Vehicle Health Index from CarMd. Costs shot up 10 percent in 2012, the first increase seen in six years. Parts prices were up 6 percent and labor expenses jumped 17 percent, which could have a major impact on fleet budgets.

This leap in repair prices could even more seriously affect fleets that may have been holding off on purchasing newer vehicles until the economy fully recovers. As the future of many industries and the overall markets remains uncertain, many transportation companies have made the decision to hold on to older trucks, which could prove to be extremely costly should they need work completed. There was a 24 percent jump in "catastrophic repairs" older vehicles needed last year, and because these fixes tend to be very costly, a company that needs to repair several old trucks in its fleet may find the financial repercussions has an enormous impact on operations. 

Most transportation companies already perform regular maintenance, but taking this initiative alone can't always prevent the need for major repairs, especially in older vehicles. By using fleet maintenance software, companies can take advantage of preventive maintenance opportunities along with warranty recapture. Warranty management tracks the unit, system or component under warranty by automatically creating the warranty master records. It also provides daily warranty reports, failed parts analysis, warranty claims preparation and claims analysis. While maintenance software can't prevent a fleet from encountering a problem with its vehicles, it can allow managers to automate preventive maintenance schedules and recapture warranty dollars, making repairs more affordable in the long run.