Roadside repairs can be costly, delay drivers and result in missed deliveries. Data collected during a 13-month roadside repair benchmarking program found that fleets experienced a breakdown event about every 10,000 miles in 2018. Cooling systems, wheels, rims, hubs and bearings, brakes, lighting systems and tires, tubes, liners and valves had the most unscheduled repairs, according to the BenchMarkit program, which is run by American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council and FleetNet America.
"The truckload vertical shouldn’t be breaking down every 10,000 miles," said Jim Buell, executive vice president sales and marketing at FleetNet America. "Fleets are spending more on maintenance than they should and most are having more customer experience issues than they should."
Mike Hasinec, vice president of maintenance support for Penske Truck Leasing, said Penske focuses on preventive maintenance to help increase vehicle uptime and strives to have trucks go from one PM event to the next PM event without ever having to come back. "Preventive maintenance is more than changing oil and fluids. It is inspecting the items that can give our customers issues," he said.
As part of its full-service leasing agreements, Penske Truck Leasing provides maintenance for its customers and follows a rigorous maintenance schedule that includes the use of advanced system analytics to identify potential failures before they occur. With dynamic preventive maintenance routines, Penkse’s technicians can adjust inspections based on failure rates and a vehicle’s history. Penske Truck Leasing captures and analyzes maintenance and vehicle data throughout its entire fleet, creating a thorough base of knowledge that allows technicians to identify problems early and prevent more extensive issues.
Hasinec said the biggest benefit of addressing repairs during scheduled, planned intervals is that drivers aren’t faced with unexpected downtime due to an equipment failure. Keeping drivers moving as planned is especially crucial as hours-of-service regulations have placed strict limits on driving time.
If a roadside repair is needed, Penske offers 24/7 roadside assistance for its customers and gets drivers and their loads back on the road typically within two hours. The Penske 24/7 Roadside Assistance call center is staffed by experienced, in-house Penske personnel who have detailed knowledge of Class 8 trucks and understand the specific problems drivers may be experiencing.