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2/18/2013 8:00:00 AM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

Opinion: Always Track Fleet Maintenance Costs

In either of these instances, you should consider leasing from someone else.

But for most leased fleets, the necessary data arrive regularly: the information is in the leasing company bills that outline work performed and on which units. Those bills specify parts replaced, labor charges and more. Many fleet operators simply sign the invoices and forward them for payment. What they should be doing is entering the information the bills contain into a maintenance program.

Depending on the leasing company, those invoices can be submitted in digital form. In that case, the data can be imported electronically to eliminate data entry — depending on the maintenance program being used. If that isn’t possible, the information should be keyed in manually.

In every case, the information should be retained and analyzed by the fleet lessee. In the short term it will provide insight into ongoing equipment and driver performance. Long term, it will be available for comparing the costs and terms of one lease with another or with other maintenance options.

However the deed is accomplished, fleets are much more likely to get competitive leasing rates if they know their real costs.

Arsenault Associates is a fleet-management software firm located in Burlington, N.J.

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