Costs for Truck Parts, Labor Fall in Q2

TMC/Decisiv Benchmarking Report Shows ‘a Definite Improvement’
truck repair
Combined parts and labor costs for the top 25 VMRS codes fell 1.3% in Q2 compared with Q1. (Rush Enterprises)

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CLEVELAND — A new report released jointly from the Technology & Maintenance Council of American Trucking Associations and Decisiv Inc. found that parts and labor expenses in heavy-duty truck repair shops dropped during the second quarter of 2023.

“With rising build rates for new equipment and less mileage reducing the need to operate aging trucks, fleets are finally seeing a definite improvement in parts and labor costs,” said Decisiv President and CEO Dick Hyatt in a Sept. 17 news release.

The findings were included in the latest Decisiv/TMC North American Service Event Benchmark Report. Decisiv collects and analyzes data for the report using TMC Vehicle Maintenance Reporting Standard system codes

According to the report, after an extended period of cost increases combined parts and labor costs for the top 25 VMRS codes fell 1.3% in Q2 compared with Q1. Labor costs decreased for the first time in the past year, and parts costs fell for the second consecutive quarter.

Dick Hyatt


On a year-over-year basis, combined parts and labor costs rose 5.6% in Q2 of this year compared with the same period last year, narrower than the 15% year-over-year increase reported in Q2 2022.

Hyatt noted that the data points to a return to normalized trade cycles and more predictable service and repair costs.

“Along with greater stability, the highly detailed data and reporting enabled by Decisiv SRM allows fleets and service providers to focus on ways to continue to drive down expenses,” Hyatt said.

“After many months of rapidly increasing parts and labor costs, we are pleased to see this positive trend in the maintenance expense data,” added TMC Executive Director Robert Braswell. “The council’s fleet membership will benefit from this important parts and labor cost analysis and plan accordingly going forward.”

TMC officials noted that while economic and inflationary pressures continue to push parts and labor costs to comparatively high levels, OEMs’ supply chain operations are improving. This, in turn, is helping take some strain off of production capacity. As demand continues to taper off, fleets are taking delivery of more new trucks.

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The data reflecting lower parts and labor expenses in the report also indicates how a number of factors interactively impact service activity. Changes in mileage related to freight volumes, the effect of newer versus aging trucks and the ongoing stabilization of the supply chain all impact each other and have a resulting effect on fleet service operations, the report noted.

Data on the top 10 VMRS code categories shows that engines and related systems accounted for the largest percentage of all costs in the second quarter. In total, powerplant (35.9%), exhaust (12.9%) cooling (6.1%) and fuel systems (5.3%) equaled 60.2% of costs during the quarter.

The Decisiv/TMC North American Service Event Benchmark Report is generated using data from the Decisiv SRM platform on service and repair events for more than 7 million commercial assets operating across the U.S. and Canada. The system is being used to manage a weekly average of 70,000 service events at nearly 5,000 locations.

The full report is available to TMC members.