Special Coverage
Presented By
Click Here!


TMC 2023


Decisiv Report Shows Maintenance Cost Increases Are Slowing

Mark Wisilko
"It doesn’t alleviate the challenge for fleets to match profit, but that’s pretty good news," Decisiv's Mark Wasilko says of the easing in cost increases. (Anneliese Mahone/Transport Topics)

[Stay on top of transportation news: Get TTNews in your inbox.]

ORLANDO, Fla. —Trucking continues to face rising maintenance and repair costs, but the degree to which they are increasing has slowed, according to a new report presented at the Technology & Maintenance Council Annual Meeting and Transportation Technology Exhibition on Feb. 26.

A quarterly report presented jointly by American Trucking Associations’ TMC and technology firm Decisiv found that maintenance parts and labor costs combined increased 13% year-over-year in Q4 2022.

“This is the good news and bad news that I was talking about,” said Mark Wasilko, vice president of marketing. “The good news here is this represents a 10% drop [in the first quarter]. So as costs continue to push up, this shows a slowing of that the last two quarters. So, I’m intrigued over what’s going to happen in Q1 data.”

Decisiv noted in its report that the cost of parts climbed 14.4% year-over-year in Q4. Labor costs grew 10.8% over that same time. But earlier in the year, parts and labor costs together were up 15.3% year-over-year.

Decisiv logo

“The good news again is there’s a downward trend in cost increases,” Wasilko said. “That seems to be continuing. It doesn’t alleviate the challenge for fleets to match profit, but that’s pretty good news.

“What is driving this downward trend? It’s open to discussion. But obviously, the slowing in the for-hire truck tonnage in the last quarter results in reduced mileage. Reduced mileage results in the trucks being run less.”

The increase in maintenance costs over the past few years has been driven by a shortage of parts and labor. It also was spurred by manufacturers struggling to get out new trucks, which meant fleets had to rely on older ones. Wasilko noted the average life cycle of a truck increased by two years. But manufacturers have started to work through those issues and increase production.

“[There’s been] a marked increase in the production and the delivery of new trucks,” Wasilko said. “And so obviously, as those new trucks roll out and those old trucks start to get sent to pasture, you obviously see some reduction in the maintenance.”

Host Mike Freeze speaks with Online Transport's Randy Obermeyer about diagnostics. Hear the program above and at RoadSigns.TTNews.com

Decisiv also found there was a decrease in service operation costs when compared with Q3. Its report noted that there was a 1.6% decline in parts cost while labor expenses increased by just 0.4%. That resulted in a total cost decline of 0.9% between the quarters.

Decisiv bases its report on data found using Vehicle Maintenance Reporting Standards codes. These are used to track specific issues with trucks and equipment. TMC licenses the codes to carriers, mechanics and manufacturers with the goal of creating an industry standard.

Want more news? Listen to today's daily briefing below or go here for more info: