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September 13, 2021 11:30 AM, EDT

Frequency of Roadside Repairs Decreases in Q2

TMC/FleetNet Study Finds 7.2% Improvement Over Q1
Paul Gildenhorn Paul Gildenhorn by John Sommers II for Transport Topics

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CLEVELAND — Trucks during the second quarter traveled farther between unscheduled roadside repairs, according to the latest edition of the TMC/FleetNet America Vertical Benchmarking report, presented Sept. 12 at American Trucking Associations’ 2021 Technology & Maintenance Council Fall Meeting & Transportation Technology Exhibition.

Among fleets that participate in the program, miles between unscheduled roadside repairs in Q2 reached 31,638, a 7.2% improvement over 29,506 miles in Q1 2021. The report includes data supplied by truckload, less-than-truckload and tank carriers that have been participating in the benchmark program.

The report measures miles between breakdowns and miles between repairs. Miles between breakdowns covers the total miles a fleet runs between an unscheduled roadside event. Miles between repairs refers to the frequency of a repair at the Vehicle Maintenance Reporting Standards (VMRS) system or assembly level.

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Truckload carriers saw miles between breakdown increase 9.5% to 23,769 miles compared with a Q1 figure of 21,707 miles. The Q2 2021 result was also slightly better than Q2 2020, when the sector reached 23,190 miles between breakdowns.

The LTL vertical saw miles between breakdowns in Q2 increase 5.2% to 46,186 miles from 43,892 miles in the prior quarter. But the segment saw a decline versus year-ago levels; participating LTL fleets in Q2 2020 traveled 52,125 miles between breakdowns.

The tank vertical in Q2 saw a 1.5% increase to 18,241 miles between breakdowns from 17,973 miles in Q1. But the Q2 result was a decrease of 28% from a Q2 2020 result of 23,401 miles.

Addressing the media, FleetNet vice president of sales Paul Gildenhorn said that while the pandemic affected year-ago comparisons, it also provided fleets with time to catch up on maintenance.

“Let me just note, this is a very odd quarter to be benchmarking against because Q2 2020 is when the economy shut down,” he said during a Sept. 12 media briefing. “What ends up happening is trucks were parked — especially with the LTL and the tanker fleets — while the truckload carriers saw high demand. With the utilization in Q2 2020 down, fleets were taking time to catch up on [predictive maintenance] and do necessary repairs.”

Gildenhorn noted that the top five roadside repairs in Q2 2021 accounted for almost 70% of total incidents. The top five was led by tires, which saw an average of 74,854 miles between roadside incidents during the quarter. That was followed by brakes at 285,000 miles, power plant issues at 562,000 miles, lighting systems at 725,000 miles and cranking systems at 902,000 miles between breakdowns.

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