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March 4, 2018 10:15 PM, EST

TMC, FleetNet Launch Benchmarking Service

Technology & Maintenance Couicil Executive Director Robert Braswell TMC's Robert Braswell, by John Sommers II for Transport Topics

ATLANTA — A benchmarking service built around fleet-supplied data on unscheduled repairs is being launched by FleetNet America and the Technology & Maintenance Council of American Trucking Associations, the groups announced here.

The TMC/FleetNet Vertical Benchmarking Program will allow motor carriers to compare their unscheduled repairs against those of comparable fleets via an online dashboard, the groups said during a press conference at TMC’s annual meeting.

“This is the culmination of a program that we’ve been working on for the better part of 20 years," TMC Executive Director Robert Braswell said, noting that quarterly benchmarking reports will be provided to all TMC fleet executive-level members as part of their membership. However, fleets that provide data for the program will have access to detailed analytical information via an online dashboard. Companies that participate on this level will have access to information that will help them identify areas in which they could drive down maintenance costs, the groups said in a release. The data analysis tool will be updated quarterly.

Jim Buell of FleetNet

Buell

The information is built around TMC’s Vehicle Maintenance Reporting Standards system, which has a wide variety codes for maintenance issues and repairs. Participating fleets must submit VMRS-coded repairs into the system to ensure uniformity.

In fact, the value of the data is paramount for the program, said Jim Buell, executive vice president of sales and marketing for FleetNet.

“The only thing we require is that they provide us with clear data so we can make good decisions,” he said. “We have to have enough fleets standing up and saying, ‘I will participate’ so that the data is meaningful.”

Jack Poster, VMRS services manager for TMC, noted that fleets already are collecting a huge volume of data, and this program offers them an opportunity to utilize it.

“I talk to a lot of fleets and I say, ‘You have all of this data, what are you doing with it?’ ” he said. “This really gives them an action tool to compare what is going on in their world.”

Separately, Braswell told Transport Topics exclusively that TMC is developing a Study Group for automated vehicles, breaking the topic out of the Future Truck Study Group.

“It’s here,” he said. “It’s time for it to come out of Future Truck and into the here and now.”

TMC’s Study Groups and Task Forces collect the data and do the developmental work that informs the council’s Recommended Practices.