Fleet Maintenance and Repair Costs Continue to Increase in Fourth Quarter

Fleet Maintenance and Repair Costs Continue to Increase in Fourth Quarter

Sean McNally

March 6, 2022
(703) 838-1995

Fleet Maintenance and Repair Costs Continue to Increase in Fourth Quarter
Benchmarking Report from TMC and Decisiv Details Higher Parts and Labor Expenses

Orlando, Florida — Today, American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council and Decisiv Inc., reported that maintenance costs rose 3.7 percent in the fourth quarter, and are up more than 10 percent from the previous year.

“The North American economy continues to impact parts and labor costs for fleets in several ways,” said Decisiv President and CEO Dick Hyatt. “However, the ongoing drive to implement more effective and intelligent service management practices among fleet maintenance operations is helping ensure the highest possible levels of equipment utilization.”

The quarterly Decisiv/TMC North American Service Event Benchmark Report was released during TMC’s 2022 Annual Meeting & Transportation Technology Exhibition.

The report found that the average cost of parts and labor for vehicle repairs rose 3.7 percent in the fourth quarter, driven primarily by increasing labor costs.

From the third quarter to the fourth, labor costs increased 5.4 percent, while parts cost rose 2.7percent. Compared to a year earlier, combined parts and labors costs rose 10.8 percent. Year-over-year labor costs spiked 14.2 percent, while parts cost jumped 8.8 percent  from the fourth quarter of 2020 to the final three months of 2021.

The Decisiv/TMC North American Service Event Benchmark Report also shows where fleets spent the largest percentage on maintenance and repairs in Q4 2021 based on VMRS System Level Coding. Topping the list are Power Plant expenses, which accounted for 36.8%, followed by Exhaust systems at 14.9 percent. Rounding out the top three categories at 5.0 percent of costs were Brakes.

While the higher percentages of costs associated with Brakes may reflect increased mileage, higher engine and exhaust system related costs could indicate the need to keep vehicles in service longer. Extended trade cycles have become the norm as fleets await production of new and replacement vehicles to return to pre-pandemic levels.

That factor may also be driving some of the increases in parts and labor costs. At the same time, supply chain and inflation issues are likely impacting parts prices. Likewise, higher labor costs are the result of both additional repairs to higher mileage vehicles as well as a reflection of the highly competitive labor market, which requires fleets to increase spending to retain and recruit technicians.

The Decisiv/TMC North American Service Event Benchmark reports are 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 industry’s largest asset service management system is being used to manage a weekly average of 70,000 service events at nearly 5,000 locations.

ATA’s Technology & Maintenance Council issues the reports to its fleet members. The reports are organized based on the Council’s Vehicle Maintenance Reporting Standards sorted by VMRS-coded vehicle systems and geographic location.

TMC fleet members will receive the report electronically via email.  For more information on joining TMC, call (703) 838-1763 or visit http://tmc.trucking.org.

By providing leadership support and opportunities to collaborate, TMC helps members develop the industry’s best practices that address the critical truck technology and maintenance issues that have the greatest impact on truck fleets. For more than 60 years, TMC’s member-driven Recommended Maintenance and Engineering Practices have been setting the standards that help trucking companies specify and maintain their fleets more effectively. Follow TMC on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry America depends on most to move our nation’s freight. Follow ATA on Twitter, Facebook, or at Trucking Moves America Forward.