Reduce Costs with the Right Fleet Maintenance Program

by Brian Frederick
January 25, 2018

Lower fleet maintenance and repair costs

It’s typically the largest operating expense for any construction fleet — maintenance and repairs. But no matter how efficient you think your current maintenance schedule is, there’s always room for improvement.

The three types of maintenance

Reactive maintenance

Also known as “run to failure” maintenance, this is generally the worst type of maintenance, as it focuses on repairing an asset after it’s already broken down. Reactive maintenance is most common in newer companies who haven’t established a maintenance schedule yet. While it requires less staff, less planning and a lower initial investment, it’s incredibly inefficient and expensive.

For one thing, it’s completely unpredictable. You never know when a machine will fail, or where it will be when it happens. That can lead to high prices for emergency parts shipping, travel and out-of-hours support. Reactive repairs are also extremely time-consuming in the time it takes to diagnose a problem, allocate resources, pull the correct manuals, etc. What’s more, reactive maintenance is not very safe. Technicians are under more pressure to get assets up and running, and that can lead to more risks being taken.

As you can see, reactive maintenance has clear drawbacks. Despite that, approximately 55% of maintenance work is still reactive.

Preventive maintenance

This maintenance schedule aims to avoid asset repairs and breakdowns altogether by regularly performing tasks based on either time or work triggers. Preventative maintenance increases assets’ life span, improves reliability and reduces downtime. This approach ensures equipment is only out of commission before and unavoidable failure, reducing costs and performing repairs during ideal times.

Because equipment is kept in good working condition, resources waste is minimized and operations are streamlined. This provides a competitive advantage and provides a good ROI, between 6-10%. Additionally, it can reduce overall maintenance costs by up to 35%, reduce downtime by as much as 45% and increase productivity by 25%,  according to a US Department of Energy study.

Predictive maintenance

Like preventive maintenance, predictive maintenance is based on the idea that a proactive approach is better than a reactive one. The key difference is that instead of basing maintenance schedules on a calendar, predictive maintenance makes repairs based on the actual condition of the machine.  

It has all the same benefits of preventative maintenance while providing an even greater ROI resulting from a broader view of maintenance and equipment performance.

Why you should integrate smart maintenance into your fleet

Aside from the obvious monetary benefits of smart maintenance, the most important reason to implement it with your fleet is to reduce downtime and improve productivity.

Predictive maintenance is closely tied to advancements and software features that have only recently become available. Telematics data from devices like ES Track creates alerts and triggers that help fleet managers identify potential problems before they happen.  

Implementing a smart maintenance program

As with any cutting-edge technology, predictive technology requires an upfront investment and a more complicated implementation. There’s also an element of data analysis that can be daunting to some.

An ideal system (like ES Track, for example) will feature easy implementation, collect and store predictive data, provide alerts for action, and show trends that can be associated with potential failures.

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