4 ways to control truck fleet maintenance budgets


Budgeting for a fleet upkeep operation has by no means been more difficult, as provide and labor shortages mix with inflation to push up part and repair costs.

Whereas not a lot could be carried out to fight sticker costs, there are methods a fleet upkeep supervisor can management different prices.

We caught up with Lloyd De Service provider, director of fleet upkeep with Moncton-based Keltic Transportation and former Canadian Fleet Upkeep Supervisor of the Yr, for some insights into how he’s controlling prices.

Lloyd De Merchant, director of fleet maintenance with Moncton-based Keltic Transportation
Lloyd De Service provider, director of fleet upkeep with Moncton-based Keltic Transportation, has adopted a number of cost-conscious methods. (Photograph: equipped)

Spec’ing has by no means been extra vital

“The right spec’ing of kit is now extra vital than ever,” stated De Service provider. He has beta-tested a variety of electrical auxiliary energy items (APUs) to slash idling prices. These have drawn down idle time from about 17.5% to 13%, and his aim is to get it all the way down to 10%.

With regards to brakes, De Service provider additionally reverted from discs again to drums. He discovered they provided the very best total value of operation, particularly on van trailers, which might sit in buyer yards for weeks or months and seize up.

“Ten thousand {dollars} lets me do 4 or 5 brake jobs on an all-wheel drum trailer,” he stated. And the warmth that disc brakes generate is directed towards the tone ring and ABS sensor, resulting in failures. “On drum brakes, the warmth is pulled to the outer a part of the wheel, away from the ABS sensor.”

Sticking with brakes, he stated many fleets have deserted mud covers as a result of they will lure particles, resulting in expensive failures.

Scale back roadside service calls

Nothing will kill a upkeep funds quicker than roadside service calls. To make sure this doesn’t occur, De Service provider maintains his preventive upkeep schedules though he feels many fleets are extending their schedules to match longer OEM oil drain intervals.

“Freightliner has really useful oil change intervals of 80,000 km, which is improbable. You’re saving on oil. However folks assume if the oil’s good, the truck have to be,” he says. “You continue to have to the touch that truck.”

De Service provider additionally tracks failures of components equivalent to suspension air baggage and tire inflation methods, and can change them throughout scheduled upkeep earlier than a roadside failure happens.


De Service provider is an enormous fan of retreading tires and utilizing remanufactured elements to remain on funds.

“I perceive you want virgin tires to construct a casing financial institution. However there are recaps on the market that can outrun virgin tires and the fee is nearly half,” he stated.

…and Reman

He’s additionally an enormous fan of remanufactured components that may be as dependable as new merchandise, at a fraction of the fee. De Service provider has even begun his personal remanufacturing of types, rebuilding older trailers as the price of new items soar.

He has been capable of promote 11-year-old trailers for $35,000 in latest months – greater than he initially paid for them. However the price of a brand new dry van trailer has soared to about $70,000. To remain on funds De Service provider will sandblast and paint the bogey and something beneath a flatdeck’s rub rail that has corroded. Even van trailer panels could be changed and customarily he can get one other eight years out of 10-year-old trailer he has refurbished.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here