…. Or is a major engine rebuild just inevitable on a high mileage truck?
The reason I ask is that two of our customers have just had maintenance bills of about $30,000 each.
Both fleets have recently joined our TrucKing monthly support programme and, accordingly in the last 6-12 months have made significant gains in becoming more compliant and promoting driver ownership of company success.
In both fleets, most of the drivers have responded really well to the feedback on their driving habits. They have recognised the gap between the driving style they have developed, and the expected driving performance with regard to driving speeds, idling times, log book hours and breaks. The short amount of time that it has taken most of these drivers to recognise and adjust away from the bad habits that have crept in is a credit to their skills and intelligence.
In every fleet there is always 1 – 2 drivers who ignore, or even rebel against, these changes. Fundamental driving behaviours such as overspeeds and idling are often a simple indicator of which drivers fall into this bracket. There is plenty of research showing that unsympathetic driving leads to higher operating costs in fuel used, tyre wear and higher maintenance costs.
NZ driving conditions have many differences and many similarities with Australia, Europe and USA where a lot of this research comes from.
But, is it really such a coincidence that the truck in each of our customers’ fleets with the $30k maintenance bill is also the truck with 10 TIMES MORE speed events than the other trucks in that operation?
Whilst most drivers have embraced the challenge of doing the right thing, that these two drivers are saying things like “speeding keeps me focussed” or “the truck is happiest at 98-100km/h.”
Funny then, that there are trucks in both fleets with higher mileage, but that it was these two drivers who have the inconvenience of having their truck off the road and their bosses who have the inconvenience of the costs of an engine rebuild and a replacement truck for the duration.