While repair and maintenance costs decreased considerably in 2019, moving from 17.1 cents per mile in 2018 to 14.3 cents per mile in 2019, the industry could see an increase in maintenance costs driven by a strong demand for trucking.
The cost per mile for repair and maintenance has increased by 39% since 2008 due to more advanced technology in trucks. On top of that, the demand for trucking in 2020 and into 2021 alone could also grow those numbers.
With demand driven by the essential nature of the business during the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent boom in the U.S. e-commerce market, maintenance costs could increase due to more miles being driven per truck, ATRI officials said in a 2020 report analyzing the operational costs of trucking.
Recent maintenance costs in the industry are of course also dependent on several factors, including fleet type and size.
Repair and maintenance costs remained highest for specialized fleets in 2019 at 18.7 cents per mile. Truckload carriers reported the lowest line-item repair cost at 12.8 cents per mile on average, while less-than-truckload carriers reported about 16 cents per mile on average, according to ATRI’s report.
What remains a constant is the type of repairs being made the most often. The top components/systems that lead to roadside breakdowns across all the fleets continued to be the lighting system, powerplant, brakes and tires, according to the Technology & Maintenance Council and FleetNet America’s Benchmarking report — the same components that top the list most years.
Trucking is an increasingly data-driven industry. Numbers matter. There’s no end to the available software and analytics available to fleets today to help them analyze and improve their operations.
But sometimes you want to look at statistics and data to help give you the big picture, and this is what Heavy Duty Trucking’s annual Fact Book issue is all about. It’s designed to provide a snapshot of the current state of the industry, where it’s been, and where it’s going. These numbers can help you in planning and benchmarking your fleet, and in telling trucking’s story to others. And it can serve as a reference guide throughout the year.
This is the seventh year for the HDT Fact Book. Check out the other published sections of the Fact Book: