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Maintenance Miracle: Trucking Costs Dive in Q1!

Mechanic working on a truck engine.

Latest Report from TMC and Decisiv Highlights Ongoing Cost Reductions Since Mid-2023

Hey there, trucking enthusiasts! Dan Greer here, bringing you the latest scoop on some fantastic news that’s sure to put a smile on your face. Grab a coffee, sit back, and let’s dive into the juicy details of how our industry is saving big bucks this year.

Big News: Costs Are Down!

In a thrilling turn of events, the American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) and Decisiv Inc. have reported a 1.7% drop in combined parts and labor expenses during the first quarter of 2024. Yes, you read that right – costs are on the decline! This exciting tidbit comes from the latest Decisiv/TMC North American Service Event Benchmark Report​ (​​ (Transport Topics)​.

TMC’s Executive Director, Robert Braswell, put it perfectly: “Lower parts and labor costs are welcome news to fleets, who have been weathering substantial increases for much of the last several years.” This report is like finding a pot of gold at the end of a very bumpy road​ (​.

A Deeper Dive into the Data

Let’s break it down, shall we? The report shows that costs across 25 key VMRS systems have continued their downward trend from the previous quarter, when we saw a 1.4% drop. Talk about a breath of fresh air! This time, quarter-over-quarter, combined parts and labor costs increased in only seven of the 25 VMRS systems, down from 13 systems previously. That’s nearly a 50% improvement​ (Technology & Maintenance Council)​!

Here’s the kicker: parts costs fell by 2.4% (two quarters in a row!), and labor costs dipped by 0.8% after two consecutive quarterly increases. On a year-over-year basis, combined costs dropped 2.3%. Labor costs did rise by 0.9%, but hey, that’s a far cry from the 4.0% spike we saw last time​ (Transport Topics)​.

What’s Driving the Change?

So, what’s behind these promising numbers? According to Decisiv President and CEO, Dick Hyatt, the influx of new trucks and improved parts availability are key players. “While more new trucks and greater parts availability are helping commercial asset service operations realize an across-the-board drop in costs, the ongoing shortage of new technicians entering the workforce continues to drive up labor costs,” Hyatt said. It’s a classic case of good news/bad news, but we’ll take it​ (American Trucking Association)​!

Tech Shortages and the Road Ahead

While the costs are dropping, there’s still a bit of a thorn in our side – the shortage of new technicians. This shortage is pushing labor costs up as companies shell out more to attract and keep qualified workers. But overall, we’re seeing a bright, cost-saving light at the end of the tunnel​ (Technology & Maintenance Council)​​ (Transport Topics)​.

Why This Matters

This report isn’t just a bunch of numbers. It’s a vital tool for fleet managers who want to compare their operations against industry trends and plan for the future. The data from Decisiv, which covers over seven million assets and more than 300,000 monthly maintenance and repair events at over 5,000 service locations, gives us a clear picture of where we’re headed​ (​​ (American Trucking Association)​.

Stay Informed and Get Involved

For TMC fleet members, this report is a treasure trove of insights delivered right to your inbox. If you’re not yet a member, what are you waiting for? Call (703) 838-1763 or visit TMC to join the community.

About TMC and Decisiv

For over 60 years, TMC has been setting the standards for trucking technology and maintenance, helping companies specify and maintain their fleets more effectively. Follow TMC on X, LinkedIn, and Facebook to stay updated.

Decisiv, based in Virginia, is the backbone of the largest asset service management ecosystem in the commercial vehicle industry. Their SRM platform connects dealers, service providers, manufacturers, and fleet managers, streamlining the service process and getting trucks back on the road faster. Learn more at Decisiv.

That’s all for now, folks! Keep those wheels turning and enjoy the ride with lower costs ahead. Stay safe out there!

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