According to recent research by the CNR, the French national road freight transport authority, maintenance accounts for 8.2% of the costs of keeping a 40 tonne long haul truck on the road. Managing costs are a high priority for fleet managers. Outsourcing trailer maintenance is one way of obtaining substantial cost savings.
Outsourced maintenance on the up
Lionel Bertuit, commercial director of Volvo Trucks France told L’Officiel des Transporteurs in 2014 that “30 to 40% of truck buyers signed up to a maintenance contract,” up from 10 to 15% only a few years before. He went on to say that if in the 2000’s, the road transport industry preferred in-house workshops, today it was opting for outsourced maintenance contracts.
Is outsourced trailer maintenance for you?
There are many factors to consider when deciding if outsourcing trailer maintenance is right for your fleet. For a small to medium-sized fleet, it makes commercial sense to outsource trailer maintenance. Up to a certain size of fleet, running an in-house workshop with staff, premises, tools, repair equipment and spare parts is unprofitable. It is difficult to generate economies of scale on a small level of activity. For the larger fleets, either total maintenance outsourcing or a mix of in-house workshops and partial maintenance outsourcing are effective solutions. Partial maintenance outsourcing is useful for:
- specialist expertise that is missing in-house such as for trailers or tyres
- handling maintenance relating to specific manufacturers
- the long-distance transporters, in countries where they have no workshop presence.
Benefits of outsourcing
- Focus on areas that add most value to your business
A well-designed and established outsourced trailer maintenance partnership with a market leader like TIP frees time for the fleet manager to spend on business-critical activities like customer service or business development. A partnership can cover maintenance, repair and take over most of the administration that surrounds these processes.
The more sophisticated outsourcing partners add value to your trailer fleet through their extensive experience and diagnostic tools by advising, for example, on whether you are using the right trailer for the loads that you are carrying. If you are not, they can save money by recommending alternative solutions and in some cases, such as TIP’s, providing the appropriate trailer for on-demand use through rental or leasing.
- Reduce your overheads
Let someone else invest in keeping up with the latest complex technology; recruit, train and retain a team of technicians; tie-up working capital in a physical workshop and spare parts inventory.
- Increasing complexity of the trailer and truck technology
Trucks and trailers now run on extremely sophisticated technology including ever more electronics and telematics. Fleets constantly train technicians to keep up with the latest technologies. In parallel, they have to buy the latest diagnostic testing technology at considerable expense. Many manufacturers’ guarantees require very specific maintenance for their validity, adding further pressure.
If you own trailers made by different manufacturers, a multinational maintenance outsourcing partner such as TIP can complement your in-house expertise with specialist maintenance experience of specific manufacturers that you don’t necessarily have in-house.
- Recruit, train and retain a team of technicians
It is not easy to find well-qualified, specialist trailer and truck technicians. Outsourcing trailer maintenance means that the fleet manager can access a pool of experienced technicians with up-to-date skills.
- Tie-up working capital in physical assets
By outsourcing your maintenance, you don’t have to invest in a fully-equipped workshop or in a stock of spare parts.
For some fleet managers, the flexibility of outsourced trailer maintenance is appealing. The trailer maintenance outsourcer can provide both a network of workshops across a wide geographical area and mobile maintenance and repair facilities operating 24-7 365 days per year. This ensures that trailer downtime is minimised. To meet fluctuations in demand, a transport company can rent additional trailers and not worry about having to recruit extra staff in-house to cope with fluctuating pressure on maintenance. Flexibility can also mean different levels of fixed maintenance and repair tariffs which help fleet managers forecast and manage their costs.
Outsource your trailer maintenance to TIP
TIP Trailer Services is a highly experienced provider of trailer maintenance and repair programmes. Its programmes offer cost savings, flexibility and access to a large team of well-qualified technicians trained in all the latest technologies operating from a network of over 70 workshops across Europe and Canada. For more information about TIP’s Trailer Maintenance programmes, please contact us using this form.