Contract Maintenance Options

With the growing demands and resource limitations on vehicle and equipment maintenance, some shops are considering contracting, or outsourcing, maintenance and repair services. The decision to do so depends on a wide variety of factors, including fleet...


With the growing demands and resource limitations on vehicle and equipment maintenance, some shops are considering contracting, or outsourcing, maintenance and repair services. The decision to do so depends on a wide variety of factors, including fleet size, mix of vehicles and type of equipment. It is also influenced by such considerations as cost effectiveness, timeliness and quality of service.

Ultimately, though, the outsourcing determination should be based on what is most effective, efficient and productive.

The better maintenance managers are able to deal with their workload with their own resources, the less the need for contract maintenance. But when there are considerable variations in the maintenance and servicing workload, temporary scheduled increases or poor utilization of resources, outsourcing maintenance may make sense.

It might also be a logical alternative for a limited scope of maintenance and repairs, repairs that require specialized tools, after-hours or emergency repairs or repairs with a high liability risk.

Contract maintenance is also helpful in operations where technicians do not regularly use certain special skills. Even if technicians are trained in specialty skills, they cannot maintain them because they do not use them frequently enough.

Yet another reason for contracting vehicle maintenance and repairs is the difficulty in finding and retaining competent technicians, plus the outgoing investment in keeping their knowledge current.

 

Certain Benefits

Contract maintenance programs allow companies to outsource the service and repair of their owned or finance leased truck to companies that specialize in vehicle maintenance, says Olen Hunter, director of sales for Paccar Leasing (PacLease). A commercial truck leasing company with independent and company-owned locations throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and Germany, PacLease provides customized full-service lease, rental and contract maintenance programs.

PacLease is a part of the financial services group of Paccar, a global technology leader in the design, manufacture and customer support of high-quality light, medium and heavy duty trucks under the Kenworth, Peterbilt and DAF nameplates.

Dedicated services for repairs, preventative maintenance and predictive services can be done at outside facilities, or at a company’s own location with dedicated technicians and all necessary parts and services. Either service includes everything for one price, notes Bradley A. Thomas, president of First Transit and First Services. This provides savings through operational efficiencies, reduced liability and parts costs.

First Transit and First Services are subsidiaries of FirstGroup America, North America’s largest provider of surface transportation services. First Transit is the largest public sector provider of transit services in North America. First Services provides fleet maintenance, facilities management and computer laptop mounting solutions to public and private sector companies.

“Contract maintenance is a good idea for any company interested in controlling costs and freeing up resources for its core business,” Hunter says. “In-house maintenance facilities - including technicians, training, specialized tools and parts inventory - utilize resources that could produce better returns in other areas of the business.”

Companies that outsource their maintenance to PacLease, for example, receive the support of more than 400 national dealer service locations, 24-hour roadside service and factory-trained technicians that understand the latest technology, he says. “Maintenance outsourcing also eliminates real and hidden costs associated with owning one’s own shops.”

 

Business Functions

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