Recovering Nicely

Independent fleet maintenance facilities have recovered from the 2002 slump following the pre-buy of vehicles compliant with the first round of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emissions regulations, according to a soon-to-be-released study by the Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association (HDMA).

Heavy Duty Truck Maintenance in the USA, the association's annual analysis of truck maintenance trends, shows that independent repair facilities are now becoming almost as important as dealerships.

In 1999, before the EPA regulations went into effect, independent repair facilities garnered 41.8 percent of outsourced fleet service work. A dramatic decrease was recorded in 2002, with independent's share dropping to 28.9 percent. Independents have reported a steady increase since that time—37.8 percent in 2003, 34.4 percent in 2004 and 36.7 percent in 2006.

Where Outside Repair is Performed:
Overall
2006
Dealerships
40.7%
Truck Stops
22.6%
General Repair
36.7%
 
Fleets
2006
Dealerships
43.3%
Truck Stops
23.1%
General Repair
33.6%
 
Owner/operators
2006
Dealerships
37.6%
Truck Stops
22.1%
General Repair
40.2%

Heavy Duty Truck Maintenance in the USA shows that while dealerships have the largest share of the outsourced service work (40.7 percent), owner/operators were more likely to utilize independent repair facilities. The fleets in this study cited dealerships as the service provider by 43.3 percent of vehicle maintainers. General repair shops, with 36.7 percent of outsourced repair, were second, and truck stops had a 22.6 percent share.

Many factors affect the maintenance outsourcing decision. Outsourcing and the selection of a service provider depend on vehicle and component warranties, vehicle age, leasing, vehicle complexity, distance from an in-house repair facility and overall cost.

The nature of the fleet operation also contributes directly to the choice of outside service providers for commercial carriers and private fleets. Vehicles used in long haul operations are more likely to operate beyond the service radius of a fleet's repair facilities. As a result, common carriers use truck stops 22 percent of the time, compared to 24 percent for private fleets.

Commercial carriers are the most likely to frequent dealerships, while private fleets, due to a well-defined area of operations, are more likely to have an arrangement with a general repair facility.

The 2007 Heavy Duty Truck Maintenance in the USA, HDMA's annual research study, is designed to be a reliable tool for trend analysis regarding heavy duty truck user repair factors, heavy duty truck use, changes in buying patterns and service work performance. Members of HDMA and other market segment associations of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) can order additional copies for $99.95 and non-members can order for $395 each. Discounts are available for orders of five or more copies.

Loading