Every fleet manager tries to reduce breakdowns. They use fleet management software and better driver training to make such events scarce. And it makes sense. After all, why would they want improperly functioning vehicles?
Moreover, since breakdowns cost fleets so much, managers quickly try to make up. However, what most businesses forget is that these breakdowns are a golden opportunity to apply a data-driven approach tol bring in much more benefits than just damage-control.
The very fact that breakdowns are so disruptive is precisely why fleets should take the time to investigate. Fleets can identify potential reasons and build effective remedies for future breakdowns by examining the data around their vehicle failures!
If this interests you, you’re in the right place, since that is what we’ll be discussing in this post.
The Cost of Vehicle Breakdowns
While numerous factors determine how much a trip to the repair shop will cost, statistics show that the most common mechanical faults frequently cost a significant sum to repair.
- The average check engine light repair cost approximately $400.
- Replacement brake pads cost roughly $200 per axle on average, but could easily cost twice that if there were hydraulic, rotor, or drum issues.
- Replacement fuel pumps were typically priced approximately $500.
- On average, catalytic converter repairs (the most common check engine light repair) cost around $1,350, and transmission system replacements could cost thousands of dollars.
All combined, that is a lot of money to devote to just repairing pre-existing vehicles that are not in the best possible shape! And this cost must be avoided in the future as much as possible through a data-driven approach.
How to Get Your Breakdown Data Ready for Analysis
Before any fleet can begin to learn from its breakdown, it must first get its data in order. This can be easily done through a fleet management software like TrackoBit that collects data from various sources from inside the fleet.
1. Collect All of Your Vehicle records
Get the make, model, mileage, and service records for all of your vehicles that have experienced a major breakdown. These fundamental details will serve as the foundation for subsequent investigation.
2. Provide Any Breakdown-related Information
Following that, fleet managers should include as much contextual material to each breakdown record as possible. Details on the circumstances surrounding the breakdown, who was driving it at the time of the breakdown, telematics data, and the like are quite significant.
3. Consolidate All of Your Data Into a Single Source of Truth
Finally, you must consolidate all breakdown-related data into a single spreadsheet or database. The easier it is to read and engage with this database, the easier further analyses will be.
Looking for Statistical Trends
To efficiently sift through enormous datasets, managers should observe and analyse patterns that show repeatedly.
It's easy to overlook parallels between car failures as coincidence after a long enough time gone without analysis. But, when managers examine their data closely, they frequently discover tendencies that would have gone unreported otherwise.
Trends can take various shapes and often differ between organisations. Whether it's a specific model of vehicle experiencing difficulties on a regular basis or an issue that keeps popping up throughout the whole fleet, they shouldn't be ignored.
These trends are useful because they typically indicate systematic methods for firms to enhance their approach to fleet vehicle care, efficiency, and bottom line.
If a single cause accounts for 20% of a fleet's vehicle breakdowns, removing that component would result in substantial savings and a considerable improvement in safety.
Putting Ideas To Action
Lastly, once a fleet has thoroughly evaluated its breakdown data and found issues that need to be addressed, it must act on the knowledge learned.
Assume a manager discovered that a specific model of a vehicle tends to falter after 75,000 miles. To avoid major mechanical issues later, the business must modify its fleet maintenance schedule to pay special attention to those vehicles as they approach that threshold.
Fleets can also use breakdown data insights to make more educated part purchases. When a fleet realises that a specific part they've been using is failing faster than expected, they can swap to a different brand (and justify any additional cost).
The best way to do all of this is through custom fleet management software like TrackoBit that collects, organises, and analyses data for you automatically!