I’m guessing your first reaction was – huh? Nobody OVER-maintains their fleet…
Most fleet managers measure the success of their PM programs by the percentage of fleet availability or by the number of catastrophic engine failures per year. OEM’s tailor their PM schedule to keep catastrophic failures from occurring while keeping the vehicle operating efficiently hoping you’ll choose them for the replacement vehicle when the time comes to buy another.
Is your PM program value added or counterproductive?
• Value added PM is like comparing to the “JIT” (just-in-time inventory) business practice. If you can accurately project the time window you need a part for an assembly line project, knowing the delivery time window of that part after it’s ordered allows you to pre-plan for the need, order the part, take delivery, and stage it for immediate installation. In retro-spec, if you knew that vehicle 1099 would hit the target PM mileage/hours on February 10th, you could schedule it for say 1PM on that day and have fleet management software order the parts to be delivered in the AM so that when the vehicle came in at 1:00, the necessary parts would be ready. You didn’t have to inventory the parts nor wait for them to be delivered. The customer comes in at 1:00, waits for the vehicle to be completed and goes back to work before 1:45PM; Vi-ola’ value added PM’s
I once worked for a service manager who had retired from the Air Force Motor Pool. This guy was even more anal retentive than me… He believed the only way to organize his customer base was with 5” X 7” file cards. I couldn’t convince him there was technology that would do the same thing – and better. Wow, am I thankful for good fleet information management systems. Using FIMS and telematics allows us to implement real time, JIT PM’s.
A great resource for finding a good matrix to measure your PM program is “Equipment Today” which focus’ on the private construction industry. Having experience in both, I have heard both ends of the spectrum. From the private sector, any CEO should view his equipment utilization as: “If it’s not working, it’s not making me any money.” From the public sector, a department director once said to me: “If it’s parked it’s not costing me money.” (You can’t change a donkey into a horse so give up trying)
Do you measure the efficiency of you PM program on a monthly basis? With a good FIMS you can run a report on vehicles that returned to your shop X-days after a PM was performed. If you’re not doing this – start. If vehicles come in say 30-days after a PM and needs brakes, fluids or tires, you need to have a heart-to-heart talk with the technician who performed the PM. Good PM programs prevent in-service needs between PM’s.
From a weed-whacker to yellow iron, tailor you PM program to provide your customer the highest availability at the lowest cost per hour/mile – from cradle to grave.
What works for you fleet? Let me know.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet

Steve Kibler

Steve Kibler

Fleet Manager

Born to rural Iowa, Steve was trained at an early age that nothing was free for the asking. If you wanted something you had to make it a goal and work for it. Even as a toddler, Steve immediately had a talent for taking anything apart.