Truck maintenance is somewhat cyclical. To clarify, the trend of a greater reliance on truck maintenance is somewhat cyclical – a lesson learned from the most recent global recession.
With the amount of hours spent on the road and the punishing conditions sometimes endured by equipment during long hauls, maintenance is of course, a normal part of the life of any vehicle. What I am referring to as being somewhat cyclical is the reliance on maintenance at times over equipment upgrades.
Upgrades represent a sizeable financial commitment up front, where maintenance typically consists of smaller investments spread out over a long period. Many owners would rather acquire new equipment as often as possible, but that is of course unrealistic. During more challenging financial times, maintenance will often appear as the only option as the cost of new equipment can be totally out of reach when business is not flourishing.
At this point in time, early 2015, new equipment sales are robust. Companies that were able to weather the difficult financial times are reporting improved business and that is being reflected in new truck sales. This will not last indefinitely, however and it won’t have to be another crippling recession to turn the next tide – odds are there will be a period of relaxed equipment sales. During that coming period, whenever that is, the equipment being sold now will be deep into repair and PM cycles as owners get as much worth from the units as possible. At that point, the truck maintenance software installed in the shop will become a much more vital tool than it might be considered to be when the company was in new-equipment-buying mode.
As shops have experienced recently, once a downturn in business develops, most will be expected to make due with the tools they have at the time. Maintenance software itself can be a somewhat considerable company investment and it can surely be a considerable investment of time and energy when installing and training – what better time to make decisions on reliable and suitably robust internal systems than during a growth period? Rather than waiting until the shop might be in a position to ‘make do’ with the tools at hand, seize the opportunity to ensure that the truck maintenance software installed is helping to complete tasks efficiently and be a part of a company’s solution when challenges are presented.