When looking for improved fuel economy, decreased maintenance costs or virtually any other aspect of running an efficient fleet, spec’ing a newer truck will, in nearly every case, improve each of those numbers, according to the results of a recent Fleet Advantage survey. Trucks and equipment are constantly pushing the boundaries of efficiency and, thus, offering more product value than previous generations.

The Fleet Advantage survey found exponential gains year-over-year in both truck turnover and in maintenance concerns with older trucks.

In 2015’s Fleet Advantage survey, 22% of fleets said they were operating their trucks on a three- to five-year lifecycle. That number jumped by an enormous margin this year, all the way to 48%. Twelve percent of these trucks were on a three-year lifecycle, as opposed to zero in 2015, and trucks on a six- to eight-year lifecycle fell from 44% down to 32%. Clearly, an industry-wide movement toward shorter lifecycles is underway.

The shortening of lifecycles also led to an improvement in fuel economy, with the number of fleets saying that they experienced a consistent increase in fuel economy growing from 68% in 2015 to 84% this year.

“Fleets are seeing the operational savings of shorter lifecycles directly hitting their bottom line,” says Brian Holland, president and chief executive officer of Fleet Advantage. “They now have access to data and analytics that can show a larger operational savings when running a three- to five-year lifecycle, as opposed to seven or more years. Running newer, more efficient models is a large reason why a shorter lifecycle saves more money, particularly since fuel is about 60% of operating costs. Newer tractors also require lower service and repair, which improves the bottom line as well.”

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