Fleet Advantage recently conducted a survey designed to take the pulse of truck fleet managers on topics that included equipment acquisition and disposition. The survey produced puzzling outcomes. While 70% of fleet operators reported a consistent increase in fuel economy for truck model years 2011–2015, and fuel economy, maintenance and repair expenses ranked highest as motivating factors for equipment replacement, most continue to operate trucks an average of seven years before replacing them with new, more fuel efficient models.
“Fleet operators realize they can improve fuel economy and lower operating costs with newer equipment, since 80% responded that they are aware of federal regulations that require new models to increase their fuel efficiency,” said Brian Holland, president of Fleet Advantage. “Fleet managers also know that maintenance and repair costs on new models are a fraction of the costs of a four- to seven-year-old truck, yet they continue to operate older, less efficient models. So what’s driving this contradiction?
“The answer to that question is saving our clients millions of dollars in operating costs annually,” he continued. “Because certain concepts and beliefs are entrenched within every organization, some fleet managers are under the misconception that switching to a three- to four-year lifecycle will increase operating costs. Understanding the difference between a truck’s functional and economic obsolescence alleviates that concern.”
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