Extended warranties: A tradeoff is downtime

Now, what you get when you purchase extended warranties is what you may not expect. You do get somewhat of controlled expenses prepaid and conforms to some level budget pressures. What might not be considered is that you have to work though the dealer on most, if not all, the repairs.

The repairs need to go to the dealer, 3 miles or 40 miles down the road, or en-route repairs, if required. You have to schedule the vehicle in their shop, you are subject to their work load, their hours of operation, their technician capacity, their management style, their communication, their approval process, their incidental costs that are not covered, their impurities, their staffing, their parts availability, their, their, their.

So when purchasing extended and exercising warranties, i.e. prepaid maintenance insurance, you have to accept it could be up to 50% longer for scheduling and communication as compared to your own ability to manage downtime in your own facility making your own repairs. It often is at least a day – maybe two – to get into the dealer service bay, internal technician juggling for preferred customers, waiting for approval, technical support, and the days waiting to have the truck picked up or the cost of shuttling.

In some cases, some dealers are aggressive and customer friendly with pickup and delivery or onsite mobile truck – maybe for a cost, though. The plus side of the equation is if you were trained and had the staff, there is still a huge chance that the dealer would be generally more efficient than the fleet, especially in the area of emissions and aftertreatment, which is still in the young years of limited knowledge and experience.

In my opinion, when any fleet chooses this program, inherently they approved additional out-of-service time investment as opposed to staffing, shop management expertise, and accepted those additional “DAYS DOWN.” This maybe more acceptable than managing costs of peaks and valleys, or the fight. The cost associated with common failures, warranty money becomes a passion to get the invested value back, sometimes with hidden costs of downtime. Choose and manage the best program for your fleet.

Buyers beware.

TAGS: News Equipment
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