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Equipment condition is the top driver concern

May 26, 2022
Technician shortages and supply chain delays for parts increase equipment wear. Fleet managers must prepare to keep drivers working smoothly.

While what they get paid is a top concern to drivers, it's not their No. 1 concern, according to data from the most recent Professional Driver Agency (PDA) survey. Equipment issues continue to be a top area of frustration for drivers.

The survey, based on calls to drivers during the first quarter of this year, found that 55% of equipment issues were related to mechanical problems or breakdown. More than 87% of tractor issues were related to mechanical or breakdown issues.

Another finding was that equipment assignment issues rose 3% to 28.1% from the fourth quarter of 2021. Drivers want to drive clean, well-maintained trucks, and the condition of your equipment can affect your ability to find and retain drivers.

See also: Fleets move outside traditional channels to find parts

In its report on the survey PDA said, “The new tractor output, supply chain delays for parts, and the diesel technician shortage [are] going to put pressure on maintenance departments. Fleets will be aging; drivers will be keeping trucks longer, which likely means an increase in breakdowns and mechanical issues.”

I am not at all surprised by the survey results. Drivers want to drive, and they want to be behind the wheel of trucks that are not going to break down. Given the driver shortage and supply chain issues that are extending delivery times for maintenance and repair parts, fleets are under a great deal of pressure when it comes to keeping their trucks and trailers in good operating mode and on the road.

While keeping trucks in top operating condition is always a priority for fleets, today the pressure to make sure assets are road-ready has intensified.

See also: Navigating equipment shortages: Fleet, dealer insights

Fleet managers need to use data from their maintenance and repair events to determine their parts needs, and then they need to move parts purchases forward to ensure they have the parts in-house to complete needed preventive maintenance service. But since OEMs are not able to deliver as many new vehicles as fleets need, fleet managers also must do some forecasting on what their parts needs will be as assets currently in their fleet are going to accrue additional miles. Tractors and trailers operating beyond a fleet’s typical life cycle will, at the very least, consume more wear parts.

In addition to placing orders well in advance of needing parts, fleets may need to venture outside of their traditional supplier network to expand the number of vendors they purchase from.

Drivers have spoken about what’s important to them. If you want to keep drivers happy, make sure the truck is ready to go every time the driver goes to start it.

David Seewack is the founder and CEO of FinditParts. Seewack is focused on transforming how heavy-duty truck and trailer parts are bought and sold. Founded in 2010, FinditParts is the No. 1 supplier of these parts online, with more than 10 million available from more than 1,800 manufacturers and customers in over 210 countries.

About the Author

David Seewack

David Seewack is an entrepreneur and longtime commercial vehicle parts industry executive, whose leadership has consistently delivered innovative distribution and digital solutions to the truck parts aftermarket.

As the founder and CEO of FinditParts, Seewack is currently focused on transforming how heavy-duty truck and trailer parts are bought and sold. Founded in 2010, FinditParts is the No. 1 supplier of heavy-duty truck and trailer parts online, with more than 10 million individual SKUs available from more than 1,800 manufacturers and customers in over 210 countries.

Prior to starting FinditParts, Seewack’s leadership propelled Associated Truck Parts to its position as the largest supplier of heavy-duty truck parts in the western United States. Under his direction, ATP was sold to a Los Angeles private equity firm and became one of the first three companies to form 

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