Measuring medium-duty truck performance helps fleets effectively manage vehicle substitute strategies, establish optimal preventive maintenance schedules, discover vehicle utilization, and calculate a fleet’s total cost of ownership. Nevertheless, many (rightly) contend that mileage just isn’t a real indicator of actual vehicle wear and tear.
There are numerous ways to measure a vehicle’s performance. Mileage is a preferred option, but trucks are utilized in many ways. Resulting from the variability of the way industrial vehicles are operated, fleets and business owners must also consider other performance measurements, including hours of engine operation and gallons of fuel consumed.
Tracking engine hours vs. miles driven just isn’t a brand new concept. Everyone knows the good thing about using mileage as a performance metric. Many fleets operate under a particular 12 months or mileage substitute policy. So, are hours an important metric for measuring medium-duty truck performance?
Work truck and industrial fleet managers must keep in mind that, as an engine idles, the wear and tear to devour one gallon of fuel equals driving as much as 30 miles. Considering this, it might be more efficient to plan future vehicle replacements or calculate the overall cost of ownership based on the hours of engine operation or the quantity of fuel consumed over a particular period.
The fundamental good thing about measuring certain aspects by hour is using another method to research the fleet.
While some fleets know their estimated mileage on any given day, for a lot of (including delivery fleets), mileage will vary significantly across regions. By the cost-per-hour, fleet analysts can higher understand the locations and trucks that cost greater than their current benchmark.
Moreover, measuring certain aspects by hours versus miles helps a fleet manager get more accurate insight into the wear and tear and tear on a vehicle and plan preventive maintenance needs accordingly. Some medium-duty trucks, corresponding to those equipped with power take-off (PTO), have unique applications that will require the vehicle to stay running. These vehicles require constant battery charging and can accrue more time if idling doesn’t show up as mileage or utilization.
Installing telematics devices on company vehicles began tracking hours vs. actual miles driven. The added use of telematics was a critical turning point within the hours versus miles debate, because it provided fleets a neater method to track hours fairly than simply trusting a driver’s log.
Idling — which got here to the forefront because of telematics — is certainly one of the fundamental aspects that will be analyzed by hours vs. miles.
Medium-duty work trucks perform much of their work at idle, or lower speeds, than passenger vehicles or over-the-road heavy-duty trucks. This implies these vehicles will typically have low miles but higher-than-normal hours-per-mile.
Idling in a medium-duty fleet vehicle can use as much as a half-gallon of fuel per hour, in response to www.fueleconomy.gov.
Why would a fleet manager wish to track hours as a substitute of mileage? Idling is certainly one of the fundamental reasons. Consider a utility fleet truck. A fleet vehicle for a utility will likely idle several hours every day while the crane is up. During this time working, mileage isn’t being recorded by the odometer. But, when one hour of idling equals 25-30 miles of driving, all use must be properly accounted for.
Idling and PTO operation are usually not ideal conditions for some vehicle systems. In accordance with Isuzu Industrial Truck of America, “the diesel oxidation catalyst is less prone to achieve temperatures high enough to perform optimal regenerations.” This implies more manual regeneration is required when the operating temperature is lower than a typical duty cycle.
Everyone knows that engine hour usage creates wear and tear on the engine. Taking a look at a truck’s use by hour takes this into consideration. One other profit? In lots of cases, the truck’s PM schedule can be higher set with an hour guideline vs. miles as PM ensures the engine and fuel system function properly.
So, Should Fleets Use Hours or Miles?
So, what should fleet managers be measuring, and when? While every fleet would love a tough and fast answer, mileage calculations can still be very effective when determining wear in medium-duty trucks, especially for trucks driven primarily over the road.
As with many “things fleet,” the reply depends.
Taking a look at a truck or vehicle’s mileage over time can assist industrial fleets determine a standardized substitute schedule. This standardized schedule can assist lay out the general life-of-vehicle performance and pinpoint an excellent time for a substitute.
Hours and miles are essential criteria when determining service timing for a fleet. When how industrial vehicles operate, any systems that directly interface with the engine (fuel, cooling, exhaust, etc.) are clearly impacted by engine hours.
The truck’s application is the fundamental consider measuring by hours or miles.
The Dangers of High Idle Time
The more the truck is used with idle time versus drive time, the more necessary using the price per hour is to the fleet. Some fleets find that lower-mileage units (but with higher hour usage) have more maintenance costs than the lower-mileage trucks. The likely cause? The engine wear and tear of vocational equipment is greater than a truck driving on a highway.
The determination of tracking by hours vs. miles must be strictly based on the applying of the vehicle and that specific fleet. A vehicle with a high frequency of idling will accrue mileage that won’t appear on the speedometer.
Consider one fleet that was experiencing a high variety of engine failures. The vehicles within the fleet idle often. Taking a look at the idle time more rigorously, the fleet determined the vehicles must have had three PM visits by that time when reports showed they’d only been in once resulting from mileage.
One other example is aerial bucket trucks, which may only must travel just a few short miles from a depot to where overhead work must be performed. When a bucket truck arrives on site, the mileage stops, however the engine continues for as much as eight hours. Taking a look at this instance, only just a few miles can have accrued after several weeks, however the hour meter shows true vehicle utilization and will be calling for an oil and filter change. Without the hour meter fleets can only guess when to perform needed services and will be severely underservicing (or at times over-servicing) their units.
With today’s oil-life monitoring systems and on-board hour tracking in most recent pickup trucks, tracking hours is much easier than it ever was once.
So, Miles or Hours?
Measuring a vehicle’s performance also can help determine whether it is being fully utilized. The vehicle’s required level of use and want will vary amongst firms and industries. Nevertheless, mileage accrued during a particular period can assist discover underutilized vehicles and driving patterns that may contribute to maintenance or other issues.
At other times, measuring the quantity of fuel consumed or variety of engine hours is more accurate. But, as all the time, measuring performance can provide a fleet manager a greater understanding of auto use, which may offer insight into whether changes may or may not must be made.
Each hours and miles are priceless metrics for medium-duty fleets to trace. While miles could also be best for measuring many fleet analytics, hours are necessary to watch to make sure total visibility into all features of fleet maintenance and measurements.
Editor’s Note: This text was originally published in 2014 and has been reviewed and updated for continued relevancy.
Originally posted on Work Truck Online
This Article First Appeared At www.automotive-fleet.com