Making Correct Asset Replacement Decisions is Vital

By Patrick Gaskins | December 13, 2022

Originally appeared in Fleet Owner

Technology allows fleets to have a detailed picture of how their assets are performing. Telematics devices coupled with maintenance and repair records can help fleet managers gain a better understanding of the condition of each asset in their fleets.

It has become increasingly important that fleet managers have complete information on how each asset in their fleet is performing. Each year, most fleets have a set number of trucks they trade in for new vehicles from their chosen manufacturer. Typically, age and given all the choices or miles are the determining factors in which assets to replace.

However, the current truck market is anything but typical. A fleet may only receive a fraction of the trucks they order in 2023, and the delivery may be dispersed across the entire year.

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That makes the decision about which assets to retire critical. The good news is that technology allows fleets to have a detailed picture of how each asset is performing. Data from telematics devices coupled with maintenance and repair records can help fleet managers gain a better understanding of the condition of each asset in the fleet.

Fleet managers need to look at how many miles (or hours, depending on duty cycle) a truck has accumulated. Beyond that, it needs to look at how those miles were accumulated. Did the truck spend most of the time over the road at highway speeds, or was it in stop-and-go urban delivery applications?

Fleet managers also need to take a deep dive into the truck’s preventive maintenance and repair history. Was the truck in the shop only for scheduled maintenance appointments, or did it have to go in for additional mechanical services? The need for additional repairs outside a normal maintenance schedule should be investigated to determine the root cause. Breakdown trends also need to be reviewed.

The total cost of operation (TCO) needs to be calculated for each asset and an attempt needs to be made—based on historical data—to calculate what the total cost will be to keep a particular asset operating for another year or longer. In addition to maintenance and repair costs, the TCO calculation needs to include fuel costs—which will be based on how efficient the truck is to operate.

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Of course, there are also soft factors to consider, including driver satisfaction. Drivers want to be behind the wheel of trucks they know will run well and that have certain creature comforts. While it can be difficult to put a price tag on driver satisfaction, don’t overlook it when making the asset replacement decision.

While most fleets won’t be able to avoid running older trucks at least through next year, selecting the right trucks to replace will be essential to maintaining fleet profitability until we return to a more normal production—and therefore asset replacement—environment.


At Corcentric, we stand ready to help any fleet bridge that gap.  To learn how we can help, contact Corcentric today.