Vehicular performance and it’s mileage – what’s the relevance? Although it’s quite a popular concept for individuals to measure the wear of a vehicle by its mileage, is it really effective? Some experts beg to differ. In fact, many experts will protest that a true indicator of a vehicle’s performance is not at all referenced to its mileage – especially for fleet trucks.
For many fleet managers, measuring a trucks performance plays a key role in managing its replacement strategies, preventative maintenance schedules, identifying utilization, and overall calculating the fleet’s total cost of ownership as an entirety. And with many fleet managers also operating under a specific year or mileage replacement policy, the importance of measuring a trucks performance grows even larger. So, what is the best indicator?
Many engineers have highlighted that the most effective way to measure a vehicles performance is by looking at one of two things: either the hours of engine operation, or the amount of fuel burned over a length of time. As an engine idles, the wear on a vehicle to consume one gallon of fuel is the same as driving up to 30 miles. So, by measuring certain factors by hour, rather than per mile, it uses an alternative method to analyze the fleet – allowing analysts to better understand which locations and trucks are costing more than the benchmark.
Vehicles with special applications that require the vehicle to be running (such as those equipped with power take-offs) require constant charging of the battery to operate, which in return requires more idling time that won’t show up as mileage or utilization. And since idling, which can consume up to a gallon of fuel per hour, creates wear-and-tear on the engine by the hour, it’s preventative maintenance should go by the same method of measurement to better ensure the function of the engine and fuel system.
Now, some fleet managers may find this a little worrisome, especially if their fleet trucks are actually required to do quite a bit of idling. More idling being calculated by the hour, means even more maintenance – and more maintenance means more cost to maintain the truck and sustain its overall performance. But, there’s an easy solution to that with the purchase of Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) to help reduce idling and a hefty portion of its costs. Take the HP2000 for example. The HP2000 has an Idle Reduction System that doesn’t just eliminate the need for the truck’s engine to idle, but it also reduces fuel consumption by up the 90% – using an average of 1/10 gallons of fuel per hour. On top of that it’s quiet, light-weight, and in a compact size built to handle the extreme temperatures and rough conditions that drivers battle with on a daily basis.
All-in-all, however, measuring vehicular performance can give a fleet manager a better understanding of its usage and determine whether changes may or may not need to be made. While miles may be best for measuring many fleet analytics, hours are an important component to ensure total visibility into all aspects of fleet maintenance and measurements. And if counting the hours scares you, count on something that doesn’t – the reliability of the HP2000.