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  • James Cade

Reducing Emergency Roadside Events

According to data from the Q3 FleetNet and ATA’s Technology and Maintenance Council (TMC), fleets spend a staggering $4.5B annually on emergency roadside events. Overall, I agree with many of the observations outlined in the FleetNet report. Analyzing data from details of roadside-events can improve overall maintenance by determining the root cause and implementing corrective actions. Looking at roadside-events as failures of a maintenance program allows the application of root cause analysis techniques. I typically categorize the root cause of roadside failures into five distinct areas: people, process, training, tooling, or manufacturer. By classifying the root cause of the event, actions can be developed and implemented to prevent failures from occurring in the future, a form of predictive maintenance. It is also a format for communicating issues with frontline technicians and driving continuous improvement efforts. Using this process at my last fleet, I was able to increase the mileage between roadside events to an average of 110,000 miles, significantly above the FleetNet average. I do take exception with Jim Buell’s comment of painting the entire maintenance industry as being “reactive”. I know many fleets that are successfully using data to proactively reduce emergency roadside events and costs. If your fleet is experiencing numerous breakdowns and/or high costs, Asset and Maintenance Insights, LLC is available to assist. Go to for more information.

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