ATA’s Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) and Decisiv Inc. said that parts and labor expenses stabilized during the first quarter of 2023, according to data released in the latest Decisiv/TMC North American Service Event Benchmark Report.
While high prices for parts and higher wages for labor during the past year are unlikely to return to earlier levels, the companies stated, the latest Decisiv/TMC Benchmark Report — organized by Vehicle Maintenance Reporting Standard (VMRS) system level codes — shows a marked slowing of cost increases. Compared to the fourth quarter of last year, those costs rose only 0.7% in comparison to the 8% increase from one year earlier.
This recent report has been expanded to incorporate service activity reporting on the parts and labor costs for the top 25 VMRS system codes, which account for more than 97% of the total service activity during the first quarter of 2023.
“The expansion from 10 VMRS systems to 25 will provide greater granularity in this important benchmarking report,” said TMC Executive Director Robert Braswell. “The Council’s fleet membership will benefit from this deeper dive into parts and labor cost analysis going forward.”
Between 2022 Q4 and 2023 Q1 parts costs dropped by 0.4% and labor costs increased 2.3%, the report stated, reflecting that new vehicles backordered for historically long periods are reaching end users. There is also a general decrease in mileage across all trucking segments, driven down by a reduction in freight volumes. According to data released monthly by ATA, on-highway truck tonnage continues to fall annually and on a month-to-month basis.
“Fleets are weathering the impact of aging trucks and higher parts prices, and are addressing the need for technicians,” said Dick Hyatt, President and CEO of Decisiv. “The data that Decisiv collects and analyzes for the TMC Benchmark Report on Vehicle Maintenance Reporting Standard (VMRS) system level codes clearly indicates that service costs are more stable.”
The Decisiv/TMC North American Service Event Benchmark Reports are generated using data from the Decisiv SRM platform on service and repair events for more than 7 million commercial assets operating across the U.S. and Canada. The industry’s largest asset service management system is being used to manage a weekly average of 70,000 service events at nearly 5,000 locations.