The breakdown of a commercial vehicle is is more than a whoopsy-daisy, it is money lost, by the hour.
If your car breaks down, you can easily get a rental. But it’s next to impossible to quickly source a replacement for a specialist van that suits your requirements, holds all your tools and has your company livery on it.
The downtime cost spiral
Mark Lovett, Head of Commercial Vehicles at LeasePlan, on the importance of keeping vehicles on the road.
What’s the biggest problem you see for commercial fleet managers you work with?
Almost everyone, without fail, struggles with keeping downtime to a minimum – every hour off the road racks up enormous costs: Because you’re running late or missing a delivery, or because you need to find a replacement car that’s fit for the job.
What kind of costs are we talking?
To avoid that you’ve got to stay on top of your regular checkup schedule –that’s a lot of admin, but it’s budgetable maintenance cost and you’d usually try and schedule it around your quiet season or when that vehicle isn’t booked in for a job.
But things can get totally out of control when we’re talking unforeseen breakdowns.
Can you give an example of these unforseen breakdowns?
Say you’re a builder and your van breaks down on your way to a job.
That means you can’t get your equipment on site. You’ve got five workmen there already – but no tools…
So you frantically start making phone calls to get it fixed as soon as possible. Finally, you find a garage to take it in. They’ll charge you for the call-out, of course, and they can’t fit it in right away either. That might cost you, say, £500.
You make a couple more calls and you find a replacement van, but you’ll pay a premium price for needing it right away. And it won’t get there until 2pm.
You’re easily looking at another £300.
So by now you’re a half-day down which means a hefty fine from your client, say £500. And you’ve still got to pay your workers’ wages, which costs you £350. That’s over £1500, and you’ve not even earned a penny yet!
Obviously, the costs will vary across industries, but you can see how quickly downtime cost adds up.