Breakdowns ‘Increasing’ as Delays Cause Lengthening Replacement Cycles

Fleets that are being forced to run their vans for longer due to industry delays are seeing some major component failures, according to FleetCheck.

The company has warned that fleet maintenance will require more attention during this period of time.

The industry is being impacted by longer lead times for new cars and vans as manufacturers are struggling to cope with the global semiconductor shortage.

All car and van makers are being impacted by the computer chip crisis, with some delivery times for cars increasing from three to six months, and many new vans not expected to be delivered until 2022.

This means more light commercial vehicles (LCVs) are entering the fifth or sixth year of their operational life, with breakdowns becoming more common as a result.

Peter Golding, managing director at FleetCheck, explains that many fleets delayed van renewals at the start of the pandemic, and are now finding that new models are difficult to source.

“It’s not uncommon for vans for break the 100,000 mile mark during their operational life but we are seeing numbers running well beyond that point and it is a development resulting in mechanical failures that fleets don’t often experience,” he said.

“Top of the list is probably gearboxes but we are also seeing more vehicles undergoing a second clutch or cambelt replacement. These are expensive items for which few fleets will have budgeted.”

Golding says many fleets are starting to have to spend “large sums of money” on aging vehicles. “There are a number of practices that fleets can employ but the simplest and most effective is to ensure that the vehicles that are most likely to suffer failures – something that the technology can help to identify – are used in the lowest stress applications,” added Golding.

“If you have a van that is six years old and has covered 150,000 miles, it is best used for light local duties than for ploughing up and down the motorway, adding another 1,000 miles every week. Just making that kind of change can have a positive impact.”

The Association of Fleet Professionals (AFP) also recently warned that measures may need to be adopted by fleets to cope with the shortage and disruptions around car and van production.

 

Make sure you’re making an extra effort to look after your vehicles until vehicle production picks up again.

 

We hope this information was useful, until next time!

 

 

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