“Pistons, Pumpkins, Skins, Slacks, & Trannies… “ (Capital Purchases)
The procurement of assets that are spec’d properly are as important to the success of the organization as the basic needs of oxygen, water, salt, sugar, minerals, and vitamins are to the human body. If the equipment is not spec’d to the operational needs of the organization cost, service, and utilization will suffer throughout the lifecycle of the asset due to the demands placed on it by the driver, customer, operations or a combination thereof. Just purchasing what the vendor has on-hand or what is being offered at the lowest price will in most cases lead to disastrous results to include increase variable maintenance expense and lower than anticipated asset utilization. The first and most important step that must transpire is a pragmatic agreement between senior-leadership, operations, safety, and maintenance on the maximum speed based on operational needs, customer requirements, and most importantly safety must be determined. (I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention this speed should be at or below 65 miles per hour due to the laws of physics.) The engine, transmission, and differential must then be spec’d to this exact speed and NOT some adjustment to the software. If this is accomplished the equipment will operate in the sweet-spot and perform to maximum efficiency which is critical with sensitivity of the after-treatment systems on today’s engines. Some of the most common obstacles/ opportunities that will enable the organization to capture maximum ROI on their capital investment are as follows:
In short, specing must be right down to the proper tires (Skins), slack-adjusters (Slacks), batteries, alternators etc… You’ve relinquished the capital investment and you need to move freight or provide services to your customers, not making costly repairs to your newly acquired assets impeding asset utilization. This process will prevent you from having a hodgepodge of assets with a multitude manufacturer specific issues and software quarks that will drive up maintenance cost, breakdowns, create undue stress, and drive a wedge between departments all attempting to satisfy the customers. Moreover, initiating a process of this nature will enable the organization to capture all the current synergies and will set the groundwork for additional operational and cultural advancements. Cohesive teamwork begins at this point. Following these recommendations you will have captured the key initiatives required for the foundation of your fleet maintenance process.
Let us know if you were like our assistance in specing your next capital purchase.