The Cost of Dirt.

The Cost of Dirt.

When the economy & budgets are tight one of the first methods often thought of to cut cost is the reduction or elimination of equipment wash programs.

Please contemplate these factors before doing so:

1. Soil and debris build up on mechanical components

a) Insulates heat sensitive components shortening life

b) Promotes electrical shorts and vehicle fires

c) Creates acids which erode finishes, base materials and electrical components

d) Accelerates wear and abrasion

e) Shortens lubrication life

 2. Maintenance Impacts and Perception

a) Encourages more frequent DOT inspections which can impede timely deliveries.

b) Reduces pride in workmanship

c) Assigned tasks require additional time

d) Promotes dirt and dust contamination

e) Reduces the ability to effectively diagnose mechanical issues

f) Creates higher maintenance costs

g) Discourages 3rd party repair facilities from working on your fleet

h) Effects the quality of the Preventive Maintenance Inspections

i) Impacts your ability to hire competent drivers and technicians

3. Customer Perception

a) Your fleet is a billboard and primary form of advertising

b) Creates environmental issues from leakage

c) Negatively impacts your negotiating ability

d) Poor overall perception within the communities you serve

e) Negative impact on pricing

4. Driver Culture

a) Impacts your ability to recruit good drivers

b) Imparts an ”I don’t care” attitude throughout the driver ranks

c) Can foster an unsafe working environment

d) Reduces the quality of communication between operations and maintenance

e) Helps to create additional employee turnover

5. Effects on paint and metal finish

a) Breaks down chemical structure of paint surfaces reducing paint life

b) Abrasive effect promotes scratches and scuffing

c) Reduces driver pride and sense of ownership, increasing accident potential

d) Requires more frequent re-finishing, cost potentially doubles

6. Asset Value

a) Reduces return on capital

b) Negative vehicle residual value

c) Impacts customer confidence

d) Contributes to higher variable cost structure

Can you put a quantifiable figure on what it cost if you do not have an effective equipment wash program, the answer is yes. Taking into account what a wash program will cost the organization, not having one will increase your equipment costs a minimum of 25%. The key is to have one and to manage it like you do other aspects of the business.