Although repair incidents were flat, other fleet-related maintenance expenses were up in calendar-year 2017, primarily in labor rates and parts prices. PM costs were up around 3%, while replacement tire costs increased 5-10%.
Extended oil-drain intervals have helped to offset increases in the cost of motor oil because of the expanded use of synthetic oils and cartridge oil filters. Higher labor rates in 2017 exerted upward pressure on preventive maintenance costs.
For the past four years, tire costs have been stable. But, new cost pressures have emerged in 2017, due to higher prices for the commodities used to manufacture tires and the trend to larger diameter, more expensive tires.
In addition, General Motors fleet sales to governmental political subdivisions were up 5% in 2017. This was the first time in 25 years that commercial and government sales for GM have been greater than daily rental deliveries.
A special interest in safety has been one propelling factor throughout Gilchrist’s 11 years in the fleet industry.