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Maintenance Delays: Minutes or Days?


The old adage “time is money” is especially true for truck drivers, who have their time regulated by the federal government. And, because most long haul truckers are paid by the mile, when they are not driving, they are not earning. That’s why veteran drivers seek, among other things, properly maintained equipment. And, when breakdowns do happen, how quickly the company fixes the problem can play a big role in how much that driver makes.

Drivers for Roehl Transport, one of the nation’s safest and largest trucking companies, enjoy the best in industry maintenance support and the best in industry maintenance results. These outcomes are created through a rigorous set of practices and procedures supported by Roehl’s value of Driver Success.

Roehl’s maintenance professionals, from diesel technicians, to fuel island inspectors to shop coordinators, are obsessed with keeping our drivers on the road and earning rather than in the broken-down and waiting. And, independent benchmarking proves this point: Roehl measures the time in the shop in minutes while other carriers measure that downtime in days.

The difference in maintenance turnaround time has been likened to this: Roehl’s support team uses a stopwatch while other trucking companies uses a calendar. That’s the level of focus our techs use to support our drivers.

Here’s how we do it.

We start by providing late model equipment – our tractors are two years new or newer and our trailers are four years or newer.

From there, we hit our marks on preventative maintenance. We know that a few minutes of prevention is worth many, many miles of productivity. Our scheduling systems ensure that when you show up for preventative work, a tech is ready to say hello, shake your hand and get to their work so you can get back to yours. As much as we enjoy seeing you, we can’t wait to see you back on the road!

What about breakdowns? While unexpected issues are uncommon with Roehl than other carriers, when they happen, we offer maintenance solutions at six terminals situated strategically where we run. When one of our driving teammates needs help before they reach a terminal, we leverage our extensive network of over the road vendors. We insist our vendors respect our drivers by respecting their time. Vendors who do that make the list, while those that do not are removed from our network. Another important point is that these vendors want to maintain their relationships with Roehl and understand our expectations, and our maintenance team makes sure they meet our expectations and the expectations of our drivers.

To ensure they help our drivers stay productive, our maintenance techs meet weekly with their supervisors, and those supervisors meet weekly with their leaders. At every one of those weekly meetings, the focus – the purpose of the meeting – is finding innovative and better ways to reduce the amount of time a driver spends in the shop, whether that’s at a terminal or over the road, to get their equipment repaired effectively. That’s a continuous improvement model that’s made Roehl’s maintenance support the gold standard in the trucking industry.

At these sessions, each technician and each leader makes a specific, action-based commitment about what they will do the following week to make things better. At the next weekly meeting, the team member reports out on what they did and how well it worked. They develop new best practices regularly. They measure and analyze repair time down to the minute. And they continue their values based approach of ensuring they help each driving teammate achieve Driver Success. It’s both something to see and to be a part of, especially for those who’ve had a poor experience at a different trucking company.

So, when you’re considering a truck driving job with a carrier, remember: grand promises from a recruiter about cents per mile or miles per week don’t mean much when you’re sitting in the shop day after day, waiting to get back on the road, waiting to get back earning.

Finally, talk to Roehl drivers and read their reviews. Find out why so many experienced truck drivers choose to be leaders with Roehl, and get on the road (and stay on the road) with TeamRoehl. Of course, the alternative is to keep waiting at a different trucking company.

Roehl offers professional trucking jobs, including paid cdl truck driver training, owner operator career paths and non-driving jobs at our many maintenance facilities. See our locations and find out why we’re one of the best run trucking companies in North America (here’s a hint, our leader is also a driver).

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