Tough choice for fleet owners

While the temptation might be to hold onto equipment for longer before replacing it, this is more likely to defer a problem than to eliminate it.Fleet owners could seek to offset the risk by going to the hire market for short-term additional capacity and holding existing equipment for longer. This should see an increase in maintenance activity on older equipment to keep it in reliable working order, but some may make short-sighted decisions and cut back on maintenance. If reliability of service to customers suffers, the customers will remember it when the economic climate improves. Some people seem to struggle through bad economic times by cutting back severely, only to fail when things pick up because they’ve burnt bridges or don’t have the equipment and people to be able to respond to increased opportunities. Being too negative in outlook in the current climate can become self-fulfilling.Many major suppliers are now promoting remote monitoring systems that track machine performance remotely and provide reports to owners, generally as a subscription service. It can be a valuable tool if integrated into the business, or it can simply become another source of information overload if it is not.

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