VMRS report shows slowing increase in service costs

Rising costs of parts and labor is slowing, according to the latest quarterly benchmarking report released Sunday at the Technology & Maintenance Council Annual Meeting and Expo in Orlando from Decisiv and the American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council.

Although parts and labor costs increased 13% in 2022, that represents a 10% drop in the rate of increase.

On a quarterly basis, parts and labor costs declined in the fourth quarter of 2022 by 0.9% compared to the third quarter, including a 1.6% drop in parts costs and a slight increase of 0.4% in labor costs. Powerplant parts and labor costs totaled 35.7% of all service costs in the fourth quarter of 2022, followed by exhaust systems (14%) and brakes (5.1%).

Parts and labor costs rose 13% in the fourth quarter of 2022 compared to the fourth quarter of 2021. Quarterly year-over-year comparisons earlier in 2022 showed a 15.3% increase.

[Related: Repair labor rates climbing, driving technician pay raises]

Decisiv Vice President Marketing Mark Wasilko noted that decreased mileage, caused by a slowing in for-hire truck tonnage and an increase in new truck production, are likely the largest factors influencing service cost declines. The data for the Decisiv/TMC report is derived from Vehicle Maintenance Reporting Standard (VRMS) service and repair events of more than 7 million commercial vehicles in North America that captures a weekly average of 70,000 events at nearly 5,000 locations.

“The overall positive improvement in parts and labor costs shows that despite economic headwinds and supply chain challenges, commercial vehicle service operations continued to successfully offset increases driven by factors outside of their control,” said Dick Hyatt, Decisiv president and CEO.

Decisiv said parts and labor costs in 2021 and 2022 ran 10% higher in the Western region of the U.S. than the other four U.S. regions and Canada, adding the increase may be caused by higher regional demand for technicians.

TMC members can download the Decisiv/TMC quarterly benchmarking report here.