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Operating Costs

The largest fleet operating expense is fuel, which traditionally represents approximately 60% of all operating costs. However, the decreased miles driven by fleets during the pandemic was the No. 1 factor contributing to keeping fuel costs flat in 2020. 

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Forecast of Tire Prices in 2021

The ultimate outcome of the pandemic and the strength of the economic recovery are driving many predictions on future pricing.

Tire Costs Flat but Expect Higher Prices in 2021

Reduced tire demand and a decrease in overall miles driven have caused tire manufacturing volume to decline in 2020, creating a downstream ripple effect softening commodity prices for natural rubber, but this may change in 2021.

Pandemic's Disruption Keeps 2020 Fleet Operating Costs Flat

The COVID-19 pandemic divided the fleet market into essential and non-essential businesses, causing hundreds of thousands of company vehicles to sit idle from mid-March to mid-May. The economic shutdown caused miles-driven to plummet.

Uptick in Mobile Maintenance in 2020

One trend that is gaining momentum among commercial fleets during the pandemic is the use of mobile maintenance vendors. There has been a substantial uptick in fleet requests for mobile maintenance solutions as fleet managers look to minimize downtime and the administrative burden of taking their vehicle to a repair shop and having the driver wait. 

Upward Pricing Pressuring Fixed and Operating Costs

Fleets are being impacted by a variety of inflationary pressures ranging from higher acquisition prices due to the proliferation of onboard safety equipment, to increased material costs pushing up pricing on parts, upfits, and replacement tires.

Operating Costs Inch Up for Second Consecutive Year

Fleet operating costs increased in CY-2019 due to higher PM costs, ongoing pressure to increase maintenance labor rates to address the widespread tech shortage, and higher prices for commodities to manufacture replacement tires.