Power Through Logistics Challenges with New, Modern Chassis
When the pandemic rocked the world this spring, many companies were utilizing “pool chassis” in major ports and inland rail locations. However, with many pool chassis ranging in age from 20 to 25 years old, this led to serious problems, including:
- Breakdowns: This results in lost time on the road, missed appointments, and increased maintenance and repair costs.
- Blown-out tires: This is a common issue, especially in southern parts of the country with scorching temperatures. One blown-out tire typically causes three to four hours of downtime for drivers.
- Outdated features: Two-piece, five-spoke wheels; bias ply retread tires; broken taillights; and lack of anti-lock brake systems contribute to greater maintenance and repair costs, reliability problems, and safety concerns.
- Lack of availability: When volumes increased this summer, chassis simply were not able to be repaired and available to keep pace with the demand.
These significant problems with pool chassis create both financial and logistics challenges due to increased maintenance and repair costs, lost driving time, and missed delivery deadlines. However, many of these same companies solved these challenges by swapping out pool chassis for more flexible, short-term leases or daily rentals on new, premium chassis with modern features and technology.
New, premium chassis are equal to or only slightly more expensive than pool chassis and are loaded with new technology like OEM radial tires, LED lights, anti-lock braking systems, disc wheels and, in some areas, GPS tracking. These features keep drivers in trucks and trucks on the road, ultimately bringing in more money for drivers and the companies they work for instead of paying out money for maintenance and repairs.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when leasing new chassis:
- Don’t settle: Find equipment that will last. You are going to pay more for good, quality chassis on the front end but it will, without a doubt, save you money in the long run.
- Have an eye for detail: Be sure the chassis you are considering possesses all the features that are most beneficial to your company and your drivers, from parts to technology to the finish.
- Refurbished is NOT new: In an attempt to get more life out of their aging chassis, some companies repaint their old equipment and change out a few components to make them seem shiny and new when, in reality, the chassis is still running on old frames and axles.
- Keep safety top of mind: Chassis do not stay new forever and just because they still look fresh does not mean they are safe. Your employees’ safety should be of the utmost importance and getting old chassis off the road can help keep them—and other drivers—safe.
Although you may spend more money upfront when leasing or renting new chassis, this modern equipment will save your company money in the long-term from less maintenance costs and fewer breakdowns. You will also receive all the benefits of the latest technology to keep hazardous chassis off the road, which helps your drivers and everyone else on the road stay safe.