It’s no secret that most trucking companies try to wring as much useful life out of their equipment as possible before buying new models. Often, too, fleet managers may seek to put off buying new equipment simply because it might require different handling and maintenance than older units their drivers and technicians know inside and out.
Yet invariably new equipment is needed simply because capability is better and operating costs are lower, either through improved fuel economy, lower maintenance needs, or both (though that’s not always the case, especially in the case of the long emission regulation journey endured by the industry since 2002).
A similar strategic concern is taking shape where technology is concerned – especially in the case of personal computers (PCs), where advances in capability happen at a far faster pace.
Take a look at some of the findings from the Small Business PC Refresh Study commissioned by Intel Corp. and conducted by polling firm TechAisle, which surveyed 736 small businesses in Brazil, China, Germany, India, Russia and the U.S. to gauge the state of their PC equipment.
Overall, the poll found small businesses are holding onto PCs significantly beyond the recommended refresh date, with more than 36% owning PCs that are more than four years old.
“These machines require more maintenance, exerting a greater toll on employee productivity and higher equipment costs than the purchase of a new machine,” noted Rick Echevarria, vice president of the PC client group and general manager of business client platform division at Intel.
“On average, small business workers lose more than one work week per year due to old PCs,” he added. “PCs are largely considered the foundation for many of these companies, and this study makes a clear cut case for refreshing them on a regular basis.”
Truckers should take note of this because – surprise, surprise – most of the industry is comprised of “small businesses,” as just about 90% of the industry is comprised of fleets operating six trucks or fewer according to the most recent data.
Here are some other interesting findings Intel unearthed via its survey:
It’s definitely something for fleet managers to chew over as they start putting the finishing touches on their 2014 business strategies.