Mechanic won’t use the oil I’ve chosen *update*

Spike555

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Sounds like its time to replace the fleet, I'd start researching fleet programs. Start a presentation showing the absolute full cost of breakdowns. Towing, repairs, business reputation loss due to time issues, and waste of technicians time cost to the company. Get a future cost estimation and compare it to the cost of a new fleet.
That's what I would do and I'd present it to the pres and make your case. Hopefully he'd seriously consider a new fleet, or at least replacements for vehicles over XXXXX miles.

Good luck and get those prices going!

It’s not time to replace the fleet, each new unit is $75k with a 6-9mo waiting period. You have to secure the vehicle now, which means making payments on a vehicle you can’t use to make you money for at least half a year.
My total fleet is 35 units.
Once all of them are up to par and reliable, we will see which actually need to be replaced. Obviously the one with the blown engine would be a good candidate, except I can get a replacement engine for $5k, another $5k to have it installed and the truck brought up to snuff and I’m still ahead of the game vs replacing it.
 
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I always do pairs too, but that 300$ cost figure has me leaning on the side of a proper quality patch too. I got to thinking about the garage my boss used for repairs, cheapest around the area for sure (boss was super cheap) I'm pretty confident now that they screwed up the patch, or the tires weren't rated for the weight of the vehicle.
 
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It’s not time to replace the fleet, each new unit is $75k with a 6-9mo waiting period. You have to secure the vehicle now, which means making payments on a vehicle you can’t use to make you money for at least half a year.
My total fleet is 35 units.
Once all of them are up to par and reliable, we will see which actually need to be replaced. Obviously the one with the blown engine would be a good candidate, except I can get a replacement engine for $5k, another $5k to have it installed and the truck brought up to snuff and I’m still ahead of the game vs replacing it.
Just out of curiosity, what kind of units are you running and what kinds of upfits do you need before putting them into service? My apologies if you covered this already in the other thread.

A new Transit 250 for us, plus upfits and tools would run around $70K right now.
 

ZeeOSix

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Here's the original thread link, since there's not a functioning link in post #1.

 
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I'd change the engine oil on those vehicles at short intervals a couple of times. There may be borderline sludging problems that could be turned around with a couple of quick changes. Not a lot of cost for potentially big savings. You'll know soon enough if your equipment is toast.

As a minimum you're going to have some expensive repairs on these vehicles for a while. Best you prepare senior management for that so they don't think it's your fault.

I've been through the "you can't get rid of this employee right now" problem myself. It's not fun but you hang on as best you can until you are able to make a change, and then you move on. It'll be better now.
 

Spike555

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Just out of curiosity, what kind of units are you running and what kinds of upfits do you need before putting them into service? My apologies if you covered this already in the other thread.

A new Transit 250 for us, plus upfits and tools would run around $70K right now.

Step vans, P-1200’s and P-1000’s. That is the majority of our fleet. We have 2 GM cut-a-way’s, a Ford 18’ box truck and 2 Transit HD 350’s.
1 26ft straight truck. That’s just the fleet outta state.
The fleet in state is step vans, box trucks, 1 AWD Transit HD 250 and one GMC cut-a-way.
I’m lucky that in state everything is Ford except for one diesel. Out of 15 trucks, all but 3 take the same oil filter.
Outta state all the Fords take the same oil filter, V-10’s and V-8’s. I buy the oil filters by the case off Rockauto.
 

Spike555

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I'd change the engine oil on those vehicles at short intervals a couple of times. There may be borderline sludging problems that could be turned around with a couple of quick changes. Not a lot of cost for potentially big savings. You'll know soon enough if your equipment is toast.

As a minimum you're going to have some expensive repairs on these vehicles for a while. Best you prepare senior management for that so they don't think it's your fault.

I've been through the "you can't get rid of this employee right now" problem myself. It's not fun but you hang on as best you can until you are able to make a change, and then you move on. It'll be better now.

I would love to do that, do not know if I will be able. I did 3 PM’s last week, I have 4 more that just popped up in my email.
All of my drivers have to log into a iPad thats in every truck every morning and enter the mileage. I have it programmed to notify me 2k out from a PM.
So I make a list, gather the supplies I need out of the storage van and go down to PM the units.
Until every unit has been triaged, I can’t worry about going back and doing a short PM. And that honestly would mess up my maintence program.

I have a super simple maintence program, every time there is a “0” third from the left on the odometer, it gets a PM. I do not care about the 100’s, I do not do anything other than the “zero’s”.

Example…140,xxx miles it gets a PM. Then at 150,xxx…I do not do a PM at 153,123, and then again 10k from there. To hard to keep track of.
KISS.
Keep It Simple Stupid.
Some of the neglected units will get PM’d early this time, some late this time. But it is the game I need to play to get them all on this maintence program.

Trans fluid is every 50k. Rear diff every 100k. Power steering fluid depends on the reservoir size, small ones every 50k, larger ones every 100k.
Air filters as needed.
I use a full synthetic grease.
Engine coolant is every 150k for the factory fill, after that I use life time coolant.

Boss man leaves me alone to do what I need to do, personnel is where I do not have a say.
I chose fluids and filters, grease, service intervals, tires, etc.

Bottom line, I do not have time to add short oil change intervals to the trucks.
 
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Not all of us c-suite types know nothing about vehicles. ;) Some of us still prefer working with our hands when we get the chance.

That being said, money is always the ultimate deciding factor. Sometimes you need to cut costs short term in exchange for higher costs long term (and higher PITA factor short term) if you can't afford the higher cost short term but are fairly certain you can afford the increase in the long run. The trick is to stop stacking on long term costs as soon as you can afford the higher short term costs.
Got it. You are in the minority then. I’ve presented our Fleet annual budget request before our governing board and found out quickly they are lost when it comes to most things automotive. They would deny our request for an increase in our parts budget. This was due to them delaying vehicle replacements for two years. They simply couldn’t understand that the older Fleet vehicles are more costly to maintain. One lofty female board member stated that her “car has 200k miles, why can’t our Fleet get the same mileage/life?” I compared her Lexus (50k) vs our admin workhorse at the time, Chevy Cavalier (13k). She didn’t care for me much…
 
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That guy did not take a lot of pride in his work thats for sure😑

Interesting on reading up on the costs of maintaining old vehicles vs buying new ones. I personally was raised with self maintaining older vehicles in order to save money.
However if i calculate the amount that my current 325i 17 year old bmw is costing me even while i do the maintanaince myself i am sometimes tempted by the leaserpices that they show on new vehicles. Unbelievable how they can ever make money off that.
 

Spike555

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That guy did not take a lot of pride in his work thats for sure😑

Interesting on reading up on the costs of maintaining old vehicles vs buying new ones. I personally was raised with self maintaining older vehicles in order to save money.
However if i calculate the amount that my current 325i 17 year old bmw is costing me even while i do the maintanaince myself i am sometimes tempted by the leaserpices that they show on new vehicles. Unbelievable how they can ever make money off that.

When you start with new and take care of it, the cost of ownership for older equipment is less. When you do not take care of it, then the cost of ownership is through the roof.

Before we bought this company, we had no idea the condition of the fleet or anything about the quality of work the mechanic did.
All of the trucks were road worthy, we did not know the details and lack of maintence history.
 
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