What is a truck roll and how to reduce them?

What is a truck roll?

In field service operations, a truck roll signifies the dispatch or deployment of a technician to a customer’s location or designated field site. This deployment typically involves a vehicle, often a truck, and aims to address a specific need.

Technicians dispatched on a truck roll may be responsible for a variety of tasks, including:

  • Installing or repairing equipment.
  • Conducting routine maintenance or inspections.
  • Providing on-site technical assistance.

While essential for many service providers, truck rolls can incur significant logistical and financial costs. Optimizing these deployments are crucial for efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

What is the cost of a truck roll?

The cost of a truck roll extends beyond the technician’s hourly wage. It’s a comprehensive calculation considering various direct and indirect expenses:

Direct Costs:

  • Labor: This includes the technician’s wages, potential overtime pay, benefits, and travel time.
  • Vehicle: Fuel, maintenance, insurance, and depreciation costs associated with the service vehicle.
  • Parts & Materials: The cost of any components required for repair or installation.

Indirect Costs:

  • Scheduling and Dispatch: Administrative expenses of managing service calls and technician deployment.
  • Opportunity Cost: The potential revenue lost as the technician is unavailable for other billable tasks during the truck roll.

Calculating the Cost Per Truck Roll:

The specific calculation methodology may vary, but here’s a common approach:

  1. Track Relevant Expenses: Companies typically track both direct and indirect expenses related to truck rolls over a specific timeframe, such as a month.
  2. Calculate Total Cost: Add up the tracked expenses for the selected timeframe.
  3. Divide by Number of Truck Rolls: Divide the total cost by the number of truck rolls completed within the timeframe.

Total Monthly Truck Roll Costs / Total Monthly Trucks = Average Cost per Truck Roll

This calculation provides an average cost per truck roll for the selected timeframe. A common rule of thumb suggests the average cost of a truck roll can range between $200 and $300. It’s important to note that the cost of the service can vary greatly from company to company. Factors such as the industry, geographic location, fuel prices, technician skill level, and the complexity of service calls can all influence the actual cost of a truck roll for a specific business.

For example, consider the cost of dispatching a highly skilled technician to an offshore oil rig for complex maintenance. The dispatch would likely involve extensive travel, specialized equipment, and potentially higher-wage technicians. Now consider the cost of sending a local HVAC technician to a nearby home for a repair. The dispatch might involve minimal travel, standard tools, and a lower-wage technician. This comparison illustrates how factors like location, job complexity, and technician expertise significantly impact the actual cost of a truck roll.

Essential Metrics for Optimizing Truck Roll Efficiency

In field service operations, measuring key performance indicators (KPIs) is crucial for understanding truck roll efficiency and identifying areas for improvement. Businesses can implement cost-saving strategies and boost customer satisfaction by analyzing key metrics. Here are some of the essential metrics to monitor:

  • First-Time Fix Rate (FTFR): This metric represents the percentage of service calls resolved during the initial technician visit. A higher FTFR indicates effective diagnosis, equipment knowledge, and proper dispatch procedures, reducing return visits and their associated costs.
  • No-Fault-Found (NFF) Truck Roll Rate: Measures the percentage of service calls where the technician cannot identify or replicate the reported issue upon arrival. A high NFF rate can indicate inaccurate customer reporting, inadequate troubleshooting tools, or inefficient dispatching processes. Identifying the root cause of NFFs helps improve these areas and minimize wasted resources.
  • Average Cost per Truck Roll: This metric provides a comprehensive understanding of the total expenditure associated with each service call. It encompasses direct and indirect costs like labor, vehicle expenses, and potential lost revenue.
  • Average Resolution Time: Measures the average time elapsed from receiving a service call to its complete resolution. This metric helps assess the overall efficiency of the service process, including identification, dispatching, travel time, and issue resolution.
  • Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT): This score provides a measure of customer satisfaction with the service experience. The data is typically gathered through surveys or feedback forms. While not directly related to truck rolls, a high CSAT can positively impact first-time fix rates by reducing repeat calls for unsatisfactory service.
  • Dispatch Accuracy: The metric measures the percentage of service calls where technicians are dispatched with the correct tools and parts.
  • Travel Time per Service Call: This measure helps to evaluate the effectiveness of route optimization and scheduling strategies.
  • Number of Escalated Calls: Indicates the frequency of issues requiring specialized intervention beyond the initial technician’s expertise.

Field service organizations can identify areas for improvement by monitoring and analyzing these metrics. They can implement targeted strategies to reduce truck rolls, control costs, and enhance operational efficiency.

Strategies for Reducing Truck Rolls

In field service operations, truck rolls are a significant expense, but necessary to resolve customer issues. Minimizing unnecessary truck rolls is crucial for achieving operational efficiency and cost control.

Here are several key strategies for reducing truck rolls:

Leverage Remote Resolution Technologies:

  • Thorough dispatching procedures: Based on reported issues, dispatch technicians with the necessary information, tools, and spare parts. This reduces the risk of return visits due to incomplete repairs or missing equipment.
  • Invest in technician training: Provide continuous training to ensure technicians possess the necessary skills and knowledge to diagnose and resolve complex issues on the first visit.
  • Standardize repair procedures: Implement standardized repair protocols and checklists based on best practices. This ensures consistency and reduces the risk of errors that might necessitate return visits.

Optimize Scheduling and Routing:

  • Implement automated maintenance reminders: Implement automated systems to remind customers of scheduled maintenance needs. This encourages proactive service and prevents potential breakdowns that may require emergency truck rolls.
  • Offer preventative maintenance contracts: Design service agreements to include regular inspections and maintenance to minimize the risk of unexpected equipment failures and associated service calls.
  • Analyze historical data and trends: Utilize data analytics to identify equipment prone to frequent failures. Prioritize preventative maintenance for these assets to reduce the need for reactive truck rolls.

By combining these strategies, field service organizations can effectively reduce the number of unnecessary truck rolls. This leads to significant cost savings, improved customer satisfaction, and enhanced operational efficiency.

How the CareAR SXM platform can help reduce truck rolls

The CareAR SXM platform was designed to provide remote, live visual AR and AI interactions for users as part of a seamless digital workflow.

CareAR® Assist: Remote Visual Support

CareAR Assist Telecom Worker on Rooftop

  • Remote Troubleshooting and Diagnosis: CareAR Assist facilitates real-time video calls between technicians and remote experts, augmented with AR annotations. Experts see precisely what the field technician sees, enabling faster and more accurate problem diagnosis.
  • Resolution Without Dispatch: Remote experts can guide technicians through repairs or complex procedures using AR overlays and visual instructions. Resolving issues remotely eliminates the need for on-site truck rolls for problems that can be addressed with real-time expert support.
  • Enhanced First-Time Fix Rates: With direct access to expert knowledge and guidance, technicians in the field can solve issues effectively on the first visit, reducing the need for costly return visits.

CareAR® Instruct: AR and AI-powered Digital Work Instructions

Xerox B405 Printer digital twin maintenance CareAR Instruct

  • Self-Service Empowerment: CareAR Instruct provides customers with interactive, step-by-step visual guides accessible via AR-enabled devices. Customers can troubleshoot and resolve basic issues independently, reducing support calls and truck rolls for minor problems.
  • Improved Technician Preparation: Technicians refer to detailed AR-powered instructions on specific procedures before dispatch. This ensures that technicians arrive on-site equipped with the necessary knowledge and tools to resolve the issue on their first visit.
  • Knowledge Transfer for Skill Gaps: CareAR Instruct allows technicians of varying skill levels to access comprehensive AR work instructions. Less experienced technicians can execute complex jobs successfully, minimizing the need to dispatch highly skilled experts.

The Combined Impact

By utilizing CareAR Assist and CareAR Instruct in tandem, field service organizations gain a powerful toolkit for reducing unnecessary truck rolls. Remote technicians and customers can now address problems that previously required on-site visits through remote expert support and self-guided digital instructions. This directly translates into improved operational efficiency and cost savings.

If you want to learn more about how CareAR can help you optimize your resources and reduce truck rolls, contact one of our experts to learn more.

Interested how much carbon you are emitting due to truck rolls? Calculate your emissions in our easy carbon calculator! Find out how you can reduce your carbon footprint with CareAR!

envelope icon

Subscribe to receive AR remote assistance and digital work instruction news!

Get the latest information on augmented reality for field service, customer service, IT service management, AI, digital work instructions and more.

You may also like

10 Ways Digital Form Automation Can Supercharge Field Service

In the fast-paced world of field service, efficiency is king. Traditional paper forms can be a major roadblock, slowing down technicians, hindering communication and causing data headaches. According to a Service Council survey, more than half of the technicians...

Why Remote AR Support is Best for Customer and Field Service

In the age of instant connections, video chat platforms like MS Teams and Zoom have become our go-to tools for remote collaboration. But when it comes to guiding someone through a complex task, simply seeing each other's faces falls short. This is where Remote AR...