TMC20: Michelin looks to take the pain out of trailer repair

Michelin trailer repair

As Michelin transitions to a mobility and technology company, it’s
offering more services that leverage scale and digital capabilities to drive
down fleet costs. The latest is its Services and Solutions arm, including a new
Digital Services Platform that features a trailer-maintenance program.

The announcements of both the
business segment and maintenance program came on Sunday at the American
Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council annual meeting in

The Services and Solutions business
is built upon four pillars: (1) connected mobility, (2) fleet management, (3)
tire services and (4) digital services platform.

“We are trying to support our
customers in this changing world with innovative solutions that go beyond the
product,” said Ralph DiMenna, global director of Michelin Services and
Solutions. “With so many solutions now data-driven, it helps us transform our
company into a data-driven [one] and it helps our fleets transform their
businesses into data-driven [operations].”

The new maintenance program,
Michelin Mechanical Care, is the first offering under the Digital Services
Platform. More will follow, DiMenna said, and Michelin will also start shifting
current offerings to the platform.

“It is a platform that is
transforming our industry by improving the efficiency and productivity of our
customers and enabling them to maximize their profitability,” DiMenna said.

For fleets, that means the ability
to optimize asset utilization, drive administrative efficiency and maximize
uptime. Service providers will see benefits from streamlined administrative
tasks covering everything from scheduling to billing to improved overall
customer satisfaction.

The Michelin Mechanical Care
program provides fleets with outsourced maintenance for trailers. Offering
light mechanical maintenance, the service is backed by Decisiv’s Service
Relationship Management (SRM) technology and available through Michelin’s
nationwide Commercial Service Network.

Fleets using the service will see
standardized procedures and recommended practices, standardized labor pricing
based on accepted industry standard repair times, and asset visibility and
consolidated invoicing that includes real-time tracking and streamlined billing
for both fleets and service providers.

Michelin will offer annual
Department of Transportation inspections through Mechanical Care, as well as
preventive maintenance and repairs for brakes, wheel ends and tires, lights,
electrical, mud flaps and body repair. DiMenna said that in some cases, the
provider might offer additional heavy-duty repairs.

The program has been piloted over
the past year with about 30 Michelin network locations and between 10 and 12
fleets, DiMenna said. More locations will be rolled out as fleets demand the

Trailer maintenance is a vexing
problem with fleets based on the duty cycles of trailers throughout North
America. From drop-and-hook applications to trailers running coast-to-coast
over weeks and months, fleets can find it difficult to route a trailer through
to their own facility for repairs or preventive maintenance.

“That is a complex problem today,”
DiMenna said. “Where are the trailers? What is the work being done on those
trailers? This digitizes that.”

Running a single nationwide network
will help fleets to have increased visibility in trailer maintenance, more
options for preventive maintenance and lower overall repair bills. DiMenna said
Michelin is attempting to offer “a one-stop digital shop.”

The program uses Technology and
Maintenance Council standardized codes for repair times, and DiMenna said that
if a repair takes longer than that recommended timeframe, the fleet will not be
charged extra.

“From the time [the repair] starts
to the time it ends, that is the time. That is our guarantee,” he said, noting
that scheduling the repair time is not part of that promise. “The other part of
that guarantee is that if it goes beyond the allotted time, [the fleet] would
not pay for additional labor if a service provider can’t do it in the allotted time.”

The other pillars of the Services
and Solutions segment are: connected object and data-based business models,
fleet management that focuses on optimization of fleet operations and includes
NexTraq and Michelin Energy Guard products, and tire services including
Michelin OnCall and Michelin Tire Care.