It is important to monitor progress, and how
a fl eet handles their maintenance is no exception.
To measure how well your fl eet is doing
at completing maintenance accurately and effi -
ciently, consider the Maintenance Maturity scale.
Th e Maintenance Maturity scale is based
on a stable manufacturing model developed
by Winston Ledet. Ledet is also known as
the founder of the Manufacturing Game, an
employee workshop model that focuses on
developing a reliability culture to increase
equipment reliability and operations.
Levels of maturity
Th e most common maturity level for all equipment
is called reactive. You react to what the
unit does (or more properly, what it does not
do). Many consumers measure as “reactive”
on the Maintenance Maturity scale when it
40 Fleet Maintenance | June 2018
comes to their personal vehicles. In general,
the public take their vehicle into the shop when
something is wrong. Th is is especially true aft er
the warranty service requirements have ended.
In most states, statutory inspections – such as
mandatory annual emissions testing – are the
only time the vehicle is seen by a professional.
Th ere is a subset of reactive called regressive.
Regressive is where the customer or shop
is reactive but will not, or cannot, spend the
money to make the necessary repairs. Th e units
get worse and worse. From a fl eet perspective,
this is typical when the business is having
cashfl ow problems or is going out of business.
Th e most common maturity level in the fl eet
world is called preventative maintenance (PM)
and planned maintenance. Th e unit is brought
in periodically on a regular schedule to be
inspected, lubricated, cleaned and adjusted for
optimal use. Th is is pretty common, people are
pretty good at it and it works reasonably well.
However, technology has been progressing
to the next maturity level to become more
common. Th e maturity relies on technology
to monitor the equipment and report out
any readings that are not good. Th e machine
monitors itself and reports on its condition.
Certainly, all the major OEMs have dedicated
time and resources to make this happen. Th is
type of technology allows for predictive maintenance,
where a fl eet can use data to predict
and prevent issues before they occur.
The next level
Th e problem with both preventative maintenance
and predictive maintenance is that it
doesn’t always stick. If you take your eye off the
trucks and they slip through without service,
or the fl eet ignores the indicators, you fall right
back into the reactive maturity level.
With that, it’s important to stay vigilant,
utilize all available systems and programs and
have employees who care to avoid the fall back
to reactive maintenance.
Th ere is a next-generation of maintenance
maturity called precision maintenance. You
may be doing some of this already. Precision
maintenance is where you operate, fuel, service
and repair an asset with precise specifi cations.
Precision spares (OEM or better)
Precision housekeeping during repair
When you use precision techniques, you
take better advantage of the OEM engineering
because you repair and reassemble to the
manufacturer’s specifi cations (torque, materials,
order, techniques). Because of this, the
maintenance is likely to have a longer lasting
impact. Precision is a stable maturity. Once
you set it up it should be sustaining, since
most of the eff ort is in the front-end of the
program during setup.
Precision applies to how the unit is operated,
fueled and repaired. It reinforces appropriate
Share your knowledge
While technology is helpful and useful, focusing
on it will hold you at the predictive domain
and will stymie progress.
Th e focus of your eff ort should be toward
the next stable level on the scale. Th e only way
to make change that sticks is to pass through
preventative maintenance and predictive
maintenance, and operate to precision maintenance
standards. Th at’s not to say you should
give up on preventative or predictive maintenance,
just keep pushing until you are operating
on a precision basis.
Employees who have served in the military,
or have worked previously at large fl eet operations
such as UPS, have already been exposed
to precision maintenance. Our industry needs
to hear about those experiences; please get out
there and tell your stories, so the rest of us can
How does your
maintenance measure up?
Your approach to
can be assessed using the
Maintenance Maturity scale.
By Joel Levitt
PRESIDENT, SPRINGFIELD RESOURCES
Springfield Resources (maintenancetraining.com) is a
management consulting firm that services a variety of
clients on a wide range of maintenance issues. Levitt is
the president of the company, and has trained more than
17,000 maintenance leaders from more than 3,000 organizations
in 24 countries. He is also the creator of Laser-
Focused Training, a flexible training program that provides
specific targeted training on your schedule, online to one
to 250 people in maintenance management, asset management
» The only way to make change that sticks is
to pass through preventative maintenance
and predictive maintenance, and operate
to precision maintenance standards.
Photo from iStock
is where you operate, fuel,
service and repair an asset
with precise specifications.