THE SATISFACTORY maintenance of motorcoaches probably has been the subject of more extensive discussion and study than has any other phase of fleet operation, in the author's opinion. Effective economical maintenance has a large influence on net profit, but the maintenance of motorcoaches is merely one phase of operation and, while it influences the other phases, it likewise is influenced by them. Cooperation is the most important factor contributing to successful maintenance, but the author remarks the difficulty of segregating any part of the organization which can be considered solely responsible. He asks where the maintenance organization begins and where it ends, and answers that it seems necessary to include the office, operating, garage and shop divisions and even the selling division. Each division must know something of the work of the other divisions and how its work fits in with that of the general organization.
Equipment, mileage and revenue statistics applying to the fleet operated by the author's company are presented, the methods of maintenance are commented upon, and tabular statements of the cost of operation are analyzed. The company holds employe meetings which assist materially in securing cooperation. The author believes that the improvement in the condition of the equipment, together with the reduction in the cost per mile of operation, could not have been obtained in any other way than by inaugurating these organization meetings and activities.
Data and statistics accumulated and analyzed by the accounting division are the eyes through which the executives can see what a business is doing and what it can be made to do, asserts the author, who states that without a proper accounting system correctly planned and properly used an organization is operating blindly. For the fleet described, the final control of all expenditures is effected by the use of the budget system. For the determination of the proper allowance for shopwork, use is made of the statistics relating to service calls.
In conclusion the statement is made that, since in every operation it is impossible to go beyond a certain figure for maintenance cost and a certain figure for total cost, it is essential to keep these costs as low as possible; therefore the important thing is to concentrate on selling, because there is no such limitation to the extent to which revenue can be increased.