Managed IT service providers (MSPs) are responsible for the performance and uptime of the server room equipment in their standard service offerings. However, those same MSPs can face costly challenges when technicians or engineers need to make physical site visits. Known as “truck rolls,” these incidents sometimes involve pressing problems or emergencies. However, when equipment fails, MSPs roll trucks to diagnose the situation on site which could mean hours of travel time, investigations, and potential delays in mitigation due to not knowing ahead of time what the issues are.

Truck rolls are common in IT, and many MSPs perceive them as a necessary—if annoying—task. However, MSPs may not appreciate the true costs involved with truck rolls. In other cases, they may just consider the costs an essential part of doing business.

The reality is that MSPs can lean on modern technology to reduce the number of site visits they make each year. To understand the true value these tools offer, MSPs need to consider the truth about the direct and hidden costs of truck rolls.

server room monitoring

Direct Costs of Truck Rolls

Whether they’re conducted for routine server room monitoring or part of a more pressing service call, truck rolls can prove costly. Let’s unpack how personnel, vehicle expenses, fuel, and insurance directly drive up the costs of these service deployments:


Personnel costs derive primarily from the wages paid to site technicians or engineers. Capable IT professionals are well-paid; thus, when MSPs deploy them to make routine visits to IT closets or IDF and MDF rooms, their labor costs soar. These costs rise even higher after factoring in overtime, bonuses, and other forms of additional compensation.

Technicians must also spend time preparing for the visit and documenting their activities after wrapping up. Add in the time spent traveling to and from the site, and you’re looking at hundreds of dollars per deployment in labor costs alone.

Vehicle Expenses

The vehicles used in server room monitoring visits add to MSPs’ expense burdens. Beyond the initial outlay involved in buying or leasing a vehicle, MSPs also shoulder the costs involved in:

  • Ongoing vehicle depreciation
  • Maintenance and repair
  • Vehicle modifications and/or specialized equipment required for IT site visits

Fuel Costs

Fuel costs depend on many factors, including the distance traveled and the vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Gas prices also fluctuate—but have been following a sharp upward curve in the post-pandemic landscape. Electric vehicles (EVs) offer an alternative, but they’re expensive and come with their own set of considerations with respect to the availability of charging infrastructure.

Longer-distance truck rolls result in higher fuel costs; MSPs are often left with an unfavorable cost profile when technicians make extended trips to conduct routine server room monitoring. Strategies including careful route planning and traveling at off-peak times can help mitigate some of these costs—but they nonetheless remain high in most cases.


For truck rolls, MSPs generally insure both their vehicles and their personnel. Vehicle insurance is a mandatory cost that cannot be avoided; personnel insurance may be optional depending on local labor laws, but carrying it will further elevate your costs.

Hidden Costs of Truck Rolls in Server Room Monitoring

Beyond the direct costs of truck rolls, IT service providers and MSPs also face hidden expenses. Some major examples can include “no fault found” deployments, opportunity costs, effects on customer relationships, and environmental impacts.

“No Fault Found” Deployments

A “no fault found” deployment occurs when technicians are sent to a site, only to find no actual issue to address. In addition to wasting both time and money, “no fault found” deployments can frustrate personnel. If such situations occur regularly, employee morale may suffer.

Opportunity Costs

Every truck roll prevents participating personnel from engaging in more immediately productive tasks. Opportunity costs also extend to team members who carry out the administrative duties involved with planning and scheduling deployments.

These costs elevate when IT service providers and MSPs must take key team members off important projects to conduct a truck roll. The resultant productivity losses can dramatically impact revenue by disrupting the project’s efficiency and forward momentum.

Effects on Customer Relationships

Clients have certain expectations that MSPs should know what’s going on their IT rooms 24/7. They should never have to ask an MSP, “Why did you not know?” when there is a temperature, humidity, or human-caused error in these rooms.

MSPs need the tools to be able to proactively anticipate and mitigate threats to the physical equipment that could disrupt a client’s business. If the MSP simply relies on reacting to IT situations in these server rooms, not only will it cost the MSP time and money to address the issue, but it will erode the trust that a client has in the MSP’s ability to protect their business from disruption. If a client lacks trust, they will see alternatives, and MSPs can not afford to lose clients.

Environmental Impacts

Consumers increasingly favor businesses that take clear steps to reduce the environmental impact of their activities. Frequent truck rolls elevate a service provider’s carbon footprint, inhibiting their efforts to embrace sustainability. In some cases, it can also interfere with regulatory compliance needs.

Using eco-friendly vehicles can help—but cutting down on the number of truck rolls offers a better and more effective solution to cost-related issues.

Server room monitoring

Implementing IoT Tech: Wire-Free Server Room Monitoring to Reduce Truck Rolls

Innovative tech tools offer MSPs effective new ways to reduce costs associated with server room monitoring. IT service providers can acquire cost-effective, easy-to-use remote monitoring technologies that track environmental conditions in real-time.

Some key capabilities of these tools should include:

  • Critical asset visibility to collect and report key performance data points in real-time
  • Thermal monitoring, including precise tracking and reporting of hotspots and temperature fluctuations
  • Failure tolerance functions that can activate backup electricity supplies in the event of unexpected power outages
  • Managed alerts that deliver instant reports on any and all unusual issues occurring in network closets and server rooms

Paired with remote visual support, these server room monitoring capabilities can dramatically cut down on-site visit frequency. The resultant savings can cover the initial cost of monitoring devices many times over, ultimately generating a positive return on investment.

Reduce Truck Rolls: Sentry by RF Code Facilitates Real-Time Server Room Monitoring

Truck rolls carry additional costs—which have the potential to negatively impact an MSP’s bottom line—once you factor in the hidden expenses as well. Frequent, unnecessary truck rolls can also cause clients to lose trust in service providers, potentially resulting in loss of business.

Sentry equips IT service providers and MSPs with powerful automated tools for meeting their server room monitoring needs remotely. The cloud-powered device and software platform delivers deep and visualized server room performance data insights in real-time. Sentry also provides complete intelligence on performance issues, empowering MSPs to deploy the correct resources to remediate problems and functionally eliminate costly “no fault found” deployments.

To learn more about Sentry and its incredible cost-cutting benefits, sign up today for a free product demo.