Remote diagnostics keeping fleets on the road

Remote diagnostics, available from vehicle manufacturers and technology suppliers, are helping companies better manage truck maintenance. UPS has found the system reduced fleet downtime by identifying needed repairs and streamlining maintenance. Remote diagnostics services enable fleet managers to monitor engine fault codes and maintenance issues while the truck or van is on the road.

Ralph Gallagher, an automotive engineer, and manager at UPS Inc., credited the technology with reducing his company’s vehicle failure rate from one per 400 days of service to one per 1.000 days after implementing remote diagnostics in 80.000 vehicles in 2012. The data has helped the automotive management team prioritize maintenance activities and flag problems for immediate repairs. The detailed failure feedback has enabled build-specification improvements for components such as turbochargers, coolant tanks, and radiator pressure caps.

Making sense of the data collected by a vehicle can be challenging. Ralph Gallagher said to TTnews the company ensures it doesn’t become overwhelmed by vigilantly comparing its maintenance practices against road calls with an emphasis on the data it might have missed.

The future will bring machine-learning capabilities that can analyze fleet compositions, assess failure rates more accurately, and shift the focus from scheduled to predictive maintenance. Thus, the sensors will alert fleets to a looming problem before the part fails. However, truck manufacturers or lease companies might be reluctant to replace a component before it fails, and the data doesn’t show when that might happen.

Read the full article here.

Photo: Geotab


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