There has been increased interest in the improved operational efficiency and productivity realized from implementing vehicle telematics. Telematics, fundamentally, is the blending of computers and wireless telecommunications technologies, with the goal of efficiently conveying information over vast networks to improve business functions and services.
Initially, vehicle telematics revolved around using global positioning satellite (GPS) tracking to monitor, in real-time, the location and activity of vehicles, as well as driving behavior. Combined with fleet management technology, fleets had information that could be used to reduce operational costs and improve customer service.
Over time, vehicle telematics and fleet management technology evolved to be able to provide real-time vehicles diagnostics, allowing fleet service professionals to address vehicle issues proactively.
Telematics systems can track and wirelessly report how a particular vehicle is being operated and how that affects its “health.” These systems also report vehicle fault codes that indicate repair needs and event codes that could indicate operator abuse. This information can then be used to adjust appropriately the vehicle’s preventive maintenance schedule. These systems also report vehicle fault codes that indicate repair needs and event codes that could indicate operator abuse.
DeCarolis Truck Rental of Rochester, NY, needed to improve visibility into the maintenance side of its business. The company provides transportation resources and solutions to more than 1,000 customers from various industries across Western and Central New York.
The main objective was to improve the way maintenance was managed in order to find areas of operational cost savings and regular maintenance efficiencies, says Ken Anderson, director of operations, at DeCarolis Truck Rental. The company also wanted to know what was happening with its trucks when customers leased or rented them.
Furthermore, it wanted to track general wear and tear, avoid breakdowns, improve maintenance schedules and ensure the drivers were operating its trucks responsibly and safely.
In researching options to meet these business objectives, DeCarolis Truck Rental decided to go with FleetKnowSys from Vnomics, a leading provider of Intelligent Telematics software for the commercial trucking and government vehicle sectors. The hardware for FleetKnowSys was installed onto its trucks.
“FleetKnowSys operates by intelligently knowing what information to use and how to deliver decision-supporting recommendations instantly, clearly and effectively at the most opportune time,” explains Ed McCarthy, vice president of engineering at Vnomics.“This helps to maximize returns relating to significantly reducing fuel consumption; ensuring truck and driver safety; effectively minimizing unnecessary truck wear and tear; minimizing downtime with instantaneous reporting of diagnostic trouble codes; and staying in compliance.
“FleetKnowSys identifies every opportunity to reduce operating costs in real time,” he says.
“Having FleetKnowSys in place has given us the crucial visibility we need to know for what is happening with our assets at all times,” DeCarolis Truck Rental’s Anderson says.
“Having the ability to monitor truck performance and driver behavior in real-time has been invaluable for reducing our maintenance expenses and our risk and liability exposure, and we have an overall understanding of how our assets are being used.”
FleetKnowSys has also enabled the company’s customers to reduce fuel consumption, thus increasing their fuel savings - “all in real-time when the opportunity to save is optimized,” he notes.
With the Vnomics Intelligent Telematics software, DeCarolis Truck Rental can track numerous subsystem components and be alerted, via trouble codes, when a component either has an urgent issue that needs immediate attention or has indications of a future problem that can wait until the next servicing date or a stop at a maintenance facility for evaluation.
Embedded electronics offer opportunities to improve work truck design and management
As technology improves and prices drop, fleets now have plenty of providers and options to choose from