How to Harness the Power of Vehicle Telematics

Using vehicle telematics systems for greater efficiency in maintenance management


“The ability to predict issues before they occur is priceless in our business,” says Jeremy Ayres, director of sales at DeCarolis Truck Rental. “Being able to avoid a breakdown or to even have a better chance of reducing the risk of an accident before it occurs allows us to confidently offer reliable, safe and high-quality assets for our customers so that their drivers, their loads and our trucks get to each destination on time and as safely as possible.”

REMOTE DIAGNOSTICS

An integral element of FleetKnowSys is its remote vehicle diagnostic system which provides fleets the ability to practice preventive and predictive maintenance to ensure truck efficiency and driver safety.

“This system tracks, records, analyzes and notifies, all in real-time, when maintenance is needed based on severity level,” David Chauncey, chief executive officer of Vnomics, says. “It also provides information on possible system malfunctions before they occur.”

This is done by monitoring, in real-time, how the truck is being operated and the resulting stress on the engine and system components. By doing so, FleetKnowSys is able to analyze and “predict” part end-of-life conditions so that service personnel can proactively schedule maintenance when necessary to avoid future truck performance issues.

When an on-the-road maintenance issue occurs, FleetKnowSys’ sensors, including those on the truck data busses, immediately detect anomalies within the truck’s systems and send out an alert to the designated fleet/maintenance personnel. They receive a detailed description of the problem, including a probable root cause, along with suggested corrective actions.

They can then determine if they should notify other stakeholders within the organization of the situation or simply keep watch of it to ensure the issue doesn’t become critical.

All information is stored within FleetKnowSys for future reference, observes Chauncey. Reports can be pulled in a variety of ways depending on what specific information is needed.

HEALTH MANAGEMENT

FleetKnowSys manages a vehicle’s “health” through its ability to monitor and report on thousands of measured parameters relating to the mechanical operating condition on the truck, Vnomics’ McCarthy says. This includes:

  • Operating parameters, such as speed, fuel economy, temperatures, pressures, etc.
  • Engine parameters, including oil system, cooling system, fuel system, etc.
  • Electrical system, including battery, alternator, lights, etc.
  • Drivetrain, including transmission, transfer case differential, traction control, etc.
  • Others things, including brake system, air system, hydraulics, emission systems, etc.

All alert codes reflect the following information:

  • Vehicle number.
  • Driver name and contact information.
  • GPS locations of where the alert occurred.
  • Truck make, model and age.
  • Last occurrence.
  • Alert Code number, with a description of the issue, recommendations on how to manage it and possible causes.
  • Duration of time the maintenance code/alert has been active.

Because FleetKnowSys tells fleets/maintainers what it thinks has caused the issue and recommends corrective actions to ensure the best possible outcome, they “have more time to better manage maintenance occurrences and notify the driver on how to handle the situation to minimize expenses and impacts to schedule and safety,” says McCarthy.

BETTER PLANNING

Additionally, if a truck was to breakdown or needed to pull over to avoid serious damage, the system’s Maintenance Manager knows exactly what the issue is and can send the appropriate technician with the right skill set, along with the needed tools and parts out to repair site. “This dramatically saves time and cost relating to the use of roadside technicians and truck servicing,” says Chauncey of Vnomics.

This level of proactive service has resulted in a reduction in the time a truck is off the road, which reassures drivers that their delivery schedules will not be compromised, DeCarolis Truck Rental Ayres.

Knowing if there is a potential truck-performance problem before it becomes a major issue allows the company to save on costly out-of-warranty repairs because it can proactively schedule maintenance during the warranty period.

Another benefit of using Vnomics’ Intelligent Telematics software is that DeCarolis Truck Rental’s customers can now efficiently track driver/truck location, save on fuel by managing driver behavior more effectively and meet all hours of service requirements, notes Ayres.

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