Industry News

The Importance of Proper Truck Diagnostics

Unplanned downtime can have significant implications for fleet operators and their customers who depend on timely deliveries. 

“Operators can be out thousands of dollars a day when they experience unplanned downtime. The impact on smaller operations can be even greater. They are less likely than larger fleets to have replacement vehicles on hand to make scheduled deliveries or work on a jobsite,” explained David Pardue, Mack Trucks vice president of connected vehicle and contract services.

Diagnostics are extremely valuable to the truck fleet operator to ensure that vehicles keep running. 

“It is not uncommon for a fleet to have support vehicles for carrying out daily operations. These vehicles may include cars and light trucks for general travel and light deliveries and medium-duty trucks used for maintenance and local haul purposes. These vehicles also need to be maintained and repaired. Without the capabilities to work on these vehicles in-house, the fleet will need to outsource this work,” said Kristy LaPage, business manager, Commercial Vehicle Group for Mitchell 1.

The average light- and/or medium-duty truck fleet is likely using their equipment to support the main aspects of their business. 

“Unlike some of the major large-scale heavy-duty trucking fleets which can have dedicated service, maintenance, and fleet managers, light- and/or medium-duty owners may not have the capacity to address every fault code, dash lamp, or driver statement about their vehicles,” said Aparna Venkatraman, director of digital product management for Cummins Inc.

Remote, telematics-based diagnostics solutions notifies fleets and equipment owners of prioritized fault codes and can recommend solutions to resolve the issue. 

“This communication helps customers filter out some of the noise and provides guided solutions to optimize equipment use and health,” Venkatraman added.

Vehicles are the backbone of the fleet. Without the ability to properly diagnose them, fleets are losing uptime. 

“This loss of uptime means a loss of productivity and profitability. When fleet vehicles aren’t operating at peak efficiency, the fleet has added costs in fuel and time (assuming that the vehicle is even running enough to function at all). With a proper and efficient diagnosis of an issue, the trucks can be back functioning and producing as expected,” said Tom Kraemer, account manager for Snap-on Business Solutions/NEXIQ Technologies.




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