Fleet Maintenance - 31
» The computerization of commercial vehicles is
allowing fleets to monitor and manage assets remotely.
Photo courtesy of Volvo Trucks North America
omputerization is changing commercial
vehicles in ways many fleets never thought
possible. One of the emerging technologies
is remote diagnostics, which allows fleets to
analyze vehicle data from virtually anywhere
without having to physically touch the truck.
In a growing number of instances, a fleet can
even remotely fix the problem.
"The ultimate benefit of remote diagnostics
is that it allows a fleet to take an unplanned
vehicle failure and turn it into a planned
maintenance event," says Joe Edmonds, project manager - connected services for Navistar,
a holding company whose brands include
International trucks. "Many of the issues we
see are progressive and don't start out urgent.
If the problem can be addressed before it
becomes urgent, it keeps the vehicle on the
road and reduces expenses."
This is where remote programming is now
coming into play. As Edmonds explains, many
of the potential failures can be avoided by
correcting issues with a software update.
"OTA (over-the-air) updates will help avoid
issues altogether before a problem may occur,"
Where remote programming uses two-way
communication between a vehicle and remote
online interface to fix a problem, remote diagnostics use vehicle data to determine the cause
of a problem.
In the case of Volvo, for instance, a truck's
advanced telematics system collects data
through a device mounted on the truck and
delivers it to a central server at the Volvo
"Once delivered, Volvo's uptime specialists
determine maintenance needs and communicate their diagnosis directly to the customer,
presenting them with the information needed
to maintain efficiency in their operation and
avoid downtime," says Ash Makki, product
marketing manager at Volvo Trucks North
America, which offers a full range of medium
to heavy duty trucks.
In some instances, the remote diagnostic process allows data to be shared with
the fleet manager, technicians, or external
"A remote diagnostics system, using telematics technology, makes it easier to understand
different vehicle fault codes and prioritize
repairs by providing alerts," says Scott Sutarik,
vice president of commercial vehicle solutions at Geotab, a provider of GPS fleet tracking devices and fleet management software.
"These can be sent to technicians with different levels of severity, the fault description, and
recommendations for action. The technician
can then be prepared for what's wrong with the
vehicle and ensure that the right parts are in
stock, decreasing vehicle downtime."
In addition to the built-in data systems
on a truck, third parties are also developing telematics devices to monitor various
vehicle components. One example is ROI
(Road-Optimized Intelligence) technology
recently unveiled by Link Mfg., a developer and
manufacturer of suspension systems for
ROI uses sensors in the axle that provide
real-time feedback, allowing a vehicle to
continuously react to changing conditions.
There is also a remote diagnostics component.
Sensor data helps provide a picture of overall
system integrity, including early warning of
component problems such as low pressure in
airbags or issues with lift actuators.
"We have the capability to publish information on the vehicle CAN bus for use by any
number of third-party telematics solutions,"
says Tye Davis, senior engineer for Link Mfg.
"Parameters and settings will also be modifiable through a tablet or smartphone with a
As remote diagnostics
has evolved to include
more descriptive fault
codes and actionable alerts,
the benefit for fleets has
only become greater.
Bluetooth connection, or through the vehicle
Having the ability to work with all makes
and models of trucks is a big plus for a fleet.
Some third-party telematics systems, such as
Cojali's Jaltest ODF, connect to a truck's CAN
bus to read data. This helps alleviate the
challenges fleets face when operating trucks
with numerous brands of components and
"The core of our software is the same used
on our diagnostic equipment that has 20 years
of development under its belt," says Bruno
Gattamorta, vice president of diagnostic sales
for Cojali USA, a manufacturer of technology
and diagnostic tools for the commercial vehicle industry. "We follow the full integration
model from our diagnostic tools and scan all
the systems present. We then provide proprietary fault information and allow fleets to
analyze a vehicle as a complete system - all
in real time."
Adoption of remote diagnostics platforms is
still relatively low among fleets, though some
momentum has been gained over the last year.
Some truck manufacturers and telematics
providers expect momentum to continue as
fleets turn their attention to remote diagnostics after completing efforts to meet electronic
logging device (ELD) requirements.
"We believe a lot of fleets were introduced
to remote diagnostics before the technology
was ready to meet their needs, which left a bad
taste in their mouth by being overloaded with
data they couldn't manage or understand in a
lot of cases," says Dave Covington, chief technology officer for Noregon Systems, a provider
of commercial vehicle diagnostic, repair, and
data analytic solutions.
As remote diagnostics has evolved to
include more descriptive fault codes and
actionable alerts, the benefit for fleets has
only become greater.
"Simply put, remote diagnostics should
facilitate uptime in a glance," Covington says.
"Fleets should be able to rely on a single system
for all makes and models with built-in features
that help avoid breakdowns, such as the ability
to force a DPF [diesel particulate filter] regen or
view predictive maintenance alerts."
Remote programming is the next step beyond
remote diagnostics. Remote programming is
commonly referred to as OTA updating. Truck
manufacturers began introducing the technology a couple of years ago.
OTA updates fall into two general categories:
Ü Firmware (software) updates to things
like the powertrain, engine, or aftertreatment controllers
Ü Parameter adjustments to things like a road
speed limiter or idle shutdown
In the case of Volvo, OTA updates are
implemented using a telematics device that
comes standard on all Volvo trucks.
"In order for updates to be installed
December 2019 | VehicleServicePros.com
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fleet Maintenance
Uptime: Top Industry Trends in 2020 and Beyond
How Active Safety Systems Pave the Way to Vehicle Autonomy
Vehicles: Steps to Understand and Prevent Corrosion
In the Bay: Remote Vehicle Management Enters a New Phase
Shop Operations: How to Prevent, Contain, and Clean Up Shop Spills
Management: A Guide to World-Class Maintenance
Training: What is a Bistable Relay?
Reman, Rebuild, Replace: What's the Difference Between a Supplier and a Supply Partner?
Diagnostics: Four Steps of an Effective Maintenance Program
Fleet Parts & Components
Tools & Equipment
Guest Editorial: Trends in Asset Telematics
Fleet Maintenance - 1
Fleet Maintenance - 2
Fleet Maintenance - 3
Fleet Maintenance - 4
Fleet Maintenance - 5
Fleet Maintenance - 6
Fleet Maintenance - 7
Fleet Maintenance - Uptime: Top Industry Trends in 2020 and Beyond
Fleet Maintenance - 9
Fleet Maintenance - How Active Safety Systems Pave the Way to Vehicle Autonomy
Fleet Maintenance - 11
Fleet Maintenance - 12
Fleet Maintenance - 13
Fleet Maintenance - 14
Fleet Maintenance - 15
Fleet Maintenance - 16
Fleet Maintenance - 17
Fleet Maintenance - 18
Fleet Maintenance - 19
Fleet Maintenance - Vehicles: Steps to Understand and Prevent Corrosion
Fleet Maintenance - 21
Fleet Maintenance - 22
Fleet Maintenance - 23
Fleet Maintenance - 24
Fleet Maintenance - 25
Fleet Maintenance - 26
Fleet Maintenance - 27
Fleet Maintenance - 28
Fleet Maintenance - 29
Fleet Maintenance - In the Bay: Remote Vehicle Management Enters a New Phase
Fleet Maintenance - 31
Fleet Maintenance - 32
Fleet Maintenance - 33
Fleet Maintenance - 34
Fleet Maintenance - 35
Fleet Maintenance - Shop Operations: How to Prevent, Contain, and Clean Up Shop Spills
Fleet Maintenance - 37
Fleet Maintenance - 38
Fleet Maintenance - 39
Fleet Maintenance - 40
Fleet Maintenance - 41
Fleet Maintenance - Management: A Guide to World-Class Maintenance
Fleet Maintenance - 43
Fleet Maintenance - Training: What is a Bistable Relay?
Fleet Maintenance - 45
Fleet Maintenance - Reman, Rebuild, Replace: What's the Difference Between a Supplier and a Supply Partner?
Fleet Maintenance - 47
Fleet Maintenance - Diagnostics: Four Steps of an Effective Maintenance Program
Fleet Maintenance - 49
Fleet Maintenance - 50
Fleet Maintenance - 51
Fleet Maintenance - Fleet Parts & Components
Fleet Maintenance - 53
Fleet Maintenance - 54
Fleet Maintenance - 55
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Fleet Maintenance - 58
Fleet Maintenance - Tools & Equipment
Fleet Maintenance - 60
Fleet Maintenance - 61
Fleet Maintenance - 62
Fleet Maintenance - Classifieds
Fleet Maintenance - 64
Fleet Maintenance - 65
Fleet Maintenance - Guest Editorial: Trends in Asset Telematics
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