Fleet Maintenance - 8


Top trends in 2020 and beyond
What got us here, and where are we going next?

By Erica


Our industry is not slowing down. Technology
continues to advance the capabilities, functionality, and safety of trucks on the road today.
As we roll into a new decade next month, I've
found it's been helpful to reflect on the past to
understand what got us where we are today,
and to better understand where our industry
may be headed. As it relates to future technologies, I hear three topics repeatedly mentioned:
connectivity, automation, and electromobility.
We've heard about the bigger picture for
some time - fully autonomous, all-electric
trucks having the ability to communicate with
other vehicles and the surrounding infrastructure are a possibility in the not-too-distant
future. But, how does that more directly relate
to you and your day-to-day operations?
Maintenance is just one piece of the interconnected web that is the commercial vehicle industry. Proper maintenance and service drives
vehicle uptime. When I'm talking to industry
colleagues, I explain the importance of knowing
about all of the web's working parts, and stress
that understanding the sum of these parts helps
to better recognize the impact other industry
changes may have on maintenance operations.
So, let's dive in and discuss how these industry
trends have started and will continue to influence
commercial vehicle service and maintenance.

Big data and connectivity

With the advent of digital and cloud-based storage, fleets have been able to collect so much
information from vehicle and operational
systems - it can seem overwhelming.
Virtually anything can be considered
data - it could be vehicle speed, interval of a
service, or a part number. All of those pieces
of information separately won't help a fleet
accomplish anything.
It's been the shift to utilizing this data that has
driven more drastic change. Advancements in
the collection, assessment, and presentation
of this information in order to best utilize and
provide direction on decision-making for the
business have driven operational improvements.
Companies continue to find new methods
and areas from which to collect data, too. For
instance, when it comes to data from vehicle
assets, until relatively recently the tractor had
been the primary focus. A more recent trend
has been the development of "smart" trailers.
Trailer technology has evolved to where sensors
collect numerous data points to help monitor
items such as tire pressure and status, asset location, cameras to monitor payload in trailers, etc.
How will data and connectivity continue to
affect vehicle maintenance? Progress to better
optimized vehicle service will continue through:

8 Fleet Maintenance | December 2019

Predictive maintenance and benchmarking
The model of "service-before-failure" has been
more widely adopted with the advent of the data
collected being turned into usable information.
Tracking and comparing data on unplanned
breakdowns can help improve an entire maintenance operation and lower maintenance costs.
Benchmarking, a process used to monitor
and compare the performance of a process
or system, is a method that requires the use
of accurate and thorough data sets in a standardized format in order to create actionable
items. It provides fleets a means to set a standard and measure the operation's failure or
success against that standard.
Remote diagnostics and programming
In the world of telematics and connected
vehicles, the ability to remotely diagnose and
program a vehicle will have a profound impact
on vehicle uptime. I hate using the term "game
changer," but ... here we are, and remote vehicle
management will be just that.
This means a fleet can receive notifications
on a potential vehicle issue, sometimes before
the driver is even aware, and proactively
communicate with the driver and schedule
service at the nearest service location - the bay
open and parts ready when the truck arrives.
Read more details on this topic in this month's
feature, "Remote vehicle management enters a
new phase," on page 30.
Improved parts distribution
Data collection and connectivity will continue to push for more breadth and less depth of
coverage for stocking replacement parts. That's
because in the world of Amazon and expedited
shipping, more overnight and same-day parts
deliveries will become the norm. Trends in
online parts ordering will continue as ecommerce platforms become more functional with
real-time inventory updates and integration to
fleet management and maintenance systems.
All of these changes will lead to a shift where
predictive parts ordering will allow a fleet to
automatically receive parts as needed for the
anticipated service of trucks entering the shop.


When it comes to a monumental shift in a relatively short amount of time, no vehicle system
specification change in recent memory has been
so accelerated as the adoption of automated
manual transmissions (AMTs).
According to Mike Roeth, executive director for NACFE, AMTs have seen an enormous
increase in adoption rates - from approximately 10 percent in 2013 to more than 90 percent

in 2018. He suggests there are a few reasons
fleets have continued to gravitate toward
AMTs: it has helped attract and retain drivers,
has provided fuel savings, and has helped to
improve maintenance costs and residual value.
As it relates to automation, active safety
systems continue to improve vehicle safety while
assisting as the driving force behind the development of autonomous vehicles. Coupled with data
collected from the vehicle and the ability for software development to utilize artificial intelligence
through machine learning and other predictive
measures, we'll continue to see advancements
here. For more, check out this month's cover story
on page 10, "How active safety systems pave the
way to vehicle autonomy."


When you hear "electrification" you probably
first think about a fully-electric truck. That's
certainly being discussed in the industry today,
but there are incremental changes to individual electric component and system designs that
will help lead the way, and will more directly
impact maintenance sooner than later.
There are certain use cases where fully electric trucks can and will work. We've seen that
for buses and terminal or port operations, with
dedicated routes and stop-and-go traffic where
regenerative braking can extend battery life
and save brakes. With the exception of these
specific applications, diesel engines will continue to be the primary method of powering
commercial vehicles for the foreseeable future.
That hasn't stopped power management
suppliers like Eaton and Dana from continuing
to push development on electrified components
such as 48V systems and eAxles, respectively.
Some of these systems will help supplement
traditional powertrains to not only improve
fuel economy, but to reduce wear and tear on
vehicles and their components, and to plan for
the possibility of more extensive electrification
system adoption.

What's next?

While many of the trends above have been
covered in the pages of Fleet Maintenance,
we've only scratched the surface. That's not to
mention items such as challenges with staffing shortages from drivers to technicians,
or improvements to engine efficiency and
performance to meet ever-stringent federal
emissions regulations.
We'll continue to cover these and other critical topics throughout 2020 and beyond, as we
evaluate and share how changes to vehicles
and operations will impact your business.

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Fleet Maintenance

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
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Fleet Maintenance - Tools & Equipment
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Fleet Maintenance - Classifieds
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Fleet Maintenance - Guest Editorial: Trends in Asset Telematics
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