Fleet Maintenance - 12
Starting with the 1996 model year, all passenger vehicles were required to use OBD-II, which
specifies the 16-pin connector defined by the SAE
J1962 standard that is still required on all passenger vehicles today.
The OBD connection for heavy duty commercial
vehicles has gone through a similar, though somewhat more complicated, evolution. It was an OEM
free-for-all when it came to connectors in pre-1996
trucks. Starting with the 1996 model year, SAE
J1939, the round, 6-pin Deutsch connector, became
standard. In 2001, many OEMs started using the
9-pin J1939 connector, though some continued to
use the 6-pin. Since 2010, heavy duty trucks are
allowed to use either J1939 (round) connectors or
J1962 (passenger car) connectors, though most
continue to use the former.
Despite the changes and variances in connection ports, having a standardized way to plug in
was a significant advancement when it comes to
accessing a vehicle's onboard data. It has allowed
fleets to more efficiently diagnose and correct
vehicle issues, which became especially important
with the enhanced emissions requirements - and
consequently more complex vehicle systems - of
the past decade.
» The SAE J1962 standard specifies this
16-pin OBD-II diagnostic port, found in all
passenger vehicles since the 1996 model year.
Cutting the cord
The next logical step in accessing vehicle data, and
the most recent advancement, is to go the way of
most modern technologies: wireless. While basic
global positioning system (GPS) tracking has been
available to fleets since the early 2000s, remote
access to more comprehensive vehicle data is a
more recent innovation.
Hans Molin, director of driver-assist and automated driving for Bendix Commercial Vehicle
Systems, says the way he sees it, there are three
categories of vehicle connectivity: fleet management, safety monitoring, and remote diagnostics.
Bendix develops active safety technologies,
energy management solutions, and air brake
charging and control systems and components
for medium duty and heavy duty trucks, tractors,
trailers, buses, and other commercial vehicles
throughout North America.
Breaking it down into those three categories -
fleet management, safety monitoring, and remote
diagnostics - there are different sensors and technologies used to gather each type of information
and send it back to the fleet's data center and
different purposes for the data itself. The actual
connection - how the data is sent from the truck
to the fleet - uses either satellite (GPS) or mobile
broadband, the same cellular connection smartphones use. The data is typically sent from the
vehicle to cloud storage, where it is maintained
(and sometimes processed) and made available
to the fleet.
"Fleet managers can improve asset utilization
by keeping track of vehicles with GPS tracking
and geofencing capability," says Beth Leverton,
global consumer marketing manager and account
product owner for Ford Commercial Services.
"Additionally, monitoring the fuel consumption
of all vehicles identifies areas of waste and their
cause, which allows fleet managers to optimize
Ford Commercial Services is a branch of Ford
Motor Co. that provides telematics and data tools
Having this information available can help
fleet dispatchers decide which vehicles should be
deployed on what routes, and when, for optimal
"Fleet management software leveraging telematics and GPS tracking communicates back to a
central fleet manager's platform, including information about road conditions and vehicle utilization for the manager to make dispatch decisions,"
says Kevin Aries, global product management and
product success lead at Verizon Connect, a fleet
management software and solutions provider.
» Model year 1996 and newer heavy
duty vehicles use either a 6-pin or 9-pin
(pictured) J1939 diagnostic port.
Photo courtesy of Keene Creek Express LLC
GPS receivers can also be attached to trailers,
but since trailers do not typically generate their
own power when disconnected from a tractor,
a power source such as a battery or solar array
Each fleet can collect different data points from
vehicles based on their needs. Most fleets, for
instance, want to keep tabs on each asset's location. This can be useful for tracking a shipment
to see if it will arrive at its destination on time,
knowing what vehicles will be available when,
seeing how many trailers are currently parked
(and where), routing vehicles around inclement
weather, and even tracking fuel economy or idle
time on certain routes.
When it comes to safety monitoring, the necessary equipment depends on the safety aspects
actually being monitored. GPS can be used to
track vehicle speed; cameras can be used to track
driver attentiveness, driving behavior, and exterior conditions such as weather, animals, pedestrians, and other vehicles; lane departure sensors
can detect erratic driving.
It is important for fleets to ensure drivers
consistently engage in safe driving practices,
and connected vehicle technologies can help
"If you have a connected vehicle but add a device
like a dashcam, that will enhance the data and
experience," says Brendan Keegan, CEO of national
fleet management company Merchants Fleet.
Dash cameras can be used facing inside the
vehicle to monitor driver behavior, outside the
vehicle to monitor exterior conditions or both. This
can help fleets reinforce positive driving habits
and encourage drivers to improve negative ones.
Other vehicle systems can report more detailed
driver behavior data such as acceleration and
braking, notes Jason Krajewski, director, truck
connectivity for Detroit Connect, the telematics
Tracking a fleet's asset locations is accomplished
through the use of GPS receivers connected to trailers and/or vehicles. Most newer vehicles have some
sort of GPS sensor built-in from the factory, and
with the recently enforced electronic logging device
(ELD) mandate, virtually all heavy duty vehicles,
new or old, now use some form of GPS sensor.
12 Fleet Maintenance | October 2019
» Integrated telematics modem technology is available across Ford's entire
lineup of commercial vehicles starting with the 2020 model year.
Photo Courtesy of Ford Motor Company
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fleet Maintenance
Uptime: Are all systems secure?
Cover Story: Connecting to the future
Vehicles: Engine trends impacting performance and fuel efficiency
In the Bay: Understanding tire pressure monitoring and management systems
Shop Operations: How fleets can benefit from RCM
Management: Are you a good global citizen?
Economic Outlook: WDTKAWDTKI?
Powertrain: What are fault code action plans, and how can they help improve the vehicle diagnostic process?
Braking & Collision Avoidance: How will electric vehicles impact commercial truck braking systems?
Fleet Parts & Components
Tools & Equipment
Guest Editorial: Differences servicing air disc brakes versus drum brakes
Fleet Maintenance - 1
Fleet Maintenance - 2
Fleet Maintenance - 3
Fleet Maintenance - 4
Fleet Maintenance - 5
Fleet Maintenance - 6
Fleet Maintenance - 7
Fleet Maintenance - Uptime: Are all systems secure?
Fleet Maintenance - 9
Fleet Maintenance - Cover Story: Connecting to the future
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: Engine trends impacting performance and fuel efficiency
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 - 30
Fleet Maintenance - 31
Fleet Maintenance - 32
Fleet Maintenance - 33
Fleet Maintenance - In the Bay: Understanding tire pressure monitoring and management systems
Fleet Maintenance - 35
Fleet Maintenance - 36
Fleet Maintenance - 37
Fleet Maintenance - 38
Fleet Maintenance - 39
Fleet Maintenance - 40
Fleet Maintenance - 41
Fleet Maintenance - 42
Fleet Maintenance - 43
Fleet Maintenance - Shop Operations: How fleets can benefit from RCM
Fleet Maintenance - 45
Fleet Maintenance - 46
Fleet Maintenance - 47
Fleet Maintenance - 48
Fleet Maintenance - 49
Fleet Maintenance - Management: Are you a good global citizen?
Fleet Maintenance - Economic Outlook: WDTKAWDTKI?
Fleet Maintenance - Powertrain: What are fault code action plans, and how can they help improve the vehicle diagnostic process?
Fleet Maintenance - 53
Fleet Maintenance - Braking & Collision Avoidance: How will electric vehicles impact commercial truck braking systems?
Fleet Maintenance - 55
Fleet Maintenance - Fleet Parts & Components
Fleet Maintenance - 57
Fleet Maintenance - 58
Fleet Maintenance - 59
Fleet Maintenance - 60
Fleet Maintenance - 61
Fleet Maintenance - Tools & Equipment
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Fleet Maintenance - Classifieds
Fleet Maintenance - Guest Editorial: Differences servicing air disc brakes versus drum brakes
Fleet Maintenance - 75
Fleet Maintenance - 76
Fleet Maintenance - I1
Fleet Maintenance - I2
Fleet Maintenance - S1
Fleet Maintenance - S2
Fleet Maintenance - S3
Fleet Maintenance - S4
Fleet Maintenance - S5
Fleet Maintenance - S6
Fleet Maintenance - S7
Fleet Maintenance - S8
Fleet Maintenance - S9
Fleet Maintenance - S10
Fleet Maintenance - S11
Fleet Maintenance - S12
Fleet Maintenance - S13
Fleet Maintenance - S14
Fleet Maintenance - S15
Fleet Maintenance - S16
Fleet Maintenance - S17
Fleet Maintenance - S18
Fleet Maintenance - S19
Fleet Maintenance - S20