As a fleet service manager, your job demands it. You need to know what trucks are heading your way, what faults are active, what bays you have open and what technicians you have available so that you can act. Basically, you have to ask yourself the question posed by Mark Curri, senior vice president, uptime and customer support with Volvo Trucks North America:
“For any given truck at any given moment: is this something I want to tackle myself?”
Mark sits in a glass-walled conference room in the middle of the Volvo Trucks Uptime Center, a 123,000-sq.-ft. support call center that brings together remote diagnostics data, crucial departments such as engineering and warranty services and an engaged staff that is available 24/7. In fact, they’ll reach out to you when they see a problem with your truck before you even know about it.
Connected service support solutions are growing rapidly–be it built-in OEM solutions like Volvo ASIST, Trimble’s TMT Fleet Management platform integrated with Decisiv’s service network, or your own custom service software that links your service partners. But remember, even in today’s technology-laden world, you still need people. The right people.
“There’s always a person,” Curri says. “Trucks are always trying to tell us something; are we smart enough to figure out what it is? I’m sure 20 years ago, or 30 years ago, we all could have recited what the top problems are that trucks were having. Now, we take that and multiply it by the amount of downtime it causes. That’s really what fleets care about. They don’t want it to happen frequently, but if it happens frequently, then they want us to be really good at getting the truck back in service.
“And we’re not just looking at the fault frequency. We’re looking at how we can speed up the diagnosis, the repair, everything down to the parts’ availability for those problems.”
OEMs like Volvo Trucks are continually updating their fault code scoring systems (green, yellow, red) and diving into the reasons for the fault codes. OEMs and service providers are working on overcoming the same challenges that you are because they’re your challenges. The more data you each have can make it easier, but communicating that information is the key to finding the solutions of tomorrow.
While you can have all the truck data in the world, it’s not going to make the decision for you. There’s still a person. Data informs you sooner so that you can make the decision to tackle an aftertreatment service issue before the truck rolls into the bay, but the question remains the same.
And now it’s time to act.