Predictive Maintenance Can Reduce Unscheduled Downtime

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As a truck or fleet owner you well know the cost of unscheduled downtime from a breakdown. It involves costly on route repairs and/or tow fees, a disgruntled paid by the mile driver not earning wages, lost revenue from an out of commission vehicle, unhappy shippers and receivers which can cause customers to leave you, and overall tarnish to your shop’s reputation by failing to provide good service. Preventive maintenance doesn’t catch all potential failures that lead to downtime.

Predictive truck fault technology has the ability to recognize vehicle faults using truck data and can predict the likelihood of a fault to become a failure. Data and algorithms can now predict a range of mileage in which the fault may fail.

Sensors Collect Your Truck Data

Sensors provide truck data in real time to monitor faults and predict the possibility of a coming failure of equipment. It’s then up to the fleet owner or manager to take action to repair the vehicle in order to prevent the failure and subsequent downtime. The cost savings from using such technology go straight to the fleet’s bottom line and can really save a fleet’s good reputation with shippers and receivers by providing on–time pickups and deliveries. 

Predictive maintenance may be difficult to understand given that truck owners have always used historical mileage or time limits to govern scheduling many maintenance and repair issues. Replacing a part that has not reached its traditional life expectancy may seem counterintuitive. But consider that every truck’s severity of service is different and every truck driver is different so we can no longer go by life expectancy of parts.

When you think about these truck and driver differences, good habits of some drivers and trucks with less severe work will likely have parts that exceed historical life expectancies. Even oil changes on some trucks may be less frequent, which will be evident with the use of predictive maintenance. Overall, the fleets using predictive technology should win out in the long haul.

Eliminate Reactive Maintenance and Repairs

Predictive maintenance is a far cry from reactive maintenance. Being proactive is always less costly than reactive maintenance which comes with expensive downtime. Vehicle inspections are always triggered when a fault is present.

Sometimes faults are recognized as conditions that will allow a truck to work just fine without immediate repair. You will know when this is the case based on historical repair and maintenance data for each truck. So, when it happens you know you are okay to send the truck on a run. But that’s not always the case. Some faults need attention as soon as possible. Predictive maintenance will alert you to a need for service or repair of the faulty part.

Proactive Repairs

Proactive resolution of possible failures in trucks makes your vehicles more efficient and maximizes uptime while reducing operational costs.

It’s important to know that predictive maintenance based on algorithms, machine learning and data feeds is still in its infancy. Still for fleets opting for predictive maintenance the future looks very promising even though it is new technology. More updates will come soon as technology is ever changing and improving.

The Next Step for Fleets

So for now fleet owners and managers soon you will be faced with a choice: continue to rely on traditional life expectancies to schedule maintenance and service that surely will continue to come with breakdowns and unscheduled downtime, or pick predictive maintenance and reduce costly downtime with fewer breakdowns and increased efficiency that leads to higher levels of prosperity.

There is no sitting on the fence with this, no flipping a coin. The stakes are too high. You must do your due diligence on predictive maintenance and get ready to make a choice. Fortunately science and BrightOrder Inc. are both working on the side of truck owners.