Heavy Duty Trucking Supplements

Telematics 2013

The Fleet Business Authority

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Panoramic Fleet Management ➤➤➤ ics to monitor and track trailer utilization, especially with regard to productive idle time versus non-productive idle time." Companies have used telematics devices for similar purposes but on different equipment. Some feets install units on lawn mowers for productivity (tracking whether the blade is up or down, and run time vs. idle time) and golf carts for theft and utilization. The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) even uses telematics devices on its dynamic messaging signs, according to Annette Dunn, Winter Operations Administrator, Iowa DOT. This helps prevent theft and verify that signs are located in the right place. Many companies also install asset trackers on booms, bulldozers and other expensive equipment for similar purposes. And if they're renting out assets they're not using at the time, they can track them and their length of use. ent, more aggressive schedule than is normally recommended. Others may not get as much usage and may be able to go for longer periods of time than would normally be recommended. But either way, I am able to make that determination because of telematics." For example, Foster uses telematics to properly time oil changes. On each asset he gets a reading from the vehicle's oil life indicator that tells him exactly what that vehicle's current oil life percentage may be. "This helps me decide whether it is time to bring that vehicle in for an oil change," he said. "With telematics, if a vehicle is in heavy use and needs an oil change sooner than what is recommended within the manufacturer's recommended time frame, we know it. And, if a vehicle doesn't need to be brought in, we know that too and are able to keep it on the road and on the job. That kind of knowledge is invaluable." Snowplows Telematics can help feet managers understand the productivity of their snowplows as well. When installed on the plow itself, telematics can show whether a street has been plowed yet and at what time. Telematics can also be used to show how much salt or sand has been spread, which streets were treated, when, and at what rate. This ability helps organizations track productivity as well as helps deliver better customer service to snowed-in customers, while also better managing resources. "Our snow plows use telematics for location and pertinent winter operations information to assist us in adjusting our practice on the fy and giving us data to assist us in resource and asset management," Dunn said. "We use the system to give us pertinent business information to assist us in short-term and long-term decisions for snow plow positioning and treatment of the roadway." Preventive Maintenance Proactive Repairs Telematics can also be used for engine diagnostics. For example, when a problem arises, the device sends an alert with the trouble code in real time. This helps feet managers repair problems before they become worse — or conversely, lets driv- sets and prevents costly repairs — so it's no wonder feets keep on top of it with regular maintenance schedules and vehicle maintenance histories. But what happens when a vehicle needs maintenance before the next scheduled service? Or if a vehicle isn't quite due for service yet and could stay on the road longer? Telematics offer deeper insight into these situations. ers know it's safe to fnish the job before bringing in the vehicle. "We use telematics to monitor vehicle diagnostics; it emails me and if there is a major problem, I can read out the codes and advise the driver to proceed or dispatch a tow truck if needed," said Danny Schepis, Vehicle Manager, Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center. "This constant monitoring also allows me to see drops in fuel mileage and advise either maintenance checks or driver adjustment." Timely Maintenance Tracking Customer Satisfaction Telematics can be used to monitor things like oil life, engine hours, and pre-set parameters and thresholds for usage. This helps feet managers pull vehicles in for maintenance at the right time, keeping vehicles productive and preventing roadside breakdowns. "With many of our vehicles, maintenance can be a challenge," Foster said. "Some of our vehicles are asked to do a lot and can often need preventive maintenance on a differ- With the ability to monitor vehicles and driver behavior, organizations can use telematics to boost driver safety, get drivers to the job faster, and ensure the job gets done. In the towing industry, this means stranded drivers fnd refuge faster when every minute counts. "The towing business is all about service," said Nick Schade, Director of Operations, Tony's Wrecker Service, Louisville, K.Y. "If we say we will be there in 20 minutes, we need to be there in 20 minutes. Tele- Preventive maintenance prolongs the life of vehicles and as- THE CONNECTED FLEET GUIDE 2013 17

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