Best Practices For Truck Fleet Maintenance Management
As wise fleet managers know, finding the right balance between vehicle maintenance costs, meeting operating needs, and improving profitability is no easy task. Fortunately, a solution has emerged in the form of data analytics and predictive fleet maintenance technology. By applying advanced algorithms to historical and real-time vehicle data, fleet managers can now take proactive measures to optimize maintenance schedules, lessening vehicle downtime, and extending the lifespan of assets. This has proven a valuable asset for effective truck fleet maintenance management and helped fleet managers strike the delicate balance required – between effective maintenance and operational efficiency – in an industry characterized by its rapid and dynamic evolution.
The Power of Data Analytics
Fleet managers are sitting on a goldmine of vehicle information, from potential powertrain malfunctions to battery health, fuel pressure, and beyond, but it’s crucial they can analyze and interpret this data quickly to optimize their operations. The sheer volume of gathered information can understandably be overwhelming, but modern predictive analytics platforms can funnel this information and provide actionable insights in real-time. Gone are the days of manually tracking information on cumbersome truck fleet maintenance spreadsheets.
One example of this is the use of diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) to pre-emptively identify potential vehicle breakdowns. With the use of predictive fleet maintenance analytics, DTCs can be remotely monitored and automatically prioritized. Fleet managers can opt to receive notification of major or critical fault codes while automatically clearing non-critical, infrequent DTCs. This not only saves valuable time and resources but reduces associated vehicle diagnostic and maintenance expenses.
Identifying Hidden Savings
The value of vehicle data and advanced analytics in truck fleet maintenance management lies in the ability to unlock hidden insights, correlations, and opportunities for cost savings through the processing of massive amounts of vehicle data. The latest technological advancements have given fleet managers the ability to easily analyze data and uncover future trends with just the click of a button. This streamlined approach to data analysis frees up time and resources, and supports better decision-making.
One approach to this is to identify and implement strategies that maximize truck fleet maintenance program efficiency. These best practices of truck fleet maintenance can range from pinpointing vehicles that require more frequent maintenance, to identifying the parts with the highest failure rates. A 2015 Roundtable estimated the average downtime cost to be between $448 and $760 per day, per vehicle. And if parts have to be backordered, those figures can add up fast.
Predictive maintenance analytics also gives fleet managers more precise visibility into vehicle component wear. With this level of visibility maintenance schedules can be tailored to real-world conditions, which helps prevent costly overmaintenance and unnecessary component replacement.
Implementing an Analytics-Based Maintenance Plan
To implement data analytics into an existing truck fleet maintenance plan, some universal best practices for truck fleet maintenance can help companies make the most of their data. These will allow any fleet manager to make data-driven decisions that improve fleet performance, leading to a more efficient analytics-based fleet maintenance plan:
- Define the scope: Start by defining the assets to be covered, the data sources to be used, and the specific maintenance goals to be achieved.
- Collect and analyze data: Collect relevant trucking fleet maintenance data (including vehicle historical data) from various sources such as vehicle sensors, equipment logs, truck fleet maintenance spreadsheets, existing truck fleet maintenance software, and maintenance records. These are applied to advanced analytics algorithms such as machine learning, predictive modeling, and statistical analysis to extract insights from the data.
- Develop maintenance strategies: Use the insights gained from data analysis to develop a maintenance strategy that prioritizes maintenance activities based on their impact on asset reliability and downtime reduction.
- Monitor maintenance activities: Monitor trucking fleet maintenance activities in real-time using IoT sensors, predictive maintenance analytics, and other monitoring tools to prioritize and carry out maintenance tasks.
- Track your truck fleet maintenance program performance: Continuously track the performance of assets to evaluate the effectiveness of the maintenance plan and identify opportunities for improvement.
- Identify root causes of failures: Use analytics to identify the root causes of equipment failures and develop strategies to address them proactively.
- Optimize maintenance schedules: Use predictive maintenance analytics to optimize maintenance schedules based on asset performance and usage patterns.
- Prioritize resources: Prioritize resources by focusing on critical assets that have the most significant impact on operations, safety, and downtime.
- Continuous improvement: Continuously refine and improve your analytics-based maintenance plan by refining maintenance strategies and leveraging the latest analytics tools and techniques.
Unlocking Cost-Savings With Pitstop
The emergence of data analytics and predictive fleet maintenance technology is revolutionizing the fleet industry by providing fleet managers with the tools they need to achieve a balance between effective maintenance and operational efficiency.
At Pitstop, we understand that data is a fleet manager’s most powerful tool. Our team of experts can help you integrate cutting-edge data analytics into your existing telematics solution to optimize your fleet’s performance. Don’t let the challenges of fleet maintenance hold you back – request a free demonstration here.