Reed cited the example of a slightly overheated condition that will generate one code, while a more severe condition will generate another. “If it’s a slightly overheated condition, say 230˚, you might assign that code a lower priority than one that indicates a temperature of 290˚. That would be another code and a higher priority,” he explained.
Similarly, a high fuel pressure alert might be less urgent than a low fuel pressure alert. “If I lose my pressure, the engine’s not going to run,” Reed noted. If a high-priority fault is critical, the fleet can contact the driver through its mobile communications provider. Otherwise, they can send a text or call the driver.
“The message could be, ‘Hey, you might not realize this but six of your eight ABS brakes have failed and you need to stop now. You’re in a dangerous situation,’” Reed said.
Users can assign their own words to any given code, he noted. “Fleet managers and techs will respond more quickly to an alert that uses the word ‘urgent,’ for example.”
Reed said wireless, real-time integration of onboard diagnostics and maintenance software can make it easier to deal with failures on the road. “Say a moving truck generates the low fuel pressure alert. The alert is received and immediately posted to the fleet manager’s screen,” Reed said.
The on-board provider’s GPS will show the location of the unit and a nearby vendor can be selected for a repair, he continued. Depending on the maintenance application, a repair description and authorization can be sent to the vendor and the driver can be directed to the vendor’s location.
“In Dossier, the fleet manager will immediately see that truck’s maintenance history and can generate a repair order with a mouse click. If the vendor creates the repair order, it can be imported into Dossier so that manual data entry is unnecessary,” he said.
Wireless communication and software integration save time, eliminating steps and opportunities for error.
Beyond partnership integrations like Dossier with Networkfleet, some maintenance management applications can communicate with onboard systems through application programming interface (APIs), software modules that enable disparate systems to exchange information with a minimum of programming effort. “That means you can link virtually any onboard diagnostic system with any maintenance software provider that, like Dossier, offers an API,” Reed added.