Choosing the best diagnostic tools for fleet maintenance

Choosing the best diagnostic tools for fleet maintenance

When it comes to your fleet’s maintenance program, choosing the best diagnostic tools for the job can make all the difference.

“Noregon offers tools and services that utilize vehicle data to optimize the diagnosis and repair process to increase uptime for the end customer,” notes Shane Gilliam, vice president of sales for Noregon. “Our flagship products are JPRO Professional, which is used to holistically diagnose and repair all makes, models and components, and TripVision, a real-time vehicle health and safety monitoring application available from major telematics providers. We also provide data analytics services for fleets to better understand events affecting fuel efficiency, driver behavior, maintenance issues and more.“

Gilliam added that major fleets can take advantage of Noregon’s Diagnostic Tool Management (DTM) service to manage and maintain all aspects of their service bay diagnostic tools.
To complement the software Noregon develops, the company also provides the necessary hardware for diagnosing and repairing all heavy-duty makes and models.

“Selling service kits to fit any need or budget, customers can purchase all cables and Noregon’s DLA+ 2.0 adapter, or even a full service kit including a ruggedized laptop,” Gilliam notes. “In order to ensure that fleets and technicians use JPRO to its full potential, Noregon offers a variety of training opportunities, free of charge. JPRO users receive a detailed user guide, access to a library of training videos and live online webinars hosted four times per month. In addition, JPRO customers are encouraged to call the U.S.-based support line to have product experts help with any issues they may experience.

“A majority of fleets operate vehicles comprised of a variety of OEM components to an extent that strictly relying on one OEM software for diagnosis and repair can be a threat to profit margins,” he continues. “JPRO’s advanced bi-directional capabilities allow fleets to isolate OEM components and quickly perform DPF regens, cylinder cut outs, and other critical tests. JPRO provides a holistic view of the vehicle that allows maintenance professionals to easily detect the root cause of issues and expedite repairs, which accelerates the triage process in the shop, reducing unexpected breakdowns by detecting every issue on the vehicle and allowing fleets to dispatch fully repaired and safe vehicles. Fleet personnel use TripVision to proactively monitor their vehicles on the road and receive relevant information, in an easy-to-understand format, to make impactful business decisions regarding the health and safety status of their vehicles.

“TripVision can be configured to send text and email alerts triggered by configured health and safety scores to empower fleet personnel to communicate strategic plans with drivers; such as immediately pulling over or completing a delivery before scheduling a maintenance event,” Gilliam adds. “Many fleets also rely on Noregon to manage their service bay diagnostic tools. This service allows fleets to focus on their core competencies without worrying about managing the hardware and software used in the service bays. Noregon is trusted to maintain more than 6,000 computers by managing anti-virus efforts and all service bay diagnostic software, with a dedicated rep available to remote in to the machine to assist with any problems.”

Gilliam says that JPRO is used to increase the skill level of technicians so fleets can benefit from more comprehensive repairs, preventative maintenance and less downtime; without necessarily having to get a more advanced technician involved in the process.

“TripVision was developed with this principle in mind: understanding that fleet personnel often have to make quick decisions regarding a vehicle’s status,” he says. “It describes in layman’s terms what is wrong with the vehicle and what the effect will be if the vehicle continues to operate without repair and/or maintenance. This allows fleet personnel to communicate with the driver, which steps need to be taken to ensure the issues do not fester and become critical problems.”

Given the current shortage of technicians, it is more important than ever to receive clear, concise information about the faults on a vehicle, without requiring a technician to decode the meaning and provide input about the severity of the fault.

“Designed with input from ASE-certified technicians, TripVision provides fleets with the ability to essentially have a master technician monitoring their vehicle while in transit, providing expert advice for managing issues that could affect the fleet’s operations,” Gilliam adds.

According to David Shock, WW product manager for the OEM Group for Snap-on Inc., Snap-on offers a number of maintenance service tools for heavy-duty commercial vehicle fleets, which include:

  • Pro-Link ultra scan tool and the associated library of software applications;
  • Pocket iQ 2 handheld scan tool and the associated library of software applications;
  • eTechnician PC-based diagnostic software application;
  • USB-Link 2 vehicle communication interface;
  • Nexiq blue-link mini vehicle communication interface.

“The Nexiq Technologies product family provides diagnostic solutions for fleets of all sizes,” Shock says. “We deliver software applications covering engines, transmissions, brakes, instrument clusters and emissions. Special tests and calibrations enable technicians to service commercial vehicles from heavy-duty to both light- and medium-duty trucks. Also, the USB-Link 2 is available in both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi configurations, and serves as a universal vehicle communication interface between a multitude of OEM applications and various vehicle components.”

Bluetooth wireless communication is provided for technicians utilizing smart phones and tablets via the Nexiq Blue-Link Mini, which is used in tandem with a software application to gather vehicle data. The Nexiq Blue-Link Mini, used in tandem with a software application running on a smart phone or tablet, gives drivers and technicians a quick triage tool with access to vehicle and diagnostic information.

For access to more detailed diagnostic and repair information, the eTechnician PC-based software application can be integrated with Mitchell 1, enabling technicians to act on diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs).

“Nexiq Technologies also serves the needs of commercial fleets through asset management, technical support, and more,” Shock adds. “Our IT services offerings enable fleets to professionally manage their diagnostic PCs and software titles. The Nexiq Fleet PC Integration program can be tailored to meet the needs of each organization, offering PC and software purchasing, configuration, registration and licensing, testing and on-going technical support. Fleet maintenance locations receive complete systems that free up their personnel for more important tasks. Our Asset Manager software enables fleets to tailor software to the location, reducing costs and ensuring that subscriptions are maintained.”

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