Connected truck service management: Cutting downtime for service and repairs

Connected truck service management: Cutting downtime for service and repairs


For fleets and service providers, connected vehicles are bringing about new challenges as well as opportunities to enhance service management and improve uptime.

“When we can provide real-time information about an issue and the severity
of the issue detected, it provides actionable information to the fleet manager,” says Conal Deedy, director of connected vehicle services for Volvo Trucks, explaining the Uptime Services offered by Volvo Remote Diagnostics. “This allows planning to be done before the truck needs to go out of service.”

Volvo’s Remote Diagnostics telematics platform works in conjunction with the company’s ASIST web-based service relationship management tool developed by Decisiv to manage communications during a service event. Information about service events is captured and communicated electronically through ASIST, providing the customer, dealer and Volvo Action Service agents with information for quick decision-making.

“In our experience, a service relationship management approach in conjunction with our Uptime Center, reduces average diagnostic time for Remote Diagnostics repairs by 71% and cuts average repair times by 22%,” Deedy notes.

David Pardue, Mack Trucks’ vice president of connected vehicle and uptime services, reports the same results for users of Mack’s GuardDog Connect telematics platform, OneCall agents and the ASIST platform.

“Our uptime solutions enable customers to more effectively coordinate service events,” Pardue says. “By proactively monitoring a truck, we can notify customers of an issue and its severity while the truck is still on the road. This means customers can plan for service, rather than face unexpected downtime.”

Among the newest enhancements to Peterbilt’s connected truck solutions and remote diagnostics platform is SmartLinq Service Management. The system developed by Decisiv provides real-time information, including detailed diagnostics and recommended actions through the web-based PACCAR Solutions portal. SmartLinq Service Management will be integrated with the portal in 2017.

SmartLinq Service Management provides access to the status of truck repairs and service being performed at Peterbilt dealerships. It improves uptime by streamlining communication between customers and dealers to expedite decisions, for instance in approving electronic repair estimates. The solution features real-time dashboards, alerts and reports, and a date- and time-stamped history of each service event.

As of last fall, every new Class 8 truck produced by Peterbilt has a code that dealer service technicians scan into SmartLinq Service Management to access detailed chassis information and service records.

“The system expedites maintenance and repairs by giving service technicians quick access to essential information to help perform work faster and more efficiently,” says Mike Conroy, director of field service at Peterbilt.


Also last fall, Kenworth enhanced its remote diagnostics system with the addition of TruckTech+ Service Management. Beginning in 2017, the Decisiv-built solution will allow fleets to monitor the service status of trucks in real-time, and provide detailed chassis information, parts catalogs, service bulletins, parts and service promotions, as well as warranty and repair history to service technicians at Kenworth dealerships.

“By partnering with Decisiv to develop our Service Management capability within the Kenworth TruckTech+ suite of connected vehicle solutions—and by providing our dealers’ technicians with these industry-leading tools—Kenworth is applying the latest new technologies to maximize customer uptime,” says Jason Skoog, Kenworth’s assistant general manager for sales and marketing.

A goal in the development of the OnCommand Connection connected vehicle solution from Navistar, according to Terry Kline, the company’s senior vice president and chief information officer, was to reduce maintenance costs by avoiding breakdowns, realistically prioritize maintenance, and turn “proactive maintenance into more precise predictive maintenance.

“Key to the value proposition of OnCommand Connection services are Fault Code Action Plans [FCAPs],” Kline explains further. “FCAPs provide plain descriptions of Diagnostic Trouble Codes generated by electronic modules on a vehicle, along with step-by-step instructions for addressing problems. FCAPs also include questions fleets can pose to drivers to better understand their trucks’ symptoms and the potential causes of a problem.

“With this approach, everyone involved in resolving a problem, including drivers, repair technicians and fleet managers, as well as call center personnel, are speaking the same language so communications are improved and problems are solved more quickly,” Kline adds.

Greg Treinen, sales and marketing manager of connectivity at Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA), says that the company’s Detroit Connect Virtual Technician remote diagnostic service helps fleets by keeping them informed when a fault code occurs, what the severity of the fault event is, and offers a deep dive into what is causing the issue and what should be done to fix it.

In practice, critical fault events (or Service Now events) identified through Virtual Technician are analyzed by Detroit Customer Support Center (CSC) experts who look at engine data recorded 60 seconds before, during and 15 seconds following the fault event. A CSC staff member then sends a follow-up notification to the customer within 30 minutes of the fault event that outlines the cause, the recommended parts to fix the problem and the nearest service locations with those parts in stock. In addition, many dealers in the DTNA network manage fault code notifications received by Virtual Technician and work with the Detroit CSC to support customers.

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