Predictive truck maintenance is fun to talk about, but we’re not there yet. Still, the reality on the road is that service recommendations are getting smarter. One of the latest indications of maintenance recommendation innovation is Volvo Trucks’ recently-announced Dynamic Maintenance. By partnering with Noregon, the new service uses existing connected technologies and data analytics, namely Volvo ASIST, combined with Noregon’s TripVision vehicle health monitoring system, to enable customized service plans to an individual-vehicle level.
That’s right—specific maintenance recommendations for specific Volvo trucks. Consider oil drain intervals: There are OEM recommendations, but oil drain intervals are largely dependent on application. Dynamic Maintenance will provide a more accurate recommendation to keep that specific engine protected and working efficiently.
“The alternative is we publish a big chart that says, ‘If your application is normal on-highway operation, then your drain interval is ‘the very best prescribed guess,’” said Mark Curri, Volvo Trucks North America senior vice president of uptime and customer support. “You know how your car tells you its oil life percentage? That’s what it’s like, but now on a grand scale. In addition, if you have a truck with a yellow or red fault code, we can bundle that dealership service visit with an oil change because
Dynamic Maintenance tells us that it needs attention.”
The aim is to provide fleets with more truck service information to reduce the number of service visits, not give the fleet manager a countless number of different oil drain intervals.
“What Volvo has done working with us is provide real-time truck data that has been fed through Volvo’s Dynamic Maintenance engine, and we feed the information through TripVision,” explained Paul Smith, Noregon’s manager of business development (custom solutions). “Based on driver behavior and the makeup of that vehicle, the component makeup and the condition of the faults that are occurring on that vehicle—those variables could bring the preventative maintenance interval in or push it out. The idea is not to take these trucks off the road unless it’s absolutely necessary.”
Here’s how it works: As you operate a Volvo truck daily, the dynamic machine is continuously monitoring and learning. Based on how the truck is driven during operation, the maintenance schedule is triggered through TripVision. The Volvo dealer has the ability to see these triggers well before the truck is due for maintenance. In addition, they can see other triggers from the truck—critical faults, fault history, current location and other non-mechanical needs specified by the fleet. From the Volvo dealership point of view, it brings the shop into the data stream, showing that service center the same information that you and the Volvo Uptime Center are seeing.
“Historically, a truck would show up at a shop, someone would run out to it with a tablet and record some information, bring it back in, and then key it into their back-office system,” Smith said. “Through our integration, we’ve been able to automate that process. So we save time and we mitigate human error, but more importantly, the dealers are more involved.”
“It’s a deeper integration,” Curri said. “It eliminates those mystery calls that say, ‘The truck has this code that we can’t figure out, can you find out?’ It’s our hardware broadcast through our network then piped into Noregon. It makes our dealerships better equipped.”
As service intelligence grows and downtime is reduced, it puts the industry closer to catching its data-hungry white whale: predictive maintenance.
“Dynamic Maintenance is a key step toward predictive maintenance,” Smith said. “It takes existing vehicle data and evaluates maintenance needs from a more optimal view. We’ve recently hired a data scientist to spearhead that movement.”