Fleets are beginning to appreciate the value of the large amounts of performance data being generated by connected vehicle technologies, believes Greg Treinen, the Sales and Marketing Manager at Daimler Trucks North America. According to Treinen, although it comes a bit late, this could be a major step since these technologies have the potential to help the industry find solutions to some persistent challenges.
Connected vehicle technology started with the use of telematics data to improve uptime. Today, telematics helps fleets avoid potential operational problems, improve driver productivity and retention, and enhance fuel efficiency.
But more types of data are becoming available, opening up even more opportunities. “We are seeing new technologies that can potentially help fleets streamline logistics on matters ranging from load availability to selecting the best travel routes based on weather patterns,” says Terry Kline, Senior Vice President and CIO at Navistar. “Some of these new technologies may even provide real-time data such as whether a refrigeration unit working at the desired temperature. Such data can then be used to make quick but informed decisions that can save the industry thousands of dollars every year.
One such technology is Kenworth’s TruckTech+. TruckTeck+ is a remote diagnostics solution that helps fleets monitor the health of their trucks on the road. Jason Skoog, the company’s assistant general manager for sales and marketing, has revealed that all new Kenworth Class 8 trucks are equipped with the technology. In total, the TechTruck+ Remote Diagnostics technology is now operational in more than 28,000 trucks.
Another technology that has had a major impact on the industry is SmartLinq introduced by Peterbilt Motors Co. SmartLinq has now been expanded to all of Peterbilt’s Class 8 truck engines and provides fleets with real-time information on fleet health. It also provides detailed diagnostics and recommends what actions should be taken based on findings. All this information can be viewed on the web-based PACCAR Solutions portal. Close to 20,000 trucks are already equipped with the SmartLinq technology with that number set to increase significantly as Peterbilt embarks on a mission to equip all its heavy-duty trucks with the technology.
“It’s really nice that fleets are finally sold on the technology,” says Kline. “We as manufacturers believe it’s the way to go. Now that fleet owners won over, we are ready to work even harder to deliver many more applications to help improve operational efficiency and productivity.”