Predictive Maintenance Provides Value to Large and Small Fleets

By The Preteckt Team | January 1, 2018

A common question, “What value would Predictive Maintenance have to offer my fleet that I’m not already receiving from the preventive measures I have in place?”

The person responsible for the fleet is doing a lot of guessing when it comes to knowing when a vehicle actually needs to be scheduled and brought in for maintenance.

Large fleets are inclined to be very meticulous on their preventive services to change out fluids, grease the vehicle, and change out parts. The preventive services main goal is to avoid unwanted downtime and service interruptions. The PM routine calls for parts like alternators, batteries, and starters to be changed based upon the history of the other vehicles within the fleet. The problem is that, a large percentage of the time, good parts are replaced unnecessarily. That is expensive and wasteful.

The above scenario for large fleets changes with the introduction of Predictive Maintenance. A fleet repair coordinator can use predictive data to determine when those parts are showing early signs of failure. The predictive maintenance allows you to safely maximize the lifespan of parts and reduce costs. An example: Alternators will show slight drops for 1 to 2 seconds on the voltage regulator as they start their early stages of failure. This predictive data is provided to the fleet repair coordinator who can review and replace the alternator a few weeks before it would fail.

Small fleets benefit similarly, but experience some different burdens. The Large fleets have the ability to just re-power a load when a truck breaks down. Most Small fleets do not possess the same resources so when a truck breaks down they lose the load and the revenue. Predictive maintenance delivers the ability to observe the time at which issues are starting to appear and plan ahead for that downtime to make all of the necessary repairs the next time the truck is in the shop. The real value for the Small fleet business is preventing a load from being lost to a competitor or losing revenue for a late delivery.

Let us not leave out large and small bus fleets. The ability to avoid a bus breakdown with passengers onboard offers plenty of value. An example of this would be providing alerts in advance to avoid aftertreatment issues. One of the largest issues with bus fleets are the aftertreatment systems. Why? The buses are not driven extended periods of time on the highway. That means that the aftertreatment system doesn’t get the chance to do the necessary diesel particulate filter regeneration (a “regen”) on the road. Buses have to deal with unscheduled stops to perform a regen. This bus can limp on, but will do so with additional warning lights and a loss of power before it finally breaks down. Predictive data would allow a fleet manager to make an informed decision about the optimal time to perform a regen.

These are only a select few examples of the value Predictive Maintenance offers fleets.