Year after year fleet managers are looking for creative ways to reduce their maintenance costs and improve overall fleet performance. As technology progresses, fleets are tapping into data to uncover trends, create predictive maintenance models, and reduce operating costs.
Data surrounding diagnostics and prognostics are particularly valuable as they directly impact asset utilization and overall repair costs. The challenge for many fleets is filtering through the data to drive actionable results.
So what are diagnostics and prognostics, and perhaps more importantly how do they impact fleet maintenance?
Difference between Diagnostics and Prognostics
Chances are you have heard of diagnostics. The ability to quickly detect and isolate fault codes or vehicle failures is Maintenance 101. Over the past few years, however, diagnostics has become a highly digitized process. Codes that were once only available at the dealership level can now be accessed in real-time via the vehicle’s OBD2 port and relayed to the fleet’s telematics platform.
Prognostics takes diagnostics a step further by creating vehicle-specific predictive maintenance models that help fleet managers plan for future repairs before they arise. The addition of prognostics into your maintenance strategy opens the door for better asset utilization and can greatly reduce the cost of repairs when needed.
Today, both of these maintenance tools revolve around millions of points of data that are generated each day across each fleet. Fleets that are able to digest the information are then able to make better fleet decisions that impact the company’s bottom line.
Leveraging Telematics Data in Fleet Maintenance
What makes data so valuable in fleet maintenance? To start with fleet generated data is constantly evolving. Real-time data provides an ever-changing picture of each vehicle within your fleet. The result is more accurate diagnostics and better fleet forecasting.
Real-time data allows fleets to move from a reactive maintenance model to a proactive, predictive maintenance strategy. Instead of a vehicle being down for several days due to an unforeseen issue, data can be leveraged to predict issues before the vehicle is out of service allowing the driver to schedule repairs before they result in a breakdown.
5 Ways Data Impacts Fleet Maintenance
The integration of maintenance data into your overall fleet strategy impacts several aspects of fleet management including the following:
Arguably the most valuable aspect of fleet data is the ability to use information provided by each vehicle to drive the decision-making process. When and where to put vehicles into the shop can greatly reduce maintenance costs. As more data is integrated into the process, trends can help fleet managers prepare for seasonal shifts in usage or vehicle stress, such as the summer or winter months.
Reduced Vehicle Downtime
On average vehicle downtime costs a fleet between $500 to $600 per day, but can go significantly higher depending on the type of vehicle, freight being hauled, and repair costs associated with the downtime. As your fleet grows, this number only increases so it pays to have a maintenance strategy that minimizes downtime. With prognostics, repairs can be made when drivers are at home or during a reset, saving the fleet thousands of dollars each year.
Lowered Total Cost Of Ownership
So much of fleet maintenance focuses on the repair or issue at hand, after all the vehicle needs to get back on the road. What is frequently overlooked is the total cost of ownership. Repair bills over the life of a vehicle can vary greatly depending on the maintenance strategy surrounding them. Reactive maintenance models typically cost more in the long run, even if the vehicle isn’t in the shop as frequently.
Better Resale Value
When repairs are needed, resale value is likely the last thing on your mind. Far too many fleet managers look at it as a different problem for another day. When, in fact, the two are inextricably tied together from the vehicle’s first mile. Major repairs are often avoided when prognostics are in use, in turn creating a vehicle that has little if any major repairs. The result is a much better price when it comes time to upgrade your fleet.
Over the past few years, vehicle longevity has become a critical part of fleet management strategies as vehicle availability has become less readily available. This is in large part due to the microprocessor shortage that resulted following COVID-19. Instead of fleets turning over vehicles every 3-4 years, they have been forced to stretch the life of older equipment until newer assets become available. Getting an additional 200,000 miles out of a vehicle is much more likely with a data-driven maintenance system.
Invest In Fleet Maintenance
The influx of data into the transportation industry shows no signs of slowing down. New technology is reshaping the way that fleets look at asset utilization and maintenance. If your fleet is looking to improve how maintenance is managed and reduce this critical cost center, now is the time to invest in a fleet maintenance system that can provide ROI. Connect with the Morey team to learn more about our diagnostic and prognostic solutions.