Now more than ever, the IoT, or Internet of Things, has a bigger foothold in industries across the board. Heavy trucking is no exception, and experts are predicting the IoT will not only change the way technicians work on maintenance issues, but will also pave a path for a more efficient maintenance system.
What is the IoT?
Put simply, the Internet of Things is “A network of Internet connected objects able to collect and exchange data.” With thousands, maybe millions, of informational resources literally at our fingertips, it should come as no surprise that information has become as valuable and useful as any other commodity.
Not only does the IoT not require human-to-human interaction, but it also doesn’t require human-to-computer interaction. Instead, each connection to the IoT is given a unique identifier (UID) and the ability to exchange information over a network.
So what does that mean for the trucking industry?
Predicted Maintenance Means Fewer Failures
No one can predict every maintenance issue a truck may encounter, whether it involves the usual wear and tear or more serious issues that could cause dangerous conditions for the drivers while on the road. But thanks to the IoT, new technology has become available that will allows technicians to more efficiently service every vehicle in the fleet.
Through the use of recent developments like sensor technology, systems can be put into place on each vehicle to remind technicians when regular maintenance is due. This decreases the likelihood that a truck will accidentally be overlooked in a routine check, and subsequently allows technicians to do their daily jobs without having to manage which trucks are due for which types of maintenance.
Just as importantly, these sensors are also equipped to warn drivers and technicians that the types of issues not as easily seen to the naked eye, like a vital component reaching the point of critical failure, are in need of immediate attention. Details of the maintenance need are readily available to technicians, and they can address the most urgent issues before they become a danger to drivers or cause irreparable damage to the truck.
Predictive Maintenance Allows for Better Fleet Performance
Utilizing the IoT and the technology it equips doesn’t only increase the quality and efficiency of your fleet maintenance. It also increases the efficiency of your fleet as a whole. With fewer time spent diagnosing issues, technicians have more flexibility and opportunity to service more trucks as needed, and allows them to spend fewer resources on fixing the problem when they know exactly what is needed. This means the trucks spend less time being serviced and more time on the road.
The sensor technology takes it one step further, by allowing for safety protocols like scheduled downtime and pre-emptive maintenance checks. And since it doesn’t rely on a person to set a schedule, but rather the IoT to create an efficient method and timeline, there are fewer opportunities for human error.
This doesn’t mean that technicians are no longer needed – nothing can replace the years of training and the accumulated knowledge of a truck tech. But by taking advantage of the technology already in place, technicians are freer to do their best work in the most efficient way.
More on Dickinson Fleet Services
Headquartered in Indianapolis, Dickinson Fleet Services (DFS) has grown to become one of the largest independent fleet maintenance and management companies in the country. DFS is the leading provider of on-site mobile maintenance and repair services nationwide, offering mobile on-site maintenance and repair services for light, medium and heavy-duty trucks and trailers with over 500 mobile units operating nationwide. DFS services fleet customers with 23 maintenance facilities each offering select services from accident repair, paint, refurbishment and dedicated technician services, combined with an in-house CARES CALL center providing 24/7 repair assistance. DFS has made significant investments in training and technology, including WebWrench® (maintenance tracking and scheduling through proprietary technology) and TRAIT® (real-time reporting and dynamic preventative maintenance inspections processed through a proprietary field service application) and is the only fleet services company in the nation to provide both fleet maintenance and management to its customers nationwide. www.dickinsonfleet.com