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Big Data Means Big Time Advances in Predictive Truck Maintenance




There’s a movement going on in the transportation industry among fleet owners and managers.  This movement is called the “big data” movement.   Simply put, it’s an effort to use technology to gather as much information as possible about each truck/vehicle in a fleet; then use that data to make intelligent decisions.  The big data movement is one that means improving fuel efficiency, predicting maintenance/repairs before they’re crucial, and so much more. 

Using Data To Make Decisions

“We need to get very focused on all of this data that we generate. In the end, we need to be smart enough to turn our big data into predictive maintenance procedures for our customers,” Friedrich Baumann, DTNA senior vice president, aftermarket, told trucking editors in this FleetOwner.com article. “That will be, in my opinion, the next really big game changer in our industry.”

Zonar Table

At a recent press conference Zonar Systems and Daimler Trucks North America, Zonar President and CEO Brett Brinton and Chief Strategy Officer Mike McQuade explained how the telematics tools they are developing make sense for even a single truck operator.  Brinton compares to a flight data recorder in aircraft and which transmits data to cloud storage and also has the capacity to talk to other devices; and a dedicated, versatile mobile tablet to access, process and display the data that’s collected in the cloud.

Benefiting Fleets of All Sizes

Using big data and predictive methods will be huge for fleets of all sizes by sharing information.  Imagine a fleet of 25-30 using data from a fleet of 100,000 similar trucks to make decisions regarding maintenance and repairs.  Or being able to know exactly what type of weather conditions lead to ideal fuel performance for a certain type of truck with a certain type of tires.  Then knowing the exact time when those tires are likely to stop performing at their peak level and being able to replace them BEFORE significant fuel efficiency is lost  That type of information would certainly help managers from an operational standpoint. 

Moving Forward

At Dickinson Fleet Services, we are all about using technology to improve our service by allowing us to better communicate with our clients.  The type of advances described above, represent a huge opportunity for the industry as a whole; especially on the truck repair and maintenance side.  When you’re dealing with transportation, timeliness and efficiency are key.  Being able to collect as much data as possible about the factors that play into both of these things means us being able to serve our clients better and our clients being able to better take care of their customers.  We will continue to follow this trend and certainly remain on the forefront of understanding how this technology can be used to benefit the fleet managers we work with each and every day.

For more on what’s going on in the industry and at Dickinson Fleet Services, visit our news page here.


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