Fleet telematics systems have numerous uses, but most people commonly recognize them as a way to track and monitor driving on the road. These systems can report GPS data to dispatch, allowing fleet management personnel to keep tabs on vehicles, reroute as needed, and generally do everything possible to keep fleet operations running smoothly. However, they're also a valuable cost-saving tool.
In addition to active fleet tracking, telematics can provide valuable data for fleet service managers and maintenance personnel. This data can be invaluable in helping your company to reduce costs and operate a more efficient commercial vehicle. If you don't think your company is fully utilizing the advantages of telematics, check out three ways these systems can help your service managers.
1. Less Reliance on Driver Reports
Telematic modules that integrate with vehicle ECUs can provide a wealth of data to fleet managers, including everything from odometer readings to stored engine trouble codes. If you're used to only dealing with problems after a driver reports a problem, you know how frustrating and error-prone this approach can be. With this approach, you may not catch issues until they are severe and costly.
A telematics-based maintenance system allows you to monitor the health of your fleet, immediately alerting you to problems and allowing you to recall drivers and trucks before those problems lead to higher costs. This approach also allows your drivers to focus on their jobs instead of needing to worry as much about the mechanical health of their vehicles.
2. More Consistent Service Scheduling
Have you ever had a truck pull into one of your bays, only to realize that it's thousands or tens of thousands of miles overdue for essential service? Without a telematics system, your fleet relies on numerous individuals and potential failure points for its service schedule. Even if everyone in the chain is competent and well-meaning, mistakes can still happen.
Unfortunately, missing one or two critical service visits can mean that a particular vehicle may have more expensive issues down the line. A telematics-based approach allows your service center to monitor vehicle odometers in real time and schedule automated service alerts. As a result, you'll be able to maintain more consistent scheduling with far fewer opportunities for human error to cause problems.
3. Better Data Reporting and Analysis
Few people realize the importance of reporting and analysis in fleet maintenance and service. There are numerous critical reasons to track fleet-wide data, such as monitoring for fuel efficiency or overall vehicle operating costs. Since telematic modules provide an easy way to collect, manage, and organize this data, you'll have far more information available at your fingertips.
Real-time data does more for your company than just producing pretty graphs. You can use this information to optimize maintenance schedules, make fleet-wide adjustments for better fuel efficiency, or develop new plans to reduce operating costs. The more data you have available, the easier your life as a service manager will become.