If your business is that of running a trucking fleet, then you are already fully aware of the need to keep all vehicles well-maintained and operating in a smooth fashion. While preventative maintenance is the mainstay, predictive maintenance can also be used in conjunction to develop a more robust program.
This type of maintenance plan is based on schedules. This is an exceptional solution if you are using the fleet at full velocity. However, there are limitations in that not every truck is running at the maximum level of usage. Performing work strictly based on what the calendar says does not take into account real-world usage. This is why it is good to bolster preventative maintenance with predictive maintenance.
This form of maintenance relies not on rigid time and age constructs but on actual usage that is reported by sensors and analytical software. An installed GPS system can monitor precisely how many miles were driven and can combine with other assets to determine what the conditions of that driving were. Software algorithms and machine learning can tell when the vehicle exhibits certain behaviour that is a tell tale sign that a breakdown or malfunction is about to occur.
Why GPS Is So Important to Maintenance
When a complete GPS system is used to track your fleet, it provides a complete overview of your entire fleet at once instead of the old way of only monitoring trucks during specific time periods. All information gathered is completely up-to-date, to the very second. This is much more useful than manual paper reports and can catch problems ahead of time when paired with fault code monitors to prevent breakdowns with preventative reminders.
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Since large fleets are traveling to job sites in various locations, the dispatching of mechanics and technicians needs to be as efficient as possible. This is so they can visit the repair sites in as logical a manner as possible with as little driving out of the way as necessary, which saves in both labour costs and fuel costs.
Of course, not every maintenance task needs GPS to occur. Things that should be done to the truck regardless are things like checking the battery terminals and brushing away any rust or corrosion that may be present. All fluid levels should be check at least annually and they should be replaced whenever necessary. Make sure the headlights are functioning properly. If there are issues with the lighting, replace the bulbs or have any electrical problems taken care of immediately. It is extremely dangerous to drive without properly functioning lights, and you may run into trouble if you do not properly maintain vehicles, as insurers may be more difficult in such cases when it comes to covering motor fleets of any nature.
Remember, it is always best to be proactive regarding maintenance instead of reactive. When you see a problem, take note of it and have it looked at by the maintenance staff as soon as possible. Also, remember that not all trucks are designed the same and some may incur different wear to different parts at a different rate. This should be accounted for when replacing trucks after they are no longer road-worthy.