A fleet manager has two main jobs: Managing the fleet for maximum safety and performance and maintaining the fleet to keep vehicles and assets operational and optimize their life cycles. The best fleet management solution serves both goals.
At its core, a telematics-based fleet management solution helps managers track vehicles, improve dispatching and route planning, monitor utilization, drill down into driver safety issues and, with the help of video telematics, view near-misses and reconstruct crashes.
For organizations that use a dedicated fleet maintenance application, a telematics-based fleet management solution adds value by automatically collecting telematics data and transferring it through an application programming interface (API) to the maintenance software, which seamlessly ingests it. This telematics data drives just-in-time preventive maintenance, which can save organizations money and reduce asset downtime.
Drawbacks of time-based maintenance
Performing time-based maintenance (every three months, every six months, etc.) has its drawbacks.
First, you need to track those intervals for every asset and remember to bring the asset in for maintenance at the right time. This task sometimes falls to drivers, who may not keep it top of mind, especially if they’re driving motor pool vehicles. For shared equipment such as generators and compressors, performing time-based maintenance is even trickier.
Second, time-based schedules can lead to over-maintenance and under-maintenance due to the simple fact that some assets are used more heavily than others.
Assets in heavy use may require more frequent maintenance and inspections in order to stave off serious, costly problems such as a blown-out transmission and extend the asset’s useful life. A lightly used asset, on the other hand, typically requires less maintenance. If you’re maintaining it on a time basis, you may be wasting money and taking the asset out of service more often than necessary, which creates opportunity costs.
Benefits of just-in-time maintenance
Scheduling maintenance based on odometer readings or hours of use is a more precise approach, one that systemically ensures that fleet maintenance is performed on a consistent basis and at the optimal time. A telematics-based fleet management solution automates the transfer of this data to a fleet maintenance app. CalAmp iOn™, for example, provides seamless integration with AssetWorks and Chevin Fleet Solutions via an API.
Let’s say a compressor requires maintenance every 5,000 hours and a vehicle requires an oil change every 5,000 miles. With an integration in place, assets will show up in maintenance-due reports when appropriate. The maintenance app may even automatically generate work orders.
iOn can be set up to also send diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) so that minor mechanical issues can be addressed before they become drain-the-budget issues. After all, drivers don’t always report when an engine light comes on, especially if they’re driving a shared vehicle. It’s not uncommon for a check-engine light in a police vehicle, for example, to go unreported for weeks or months.
Retrieving assets for maintenance
Finding an asset when it’s time to bring it in for service can be time consuming, especially for motor pool vehicles. But it’s made easy with the help of a telematics solution. In iOn, you can click on any telematics-enabled vehicle and use the Navigate To feature to get exact directions in Google Maps. Additionally, iOn’s Find Nearby feature can show you which vehicles in your fleet are closest to the asset in question so you can dispatch accordingly. It’s another example of the synergies possible between iOn and a fleet maintenance application.
Just as two heads are sometimes better than one, two applications working in sync can sometimes do more than one application alone. When telematics data from iOn feeds into a maintenance app from AssetWorks or Chevin, customers of both companies win.
To learn more about iOn’s maintenance management capabilities, visit here.