The uses of online connectivity
Volvo reveal long-term aim to make unscheduled downtime a thing of the past using online connectivity in trucks
Unplanned downtime is perhaps one of the most problematic issues that can affect a haulage operator. Apart from the inconvenience for the driver, it creates extra costs for repairs, lost revenue and, in worst-case scenarios, damage to a customer’s reputation.
“Since much of the transport industry operates on tight margins, any unplanned downtime can hit a haulage company hard.” says Hayder Wokil, Director Quality and Uptime, Volvo Trucks. “We therefore have to be better at understanding why these unscheduled incidents happen, then help both customers and drivers increase their vehicle uptime and therefore their profitability.”
In order to help haulage companies boost their uptime, Volvo Trucks recently conducted a comprehensive survey based on real-life user data from 3,500 Volvo trucks gathered over a five-year period.
Using this data, the company conducted advanced simulations and generated a variety of possible service situations to analyse how, why and when trucks suffer from unexpected downtime. The aim was to find out how this can be avoided.
“The study clearly showed that by being able to monitor the truck’s usage and the current status of the vehicle’s various key components, it is possible to plan maintenance better. We think we can reduce the amount of unplanned downtime by around 80 per cent if the truck is serviced in time and in response to actual needs,” explains Hayder Wokil.
One important prerequisite for reducing the amount of unplanned downtime is to be able to predict maintenance requirements and to tailor servicing for each individual truck. This is now possible since today’s trucks can be connected online to the workshop.
A service technician can remotely monitor exactly how the truck is being used in real time, schedule maintenance well in advance before something breaks down, or order replacement parts in advance. What’s more, a scheduled service can also be postponed if the workshop technician can see that the truck’s various components are subject to less wear than expected, thereby saving time for both the haulage operator and the driver.