Before Predictive Maintenance, fleet management was reactive to failures reported by drivers and relied on preventative maintenance schedules that were based on elapsed time or distance traveled.
OEMs and Tier1s had limited reach to their customers and partial ability to improve their product experience. Their customers dealt with unscheduled breakdowns, costly downtimes, heavy repair bills, and loss of business.
Fleet owners have to work hard to ensure their assets keep running. They earn their keep with minimal downtime. With that in mind, predictive maintenance has become an essential part of the modern Vehicle Health Management (VHM) strategy. It creates a paradigm shift in the way fleet management is conducted and allows OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers to get closer to the customer.
The American Trucking Association estimates that trucks move nearly 73 percent of the nation’s freight by weight, bringing in more than $732 billion in gross freight revenues in 2020 alone. In that year, there were over 160 million trucks registered in the United States. According to industry experts, downtime costs a fleet an average of $448 to $760, per vehicle per day!
The Move Towards Predictive Maintenance is Rewarding
The lack of data to quantify the actual need for repair or maintenance of vehicles has been a main culprit. Predictive maintenance systems can monitor and analyze mass vehicle data in real-time and provide valuable insights on vehicle performance, flag potential issues, predict impending failures, and help with root cause analysis. Customers can now rightly expect performance issues to be addressed before their vehicle breaks down.
Warranty and Insurance Advantages
Lower risks via Predictive Vehicle Health Management, help OEMs and Tier-1 suppliers contain their warranty claim cost and can result in being reduced – further savings for fleet owners.
The Numbers that Count
In a recent pilot with bus fleet operator ‘Kavim,’ Questar ran its AI-based analytics software on the company’s heterogeneous fleet. Malfunctions such as a major engine oil leak in the exhaust system, and exhaust system particulate filters were predicted. Both went unobserved by the vehicle’s error codes.
Kavim wanted to monitor the health of the company’s urban and intercity buses. The results were as follows:
Field operators saw a 30% reduction in costs on spare parts – a 10% reduction in fuel consumption, a 20% reduction in accidents, and up to 75% reduction in unnecessary downtime.
A New Era of Fleet Management
We have a conceptual change in fleet management approach from preventative and reactive, to proactive. Predictive maintenance saves fleet owners time and money and with it vehicles gain more value, reliability, and a longer life cycle; downtime is minimized, and planning becomes easier. Adopting a Predictive maintenance strategy enables field service organizations to deliver enhanced end-user experiences that lead to higher customer satisfaction, retention rates, and ultimately business growth.