Chris Horbowyj, channel sales director at telematics solutions specialist Trakm8, explains how its technology can be used to safeguard against vehicle health problems
Unexpected vehicle downtime for commercial vehicles isn’t just a time consuming inconvenience; it can have a significant impact on a business’s bottom line.
Ask any fleet manager what keeps them up at night, and vehicle maintenance – specifically the threat of unplanned downtime – is likely to be near the top of the list. And these concerns are based in fact.
According to a recent report by van hire specialist Northgate, every LCV on UK roads spends an average of four days each year in the workshop or garage. Not only does this impact a business’ efficiency, it can also have significant cost implications.
After all, vehicle downtime of any kind hits a business in the pocket, but unplanned time off the road is particularly expensive.
Northgate’s research indicates an average cost of £800 per day, per van when vehicles are undergoing maintenance. In addition, the growing trend for penalty clauses in contracts and service level agreements means fleets can pay heavy fines when goods aren’t delivered within specific timeframes.
Of course, one of the most effective means of safeguarding against unplanned downtime is through an effective programme of preventative maintenance. This can be bolstered further by telematics solutions, which enable fleet managers to be even more proactive in their vehicle care.
These include Trakm8’s Connectedcare solution, launched at last year’s CV Show. The package is able to provide advanced vehicle status and health data insights to vehicle and plant OEMs, alongside leasing or hire companies, ensuring assets are better maintained and ultimately, deliver maximum return on investment.
Via deep CANbus connectivity, Connectedcare enables users to gain remote access to readings directly from the dashboard or instrument cluster. These include diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) and dashboard warning lights from cars, LCVs and plant equipment through easy-to-use web portals and mobile apps.
What’s more, the DTCs can be forwarded to fleet managers via a real-time alert, enabling them to take preventative action before the fault seriously impacts the performance of the vehicle.
Other key features of the Connectedcare package include battery status alerts. As any fleet manager knows, a faulty or flat battery is one of the most common causes of a vehicle breakdown.
Trakm8’s industry first solution runs a series of checks, providing feedback on the health of a battery; enabling a transport manager to see when a vehicle’s battery is faulty or needs replacing.
The solution can even help fleet operators stay on top of tyre pressure management, sending alerts when a tyre is under-inflated. This is particularly important for keeping a vehicle on the road, as punctures and tyre blowouts are among the most common causes of vehicle downtime.
Trakm8 can provide Connectedcare as either a standalone product, or as part of a wider telematics package. Ultimately, we’re seeking to give fleet managers something you can’t put a price on – valuable peace of mind. With our Connectedcare solution, we’re hoping we can go someway in providing that.