The number of unplanned truck standstills can be cut by 80 per cent. This is revealed in a study conducted by Volvo Trucks. In the long term, the aim is that unplanned standstills should entirely disappear. One key explanation for this expected trend is online connectivity in trucks, a development that creates entirely new scope for working with preventive maintenance.
An unplanned standstill is one of the most problematic issues that can affect a haulage firm. Apart from the inconvenience for the driver, it creates extra costs for repairs, lost transport revenue and, in the worst-case scenario, a damage to customer reputation.
"Since the transport industry already operates with very small margins, an unplanned standstill hits haulage firms hard. We therefore have to be better at understanding why unplanned stops take place and help both customers and drivers increase their productivity and thus also their profitability," says Hayder Wokil, Director Quality and Uptime, Volvo Trucks.
In order to increase knowhow about how to help haulage firms boost their productivity, Volvo Trucks conducted a comprehensive survey that based on real-life user data from 3500 Volvo trucks gathered over a 5-year period. With this authentic statistical basis the company then conducted advanced simulations and generated a variety of possible service situations to analyse how, why and when trucks suffer unplanned standstills. The aim was to find out how unplanned stops 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 reckon we can reduce the number of unplanned standstills by 80 per cent if the truck is serviced in time and in response to actual needs," explains Hayder Wokil.
Connected trucks are the way to zero unplanned standstills
One important prerequisite for reducing the number of unplanned standstills is to be able to predict maintenance needs and to tailor servicing for each individual truck. This is possible since today’s trucks can be connected online to the workshop.
"For instance, 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 spare 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, thus saving time for both the haulage firm and the driver," relates Hayder Wokil.
Although Volvo Trucks has made considerable progress in this area, Hayder Wokil feels that the development of preventive service is still in its infancy.
"We see considerable potential in this area. Connected vehicles are the route to zero unplanned standstills in the future," says Hayder Wokil.