truck technician Photo: Aaron Marsh/Fleet Owner

Successful maintenance and repair takes more than just technology

I’ve been thinking about technology a lot lately. It’s hard not to when it seems like every day there is something in the news about telematics, autonomous trucks, electric trucks, the internet of things, blockchain. The list goes on and on.

Technology has enabled us to be a lot more efficient in the maintaining and servicing of trucks. The fault codes put out by engine sensors and sensors on other components often give us early warning that a problem is developing long before it side lines a truck.

I am glad we have technology to help fleets be more efficient and maximize their time on the road. But I also think we need to remember that technology is just a tool, and while it helps us with diagnosing and repairing problems, it is not the only tool fleets have at their disposal for keeping trucks in good operating condition

I think fleet managers are wise not to discount what they hear from their drivers about how the truck “feels” to them. Professional drivers with years of driving experience are another valuable source of information about how the truck is operating.

This is especially true if they drive the same truck day in and day out. They get a good sense of how it handles in various situations and can tell when something is off. If nothing else, you will want to chat with them in the event there is an on-road failure to find out what was going on right before the truck quit working. Their insights can help you pinpoint the cause of the problem more quickly.

Your technicians and those of your outside service providers are another good resource. Yes diagnostic tools will help pinpoint the problem and some even suggest a path to repair but a seasoned tech is in a position to help you go beyond that “quick fix” and get to the root cause of a problem and perhaps prevent a repair come back.

Technology is a beautiful thing because it allows us to do many things, including diagnose and repair trucks, faster and more accurately.  But when you couple technology with the know-how, experience and expertise of your drivers and technicians you’ll see even more amazing results.

Technology and people: better together.

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