ORLANDO, Florida—Members of American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) have spent countless hours over more than six decades deciding what guidance and instructions should make it into TMC’s 500-plus Recommended Practices, and now, that trove of maintenance knowledge is at any Mitchell 1 TruckSeries’ user's fingertips.
TruckSeries is a web-based diagnostic and repair program that allows technicians to quickly access vital information while working on commercial vehicles, and through Mitchell 1’s licensing agreement with TMC, the entire 2022-2023 Recommended Practices Manual, which includes detailed instructions on just about every facet of commercial vehicle maintenance, is now accessible via the software.The RPs are already available via a web viewer, but Mitchell 1 has made finding the right technical information easier now that the RPs are on the TruckSeries browser, via the program’s 1Search Plus card-based format or through the Service Manual view.
“When you click on there, you're not going to get 500-plus recommended practices to choose from; you're going to get the recommended practices that we have mapped to that subject that we believe are most appropriate,” explained Ben Johnson, Mitchel 1 director of product management, who revealed the new feature at TMC’s Annual Meeting in Orlando.
After the technician selects the appropriate medium- or heavy-duty vehicle and component in question, such as brake assembly or diesel particulate filter, the 1Search Plus view provides an index card listing RP’s associated with that vehicle and component.
Johnson noted getting the right RP info in front of the right person has a been a challenge TMC leaders have been trying to solve.
“Including the RPs in TruckSeries makes it easier than ever for technicians to find specific information with a single search, improving efficiency and productivity in the shop,” Johnson added.
TMC Executive Director Robert Braswell said making the RPs available in TruckSeries will help increase the number of maintenance professionals adopting the industry-recommended practices, and improve the industry as a whole.
“We are all working toward one common goal—to increase equipment maintenance efficiencies for the commercial truck industry,” Braswell said. “And, merging the content into TruckSeries will help us disseminate this valuable information throughout the industry.”
TruckSeries is updated monthly, so if any RPs are added or updated after the annual meeting, the software will have that new guidance in short order.
New wire-to-wire navigation feature
Mitchell 1 also updated TruckSeries’ Advanced Interactive Wiring Diagrams. The feature allows a technician to lock in on one wire and follow it throughout a system, from one diagram to another. This does not exit the technician from the initial view opened in TruckSeries to complete the diagnostics task. Having to backtrack and reopen windows slows the diagnosis down, and over the course of the day can add up to a lot of lost productivity.
“With electronically distributed wiring diagrams, there has always been this challenge when one diagram ends and another needs to be accessed,” Johnson noted. “Even with old-style book manuals, we used to bookmark one diagram when we needed to research another. Now, we can seamlessly navigate between them, following the circuit we’re interested in, without sacrificing efficiency.”
As electric vehicles, which have even more complex wiring, appear in the shops, speeding up the troubleshooting process will be even more valuable. This was a primary reason Mitchell 1 made the investment to upgrade the application, Johnson sad.
Advanced Interactive Wiring Diagrams now also includes a history section that retains the last 10 diagrams.
Overall the new features create “a lot more likelihood the technician is going to stay on the circuit that they're really need to be on for the whatever diagnosis that they're doing,” Johnson surmised.