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Leveraging data from fault codes to improve operations

Feb. 6, 2023
The volume of fault codes can be overwhelming, so it's important to be able to recognize patterns that can indicate problems encompassing the entire fleet.

Today’s trucks and trailers are throwing out fault codes regularly. These fault codes provide fleet managers with a wealth of information about the health of their assets. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the amount of fault codes can be overwhelming. Fleet managers need to be able to determine which require immediate action and which can wait to be addressed when the truck gets back to the depot or even deferred until the next scheduled maintenance service. 

In addition to performing triage based on these fault codes, fleet managers can use them to get a handle on maintenance and repair trends that are occurring fleet-wide. When analyzing fault code data, look for trends and patterns. Are you seeing the same ones in assets of a similar age or make and model?  Are vehicles in a particular duty cycle recording the same fault codes? Are you seeing a pattern of failures in vehicles operating in a certain geographic area?

See also: Scheduled maintenance more important than ever

If you are finding recurring fault codes, you need to look further to determine what the true cause is. Was the vehicle spec’d wrong for the application? Do you need to install a more robust version of a component? Are technicians not getting to the root cause of the problem so that you are seeing failures upstream or downstream of the actual problem? Is the failure related to improper driving behavior?

Once you find the root cause of a problem, you can take steps to fix it to prevent it from continuing to be an issue.

Fault code data can also be useful in determining which parts to have in your inventory. If you know the types of failures you see most frequently, you can make sure to have the needed repair parts on hand so that a truck does not end up sitting while you wait for parts to be delivered. This knowledge is extremely important in today’s supply-constrained market, where you may not be able to get the part you need quickly.

Take advantage of what fault codes are telling you to make your fleet more efficient, productive, and safe.

Jane Clark is vice president of member services for NationaLease. In this position, she is focused on managing the member services operation as well as working to strengthen member relationships, reduce member costs, and improve collaboration within the NationaLease supporting groups. Prior to joining NationaLease, Clark served as area vice president for Randstad, one of the nation’s largest recruitment agencies, and before that, she served in management posts with QPS Cos., Pro Staff, and Manpower Inc.

About the Author

Jane Clark | Senior VP of Operations

Jane Clark is Senior Vice President, Operations for NationaLease. Prior to joining NationaLease, Jane served as Area Vice President for Randstad, one of the nation’s largest recruitment agencies, and before that, she served in management posts with QPS Companies, Pro Staff, and Manpower, Inc.

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