LAS VEGAS. Deryk Powell, president of Velociti, painted the cost of onboard technology break downs in stark terms during a press event at the American Trucking Associations (ATA) annual conference – and as a result is rolling out a national repair plan to not only cut such costs but reduce risk exposure as well.
With the impending electronic logging device (ELD) mandate and the rapid growth of other connected vehicle technologies, such as in-cab video, Powell believes “prioritized maintenance” of on-board systems is now “essential.”
“The consequences of non-functioning equipment are far worse than just not meeting ROI [return on investment] projections,” he emphasized. “A reactive approach to technology support leads to increased downtime while a proactive, preventive approach can assure that not only benefits are realized but that safety and compliance requirements are met as well.”
That also includes reducing the risks of fines due to non-functioning ELDs as well as from legal issues relating to non-functioning video monitoring systems, Powell said.
“Fleets deploy a range of technologies for a variety of reasons but these systems are only beneficial when they are working,” he stressed. “They must be maintained just like tires and engines.”
That’s where VelociCare comes in: a subscription-based support program that costs $3 to $6 per truck per month to provide fleets with on-board technology support from “virtual” repairs done “over-the-air” to physical repairs via a national network of 300 or so mobile technicians, who are dispatched to wherever the truck with the problem may be: a rest stop, truck stop, distribution center, etc.
VelociCare is already in operation, Powell noted, monitoring 160,000 devices on trucks operated by seven fleets.
He added that in Velociti’s experience, about 10% to 20% of all onboard systems require some sort or repair or adjustment on an annual basis.
In one fleet customer’s experience Powell shared – a fleet operating 3,000 trucks – it suffered a 26% repair call rate for its onboard systems, taking 750 trucks off the road for service. Yet 42% of the time, those “repairs” were actually false trouble codes, he noted. Yet the fleet still had to pay for them, driving its annual on-board support costs up to $225,000 annually.
With VelociCare, Powell said that fleet cut its on-board repair service calls to 8% with the number of “false reports” down to 4%, reducing its onboard technology service costs to $108,000 per year.
He added that VelociCare is also available in Canada under the name “Velociti Express” through several partner companies who can deploy between 15 to 20 mobile technicians.
Other features of the VelociCare service include:
- Customized support based on a wide range of categories, but always tied back to a single proactive system health monitoring feature.
- System “health monitoring” occurs in real-time to allow Velociti to resolve any situation quickly, based on the severity of the issue and the customer’s preferences.
- For example, a malfunctioning ELD in a long-haul scenario is scheduled for repair as soon as possible, whereas an issue such as a system settings adjustment on a local-delivery scenario is typically addressed upon return to base.
- In all cases, Velociti guarantees completion timeframes within the service agreement crafted with the fleet.
- Web-based Project Management with real-time updates of any pending repairs.
- System Troubleshooting by Velociti’s Tech Support Call Center
- Device repair part storage, shipping and staging
“The proactive nature of VelociCare allows for technology problems to be addressed before they get out of hand and become even more costly for the carrier,” Powell noted. “We’re helping our customers eliminate the hidden downtime between system failure, the reporting of that failure, and finally the resolution.”