Monday, June 29, 2020

As trucks get more complex, so does fleet maintenance

Technicians are turning to new tools and technologies to overcome these challenges and reaping dividends through predictive maintenance and less vehicle downtime. 


The growing complexity of modern trucks is driving changes at maintenance shops and for the workers who have to navigate this increasingly digital world.

“Electronics allow vehicles to have a better conversation with technicians than ever before,” said Kristy LaPage, business manager of the commercial vehicle group at Mitchell 1. “In the transition from mechanical to electronic control systems, there has also been a shift from technicians to diagnosticians. Vehicle electronics are the source of information that can become actionable, so shop solutions are evolving with this change.”

“The digital shop is not only changing inspection and maintenance practices,” said Jeff Sweet, solutions engineer at Decisiv, a provider of a service relationship management (SRM) platform. “Advancements in sensors and monitoring continue to improve fault condition filtering and help prioritize work based on fault severity.”

Photo: Noregon

A solution that simultaneously diagnoses all components is now essential as an intake tool for technicians.

Also constantly under development are the tools technicians need to service advanced electronic systems.

“A solution that simultaneously diagnoses all components is now essential as an intake tool,” stated Tim Bigwood, CEO at Noregon Systems, a provider of JPRO commercial vehicle diagnostic and monitoring solutions. “And those tools have evolved because while previously there were limited fault trees to consider based on symptoms, today’s vehicles are more complex, so the aid of a diagnostic and repair solution is a necessity.”

The increase in electronics on vehicles is allowing for real-time access to the equipment’s operating conditions and fault data, noted Renaldo Adler, industrial principal, asset maintenance, at Trimble Transportation Enterprise.

“Fleets now have access to a vast amount of diagnostic data needed to repair assets faster,” he said. “Inspections can also be improved with the use of electronic diagnostic tools, which analyze the equipment’s condition and any active faults, so maintenance departments are able to be proactive.”
Remote diagnostics

All of the original equipment manufacturers offer systems on their new trucks that provide diagnostic data. These sensor-based and telematics-driven solutions can improve maintenance efficiency and vehicle uptime.

Kenworth dealers, for example, use diagnostic data from TruckTech+ Remote Diagnostics.

“We have found it can cut the time a unit is in our shop by 30%,” said Josh Hayes, branch manager at NorCal Kenworth – San Leandro. “We’ve also found that among trucks with TruckTech+ Remote Diagnostics, we’re seeing about a 15% reduction in the number of trucks that must be towed because remote diagnostics allow us to monitor fault codes and diagnose issues to determine if a truck can be driven into the shop.”

Photo: Mack Trucks

For OEMs, part of the value of remote diagnostics systems is that the vehicle is effectively reporting its own status.

Sanjiv Khurana, general manager of digital vehicle solutions at Daimler Trucks North America, said with the Detroit “virtual technician” system, maintenance managers get real-time alerts and a plan for critical faults. When the truck arrives at the service location, the diagnostic information and fault history allow the technician to get a jump-start on the repair process.

At Peterbilt, SmartLinq remote diagnostics have been integrated with reasoning engine technology to enable more precise diagnostic information, fault code collection, and enhanced analysis by linking cascading faults.

Volvo, Mack, and Navistar also offer their own systems, aimed at reducing downtime and allowing for over-the-air software updates.

“With the increase in electronics on commercial vehicles, fleets have a better understanding of vehicle health,” said Brian Mulshine, director of customer experience for Navistar’s OnCommand Connection.

In short, the value in all of these remote diagnostics systems is that the vehicle is effectively reporting its own status to a maintenance operation.

“The key for truck fleets is to apply electronics to enable a proactive system that adds value and not cost,” said Wally Stegall, technical fellow, director at Morey Corp.

Robert Braswell, executive director of the Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC), noted that greater vehicle complexity makes preventive maintenance more of a challenge. “Until enough fleet data in the field is gathered, it makes it more difficult to optimize service and inspection schedules for new electronic systems,” he explained. “But increasing complexity can bring with it sensor-based maintenance strategies that can help with self-diagnostics.”

Source: https://www.fleetowner.com/maintenance/trucks-get-more-complex-so-does-fleet-maintenance?NL=FO-02&Issue=FO-02_20190321_FO-02_446&sfvc4enews=42&cl=article_1_b&utm_rid=CPENT000004488230&utm_campaign=23847&utm_medium=email&elq2=5bd8750c9eba4791abe0019c109758f6

Friday, June 26, 2020

Let's talk video telematics


Many fleets are making use of cameras that can be installed throughout the truck. The typical video telematics system is made up of a series of cameras and sensors that monitor driver and truck behavior and set alerts to the fleet manager if certain parameters are exceeded or violated.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Avoiding brake-related CSA citations



The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s CSA violations should be an unnecessary problem, especially since they can lead to costly delays, and unexpected downtime may cause fleets to lose customers not only because of delays.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

How to back up an RV / Trailer "tail swing"


The most common piece of advice that is given to new RV owners is to go out to a parking lot and practice backing up around cones. That is good and all but HOW should you setup the cones??? The maneuvers in this video are setup to teach control of the trailer, and build confidence in the driver. The best drivers are confident and relaxed. This link shows diagrams of how to setup each maneuver. Yes these are the same backing maneuvers used to test CDL drivers. If new truck drivers can parallel park a semi truck, YOU can parallel park an RV. http://bigrigcareer.com/cdl-skills-te...

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

What to Know About Towing | Consumer Reports


There are so many vessels and vehicles to satisfy your inner adventurer. Consumer Reports’ expert explains what you need to know about getting these beauties from point A to point B.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Why do Cars Get Impounded?

Impounded cars are those placed in tow yards legally before they are returned back to their owners, recycled, auctioned or completely destroyed. Impounding agencies must have a legal right before impounding a vehicle. The agents tow the vehicle once they find it in their list of automobiles for impounding.

Police or private agencies have the right to impound vehicles that are violating the law and store them in their yards. The law allows them to store impounded cars until all the fees charged are paid. They are licensed to have your vehicle impounded. If not, find a lawyer to represent your case in court.
Auctioning of abandoned vehicle is often organized to assist in recovery of cash used during towing and the time the auto was stored in the yard. This is usually done if the owner of the vehicle is not found, the owner doesn’t want the car anymore or if the vehicle has overstayed in the yard.
Before retrieving your impounded vehicle, you first need to understand why it was impounded in the first place. This will allow you plan accordingly.

Reasons cars get impounded

    i. Driving with no license
    ii. Possession of a stolen car
    iii. Car was involved in an accident
    iv. The car isn’t insured
    v. Over speeding
    vi. Your car was found abandoned on the road
    vii. Driving under suspension
    viii. Outstanding fines for parking
    ix. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
    x. If your car got involved in assaulting someone
    xi. If the car is not correctly parked
    xii. Your registration is expired
    xiii. If you are violating traffic rules
    xiv. Driving vehicles that are not roadworthy
    xv. If your car is exposing the public to potential health hazards or any other risks

Impounded Vehicles

Has the vehicle been impounded illegally?

In case your car gets impounded illegally, contact a criminal defense lawyer to help you fight for your lawful rights. Most people with impounded cars often make claims of ownership and get collection letters. Once at the correct impounding station, you’ll be needed to prove your identity and ownership of the car.

Sometimes, you might not be able to retrieve your car by yourself due to unavoidable circumstances. If you’d wish to send someone on your behalf, let them bring with them a letter of authorization signed by you, a copy of your driving license and an insurance certificate to prove your identity.

The cost of retrieving your vehicle

Getting your car back for free is almost impossible; there are fees that must be paid before you get your car. The police or private agencies charge you storage and towing fees. All your outstanding charges and fees must be cleared. Abandoning your vehicle because you don’t want to pay charges is not advisable.
It might result in your car being auctioned or completely destroyed. Afterward, you won’t have any claim for that car. The impounding agencies would benefit from auctioning your car. Even so, the municipal or companies you owe debts for years would still want you to pay them.
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Thursday, June 11, 2020

Is There a recall on Your Vehicle?

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

Every vehicle has a unique VIN. Enter a VIN to learn if a specific vehicle needs to be repaired as part of a recall.
Enter here:

What this VIN search tool will show


Follow this link to find recall on your vehicle: https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls

Monday, June 8, 2020

How to perform a Class A CDL Pre-Trip inspection.



Jeff from Apex CDL Institute demonstrates how to perform a proper pre-trip inspection on a Class A tractor trailer. Remember, your states examiners might require a slightly different procedure. The process we use is good for both Kansas and Missouri and will pass easily in most states.

Friday, June 5, 2020

The Need for Truck Scales

Image result for truck scales

It's no secret that most of America's goods are transported by truck. Because of this, states have enacted various laws and taxes to regulate the industry. Each state has its own laws on how much a truck can weigh when transporting goods. A common standard for the weight allowed is 34,000 pounds or 15,400 kilograms. The amount of weight carried per axle is called axle weight. The gross weight is the total of all the axles of the truck. Most states receive taxes from the truck weigh stations, which goes to improving the roadways. Trucks that are overweight are subject to heavy fines, which is why there are many high quality truck scales available for companies and contractors.

Truck scales are made out of concrete and steel. They are built to handle a large amount of weight each day all year long. The scales can handle up to 80,000 pounds or 36,000 kilograms per load. The weight is calculated by sensors that receive signals from a junction box. Strain gauges, which are wires are embedded in the concrete and have an electrical current running through them. These wires will compress when pressure from the weight of the truck is sensed. The weight is then displayed on a monitor in a booth where the attendant records the weight. It is vital that these systems are reliable and functioning, because if they aren't it will directly affect their pocketbooks.

Another way that is used is called one-axle. In this instance the truck driver needs to place each axle on the truck scales one axel at a time. Once all the axles are weighed a total is given. This takes a lot of time out of the driver's schedule. One stop weighing is where the driver can place the truck on one large scale and the controller will give a gross weight. The one popular method of weighting trucks is when the truck is in motion. The truck doesn't have to stop at all. The sensors on the truck scales will pick up the weight and record it all while the truck is in motion.

Another reason that a company uses truck scales is because running an over loaded truck all the time would cause more wear on the truck. The engine would have to work harder which means you need to change your oil more often to accommodate for the extra stress. Tires would also wear out at a faster pace. Running an over weighted truck is a safety hazard as well as being illegal.

Fines for running an over weighted truck in some states have become much higher. Some fines ran 10 cents a pound for every pound you were over the weight limit, up to a fine of $500 per load. Those same states now are charging fines of 12 cents per pound with no limit to the amount of the fine. States are getting tired of truckers running loads that are overweight and ruining their roads and endangering other drivers. The heavy weight of the trucks does enough damage to the roadways at the normal weight. When to many over weighted trucks continually use their roads it causes repair needs to be done often. The taxes they collect go towards keeping the roads safe for all drivers. So we all have truck scales to thank for not only getting us our goods, but keeping us safe as well!

Troy writes about anything and everything interesting. Have any idea for an article? Pass it along!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Troy_Bassham/1147404

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6859351

Photo Source: https://www.mt.com/us/en/home/products/Transport_and_Logistics_Solutions.html?smartRedirectEvent=true

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Who You Gonna Call? A&T Road Service - We'll Get You Back on the Road!



At A&T "Mobile" Truck Road Service we like to think of ourselves as the "Ambulance Service for Trucks." If your truck is broken down, we will come to you and perform the necessary triage to get you back on the road. Now includes towing, load adjustments, and more.

A&T "Mobile" Heavy Duty Truck and Trailer Road Service is a 24-hour, 7-days a week roadside mobile truck repair service for light and medium-duty to heavy duty commercial trucks and trailers. A&T Road Service, a subsidiary of North Bay Truck Center.

Our fleet incudes a 2014 Kenworth (Shown in video) with a 500 hp Cummins and 18-speed gearbox is outfitted with an NRC Quickswap detachable tow unit with a tag axle for extra capacity. This allows the truck to be a wrecker and also a transfer vehicle, so with the unit disconnected, it will tow mobile home units, trailers of all kinds and with the wrecker unit attached is capable of lifting up to 20,000 lb steer axles for heavy duty truck towing. This unit can easily to HD trucks, buses, mobile homes.


Not only do we provide 24 Hour Emergency service, we could come out and do light mechanical work on site to our customer's fleet and avoid the truck having to come in the shop.We will go just about anywhere for anything, at anytime. We have a wide normal service area and have been known to go beyond those boundaries by request. See our Service Area.

Below is a bullet point list of services by A&T Road Service.

 New: In-House TOWING
            Fully Equipped Mobile Repair Units
            Tire Replacement
            Load Adjustments
            Welding
            Fuel Delivery
            Lock-Outs
            Vehicle Storage
            Hydraulics
            DOT & BIT Inspections
            Crane Inspections
            Glass Replacement
            Vehicle Rentals
            Liftgate Repairs and Service
            Tens of Thousands of Parts In Stock


North Bay Truck Center is centrally located in Fairfield CA to service all of Solano County along with much of the San Francisco/Oakland bay area and Sacramento. A&T Road Service is available by calling 800-434-1205,

You can also visit our website at http://www.NorthBayTruckCenter.com