An Apple a Day: How to Keep Your Fleet Healthy on a “Hi-Tech” Diet.

On-board technology, from telematics, to video, to collision avoidance and beyond, plays a critical role in the transportation industry.  The benefits of proactive adoption are clear, not to mention the requirements to adopt in order to meet federal mandates.  And, when properly maintained, these technologies provide transformative cost and efficiency benefits.

However, initial deployment and on-going maintenance can carry significant financial, system and human resource costs. Systems not only need to be installed quickly and correctly to streamline operational adoption and maximize ROI, they must be maintained to ensure those benefits don’t diminish over time.

Just like the human body, these systems deserve attention.  Our bodies send signals, such as getting tired or slowing down, when our health is failing. Routine health checks help doctors diagnose these symptoms to get us up-and-running again. But who is monitoring the health of your technology systems?  If we wait to see a doctor until our body is shutting down, there is often little they can do to heal us, or the recovery will be lengthy and expensive.  Allowing your technology to breakdown can lead to erosion of benefits, lost data, fines for non-compliance, increased exposure to safety risks, legal and insurance costs.  And deferred maintenance will typically take much longer, and cost much more.  Technology that isn’t at maximum performance and up-time costs your fleet money.

And while fleets have preventative maintenance programs in place, either through internal maintenance staff or external partners, these programs almost exclusively focus on the traditional mission-critical components such as engines, tires, brakes, etc.  When issues do arise with technology, internal resources are often not trained to troubleshoot and repair the systems, which often vary from vehicle to vehicle.  They may not have replacement inventory for an array of on-board technologies.  Or if they do, it may not be located where the system needs to be repaired.  And even if they have the training and inventory, do they have the scheduling bandwidth to get the system back to health?  Without a plan in place, time and money are lost.

That’s why proactively monitoring the health and performance of technology solutions is so important.  With a system health monitoring plan in place, performance indicators can be tracked remotely, in real-time, and indicate when a system may be ailing or failing, so it can be repaired to a healthy state quickly and cost effectively.  Proactive system health monitoring avoids costly downtime due to system failure, ensures systems are operating optimally and allows them to do the job you expect of them.  Technology providers have brought incredible solutions to our industry, and we need to keep those solutions happy and healthy.

So, don’t let the health of your fleet technology become a sore point. By taking the apple a day approach, you can extend longevity, maximize performance, minimize “sick days” and keep your business moving forward.

Written By: Deryk Powell, President