NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Volvo Trucks is promising improved uptime with its latest series of products and partnerships, announced at the Technology and Maintenance Council meetings here this week.
The truck maker has announced an Uptime Protection Plan, which will offer compensation to customers whose Volvo trucks are sidelined for more than 24 hours. Customers who register for the program - available in the US and Canada - will qualify for $100 per day for up to five days for each warrantable engine repair that’s not completed within 24 hours from the time of diagnosis, the company announced. Customers will receive payment in the form of a Volvo debit card, redeemable at Volvo dealerships.
“We see this as putting our money where our mouth is,” David Pardue, vice-president, aftermarket business development and soft products with Volvo told Truck News at TMC.
“Our customers need their trucks up and running and our dealers need their customers to be satisfied,” he added. “Both are critical to their respective bottom lines. The introduction of Volvo’s Uptime Protection Plan not only proves Volvo’s commitment to uptime, but it also shows that we unequivocally stand behind the quality of our products.”
Volvo also is promising the ability to better track repair processes through the use of geofencing. The company is adding geofencing capabilities to its Remote Diagnostics program, so it can identify each time a truck enters and leaves a Volvo dealership for service.
The data provided through geofencing will allow employees at Volvo’s Uptime Centre to better understand the repair process and determine the most efficient way to address a repair situation and measure the time require to complete repairs at the service facility, the company announced at TMC.
Geofencing creates a virtual perimeter around Volvo dealerships. Trucks equipped with Remote Diagnostics will trigger alerts each time they enter or depart a Volvo dealer for service.
And as for Remote Diagnostics, Volvo has announced it’s now being extended to include the VHD and VAH vocational models. Remote Diagnostics communicates fault codes to a central call centre where they can be analyzed and evaluated. The call centre can then notify the fleet of the urgency of the situation, and advise them to seek support immediately or continue on their journey.
The system has been offered for about a year now on VN models, and Volvo officials say customers are realizing the benefits. The company says Remote Diagnostics has proven to reduce the average diagnostic time at a service location by 71% while lowering the average repair time by 25%.
One of the first fleets to use Remote Diagnostics is Purolator Courier.
“Remote Diagnostics gives me instant and accurate information on our fleet while our trucks are running, and provides me with the information I need to make educated decisions when there is an issue with a truck out on the road,” said Nash Stamenkovic, Metro West garage foreman with Purolator Courier. “That has been a huge time-saver for us.”
Another satisfied Canadian fleet is Challenger Motor Freight. At TMC, Pardue told Truck News that Challenger has seen its average repair time decrease by one full day per downtime event.
“With Remote Diagnotics, we send the repair instructions ahead of time, so we’re able to advise customers if something needs to be serviced now or if it can wait until they’re finished their run or finished their hours,” explained Conal Deedy, product marketing manager, electronics and communications with Volvo. ”It takes the guessing out of it, because they’re getting data while the truck is out on the road.”
Volvo also has announced it has inked Memorandums of Agreement with Telogis and Trimble, which the company says marks the industry’s first collaborative business relationships between a truck manufacturer and providers of well used fleet management systems.
The agreements will allow Volvo to provide increased flexibility to fleet managers who wish to optimize the performance of their fleets using the Telogis platform, or the PeopleNet system, which is owned by Trimble, Volvo announced.
“Our agreements with Telogis and Trimble will enable us to continue to expand our connected vehicle services offerings,” said David Pardue, Volvo Trucks vice-president of aftermarket business development. “Volvo was the first OEM to offer a telematics solution to the market, and we are now the first to work with the industry’s leading fleet management solutions providers. These agreements extend our telematics capabilities so that customers have the option to select a fleet management service that leverages Volvo’s integrated connected vehicle platform.”