SAVANNAH, Ga. — Volvo Trucks will make its Volvo Link Sentry two-way satellite communications and Volvo Action Service (VAS) 24/7 roadside assistance service standard on all trucks with U.S. ’07 engines.
When the 2008 models (equipped with EPA 2007 engines) begin hitting the street in the first quarter of 2007, they will all have instant access to technical expertise and round-the-clock service support as standard features.
Sentry is a special feature of Volvo Link that reads fault codes involving the truck or engine electronic control units. Sentry then transmits that information to Volvo’s VAS. In most cases, the driver will notice the fault code first and contact VAS. Sentry also allows VAS to take action first, if the situation requires it.
When a fault code comes in from a truck, VAS’s technical support experts will review the situation and determine what, if any, corrective action should be taken. VAS contacts the driver either by cell phone or through the Volvo Link communications display in the truck’s gauge cluster. VAS will interpret the fault code and provide the driver or owner with recommended actions. VAS can also assist the driver in scheduling service if necessary. The driver is always in control of the truck — no corrective action will be taken without notification.
Messages transmitted from trucks are received by ground stations, and then relayed to Volvo customer support or fleet terminals via the Internet.
“This system combines early warning of potential trouble with technical counsel and a round-the-clock customer support system,” said Scott Kress, senior vice-president, sales & marketing. “It also gives drivers the reassurance to know that help is only a phone call – or satellite message – away, regardless of where they are or what time it is.”
The combination of Sentry and VAS works like this:
Driver sees the fault code and determines whether immediate contact with VAS is warranted, or to make contact later if the situation isn’t urgent. The driver or owner contacts VAS via a toll-free number or by selecting the “breakdown” message on the Volvo Link menu. The Volvo Tech Support Group helps diagnose the fault codes and recommends a course of action. VAS then advises the driver regarding possible action, ranging from no action required, to pulling into the next Volvo dealer. VAS stays on the case until the issue is closed.
Fleet managers will also find Sentry a valuable tool for increasing productivity and reducing operating costs. Sentry gathers and e-mails regular reports to fleet managers on how the truck has been operated based on criteria such as fuel used, distance traveled, miles per gallon, time in or out of RPM sweet spot, time above or below pre-set speeds, and time in or out of cruise control.
Sentry can identify drivers with poor or dangerous driving habits, alerting fleet managers to the need for remedial safety training for those drivers. It records ABS events for example, as well as events involving the Volvo Enhanced Stability Technology system, and traction control assistance.
Model Year 2008 Volvo trucks come with three years of Sentry and VAS coverage standard. Customers can purchase the services after that period, as can second owners of the vehicles. Volvo introduced Sentry in August 2005 for with the launch of its flagship, the VT 880.
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