Mack enhances digital offerings with SAS, Trimble

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GuardDog Connect telematics data has helped reduce diagnostic times and more.

AUSTIN, Texas – Mack Trucks continues to build on its digital capabilities, most recently partnering with SAS and Trimble Transportation Enterprise.

A memorandum of understanding with Trimble was announced at the American Trucking Associations’ annual management conference and exhibition, while a partnership with SAS has been established to more effectively analyze data collected through Mack’s GuardDog Connect telematics platform.

More than 76,000 trucks now have GuardDog Connect. And the data they collect, utilized by 132 Certified Uptime Centers, has helped reduce diagnostic times by 70%, shorten repair times by 21%, increase shop efficiency by 24%, and reduce “check-in” times by more than 40 minutes, Mack says.

The SAS analytics and artificial intelligence will more effectively analyze available GuardDog Connect data, looking for patterns that can help to maximize uptime and improve decision-making processes, explains Roy Horton, Mack’s director of product strategy.

“SAS helped Mack build a scalable, flexible, enterprise-wide analytics system that enables the company to act upon signals from the telematics system in ways that exceed the expectations of Mack’s end customers,” said Bill Roberts, SAS director of IoT. “The system uses analytical techniques including visualization, machine learning and artificial intelligence to interpret streaming GuardDog Connect data and drive action when specific conditions arise.”

It’s just one example of ways that Mack has been enhancing its digital offerings.

Mack Over the Air, for example, now delivers software updates for powertrain components and vehicle parameters alike for those with 2017 or newer Mack engines. Over the course of a two-year warranty, Mack covers two updates per truck per year. Extended subscriptions are available.

If GuardDog Connect identifies a code that needs to be addressed, for example, One Call agents contact a Mack customer. New software is transmitted to the vehicle, and the remote update is scheduled. When everyone is ready, the driver turns off the key and engages the brakes among other steps.

“There’s no going off-route trying to find a dealer,” Horton said of the process that takes less than half an hour.

A series of pre-set modes are also available now, including a performance mode, a balanced mode that strikes a middle ground between fuel economy and performance, and an economy mode specifically designed to improve fuel economy.

Trimble’s approach to analyzing data, meanwhile, is meant to offer Mack customers a better view of asset performance and help boost productivity. The company offers tools for routing and dispatch, asset maintenance, business intelligence, transportation management, and fleet visibility.

“We recognize there are numerous opportunities to improve service and repair inefficiencies, and collectively we can better solve them,” said Scott Vanselous, executive vice-president and general manager of asset maintenance solutions for Trimble Transportation Enterprise.

Specific offerings to be developed under the memorandum of understanding have yet to be finalized.

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John G. Smith is the editorial director of Newcom Media's trucking and supply chain publications -- including Today's Trucking,, TruckTech, Transport Routier, and Road Today. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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