Volvo’s Remote Diagnostics now in 25,000 trucks

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Volvo Trucks announced it has now deployed 25,000 trucks with its Remote Diagnostics service since it was first introduced two years ago.

Remote Diagnostics allows Volvo’s 24/7 customer call centre to monitor engine fault codes and then determine their severity and advise the operator on the best course of action. As much as 70% of diagnostic time has been eliminated, Volvo says, and often the driver can continue on their trip and have the problem looked at during the truck’s next scheduled service interval.

Volvo says the service also has reduced repair time by about 20%, since the service centre is advised in advance of the work that needs to be performed. Even fleets that perform their own repairs have seen downtime decrease by as much as a day, since they can better plan for the work that needs to be done and ensure parts are in stock, Conal Deedy, product marketing manager, electronics and communications, told Truck News at the Technology & Maintenance Council meetings.

“We continue to see efficiencies, mainly because we’re getting all that information and getting instructions to the repair centre before the truck arrives, making sure parts are in stock when the truck arrives and many times, they can skip many or all the diagnostic steps and go right to the repair,” Deedy said.

Remote Diagnostics was announced in May 2012, and the first truck equipped with it was delivered to Purolator Courier in July 2012. The service is now standard on Volvo trucks with Volvo engines and is free for two years. After that, fleets have the choice of extending the service on a subscription basis. The first fleets that received trucks equipped with Remote Diagnostics are now at the stage where they have to decide whether or not it’s worth paying for.

“We’ve already started selling years three, four and five,” Deedy said. “We started selling that last year and we’re already seeing a take rate on that. We’re hitting what we thought, maybe more.”

He said fleets enjoy being able to view their complete service history, to receive quotes and communicate via text or e-mail using the ASIST service platform that supports Remote Diagnostics.

The program targets the top 50 downtime issues for any given engine. It doesn’t yet diagnose I-Shift transmission fault codes, but Deedy hinted that could be coming.

“We will be expanding the service,” he said.

The 25,000th truck with Remote Diagnostics, a VNL 670, was delivered to Averitt Express of Cookesville, Tenn.

Volvo also revealed it is building a new 123,000 sq.-ft. facility on its Greensboro, N.C. campus. About a third of that space will serve as a dedicated Uptime Center.

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