I think that technology is amazing, and here at Penske Truck Leasing we’re using it to make our customer’s lives easier if a truck breakdown occurs. In the most recent past (and in some cases still in the present) the mere appearance of a CEL [check engine light] or MIL [malfunction indicator light] indicator on the dashboard would create an emotional response from the driver.

In nearly every scenario, the driver would be left to wonder: can I continue driving this truck today to complete my run? Do I have to visit the shop to get it diagnosed and fixed? Is it possible that the fault code is minor enough that I could finish out the work week? Will this damage the truck and could I be responsible, if I still drive it?

Thanks to a new remote diagnostics platform that’s part of our connected fleet solution, we’re at the industry forefront in helping answer those questions from thousands of miles away.

The platform enables our in-house 24/7 roadside coordinators to provide faster assistance and improve the customer’s uptime. How do we accomplish this?

  • The proprietary device-neutral data platform allows us to connect our systems with nearly every truck and engine configuration or telematics service provider.
  • In near-real time, we have visibility to each set of manufacturer fault codes, and what their meanings are, at our fingertips.
  • We can tell the fleet manager, or the driver directly, whether or not immediate action is required.
  • If immediate action is required, we now have a head start on determining a repair plan, or if we need to, begin arrangements for a tow and a replacement truck.

Prior to the advent of remote diagnostics, the road call would require a vendor to diagnose the fault, delaying the next step of a repair plan. In many cases, we can more confidently tell the customer to continue their deliveries while we schedule the truck for inspection the following day.

With the premium on uptime, driver hours-of-service, and increasing critical time delivery windows, the time savings that a remote diagnostics platform provides to customers is extremely valuable.

Remote diagnostics is a wonderful new step forward in this digital age that’s really enhanced the transportation industry. For companies like Penske, a connected fleet solutions platform provides for a technological path to one of our next frontiers: predictive vehicle maintenance.