A connected fleet strategy creates an integrated ecosystem where fleet managers and owners use operational data to help make informed business decisions. The connected fleet is the future of the transportation and logistics space and integrates all the technologies used in fleet operations, from telematics and location data to driver behavior and more. When leveraged effectively, this data can act as the cornerstone of your maintenance strategy – informing service schedules, driver behavior changes and fuel efficiency. This data can also help reduce operational costs and boost your bottom line, two major wins for any fleet.

This blog highlights three ways to capture and leverage data to strengthen your connected fleet maintenance strategy.

1. Increase Driver and Vehicle Safety

The goal of every fleet manager is for their drivers to return safely after completing trips, especially knowing that motor vehicle crashes are one of the top leading causes of death across industry groups and more than one in three long-haul truck drivers have experienced a major crash throughout their career. Harsh braking, sharp turns and dismissing vehicle maintenance lights and alerts are all at-risk driving behaviors that contribute to increased costs, driver safety concerns and potential maintenance issues.

However, fleet managers using connected fleet technology can track and see driving behavior patterns with real-time data and analytics and then use that data to facilitate predictive maintenance with real-time alerts. With access to the data that shows how your drivers are driving your vehicles, you can better anticipate the maintenance needs of your fleet vehicles before they become an operational risk to your business.

For drivers to be safe on the road, their vehicles must be safe to drive and in top condition. With the help of connected fleet data, alerts can be set up to monitor the vehicle's health and inform fleet managers when it is time for necessary maintenance check-ups to prevent unpredicted safety concerns. With access to valuable behavioral data, fleet operators and managers can rest assured that both drivers and vehicles are set up for success when it’s time to hit the road.

2. Optimize Vehicle Locations and Routes

The next area where data can help inform your maintenance strategy is route optimizations. Fleet owners should know exactly where their drivers and vehicles are located at all times to keep their business moving smoothly. Using data, you can answer questions like – Where are my vehicles? Are they following their assigned route? Are my drivers being fuel efficient? When will the driver complete the assigned route?

Connected fleets answer these questions with tracking that informs managers where their vehicles are, how well they’re performing and how they can increase efficiency with route optimization. It is vital to know where your fleets are when unscheduled breakdowns occur, helping to avoid vehicle downtime and lost revenue ranging from an estimated average of $448 to $760 a day per vehicle.

Consider implementing a connected fleet strategy with geolocation tools to gain complete visibility of your current fleet’s operations. With real-time visibility into vehicle location, managers can better understand how much time a vehicle is spending at each location, how long it takes the driver to complete a trip and if there are nearby assignment opportunities to be routed to other jobs. Moreover, fuel management solutions track fuel usage and reveal how much fuel is used per route. Vehicle tracking technologies provide the data and insights needed to optimize routes, which can help reduce wear and tear on your vehicles.

3. Reduce Fuel Consumption and Vehicle Idling

Lastly, connected fleet data can help inform your maintenance strategy by uncovering opportunities to be more sustainable and eco-friendly. With the cost of fuel increasing significantly in the past few years, businesses are seeking out ways to manage operating costs and use data to help them manage their bottom line. By incorporating fuel management solutions into your connected fleet strategy, you can increase your fleet’s overall efficiency and reduce excess maintenance costs.

One fuel management area that requires attention is idling. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, idling wastes more than six billion gallons of gasoline and diesel a year, acting as a primary cause of wasted fuel. Solutions that monitor vehicle idling and subsequent vehicle data can help improve fuel efficiencies and pinpoint unnecessary spending costs associated with wasted fuel.

Other fuel management technologies like real-time monitoring solutions identify vehicle issues like fuel system malfunctions that increase maintenance costs and wasted fuel. Armed with the data from these solutions, fleet operators have insight into the state of their fleet’s fuel and can make informed decisions on how best to improve fuel efficiency.  

Choose a Connected Fleet Partner

We’ve outlined three areas where you can use fleet data for better maintenance strategies. However, the most critical step is choosing a collaborative fleet management solutions provider to help you capture, understand and extract actionable insights from your data. From initial goal setting to enacting actionable plans backed by data, solutions providers like MICHELIN Connected Fleet, Powered by NexTraq, can help optimize your fleet operations to help you make the best decisions for your business.

Ready to unlock your fleet data? The MICHELIN Connected Team is prepared to help you get the most from your fleet data and ensure you’re set up for success with a connected fleet maintenance strategy. For more information, call 800-358-6187 or contact us online.

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