Managing Parts Needs During Mobile Maintenance Events
It’s straightforward, a fact that anyone in the trucking industry knows well — trucks that aren’t moving aren’t generating revenue. Idle trucks, in fact, are only generating costs.
For fleet maintenance managers, that maxim drives their main mission of keeping trucks, tractors, and trailers on the road. In turn, they routinely employ tried and true practices, including:
- Establishing effective inspection and preventive maintenance programs
- Using advanced diagnostic tools to quickly identify the cause of vehicle issues
- Following triage procedures that facilitate shop productivity
- Training technicians to work on today’s highly advanced vehicles
- Ensuring that timely maintenance is performed
- Maintaining adequate parts supplies
Maintenance goes mobile
The drive to ensure and improve asset availability is increasingly leading to growth in both company-operated and outsourced mobile service operations. That’s because taking the shop to the truck, tractor or trailer has inherent advantages. On-site service, for example, doesn’t require the time it takes to bring equipment to and from the shop. It’s also more easily managed around a fleet’s or an outside service provider customer’s schedule.
But on the road, in the yard, or at a job site, mobile maintenance requires an ability to capture critical information about repair and parts needs. Today, devices like smartphones and tablets enable that to happen by giving mobile technicians access to maintenance management systems no matter where the vehicle is located.
The TMT Mobile Mechanic app from Trimble Transportation is a good example of that technology at work. It streamlines the service and repair process for technicians by giving them remote access to critical data where and when they need it.
With Mobile Mechanic technicians can use a wide range of capabilities and features to create and manage work orders from any location, capture mileage, and enter notes about repair causes. They also can fill parts needs by locating and requesting items so service and repair events are completed as efficiently and productively as possible.
Expanding functionality to address new challenges
A central feature of these types of tools is their ability to deliver the capabilities of shop management systems in a mobile environment. Included are vendor integrations. By extending information transfer to parts suppliers, for example, the ability to order the correct parts and facilitate more timely repairs leads to a reduction in downtime.
The value of connected mobile technology became rapidly apparent with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. As essential services, truck maintenance and repair operations were called on to carry out their role while simultaneously finding new ways to function that provided for reduced exposure for technicians, parts and management personnel, and drivers.
Part of meeting that challenge was to deploy mobile technology designed specifically to enable remote inspections, preventive maintenance, and repairs. Those tools are now proving valuable for maintenance operations by allowing fleet shops and service centers to keep trucks rolling, regardless of where assets are being serviced.
FinditParts is the largest single-source Internet distributor of heavy-duty OEM and aftermarket parts. FinditParts is your partner in keeping your heavy-duty truck on the road.