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What is Predictive Maintenance Recording Software?

By Jackson Hand October 7, 2021

Predictive maintenance (PdM) is a maintenance program that uses sensor data and condition monitoring tools to help improve asset performance. Data generated by these sensors supplies near real-time insights that signal when an asset will require maintenance. With this type of predictive modelling, an organisation can establish a maintenance management strategy that keeps equipment in the field for as long as possible while also helping to prevent equipment failure. 

For fleet-based organisations, taking even one vehicle out of service comes at a steep price to their overall productivity and, by extension, the bottom line. At the same time, managing regular vehicle upkeep can be a full-time job for fleet managers. Deploying a PdM strategy by using maintenance recording software such as a GPS vehicle tracking solution makes it simple and easy to predict when a vehicle needs to be pulled from operation for repairs or maintenance. Sensors connected to the fleet tracking solution monitor vehicle diagnostics and signal when certain maintenance-needed conditions have been met. 

Predictive versus preventive maintenance

Predictive and preventive maintenance are both critical elements of a vehicle maintenance operations strategy—and while they are similar, each delivers unique benefits.  

  • Predictive maintenance relies on predicting when equipment or assets will need maintenance based on a set of predetermined parameters. These parameters are continuously monitored via sensors. Near real-time data provided by the sensors triggers an alert that maintenance is needed when a specific parameter, or condition, has been met. 
  • Preventative maintenance is a regularly scheduled process for routine updates, such as tyre rotations and oil changes, as well as bigger fixes. This type of maintenance is critical to manage the health of all fleet vehicles and is performed on regular intervals—however, it often requires the additional burden of keeping track of maintenance schedules. 

In both the case of predictive and preventative maintenance, a GPS tracking solution can help reduce maintenance related pressures on fleet managers and maintenance teams to help them focus on other productive activities.  

5 Benefits of fleet maintenance recording software

Let’s explore how predictive maintenance recording software helps reduce unplanned downtime and helps cut costs associated with equipment failure and labor. 

1. Less vehicle downtime

Purchasing a vehicle with maintenance recording software built in provides businesses with a real-time view on equipment health, which means service managers aren’t looking at last month’s mileage records or driver inspection reports from last week to uncover an issue that is long overdue for service and needs to be taken off the road right away.

Vehicle data is fed in near real-time to a web-based dashboard, allowing the fleet operations team to see exactly which vehicles will need preventative maintenance in the near future. Teams can also schedule automated alerts that trigger maintenance scheduling reminders for service managers when vehicles meet specific thresholds.

This advance notice from the maintenance recording software allows managers to schedule replacement equipment, minimising disruption to operations and time in the shop waiting for a service. The bonus is that servicing is only performed when the vehicle actually needs it - not at arbitrary (and often unnecessary) intervals.

Just-in-time servicing also means your vehicles are being serviced at the right time, reducing the chance of unwanted breakdowns and extra costs.

2. GPS tracking helps improve fuel tracking and economy

GPS fleet tracking allows you to track vehicle mileage and fuel economy without manual data entry. Poor fuel economy can often be an indicator of unreported maintenance issues in your vehicles.

One data point offered as standard with many OEM telematics software solutions is tyre pressure, with alerts for low tyre pressure.

Tyres that aren't inflated correctly reduce fuel economy by 0.3% for every one PSI under the recommended pressure (across all tyres). Proper inflation reduces carbon emissions by more than 450 kg. Underinflated tyres wear up to 16% quicker and are the cause of approximately 90% of all tyre failures.

Low tyre pressure can also indicate a slow puncture, which could be a major inconvenience (or safety issue) if the leak isn’t repaired quickly.

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3. Get more mileage on warranties

This isn’t just about the warranties on new fleet vehicles but parts usage too. Just about anything a service department purchases comes with a warranty, and maintenance recording software can make sure you have accurate records to get the most out of any manufacturer’s guarantee.

Teams can maximise their warranties even further by proactively scheduling services within the warranty period.

Take advantage of warranty entitlements, improve vehicle ROI and cut down on unnecessary maintenance costs.

4. Preventive maintenance to extend the life of the vehicle

More accurate maintenance and early warning systems for potential problems helps your service department take the best care of vehicles. It also allows vehicle and equipment dealers to keep a close eye on fleet health; they can proactively provide expert advice on other things businesses can do to prolong the life of their vehicles.

With options to share specific diagnostic data in near real-time with vehicle or equipment dealerships, they can know right away if there’s an issue that needs their attention. They can immediately adjust maintenance schedules and organise servicing for a mutually convenient time, without the long wait or significant downtime normally associated with booking vehicles into a dealership’s service department.

Fleet maintenance recording software also provides valuable insights into historical vehicle performance. Mobile businesses can get a clear picture of the vehicles that are the best fit for operation, providing the most trouble-free motoring and fewer breakdowns.

It’s all about extending the useful life of the vehicle, maximising utilisation and letting it go when ROI starts dropping off.

5. Higher Resale value

Speaking of letting vehicles go, most fleet owners cycle vehicles out at some point. A built-in OEM solution provides an excellent record of vehicle use and performance to give insight to potential buyers regarding the history of that vehicle.

It paints an accurate picture of the maintenance and health of the vehicle – helping boost resale value and making sure owners get the most from the original vehicle or equipment investment.

Predictive maintenance recording software in multiple industries

Predictive maintenance recording software is used across multiple industries, from transportation to construction and oil and gas. Fleet managers have realised that PdM supported by the right GPS fleet tracking solution makes it easy to stay on top of maintenance issues before they happen and help keep vehicles in premium condition. This, in turn, enables them to deliver the performance their business counts on.  

Businesses like yours rely on a fleet to make money—that’s why it’s critical to maintain a healthy fleet of vehicles with regular maintenance, which can easily be achieved with maintenance recording software

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Jackson Hand

An industry specialist and regular contributor, dedicated to help businesses of all sizes save money and overcome challenges associated with managing fleets.

Tags: Cost Control, Productivity & Efficiency, Vehicle Maintenance

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