Spectro Scientific

Machine condition monitoring for trucking fleet - Environmental

Overview

Over-the-road trucking fleets depend on their vehicles for their business and revenue. Vehicle availability is critical and unexpected breakdowns can be costly – not only due to the cost of the repair but towing charges of a large truck and the lost revenue can add up to an expensive event.

Some fleets, especially municipal fleets have their own maintenance facilities while others rely on fleet service providers. Oil analysis can provide the fleet maintainers key information about the health of the oil as well as the vehicles. The goal is to get the vehicles serviced and back out on the road as quickly as possible. Those operations that have incorporated an oil analysis program into their maintenance operations have been able to optimize their work flow by improving the diagnostic capability of mechanical issues. Fleets can also achieve savings in reducing the number of unnecessary oil changes by monitoring the oil condition rather than changing oil on a time or mileage basis.

Challenges

  • Oil drains are expensive for large vehicles

By monitoring oil condition with on-site analysis the maintenance staff can determine if the oil drain interval can be extended safely. Reducing the number of oil drains required per vehicle by even just one time per year can provide significant savings across a fleet of vehicles. This also helps achieve green initiatives by reducing the oil consumption and oil disposal.

  • Repair costs can be high

Oil analysis can help identify potential problems early – before they become catastrophic and costly repairs.  On-site analysis provides the service technicians the information about the vehicle while it is still in the garage so repairs can be made immediately before it goes back out on the road.  Early identification could mean the difference between a $2,500 EGR cooler repair and a $30,000 engine rebuild.

  • Downtime of vehicles impacts service and revenue

When a vehicle is unavailable due to mechanical problems it means it is not available to provide necessary service like in the case of a city transit bus or if it is part of the public works fleet for things like snow removal.  For companies like freight haulers or mining equipment it means it will impact the revenue generating service it provides. Oil analysis can help fleet managers to ensure their vehicles will be up and running when they are needed.

  • Managing maintenance work flow can be difficult

A busy service garage, especially one that maintains a large fleet of vehicles needs to optimize the flow of their vehicles to get them in, serviced and back on the road in a timely manner. Many fleet customers of the MicroLab oil analyzer will bring a vehicle in and immediately pull an oil sample for test. While it is running they can conduct other necessary service checks. Within 15minutes, they will know whether they need to change the oil or if they can move on to other tasks. Incorporating oil analysis into the routine diagnostics checks allows fleet service providers to be more efficient with their time.