Understanding Predictive Maintenance: What Does a Mile Mean to You?

“All miles aren’t created equal,” says Justin Garver, FleetPulse sales manager at Great Dane.  

It’s a simple concept with complex implications for fleets. When it comes to maintenance, efficiency, and safety, no fleet can afford to treat every mile the same way. A trailer’s route might be mostly uphill or downhill, or a long, straight highway going 65 MPH. Maybe it’s an urban route, with a lot of stops at traffic lights. The trailer can also change over a route—for some miles, the trailer may be fully loaded, and others partially loaded or empty. All of this changes how the trailer performs. We sat down with Justin Garver on the FleetPulse team to discuss how these insights can be utilized to inform a predictive maintenance strategy.  

Predictive Maintenance Informed by Route Activity

“A trailer consistently traveling through a mountain region hauling an average weight of 30,000 lbs. is living a different lifecycle than a trailer moving throughout the southeast with an average weight of 15,000 lbs.,” Garver says. “Why are these trailers being serviced at the same intervals? The only reason is because there has not been a solution that could easily be launched to capture location, mileage, and load information that can be turned into smarter maintenance insights.”  

The tracking capabilities of Great Dane’s FleetPulse software allow fleets to have a deeper understanding of the trailer’s experience on each and every mile it travels.  

“Up until the past couple of years, with the launch of smart trailer solutions such as FleetPulse, there has not been a great way to think about preventative maintenance in a ‘smart’ way,” he adds. “Many fleets simply relied on getting a trailer into a service facility around every six months, regardless of the actual usage of that trailer. Once you start capturing the amount of data that FleetPulse is collecting on a trailer, you can start to understand what a mile really means to you as it relates to a fleet’s specific operation. Then, you can ultimately understand what a mile truly costs you.”  

FleetPulse Provides Value Through Better Trailer Data

“Looking at all this data and applying it to your predictive maintenance schedules highlights the value that FleetPulse can provide,” adds Chris Hoyt, FleetPulse product manager.  

“Now you can see when the trailer was loaded, its added weight, how often it was loaded or unloaded during the trip, and the location. You’ve got all these layers to understand the real usage pattern,” he says. “And understanding how that trailer’s been used, and that’s coming from data from different components, can help you understand how to maintain that trailer.”  

A good telematics system can give you deeper insights into a trailer’s life and predictive maintenance needs. If every mile is different—what does a mile mean for your fleet? 

Read more about FleetPulse at fleet-pulse.com

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