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How Telematics Services Help Fleets Overcome the Effects of Supply Chain Challenges

How Telematics Services Help Fleets Overcome the Effects of Supply Chain Challenges

March 3, 2022 | ConMet

The US trucking industry faces pressure from a struggling global supply chain and an unprecedented increase in demand for delivered goods. One major challenge is the inability for commercial vehicle manufacturers to keep up with new builds, stemming from material and worker shortages. Even if these shortages begin to improve, truck and trailer OEMs face order backlogs that could last into 2023.

The short-term response to the problem is to keep older equipment on the road longer. But that comes with its own set of complications. Aging assets have a larger potential for unplanned service needs and roadside events. In addition to costing time, money, and customer satisfaction, this also puts the driver and others on the road at a higher safety risk.

Preventative maintenance programs are a critical first step to keeping older assets in safe operation longer. Scheduling regular service, rather than waiting for a repair to be necessary, can extend the asset’s life while increasing safety, ensuring on-time deliveries, and avoiding unplanned costs.

But as assets continue to age, proactive service alone might not be enough. Preventative maintenance intervals are determined by mileage, but older vehicles are much more likely to require service between those intervals. Additionally, the older a vehicle gets, the harder it can become to decipher between normal wear and tear and actual service needs. For example, hard-to-remove grime buildup can make visual pre- and post-trip inspections less effective. An abnormality could go unseen, potentially leading to a failure.

In the face of these challenges, fleets are seeking new methods for managing their aging assets cost-effectively and with as little disruption to their business as possible. This is pushing the industry toward investing in more sophisticated telematics systems, and ConMet Digital™ is leading the way.

By leveraging decades of industry knowledge, engineering expertise, and performance data,
ConMet Digital has developed a suite of retrofittable telematics solutions. Through advanced sensors and data analytics across a tractor-trailer, fleets are seamlessly connected with real-time alerts and data insights on their preferred dashboard.

ConMet Digital’s hardware can be easily retrofitted on an aging asset in under an hour, providing immediate visibility into equipment and components across a tractor-trailer that can cause the highest rate of roadside downtime and asset allocation. This includes real-time GPS location, individual tire pressure, tire flat spot, and unusual wear, air line connection and pressure, axle load distribution, and wheel end health. A single system connects all the sensors and communicates using readily available and efficient Bluetooth low energy (BLE) technology for a strong wireless connection and extended sensor battery life.

As aging assets put a strain on preventative maintenance procedures, ConMet Digital helps ease the process by empowering fleets to make more informed maintenance decisions. Rather than relying only on mile-based maintenance, ConMet Digital's sensors can detect anomalies and provide drivers, dispatch, and fleet maintenance managers with critical information needed to take immediate corrective action.

As the first connected health monitoring system integrated into a hub assembly, the PreSet Plus® SmartHub™ monitors wheel end, tire, and brake performance. With SmartTrack™ asset management, fleets can access real-time GPS location to save time locating assets and help increase utilization. The SmartAir™ series of sensors can monitor tire pressure, air line pressure, or axle load, aiding in pre-trip inspections, maintaining compliance, optimizing fuel efficiency, and increasing safety.

Because each vehicle operates on a single network, one or many sensors can be added at any time. The adoption of the base system creates cost efficiencies that will allow fleets to continually upgrade their systems as ConMet Digital adds new products to the portfolio, ensuring the most robust visibility into the vehicle as possible. ConMet Digital's system is built around the 4G network, allowing fleets to upgrade to replace older 3G tracking systems that are going offline.

Though pressing short-term issues have accelerated the shift to new technologies, telematics is here to stay. ConMet Digital continues to advance data analytics and hardware technology offerings that go beyond singular data points and provide holistic, actionable insights into the tractor-trailer ecosystem to help fleets improve operations. This is just one of the many ways ConMet is committed to providing transformative technologies for an evolving commercial vehicle industry.

More info: ConMet Digital

VANCOUVER, WA | by Paul Washicko, Vice President and General Manager, ConMet Digital