Photo courtesy of Kenworth

Photo courtesy of Kenworth

Dart Transit says it has had improved uptime and fewer tows on its fleet of 300 Kenworth T680s running the remote diagnostics program Kenworth TruckTech+.

The Eagan, Minnesota-based truckload and intermodal carrier began implementing TruckTech+ at the beginning of 2016. Since then the company has had better visibility on the health of its Kenworth trucks.

“Before, the truck could be de-rated if a driver overlooked an alert or waited too long to clean the emissions system – especially after the truck had been sitting over a rest period,” says Paul Mages, head of Dart’s company efficiency team. “Now, we get an email notification when the soot level gets to a critical level and can call the driver and get action taken before a de-rate takes place.”

The system has also taken some of the guesswork out of fleet maintenance for Dart, the company says, sending codes and detailed information to Dart remotely allowing the company to make informed decisions.

“We are transitioning from being reactive – where calls come in from drivers – to one where we are proactive,” Mages says. “We’re now calling drivers and telling them what course of action to take based on the severity of the issue, with some even directed to continue driving and address the issue during the next scheduled maintenance period.”

Dart also uses the Paccar Solutions Portal to further track the health of its Kenworth trucks in real time. The portal lets TruckTech+ users view a map with pins indicating the health of each truck in the fleet equipped with the remote diagnostics system. This allows Dart personnel to click on individual trucks and drill down to identify any health issues.

“While we haven’t rolled out all the processes yet to fully utilize all the capabilities of the portal, we are using it to dig deeper on some of the email alerts we receive,” Mages says.  “And, if a driver notifies us that there is an issue with the truck, we can log in and take a look at the diagnostic information to get a better idea of what’s happening.”

Dart expects TruckTech+ to continue to provide richer information over the life of trucks, allowing the company to make better and cost effective decisions on its older trucks.

“We will be able to collect a vast amount of data and use this in trend analysis, plus we’re going to integrate remote diagnostics into our fleet maintenance software,” Mages says. “I can’t wait to see where all of this is in five years from now.”