Scania have introduced a new flexible maintenance scheme which uses the data coming out of the connected truck to schedule servicing more precisely and rationally. The harder a truck works, the more often it needs to be checked and serviced. It is now being utilised by a system officially called ‘Scania Maintenance with Flexible Plans’, and this flexible maintenance is being sold by Scania in conjunction with contract maintenance.
“The difference with this system is that it has changed the process from customers calling us and telling us they are due to come in for a service” says Sean Corby, formerly Director of Aftersales for Scania and now Regional Executive Manager for Scania NSW. “Now we are calling our customers about two or three weeks out from a service and telling them they will need to bring the truck in. We will be able to tell them how long the service will take and we can be flexible about when they bring it in because if it comes in 1000km early or 1000km later, it is not an issue.
“When the five years maintenance included in the sale price is finished, the customer can then revert to a standard contract maintenance set up. This will be a monthly charge based on the work the actual truck is doing. The calculations can be based on how the truck has worked and been driven in the previous years.
“The system does use the driver monitoring system which is in all Scania trucks these days and this is used as a factor in calculating maintenance schedules and pricing. The better you drive it and how the driving is scored puts the truck in different performance bands and we will give a price reduction for trucks which are driven at a higher driver performance percentage.”
Scania have found that most drivers in Australia are scoring around 65 to 70 per cent on the driver assessment system. If the operator can improve driver behaviour and get those percentages up there are some financial advantages to be had. The operation would also find improving that percentage would not only reduce maintenance costs but improve on fuel usage.
Historical data has shown these drivers at the 65 per cent level will slowly move up to the next bracket. If the drivers improve in this way, the operator will see a reduction in the cost of their repair and maintenance package, as a direct result.
The national average score is at 61 per cent, this puts the average fleet in the 55 to 70 per cent standard price band. The next category up is 71 to 85 per cent and for even further reductions in costs there is an over 86 per cent category of performance.
“We have seen a reduction, a general effect of flexible servicing’s introduction in Australia has been a reduction in costs of eight per cent,” says Sean. “We have had some customers where we have had to increase the intervals for servicing, because the operation was really tough, but I would argue, you should then see a reduction in repairs because the trucks are getting the real maintenance they needed to start with.
“Now, every truck has its own individual plan and if the maintenance becomes more expensive, I would expect the repair cost to be reduced, because it is being maintained on time. Lighter duty cycles would see maintenance stretch and it would give you more uptime as well, because instead of coming in for a 10 hour service, the truck only come in for a six hour service on a longer interval.”
Sean does admit there can be some nervousness among customers when the system starts to extend service intervals out for the first time. There are fleets which run relatively light and high mileages which could see intervals extend, but Scania will reassure the operator the trucks will be brought in to be inspected at least three times each year. A simple safety inspection is needed at regular intervals, even if major servicing is done less regularly.
“The tool which comes back to us from the central server allows us a lot of flexibility,” says Sean. “We can insert other activities into the maintenance plan so we can still put some of our other local logic into it and it will apply that for us.
“We have four people who work in a call centre that constantly run the service scheduling and are looking two weeks ahead, and speak to the customer telling them a service is due and how long it will take. They then find out which dealer would be the most convenient to use.
“The dealer management system interfaces with the servicing scheduling, so when we do the work and close the work order out, it will automatically update the service scheduling system. Then it starts to recalculate again for the next service.”