The question around a system that Scania have been fitting into their trucks for the last 4 years is where to next? The level of electronic monitoring within the truck has been very sophisticated for quite some time. 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.
This kind of in-depth analysis is going to enable Scania to take the concept even further. The amount of data being collected every year is likely to enable the precise targeting of replacement points for more components. There are components like water pumps, batteries and starter motors which will inevitably need to be swapped out, but the high level of data being gathered should enable the system to precisely identify the point at which reliability may become an issue.
The system has been introduced into Australia and is becoming ubiquitous. Only a handful of trucks getting serviced by Scania dealerships across the country are still on strict prescribed interval servicing regimes. The current generation of truck owners seem to have accepted the concept of this more flexible algorithm-driven maintenance with a certain amount of trust.
“Flexible maintenance really looks at how the vehicle is performing, its loads, its operation, how it is being driven, there’s lots of different factors there,” says Sean Corby, formerly Director of Aftersales for Scania and now Regional Executive Manager for Scania NSW. “It will not only adjust the intervals, but the work which is performed when the truck comes in. In the system there are now around 30 smaller modules, which are adjusted on an ongoing basis, depending on how the vehicle is being driven.
“It is possible to modify our contract maintenance plan and go back to periodic servicing. Before we introduced these flexible plans, we were running the same module modular periodic servicing plans we had used for over 25 years.
“We would look at a vehicle and the operation and we would come back and suggest small medium and large services at particular intervals. This calculation is not really specific to the vehicle and if you get it wrong you can either over service or under service the truck.”
Where to Next? There is also an increasing awareness of reducing downtime and that spending more on upfront maintenance will reduce breakdown and repair costs. The nature of modern transport contracts make unexpected delays difficult to manage.