Technology is no longer an optional business tool for truck manufacturers, fleet operators, and service centers. It is mandatory, not only to comply with regulations such as emissions and ELD requirements, but to flourish and compete effectively. On-board diagnostics and telematics systems are a first step, but only provide a singular view with limited scalability.

Today’s semi-trucks are highly complex revenue-generating machines outfitted with hundreds of sensors producing rich streams of information. Taken independently each piece of data provides a singular view of a particular piece of equipment. Coupled and analyzed together that same data can enable a holistic view of the entire vehicle, providing greater insight into operations of individual vehicles and the entire fleet.

While it is common for diagnostics to focus on the engine of a truck, that singular view can sometimes result in inaccurate or misleading conclusions. This is due to the fact that many subsystems are interconnected and can contribute to single failure mode. In other cases, it requires information from more than one system to confirm the root cause of a fault.

A more comprehensive view of truck health delivers reliability, improved uptime, and faster repairs; but this requires examining a larger and richer set of engine data combined with additional data sources. IoT can expand visibility from a complete view of the truck to areas of your organization that interact with the truck by providing context and applying sophisticated analytics to the truck’s engine data. Consider a situation where coolant temperature is rising. Since it can take some time before a fault is triggered, other systems on the truck can signal a potential problem more quickly. In this example, the origin could be a faulty water pump or a broken drive belt. Adding data from the HVAC system to the engine data provides more insight. If the HVAC system signals that the AC compressor is not turning then the drive belt is the likely cause.

Developing a holistic IoT strategy to support your technology initiatives can provide a much wider aperture into truck health and associated business processes than implementing individual purpose-built systems that are limited in application and value.

For a closer look at what data sources and analysis are instrumental in helping achieve a 360-degree view of the truck health, download Eliminating Blind Spots in Commercial Trucking with IoT whitepaper.