Predictive maintenance as the answer to unexpected supply snags
Predictive maintenance as the answer to unexpected supply snags

Businesses of all sizes and across multiple industries are facing challenges brought on by a global shortage of semiconductor chips. This shortage is impacting new trucks and fleet vehicles, making it harder to find and more expensive to upgrade a commercial fleet — which makes maintaining existing vehicles more important than ever. The shortage shows no signs of ending soon, forcing many construction business owners and fleet managers to consider either buying new and paying a premium or finding a way to maintain existing vehicle fleets for longer than usual.

Fortunately, there’s a lot that a fleet manager can do to extend the life of their current fleet. Fleet management technology is a solution that can help improve the longevity of fleet vehicles, reduce unplanned downtime and help cut costs associated with equipment failure and labor. Now more than ever, driver safety and preventative and predictive maintenance must be a priority for fleet managers who will continue to be affected by the ongoing chip shortage.


Safe Driving Affects Vehicle Wear & Tear

The strong parallel between driver safety and fleet vehicle wear and tear is clear: with more harsh driving events comes more costly repairs. Fleet management technology provides data from sources such as video solutions and GPS tracking that provide fleet managers with a better understanding of any incidents that occur.

Construction business owners and fleet managers can leverage these insights and create an opportunity for individualized driver safety coaching that can ultimately reduce risk and the adverse effects on vehicle health that come with those risks.

Construction business owners can promote driver safety in several ways but ultimately it comes down to creating a culture of safety.

Using video data provided by dash cameras, managers can use downloadable video clips to help hold important discussions with drivers to promote safety, curb future instances and ladder up to an overall safety success program that can encourage drivers to stick to safety protocols in the long term. With a safety success program, fleet managers can tailor their approach to individual drivers, share more effective key learnings and reward them for safe driving practices.


Make Preventative Maintenance a Priority

Staying on track with the upkeep of an entire fleet of vehicles can be a full-time job for fleet managers. Preventative maintenance is a routine process that keeps track of vehicle and equipment condition so it’s easy to know what is in
need of replacement or repair. Fleet managers can reduce maintenance related pressures using GPS technology to track fleet vehicle health and ultimately improve the longevity of a businesses’ current vehicles while simultaneously reducing vehicle downtime.

By implementing a preventative maintenance strategy, fleet management technology arms managers with the tools to help prevent, detect, and repair small problems early. The longstanding practice of preventative maintenance is more important now than ever.



Approaching Maintenance Proactively

Extending the lifespan of a fleet vehicle is one way to combat the high prices and low availability of replacement vehicles due to today’s chip shortage.

Predictive maintenance uses a set of predetermined parameters continuously monitored via sensors providing nearly real-time data and triggering alerts when specific parameters or conditions, such as engine trouble or unusual oil pressure, have been met.

Predictive maintenance, fueled by a blend of artificial intelligence, machine learning, smart sensors and near real-time data analysis, is rapidly evolving as a key strategy to help keep fleets running optimally for longer. A predictive maintenance program approaches vehicle maintenance proactively. For business owners struggling to find solutions, predictive analytics are a smarter way to increase the longevity of current fleet vehicles, reduce downtime and provide added visibility in vehicle health when replacement vehicles are unavailable.



How to Implement Predictive Maintenance

From increased safety to creating long-lasting, more efficient and better performing fleets, predictive maintenance truly is the future of maintenance. But to make it work, owners and operators should start by building a foundation to help them better prepare for what’s to come. Preparing for a successful predictive maintenance strategy means:

Investing in technology — Taking advantage of future-proof fleet management technology that prioritizes data and uses advanced technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence will prepare your fleet for the future of maintenance.

Identifying assets — Identify which assets are most in need of maintenance based on utilization, critical nature to the business and repair costs.

Measuring data — To deliver the right data, it’s imperative to set up condition monitoring. This data can then be measured to determine its impact on vehicle performance.

Making predictions — Vehicle-installed sensors constantly monitor specific conditions and failure modes and report data back to fleet managers. With this information, you can proactively schedule repairs and downtime to reduce the impact on the business.

Measuring results and tracking failures — A product data management strategy must be constantly measured and updated to achieve accuracy and success. As new vehicles or assets are added, it may be necessary to reconfigure or adjust the strategy.


As the pandemic continues to take a toll on the supply chain, fleet technology can offer a nearly real-time look at vehicle maintenance needs. And as vehicles become increasingly connected and advanced data strategies evolve, predictive maintenance can be the answer to unexpected or ongoing challenges that surface in the future.

As the need to keep vehicles in strong condition remains top of mind, it’s important for fleet managers to consider the advantages fleet management technology brings to a business’s maintenance strategy. Considering the current challenges caused by the chip shortage, embracing these solutions can be the difference between a costly vehicle replacement and increased longevity for vehicles within a current fleet.