VTNA Introduces Dealer Service Plan Alongside Connected Tech
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ORLANDO, Fla. — Volvo Trucks North America launched a dealer-managed service plan and connected vehicle technology tool Feb. 28 during the Technology & Maintenance Council Annual Meeting and Transportation Technology Exhibition.
Volvo Blue is a comprehensive service plan that is managed by a network of certified dealers. It leverages connectivity tools that monitor for preventative maintenance issues. Volvo said the plan was introduced so that its trucks are operating at peak efficiency.
“The Volvo Blue service contract is really elevating uptime to the highest level,” said Mike Furst, director of contract services and leasing technology solutions. “It’s a comprehensive maintenance contract that we bundle in our connected services, and we do this through our dealer network.”
Volvo certified dealers track what is happening on the truck and then work with the fleet to schedule time to perform any necessary maintenance. The fleets just have to pay a flat monthly cost based on whatever payment plan they decide on.
“We have an appointed dealer fleet maintenance manager,” Furst said. “They’re responsible for tracking the maintenance on the truck, the health of the truck, and they’re scheduling maintenance to be performed back through the Volvo network, by Volvo trained technicians, using Volvo genuine or authorized parts. They’re using the connected services that are doing real time monitoring in those trucks.”
Volvo said the maintenance is performance by certified technicians who have access to specialized equipment, diagnostic tools and database systems to help service and maintain vehicles and onboard software. The company has been piloting the new service contract over the past year with five dealer groups. The plan is now available to customers across North America.
“This service is really a comprehensive white glove service,” Furst said. “The customer is outsourcing the maintenance responsibility to their dealer, and the dealer in turn is promising that they’re going to maintain the maintenance schedule, making sure PMs are done on time, so they’re responsible for the PMs. They’re responsible for the health of the truck, if there’s any critical fault codes that need to be acted on. They’re also looking at any other operations that can be done at the same time.”
Connected Vehicle Analytics was introduced alongside the new service plan. The connectivity tool collects real-world data from fleet operations to enable dealers to recommend the ideal configurations for customer truck purchases. It examines truck configurations, daily routes, average speed and fuel efficiency. It aims to help fleet customers maximize both fuel efficiency and vehicle productivity.
“This tool will allow our dealers to look at different specifications and look at real-world data, such as fuel economy, time in top gear, average weekly miles run, active and inactive faults, and also geographic locations and where these trucks are running,” Duane Tegels, product marketing manager at Volvo Trucks, said of CVA.
Tegels describes the new analytics tool. (Anneliese Mahoney/Transport Topics)
The tool includes a dashboard in which dealers can monitor how fleet customers are operating their trucks to identify opportunities to improve efficiency and productivity. The dealers also can access an anonymized pool of vehicles to benchmark how their fleet customers are performing compared with others using similar vehicles.
“This is all-important information to be able to specify a certain application for the customer’s duty cycle,” Tegels said. “So given this information, it allows us to be able to specify this truck and tailor-fit it to our customer’s application.”
The service plan also provides customers access to a remote diagnostics and programming suite. The company announced the suite was expanded when introducing the new service plan. It also added three new updatable modules to its remote programming service. This allows for routine software updates and parameter setting changes to occur while the truck is being loaded or the driver is taking a break. This aim is to decrease unnecessary stops at the dealership.
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