Volvo system designed to increase driver security

May 1, 2007
INNOVATIVE fleet management capabilities come standard with new trucks from Volvo Trucks North America, via Volvo Link Sentry, Volvo managers said at

INNOVATIVE fleet management capabilities come standard with new trucks from Volvo Trucks North America, via Volvo Link Sentry, Volvo managers said at the Mid-America Trucking Show.

The system increases security and support for drivers on the road, while at the same time protecting fleets' bottom lines. The Link Sentry is an onboard vehicle monitoring and communications system that helps fleet managers improve operational efficiency.

The system tracks and communicates key productivity and performance information each week for individual trucks, including fuel used, distance traveled, and miles per gallon based on the engine speed that provides greatest fuel efficiency. The information also is tracked when the engine is not in that sweet spot. In addition, pre-set road speeds and operations above or below preset roads speeds are tracked. The truck owner can control these limits from the Internet. Operations with cruise control can be activated and deactivated.

The system also tracks idle time and fuel consumed; total fuel used for the week (which can help detect fuel theft); low battery voltage; diesel particulate filter status; and diagnostic code summary.

A new feature of Sentry also provides an in-depth look at individual driving behavior and performance that affects safety. This allows fleets to identify situations where they can proactively improve driving habits. Sentry automatically sends weekly reports to fleet managers. These reports show actions with safety implications during the preceding week for individual trucks, which may indicate the need for additional individual safe driving coaching. Sentry tracks on a weekly basis the number of:

  • Interventions by Volvo enhanced stability technology system that is standard on all Volvo highway trucks.

  • Antilock brake activations.

  • Traction control assistance events.

  • Wheel spinouts.

This feature becomes available in June 2007, and trucks built prior to June will receive this software update at no charge.

Each fleet's information is kept on a secure Web site. Reports allow fleet managers to see trends at a glance. More detailed reports and comparisons also are available.

Volvo said that drivers will experience increased security and support while on the road through the combination of Sentry's vigilance and the capabilities of Volvo Action Service (VAS), a 24/7 roadside assistance program.

The program monitors the truck's systems and tracks any vehicle diagnostic codes. The data is automatically sent via satellite to technical experts at VAS. VAS, with the assistance of the Volvo technical support group, analyzes the diagnostic codes and determines a course of action. The driver always remains in control of the vehicle and decides if or when assistance is needed. And, when the driver calls, VAS will already be prepared to help the driver, contact a dealership, schedule service, make sure the necessary parts are in stock, and stay on the case until the issue is resolved.