AUSTIN, Texas—Volvo Trucks North America and Mack Trucks are rolling out a new fleet management portal within their digital services that offers near real-time data on equipment health and operational performance. The two OEMs made the announcement during American Trucking Associations' 2023 Management Conference & Exhibition.
The new portals from the Volvo Group truck makers—Volvo Connect and Mack Connect—provide digital suites of state-of-the-art services, analytics, and reports that deliver fleets a range of truck data, including fuel consumption, idle time, vehicle speed, seat belt information, and location information.
In separate press events during the MCE show here, Mack and Volvo leaders said the Connect platforms will help companies ensure their fleets maximize efficiency and profitability.
VTNA has some 170,000 connected trucks across North America with access to over-the-air updates and remote diagnostics. "But we didn't have it all in one place," VTNA President Peter Voorhoeve told FleetOwner. "It's all on your iPhone right now. You can, as a fleet, pull out all the information on one platform. You can do that on a computer in your office, or you can do it on your iPhone. Volvo Connect bundles everything we've had so far, and we also have some new apps."
Connect software from both companies gives fleet managers access to the status of all trucks containing factory-installed 4G Telematics Gateway. It allows fleet managers to monitor parameters such as maximum permitted road speed and idle shutdown are set correctly and optimized for a truck's specific transport assignment. Also included are remote diagnostics and remote programming visibility, which makes it easier to see trucks with fault events that need to be addressed and any available over-the-air software updates. Easy-to-read and exportable reports allow fleet managers to analyze trends and identify key performance metrics that can help improve the efficiency and compliance of trucks and drivers.
More about Mack Connect
Mack is taking its already established suite of Uptime Center "one step further," according to Patrick Brown, Mack's senior strategy and sustainability manager. "Mack Connect will be our first comprehensive fleet management portal that will provide our customers with all the visibility they need in one place for their operations," Brown said during an MCE press event. "It will provide access to more critical information that customers typically aren't used to seeing or interacting with on a day-to-day basis."
Mack Connect offers visibility to the Mack GuardDog Connect integrated telematics solution so customers can easily manage fault events should they occur while also providing visibility to over-the-air updates when available. Reporting and analytics are available so customers may analyze the data to determine whether adjustments need to be made to improve efficiencies.
"In the end, this tool will provide our help toour customers to simplify their daily operations, help them operate smarter, help them operate more efficiently, and help them remain more in control so they can focus on what's most important to them—and that's growing their business," Brown added.
Since June, Mack has tested Mack Connect with several customers leading up to the October launch. That included Greensboro, North Carolina-based Hilco Transport. About half of the 500-plus trucks in the Hilco fleet are Macks; more than 200 are using Mack Connect.
"I'm a data-driven kind of person, so I like to be able to pull up the data that Mack Connect provides in real-time and present it when we have our executive meetings," said Mike Laughead, director of maintenance for Hilco. "We are impressed with the system, and it helps managers keep tabs on operations."
Laughead said that besides the data reporting, he's most impressed by the map feature, which allows users to locate and click on a vehicle and access all the data associated with that truck. "It's very user-friendly and easy to navigate," Laughead said.
Mack Connect with integrated uptime is standard on all new Mack-powered Model Year 2025 vehicles for two years. VTNA said Volvo Connect will be included for two years on all MY 2025 trucks, and it would offer the platform free to existing customers for six months.
More about Volvo Connect
"The Volvo Connect portal provides fleets with a deeper analysis of their truck data and not just a high-level scan," Magnus Gustafson, VTNA VP of connected services, said during a press event. "We will continuously add more features, reports, and truck insights to provide fleet managers with the information needed to make effective, data-based decisions about their fleet."
Fleet managers can improve the efficiency and compliance of their trucks by viewing trend analytics and identifying performance metrics in the system's easy-to-read, exportable reports, he said. VTNA's Remote Diagnostics enables fleets to monitor select data from each of their trucks, helping expedite repairs or maintenance proactively. Customers can see fault codes, keep the history of any ASIST cases created through Remote Diagnostics monitoring, and quickly view the records from the Volvo Connect portal. Maintenance and repairs can be scheduled via the ASIST service management platform when it is convenient for the driver to maximize uptime, reduce unplanned stops, and keep the trucks on the road as much as possible.
Built-in location services offer access to each vehicle's location and historical route data. The map provides detailed information, including travel speed, fuel level, truck restrictions, and traffic data for the route ahead. In addition, it indicates nearby Volvo dealership locations if maintenance or repairs are needed.
This story orginally appeared on FleetOwner.com.