Last year Mack Trucks announced the launch of a telematics program, GuardDog Connect. This year at World of Concrete, the company announced that the service is now available and standard in all Mack TerraPro cabover models equipped with a Mack MP engine.
But more importantly it announced the first four dealers that have been trained and certified in the backend of the program–taking the telematics data and funneling it into service dealers. Those dealers include:
- Vision Truck Center of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
- Vanguard Truck Center of Phoenix, Arizona
- Nextran Truck Center of Birmingham, Alabama
- Westfall O’Dell Truck Sales of Kansas City, Missouri
All four dealers were part of the Certified Uptime Center pilot program. To get certified in this program the dealers went through an eight-week course that included training in standardized workflows and service processes. They also had to redesign their service bays for fast turnarounds. Certification also evaluates dealers on 28 processes ranging from shop organization to implementation of diagnostic tools.
The idea is to have the servicing dealer notified the moment the truck’s telematics system signals a problem or alert.
The telematics system will tell the driver if he needs immediate work done and direct him to the nearest dealer while simultaneously telling the dealer what the problem is, what materials or supplies will be needed to fix the problem and to schedule an open day in time for the trucks arrival.
Mack is bolstering this telematics alert system with a variety of human resources including the Mack Assist service management systems, the Truck Diagnostics System and Mack OneCall agents.
The reason this all-hands-on-deck approach is needed, says David Pardue, Mack vice president of connected vehicle and contract services, is because industry statistics show the average truck experiences four days of downtime for most typical repairs. But the typical repair only requires three and half-hours of actual mechanical work. The rest of that waiting period is downtime.
Although there are only four service dealers currently certified in the Uptime Center program, Pardue says additional dealers will continue to be added to the program this year.
For truck owners who already run third party telematics systems on their trucks, Pardue says Mack in in discussion with a number of third-party telematics vendors. The goal is to make sure these third-party telematics systems integrate with the back end systems and resources Mack has built into it’s programs. Mack is also looking at possible integration with the AEMP Telematics Standard, which is awaiting ISO certification some time this year.