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When diagnosing equipment, remember the driver

Sept. 26, 2022
As trucking becomes increasingly high tech, technicians are using more and more diagnostic tools in their repairs. However, it's important to remember that good truck drivers are attuned to every aspect of their machines.

Whenever talking about vehicle repairs and maintenance, the focus tends to stay on tools, equipment, and technology. We talk about the types and cost of the diagnostic equipment needed to repair trucks and speculate about the diagnostic equipment needed in the future.

We also stress the importance of making sure technicians are properly trained and certified. Technicians are aided in their efforts by the data from the many sensors on tractors and trailers as well as the application of newer technology like augmented reality and virtual reality to assist with vehicle repairs.

Amid all the technology and tools, it can be easy to overlook the drivers, who are valuable resources in the process of diagnosing and repairing vehicles.

Professional drivers—especially those who drive the same truck every day—become attuned to nuances in how the vehicle performs. They can share insights into a truck’s performance issues and share information about changes in truck performance. They can speak to issues with vehicle acceleration, engine noise, braking problems, responsiveness going uphill, and more.

Their comments are vital in the event of an on-road breakdown because they can provide context about what was going on with the vehicle before the failure occurred. Did they hear unusual noises, view warning lights, or encounter any handling problems preceding the failure?

While technology is a substantial tool in the repair process, so are driver insights. Coupling the two will help get your trucks on the road faster—and keep them there longer.

Jane Clark is vice president of member services for NationaLease. In this position, she is focused on managing the member services operation as well as working to strengthen member relationships, reduce member costs, and improve collaboration within the NationaLease supporting groups. Prior to joining NationaLease, Clark served as area vice president for Randstad, one of the nation’s largest recruitment agencies, and before that, she served in management posts with QPS Cos., Pro Staff, and Manpower Inc.

This article originally appeared on FleetOwner.com.

About the Author

Jane Clark | vice president, member services for NationaLease

Jane Clark is vice president, member services for NationaLease. In this position, she is focused on managing the member services operation, as well as working to strengthen member relationships, reduce member costs, and improve collaboration within the NationaLease supporting groups. Prior to joining NationaLease, Jane served as area vice president for Randstad, one of the nation’s largest recruitment agencies, and before that, she served in management posts with QPS Companies, Pro Staff, and Manpower, Inc.

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