USA Truck Rolls Out Virtual Technician Program | Business
As part of its ongoing fleetwide revitalization initiative, USA Truck has partnered with Daimler for a pilot program in which six 2013 Freightliner tractors have been outfitted with the Detroit Virtual Technician system. Virtual Technician features the latest in satellite-based technology, and provides onboard diagnostics and logistics in real time, benefitting both the driver and the company.
“This innovative technology enables us to put safety first for our drivers while improving our overall maintenance efforts,” said USA Truck President and CEO John Simone.
The system allows USA Truck constant contact with and immediate feedback from the unit out in the field. For example, if the check engine light comes on, Virtual Technician generates a technical snapshot of the engine’s status before, during and after that fault code. The information is then relayed to the USA Truck Driver Manager or other established contact via email or phone and provides the following: fault code and description, problem severity (how soon the engine needs service), the nearest service locations, and contact information for the Customer Support Center (CSC).
Virtual Technician accurately records a number of key onboard events, eliminating guesswork and protecting both the safety of the driver and the operation of the vehicle. USA Truck is scheduled to assign 450 new Freightliners to its driver team members throughout the course of 2013 and this pilot program will help determine if the company will install Virtual Technician in any of its other units.
“As a driver-focused company, we're always looking for ways improve safety and productivity while providing a better driver experience,” said Paul Marshall, Director of Maintenance for USA Truck. “The introduction of Virtual Technician does these things. It will give us timely visibility into performance issues and the ability to arrange needed repairs quickly, which will improve efficiency and safety across the board.”
Virtual Technician comes with a module, antenna and a high-definition GPS. Benefits include:
- Reads and analyzes fault codes in real time
- Expert analysis from the Detroit Customer Service Center
- Ability to schedule service from the road
- Locate nearest service outlet (more than 800 authorized in North America) with parts available
- Reduces downtime
- Identifies problems before they cause additional damage