Connecting trucks to workshops can cut downtime by 80% - Volvo

Volvo Trucks believes incidents of unplanned downtime can be cut by 80 per cent through increased online connectivity with trucks, following a study it conducted into the issue.

In order to increase knowledge on how to help haulage companies boost their uptime, Volvo recently conducted a comprehensive survey based on real-life user data from 3,500 Volvo trucks gathered over a five-year period.

Using this data, the company conducted advanced simulations and generated a variety of possible service situations to analyse how, why and when trucks suffer from unexpected downtime.

In the long term Volvo believes unscheduled downtime can become a thing of the past, thanks to the continued growth of online connectivity in trucks - trucks connected online to the workshop to assist with maintenance.

Hayder Wokil, director quality and uptime, Volvo Trucks said: “The study clearly showed that by being able to monitor the truck’s usage and the current status of the vehicle’s various key components, it is possible to plan maintenance better.

“We think we can reduce the amount of unplanned downtime by around 80 per cent if the truck is serviced in time and in response to actual needs.

“For instance, a service technician can remotely monitor exactly how the truck is being used in real time, schedule maintenance well in advance before something breaks down, or order replacement parts in advance.”

Wokil added that a scheduled service can also be postponed if the workshop technician can see that the truck’s various components are subject to less wear than expected, thereby saving time for both the haulage operator and the driver.

“We see considerable potential in this area and see that connected vehicles are the route to zero unplanned downtime in the future” he added.

HGV road user levy revenue is revised up

The HGV road user levy has raised slightly more than originally thought during its first year of operation, with foreign-registered vehicles paying £46.5m to use UK roads.

Transport minister Andrew Jones said the charge had “proved to be a great success” and had raised a total of £192.5m, with £146m coming from UK-registered vehicles (who have the fee off-set via reduced Vehicle Exercise Duty, making the measure cash neutral for most).

“Receipts from foreign vehicles are significantly ahead of the projected £21 million,” he said.

Jones explained that the reason for the original estimate being exceeded was due to the predominance of foreign HGVs paying the higher daily charge, rather than the lower annual or monthly levies.

The vast majority (97%) of transactions are made through an online portal using registered accounts.

“Officers in Great Britain and Northern Ireland have issued over 3,000 fixed penalties for levy offences during its first year raising more than £900,000 in fines,” Jones added.

In March ahead of the upward revision, the government said the annual total from non-UK registered vehicles was £44m.