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Freightliner & Western Star To Offer Virtual Technician


Apr 23, 2010 - 8 years ago

By Supply Post

Daimler Trucks North America LLC (DTNA) announced it will soon be offering Virtual TechnicianSM (VT), the trucking industry’s first real-time remote diagnostic system, as standard equipment on 2011 Model Year Freightliner and Western Star trucks with Detroit Diesel engines equipped with BlueTec® emissions systems.

Virtual Technician is an exclusive and proprietary program offered by DTNA. The new VT program offers real-time vehicle system analysis through remote telemetric vehicle tracking systems. The program formulates vehicle insights based on engine diagnostic codes from sensors and components that are then packaged and analyzed. The result is a series of reports and recommended remedial actions for the vehicle operator provided by the Detroit Diesel Customer Support Center.

The value of VT is predictive, preventive and productive. Its implementation will help trucking companies maximize uptime and optimize revenue generation, putting business owners “right back in the driver’s seat.”

Benefits of the new Virtual Technician system are: reduced diagnostic and downtime, real-time communication to fleets and owners regarding the status of the vehicle, repair facility choice and scheduling, advanced notice to facilitate parts and service procedure planning, elimination of unnecessary repair referrals and improved diagnostics for reduced downtime.

According to Dale Allemang, VT program manager and director of field service at DTNA, the emission reduction components and technologies required to meet EPA 2010 emissions mandates have made the development of Virtual Technician possible. The result is a program that will lead to reduced diagnostic time, faster identification of emerging issues, elimination of repeat service visits and an excellent service experience by the customer.

“While trucks introduced this year are more powerful, more reliable and more fuel efficient than ever, they are also more dependent on the electronics systems for control of the engine and aftertreatment. This complexity and the systems that monitor the technology lead to more data and information that can be telemetrically shared in real-time to the benefit of the customer, repair facility and manufacturer in providing a higher quality product,” Allemang said.

“However, so much raw data is static until you put it to work. We began working with Virtual Technician to develop an integrated system to compress the information into meaningful reports and diagnostics. What we found is that issues and potential resolutions could be delivered and acted upon in real-time, giving a true business advantage to our fleet and owner-operator customers,” he added.

“Daimler Trucks North America understands that there is more to shaping future transportation than truck design and production. Our commitment is to offer smart tools and networks that deliver every business advantage possible,” said Dave Hames, general manager marketing and strategy, DTNA. “One of the advantages coming out of the development of 2010 technologies, is the ability to gather new levels of information in ways that help truck owners control the cost of their operations by improving vehicle maintenance cycles, responses and repair processes.”

“With Virtual Technician, maintenance teams will be solving problems as they occur, and better yet, before – making numbers on both the frequency and the severity of problems in the field a thing of the past,” he added. “Uptime will increase because parts and technicians will be standing by. Labor costs associated with problem diagnosis at the service outlet will be reduced due to electronic reporting and, best of all, productivity will be increased.“

Proven after more than 30 million miles of testing, including two million miles of customer freight hauling experience, Freightliner and Western Star customers are pleased with the results of the Detroit Diesel DD15™ or DD13™ engine with BlueTec.


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