Integrated telematics gives fleet managers a wealth of information they can apply toward improving road safety and monitoring driver performance and behavior while increasing productivity. Mack’s GuardDog® Connect technology is fully integrated with software platforms that connect, collect, categorize and capture vital information such as GPS location, road speed and idle duration, and provides in-depth analysis of driver performance based on past and current data and location. Bulldog magazine sat down with Conal Deedy, director, connected vehicle services for Mack Trucks. Deedy says the decision to equip Mack® trucks with GuardDog Connect hardware set the stage for the plethora of cutting-edge diagnostic and management tools for increased safety and productivity. How does GuardDog Connect enable your solution technology? GuardDog Connect is the foundation of our connected truck. We designed and embedded the hardware into the truck. Now, we can partner with elite software companies who can collect and deliver data for our customers to operate safely while optimizing productivity. We have also set the foundation for future technology that will easily connect with our trucks. How does your partnered services strategy assist your customers’ operations? We have a number of partners on board and more to follow. This gives our customers plenty of options to choose solutions that work seamlessly with their equipment. Instead of having to add hardware to connect, they save on the cost, downtime and hassle of installation. How do you choose your partners? We are focused on best-in-class solutions that will help our customers. We look for ways to help them manage compliance with new regulations, operate more efficiently and always with the emphasis on Uptime. The data really helps our customers understand how their drivers perform and we are always listening to customers to find out what their exact needs are. Where do the dealers fit in? We consider it a huge advantage that we have strong dealer support with each of our partners. Our dealers are talking with customers about partner solutions for managing their drivers and their business. We have support from these third parties and can show how valuable the solutions can be for their business. And now, with Certified Uptime Centers, dealers are able to take the information from the vehicle and help guide the customer to a more informed decision on length of repair with short repairs quickly addressed in the dedicated uptime bay. What future trends do you see? I think there will be focus on how to optimize maintenance for performance as well as for equipment resale. Using connectivity, we will have the opportunity to write specific maintenance solutions that are maximized per truck. No truck operations are the same and they will get custom prescriptions for repairs and maintenance. What do you think about data overload? Can fleets keep up with all the information? There is absolutely an overload of information but because of the creative, innovative management systems available and in production, savvy fleets are able to maximize the usefulness of information. That’s why we are taking it to the next level so there is ‘operational data,’ that helps with compliance and the individual customer productivity. What are some of the cool features that can offer actionable data? We are really excited about all of the new possibilities and feel like we are at the tip of the iceberg with the features and management potential. Mack has the ability to filter and understand what’s going on for our customers who have their own filters to set up their management services. They want to know what their trucks are doing at all times. We can see how many hard brake applications a truck receives or if someone is dropping a gear (to avoid speed limiters). We can deliver longitude/latitude speed and can put an electronic/invisible ‘geofence’ around certain landmarks and this data can help with detention time. When we do repairs, we can geofence our dealers, and are able to follow up with our OneCall Center to find out how long it should take and send an alert to notify our OneCall crew. Any last words to share with us? It’s clear that we want to continue our leading position in the industry as we find ways to focus on uptime, enabling customer service and building a better truck. It’s important to note that telematics doesn’t do it alone. It’s the integration between Mack, the data, the solutions partners and the customer that is so groundbreaking. I still have a sense of awe about how it all works together and how we can deliver data into their cloud and they can send back actionable information to our customers. The future is truly unlimited.
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