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Volvo Trucks’ collaboration with SAS enhances remote diagnostics



GREENSBORO, N.C. — Volvo Trucks North America says it is further strengthening its portfolio of uptime-boosting services by enhancing Remote Diagnostics with an advanced analytics platform from global analytics leader SAS.

SAS’ best-in-class analytics support Volvo’s artificial intelligence efforts and provide even greater capabilities for Remote Diagnostics users, allowing for more precise analysis and decision-making, according to Ash Makki, Volvo Trucks North America product marketing manager.

“Working with SAS has helped us further refine our uptime-enhancing Remote Diagnostics through greater processing power to the data behind diagnostic codes,” Makki said. “We’ve been able to expand the parts and trouble codes we monitor and recognize situational patterns that help us improve accuracy and obtain better insight into root causes. These enhancements ultimately mean Volvo Action Service (VAS) agents receive more precise data that allows them to better analyze trouble codes and provide actionable information to decision-makers and repair facilities, helping maximize vehicle uptime.”

“Machine learning and artificial intelligence are areas we’re putting a lot of emphasis on right now, utilizing the SAS platform,” said Conal Deedy, director of connected vehicle services for Volvo Trucks North America. “We’re uncovering hidden insights in our data and merging that with the truck knowledge from our engineering group. Together we are in a much better situation to understand exactly what the data is telling us and integrating it into the Remote Diagnostics service. We are already seeing the benefits and the future is extremely exciting. With the SAS platform in place, Volvo can  process millions of records  in real-time,  expanding Volvo’s Remote Diagnostics capabilities, which on average helps reduce diagnostic time by 70 percent and repair time 25 percent.”

Jason Mann, SAS vice president of IoT, said Volvo Trucks and SAS have worked together to create a robust, flexible analytics system.

“Trucking is a key part of the global logistics system that makes our economies work. Improving performance and lowering costs helps everyone across the value chain,” he said. “Using a variety of analytical techniques from SAS to extract value from IoT data flowing from each vehicle, Volvo Trucks delivers for its customers — literally and figuratively.”

Since 2013 all Volvo trucks with Volvo engines have come standard with factory-installed telematics hardware that provides connectivity for Remote Diagnostics, Volvo’s proactive diagnostics and monitoring of critical engine, transmission and aftertreatment trouble codes. Upon detecting a code, sensors on the truck collect streaming data in real-time to provide context. Data points and operating conditions, like truck location, altitude, ambient air temperature, truck gear, RPM level and torque load help give the information needed for more precise diagnosis.

The same standard connectivity hardware powering Remote Diagnostics also allows customers to perform powertrain software and parameter updates over-the-air with Remote Programming, which helps improve uptime and vehicle efficiency without taking the truck out of service. Remote programming of software and parameter updates provides a significant time savings when compared with the 2.3 day industry average when a truck arrives at a bay, is plugged in, and manually receives updates.

Deedy said support for Volvo trucks is provided 24/7 by highly trained VAS agents, who monitor critical vehicle codes.

”If an issue is detected, VAS agents will assess the severity and provide the vehicle’s designated contact with actionable information to determine whether to keep operating the truck or take it for immediate service,” he said. “All details from the service process are captured and tracked through ASIST, Volvo’s online service management and communication platform. This gives the driver, customer contact and dealer real-time visibility to case status, repair scheduling, and parts and service bay availability. Remote Programming updates are also facilitated by VAS agents.”

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ACT: Supply and demand-side triggers impacting heavy CV markets



ACT Research said that with Class 8 and trailer backlogs out more than 10 months, the fleets who are normally in the market this time of year have already placed their orders. (The Trucker file photo)

COLUMBUS, Ind. — ACT Research said Wednesday that the heavy commercial vehicle markets continue to benefit from a still-broad spectrum of supply and demand-side triggers.

Three of the key considerations ACT has been reviewing include the fact that freight rate markdown is from record levels, the addition of new technologies such as better fuel economy, safety technologies and automated manual transmissions that weren’t available or being spec’d three to four years ago, and increased demand being generated for drop-and-hook operations to keep drivers (and freight) moving.

The information was contained in ACT’s Commercial Vehicle Dealer Digest report, which provides monthly analysis on transportation trends, equipment markets, and the economy.

“Preliminary December Class 8 data marked slowing orders, but that slowing must be viewed in the context of near-record backlogs,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst. “With Class 8 and trailer backlogs out more than 10 months, the fleets who are normally in the market this time of year have already placed their orders in the rush to get into the queue that began mid-year.”

Vieth said that while the supply-demand balance for fleets is softening at the margins, demand for heavy commercial vehicles remains strong, and upside production pressures in the first half of 2019 are considerable, given those big backlogs.

“Additionally, slower freight growth, an easing of driver supply constraints, the resumption of the long-run productivity trend, and strong Class 8 tractor fleet growth are expected to increasingly pressure rates and by extension, trucker profits in 2019,” he said.

ACT Research is a publisher of commercial vehicle truck, trailer, and bus industry data, market analysis and forecasting services for the North American and China markets. ACT’s analytical services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, as well as banking and investment companies. More information can be found at

For more information about ACT’s Commercial Vehicle Dealer Digest, go to



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Mack Trucks offers association loyalty reward card program for certain Mack Models



Mack Trucks' new loyalty reward program is for members of eligible industry associations who purchase Mack Granite, TerraPro, LR, Pinnacle or Mack Anthem model year 2019 and 2020 models.  (Courtesy: MACK TRUCKS)

LAS VEGAS — Mack Trucks Tuesday revealed a new loyalty reward program for members of eligible industry associations who purchase model year 2019 and 2020 Mack Granite, TerraPro, LR, Pinnacle or Mack Anthem models.

Mack made the announcement during World of Concrete 2019 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The Loyalty Reward Card Program offers members of eligible industry associations a $2,000 parts and service reward card per eligible VIN and a maximum of five trucks per member, per calendar year. All eligible vehicles must be sold and warranty-registered by December 31, 2019.

“We recognize that customers require service and support after the initial truck purchase, so we’re pleased that Mack can offer the Loyalty Reward Card Program to help offset some of the cost, while improving customers’ total cost of ownership,” said Jonathan Randall, Mack Trucks senior vice president, North American sales and marketing. “The Loyalty Reward Card is another example of Mack’s dedication to service, support and having our customers’ backs.”

The registered owner of the truck must be an active member of an eligible association prior to the date of truck purchase. Once verified, the member will receive the card within eight weeks. The following are the eligible associations:

United States: American Concrete Pavement Association, American Trucking Associations, California Refuse and Recycling Council, Landstar Contractors’ Advantage Purchasing Program, Land Improvement Contractors of America,  National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, National Tank Truck Carriers, National Waste & Recycling Association, Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, Oregon Refuse and Recycling Association, Pennsylvania Asphalt Pavement Association, Solid Waste Association of North America, Truckload Carriers Association, Washington Aggregates & Concrete Association, Women In Trucking and Washington Refuse and Recycling Association

Canada: Quebec Ready-Mix Association, Atlantic Concrete Association, Concrete Alberta, Concrete British Columbia, Concrete Manitoba, Concrete Ontario, Concrete Saskatchewan,  Owner-Operators Business Association of Canada, Ontario Trucking Association, Private Motor Truck Council of Canada and Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada.





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Kenworth and Toyota collaborate to develop zero emission trucks



The Kenworth T680s will transport cargo across the Los Angeles basin and to inland cities — such as Ontario and San Bernardino — while generating zero emissions, other than water vapor. (Courtesy: KENWORTH TRUCK CO.)

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Kenworth Truck Co. and Toyota Motor North America are collaborating to develop 10 zero-emission Kenworth T680s powered by Toyota hydrogen fuel cell electric powertrains.

The collaboration was revealed during CES2019 here.

This collaboration is part of a $41 million Zero and Near-Zero Emissions Freight Facilities (ZANZEFF) grant preliminarily awarded by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), with the Port of Los Angeles as the prime applicant.

The grant monies are part of a larger $82 million program that will put fuel cell electric tractors, hydrogen fueling infrastructure, and zero emissions cargo handling equipment into operation in the ports and Los Angeles basin in 2020.

The Kenworth T680s will transport cargo across the Los Angeles basin and to inland cities — such as Ontario and San Bernardino — while generating zero emissions, other than water vapor, thanks to their fully electric hydrogen fuel cell powertrain integrations co-developed by Kenworth and Toyota.

“This is an excellent opportunity for Kenworth and Toyota to work together to both explore and drive the development of advanced zero emission technologies that will play a critical role in the commercial transportation of the future,” said Mike Dozier, Kenworth general manager and Paccar vice president.

“This is not just a science experiment, the goal is to make a difference in society. To remove pollution and improve the air quality in and around the Port of Los Angeles,” said Bob Carter, executive vice president, Toyota Motor North America.

The Kenworth T680s with the Toyota hydrogen fuel cell electric powertrains combine hydrogen gas and air to produce electricity. The electricity powers electric motors to move the trucks, while also charging the lithium-ion batteries to optimize performance as needed. Sophisticated power management systems will apportion the electrical power from the fuel cells to the motors, batteries, and other components, such as electrified power steering and brake air compressors. The hydrogen fuel cell electric powered Kenworth T680s will have a range of over 300 miles under normal drayage operating conditions.

The program will also fund foundational hydrogen fuel infrastructure, including two new fueling stations that, subject to a final investment decision by Equilon Enterprises LLC (dba Shell Oil Products U.S.), will be developed through Shell Oil Products U.S., to support the operation of the fuel cell electric trucks in Southern California.

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