All fleet managers understand the importance of regular maintenance. Experienced managers also know it’s better to perform these repairs proactively instead of running to failure, but even standard preventive care can fall short. As winter approaches, fleets should consider remote diagnostic tools. Remote truck diagnostics solutions analyze vehicle health factors and transmit them wirelessly through telematics. They can be a crucial tool for keeping trucks in optimal condition and fleets should implement them before the winter weather begins. Here are five reasons why. 1. Remote Truck Diagnostics Improve Safety The most important reason to implement remote diagnostics is it protects drivers and others on the road. Even the most efficient in-person maintenance system requires substantial time between diagnostic checks. Truckers may be on the road for up to 11 hours before having any off time. Even then, they may not be near a facility that can check their truck’s state of repair. That leaves a considerable time for potentially dangerous issues to arise. Remote diagnostics can find problems as truckers drive, helping resolve them before they become hazardous. This data is sent to an administrator who can determine if the issue is a minor or major concern. If it’s a major concern, the administrator might reroute a truck to the nearest service station. This safety is even more critical in the winter, when poor road conditions may turn otherwise minor issues into significant hazards. Preventing equipment failure can protect truckers and other drivers their failing trucks may endanger. 2. Remote Diagnostics Minimize Downtime Remote diagnostic tools also minimize equipment downtime. The conventional process can add considerable time to already time-consuming maintenance stops. Technicians must take time to pull codes and inspect engines, take more to determine if they need immediate attention and — in some cases — order parts. Accessing diagnostic information while the truck is on the road removes a lot of this downtime. Telematics solutions can report diagnostic codes in real-time, so technicians can prepare accordingly while the truck is away. They can determine how serious the issue is, order any necessary parts and schedule a repair before the vehicle comes in. This simultaneous action means trucks can get the service they need as soon as they pull into the workshop. Both regular maintenance and unexpected repairs will include less downtime as a result. 3. Winter Weather Increases Maintenance Concerns These efficiency and safety improvements are beneficial at any time of year, but they’re vital for the winter. Fleets must implement remote truck diagnostics before the weather changes because their maintenance concerns will rise in the colder months. Batteries and wipers wear out faster in the cold and trucks must pay closer attention to fluid ratios and levels. Even if nothing goes wrong, these regular maintenance steps take time and money. If fleets already have a remote diagnostics system in place, they can reduce that impact when they need it most. Unexpected issues are also more likely to arise in extreme weather conditions. Consequently, there’s no better time to have real-time insight into rising maintenance concerns. 4. Fleets Need More Time in the Winter Another reason fleets should implement remote diagnostics before the winter is this season is often busier. In the past two holiday seasons, demand outpaced supply by millions of packages a day. While those peaks may not be as high as pandemic-related issues fizzle out, this season is consistently busy. High demand means fleets can’t afford to keep trucks down for long. That — combined with the increased likelihood of emergency repairs — means fleet managers must embrace all the proactive maintenance measures they can. Amid these peak seasons, fleets can’t overlook the reduced downtime remote diagnostics enable. If they adopt these systems, they can minimize repair-related downtime, making it easier to manage surging demand. 5. Early Maintenance Reduces Costs Fleets need remote truck diagnostics for the resulting cost savings. Getting real-time alerts about maintenance needs can reduce expenses in two ways. First, it helps resolve equipment issues before they become prominent, costlier problems. Secondly, minimized downtime improves productivity. With remote diagnostic tools, fleet managers can learn about truck maintenance issues as they arise. These early warnings let the company schedule time to fix them before they cause significant damage or become harder to repair. As a result, predictive approaches to maintenance can lead to a 10% reduction in overall repair costs. As fleets rely on these systems to manage maintenance, they’ll also save through improved uptime. When trucks don’t have to stop as long for repairs, fleets can use them for longer in a given period. Consequently, they can complete more work in less time, minimizing losses from lost productivity. Remote Diagnostic Tools Are Crucial for Winter As the weather becomes more extreme and shipping demand rises, these benefits become increasingly hard to ignore. Fleets need to capitalize on remote truck diagnostics if they want to make the most of the winter season. Remote diagnostic systems will only become more accessible and functional as technology advances. That means they’ll deliver even further on these advantages, helping fleets optimize their operations regardless of the season. Emily Newton is an industrial journalist and the Editor-in-Chief of Revolutionized.