When unpredictable weather catches your agency’s maintenance teams off guard, uncomfortable temperatures onboard cause riders to complain, publicly of course. Angry tweets about uncomfortable passengers start to trend on social media and garner the wrong kind of attention for your agency.
However, changing the narrative around your agency’s winterizing woes could be as easy as using the data you already collect in AVM to prepare your fleet and intercept issues before they become a public relations headache.
@LakelandBus I’m on the 78E 7:25 bus, no heat. Driver did not disclose that the heat wasn’t working to any boarders unless asked individually later. Communication we can fix going forward?
— Eleanor (@Njcurious) November 21, 2019
Preparing for the Road Ahead with a Proactive Maintenance Plan
If you operate in an area where winter weather regularly impacts your community, even routine maintenance tasks can have serious impacts. A bus breaking down on a temperate spring day may only be a minor inconvenience for riders, but a bus stranded in snowy conditions or freezing temperatures can quickly become a major safety and customer service situation. Identifying an issue before it snowballs out of control is crucial to preempting potential nightmare scenarios at your agency and improving overall customer satisfaction.
AVM can help your agency pivot from a reactive maintenance strategy to one that employs more proactive tactics to keep your fleet up and running during any kind of weather. By eliminating the likelihood that a vehicle in need of repair will go out on the road on any given day, road calls can be reduced by up to 40%. A proactive maintenance plan can also help your agency reduce costs by enabling effective scheduling and management of maintenance and reducing overtime pay for unplanned or emergency maintenance.
Leveraging AVM for Winter Weather Readiness
As climates around the world are shifting, winter is becoming more difficult to predict and prepare for. Will your agency be ready for an early winter, frigid arctic temperatures, blizzards, ice storms and other hazards? As with any effective maintenance plan, proactively addressing potential problems will pay off exponentially when cold weather enters the picture.
For agencies in the northern half of the country, winter preparations begin as early as August, well before many of us are ready to start thinking about frigid temperatures and snowy driving conditions. Fleet norms are aggregated via reports in AVM, allowing maintenance teams to identify buses that deviate from what is considered acceptable. Performance data, average coolant temperature and bus heating temperatures are measured and reported, allowing maintenance to single out buses for service well ahead of the first snowflake.
A vehicle’s onboard HVAC system allows mechanics to lock in the temperature at a standard setpoint, much like in a home HVAC system. If an operator feels the bus temperature is too hot or not hot enough, they can override the setpoint onboard the vehicle. Sometimes, even though the temperature is set to what should feel comfortable, the HVAC unit may not be putting enough heat into the bus to accurately reach the setpoint. This could be due to a bad compressor or other mechanical issues within the HVAC unit itself. On buses with intake and outtake temperature sensors, AVM can report on that sensor data to determine whether an HVAC unit is putting out enough heat in the winter, or cool air in the summer. This allows maintenance teams to see at a glance where potentially bad HVAC units are within their fleet and perform the appropriate preventative maintenance before the customer complaints begin.
Vehicle Health Monitoring Solutions from Clever Devices
AVM gives agencies the tools and technology needed to diagnose and triage buses instantly, saving time and labor costs. Learn more about how AVM can help your agency employ a more proactive maintenance strategy.