How We Measure the Value of Predictive Maintenance for Trucking Fleets

America’s trucking industry is the backbone of the U.S. economy—without it, our economy would grind to a halt. Last year, freight transportation demand required 3.97 million heavy-duty Class 8 trucks and 3.5 million professional truck drivers to deliver 12 billion tons of freight.

It’s with this vital understanding that Uptake’s mission is to prevent these vehicles from unplanned and costly breakdowns. With an 8% improvement in uptime—the average improvement Uptake Fleet has unlocked for customers—the industry could have met the same 12 billion tons of freight demand with 288,000 fewer Class 8 trucks.

For the past seven years, Uptake has worked with fleets of all sizes (supporting over 1 billion total operating hours) to deliver predictive insights about the health of a vehicle. What’s more, Uptake’s predictive insights not only notify users about potential issues, but also provide directional recommendations to improve vehicle performance.

Uptake customers have monetized these insights by saving on unscheduled downtime and avoidable unplanned expenses, including roadside breakdowns.

The savings impact results typically vary based on a customer’s operations (own vs. lease, in-house vs. third party maintenance, warranty contracts, etc.). Analytics for analytics’ sake is simply an academic exercise—the true value of analytics is unleashed when the insights are prescriptive and action is then taken.

Using data to generate proven, predictive, and valuable insights is always a challenge. Even more difficult is building and deploying impactful software which surfaces these valuable insights in real time, allowing operators and maintainers to collaborate and take action efficiently, before a failure occurs. Uptake’s product does just this - which is why we have been able to deliver the outcomes and millions in value outlined below:

The average annual operational outcomes customers have experienced, include:

  • Improvement in Uptime
  • Reduction in overall Maintenance Expense
  • Increase in Technician Efficiency (by reducing diagnostic downtime)
  • Reduction of In-Service Breakdowns
  • Mitigation of Catastrophic Failures Events
  • Conversion of Unplanned to Planned maintenance events

If you're wondering about the impact on your maintenance budget, be sure to check out our ROI Calculator.

Customer Value: Product Performance

First, let’s look at Uptake’s product performance.

A common question here is: “How many failures can Uptake predict and provide enough lead time to proactively mitigate a failure?” (hint: it’s most of them!)

Across every customer, failures (or unplanned events) are significantly more expensive and cause longer downtime than planned events, especially if the failure results in a roadside or catastrophic breakdown.

Uptake has a strong track record of surfacing actionable insights across all key asset subsystems, enabling our customers to proactively convert failures into planned maintenance events.

The value we demonstrate for our customers falls into four areas:

  1. Maintenance Cost Efficiencies. Converting failures into planned events reduces avoidable labor expense through event bundling, first-time fix rate improvement, and diagnostic efficiencies. On average, customers have reported an 8-10% increase in maintenance shop efficiency through accelerated root cause identification and diagnostics. Another benefit is based on the time value of money, which is driven by the ability to replace parts at an optimal time.

  2. Elimination of Roadside Breakdowns. Proactively addressing failure modes helps eliminate roadside breakdowns. In the first 100 days of Uptake working with a top multinational food and beverage CNG fleet, breakdowns were reduced by 20%. Customers are able to save on tow, lost labor, reseat, service call, lost (pushed) revenue and improve the customer’s brand image by improving reliability and on-time deliveries.

  3. Catastrophic Failure Mitigation. Many costly catastrophic failures can be mitigated via a minor repair or reseal. A recent real-world example is addressing the systemic valve recession cylinder heads failures found in a CNG engine. Uptake was able to predict over 80% of these failures and trigger timely alerts. Using these insights, Uptake customers have eliminated the need for engine replacements by completing a $3,000 re-drill repair when one of the CNG trucks was affected by these issues. This failure would typically result in a catastrophic failure, resulting in a $50,000 replacement expense per vehicle. Furthermore, Uptake has partnered with an engine OEM for warranty claim acceptance (generating savings for both the OEM on warranty expense and the operator on uptime).

  4. Fuel Spend Reduction. By utilizing data-driven insights to correct inefficiencies in engine performance, fuel consumption is reduced. Customers that take action to have healthier components—specifically within the aftertreatment system—typically see a 2% improvement in fuel usage. Additionally, Uptake predictive analytics can identify and surface excessive vehicle idle time, another common waste of fuel.

Customer Value: Usability

Secondly, it’s important to consider our customers’ usage of our product and insights.

Simply put, insights are only valuable if a user takes action on them. A user will only take action on an insight if they both trust the product and it’s easy to use.

Through engagements with global industry leaders, Uptake has learned how to build trust in insights and recommendations. When Uptake surfaces insights, the user is able to review supporting evidence in the form of hard data. Our products are built to ingest disparate data sources and simultaneously clean, normalize, and analyze any data as it is ingested. Making any data point that is used to generate an insight available to the user helps us refine the quality of our insights.

Users are able to view signal and fault readings, work order history, component-level survivability curves, and constraints, all in one easy-to-understand interface within the product. (See chart below)

Usability is driven by another crucial component: ease of use. Too often, enterprise software is difficult to use or understand, slow for teams to adopt, and places the hard work and heavy lift on the user. Uptake does not stand for this. At the core of our business, we believe that enterprise software should be simple—end of story.

We facilitate ease of use in two main ways:

The Uptake user interface (UI) is simple. Our user experience (UX) team has spent thousands of hours with end users to optimize workflows and interactions. When customers onboard and start using Uptake, it simply works and it is intuitive to use.

Some customers are reluctant to adopt new tools and systems, which is why Uptake’s Industrial API capabilities allow seamless integration into existing systems and workflows. Users like maintenance or operations dispatchers can rely on Uptake delivering insights to where they can lead to immediate action.

Uptake Fleet
Uptake Fleet

Uptake in Action

We’ve worked with mobile assets across many industries, delivering significant business results.

  • Class 8 Delivery Trucks, Multinational food & beverage company
    • 80% reduction in catastrophic engine failures and 20% reduction of roadside failures
    • $1M savings in first 100 days for fleet of Class 8 vehicles
    • 9% improvement in technician efficiency by eliminating diagnostic time
  • Class 8 heavy-haulers, United Road
    • During the pilot phase, 21 days of lead time on a NOx sensor failure
    • $400: immediate savings from proactively servicing vehicles in-house
  • Locomotives, Class 1 North American railroad
    • Rescued 75% of unused data to generate insights used to extend maintenance intervals by 34%
  • Mining Haul Trucks, Global mining and metals company
    • 7% uptime improvement and mitigation of over 950 unplanned events across fleet of 30 trucks
    • $300,000 in annual savings per truck
  • Nuclear Facility, Public Utility
    • $10 million of annual O&M cost savings
    • 20% reduction of annual O&M budget

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