14 May 2017 23:01
15 May 2017 13:56
So, he just needs to put a bottle of water into the drinks holder and then we’re off! Robert Kubasiewicz prepares himself and his truck for the upcoming journey. Starting from Sulęcin in Poland, the headquarters of the haulage firm Maszoński Logistic, he will drive via Germany to France and into the greater Paris area. From France, he will probably drive on with his high-volume vehicle towards Coblenz. In most cases, he then drives back to Poland with another load.
“The subsequent tours often only materialise in the course of the week,” says Robert while adjusting his steering wheel. That means he doesn’t yet know exactly where the coming days will lead him. But it doesn’t worry him either. He has a good feeling because he is driving a truck which he can rely on. His Actros 2543 is just two years old. Being on the road during the week is something the 52-year-old family man has been used to for some time. But being able to spend the weekend with his family in Sulęcin is very important to him and he doesn’t let anything get in the way of that.
Maszoński Logistic’s fleet drives European long-haul tours. The haulage company does all it can to ensure that their drivers can rely on their trucks. The company has 160 new Actros vehicles in its fleet. The average term for the trucks at Maszoński is 3.5 years. That means an average of 550,000 and 600,000 kilometres on the clock.
“We continually optimise our fleet. We want our trucks on the road and not in the workshop,” exclaims Ryszard Staniszewski. The Technical Manager at Maszoński has had great experiences in the past with Mercedes-Benz Service24h, whenever the company has needed to call on them. It was almost always possible for trucks which did break down to continue their journey without a stint in a workshop, even if the original delivery slot couldn’t necessarily be adhered to.
Now, the fleet management team there uses the new Mercedes-Benz Uptime service and is able to prevent breakdowns from happening in the first place. Plus, maintenance measures, repairs and service work can be managed and performed even more efficiently. Staniszewski: “Mercedes-Benz Uptime saves us a lot of time and money!”
To do just that, Mercedes-Benz Uptime makes use of the possibilities provided by the telematics system and a small, electronic component, the FleetBoard Truck Data Center. “In the past, the technical data of trucks was read out and analysed in the workshop. Today, the truck continually transmits all collectable operating data to a Mercedes-Benz server. This server automatically analyses the data non-stop and detects typical error patterns,” explains Staniszewski enthusiastically.
What drivers and fleet managers especially appreciate is that, within seconds, the system determines what steps to take. Should there be a risk of downtime for a Maszoński truck, and the home workshop is not available over the weekend, the Mercedes-Benz Customer Assistance Center (CAC) immediately contacts Staniszewski and recommends a specific course of action. Together, they discuss possible options to avoid downtime for the truck.
If necessary, the CAC will give the names of Service Partners which are within reach, will check availability in their schedule and ask whether parts are in stock in their warehouse. After this, a workshop stop along the route can be arranged in consultation with Staniszewski. “It’s ideal because we can also take into account how long the driver has been behind the wheel, as well as loading and unloading times,” says Staniszewski. “Without this service, we would probably be facing an enormous organisational headache: replacement trucks and drivers, transfers, new loading times – we are spared of all that.”
That’s good news for Robert too: “I can be sure that the technical state of my truck is being checked optimally at all times. That gives me a really good feeling when I’m on the road,” he explains as he heads towards the loading bay. He has never had a breakdown in his Actros. In fact, in his 32 years of driving trucks he has only ever had two breakdowns. Once, he had a problem with the clutch a little over ten years ago in England and another time, a software error brought him to a halt in Belgium. “Otherwise, I was lucky and never had any problems.”
After the departure check, we’re off. This time, Robert has plastic containers on board and wants to get on the road leading to the motorway. Before he even leaves the grounds of the logistics centre, the display is showing an important message. Robert gets out: “I have to check the tyre pressure on the rear left.” He adds air to the tyres and, just to be sure, also checks the other tyres of the vehicle/trailer combination.
In such cases, Fleet Manager Staniszewski simultaneously receives an email. “In addition, we receive an overview of the messages given for each vehicle. If it becomes clear that it is always the same tyre which has to be pumped up, this could be an indication that the tyre is about to burst. That gives us time to react before something happens.”
The tyre on Robert’s Actros has not been problematic so far. “However, the pressure has to be right, otherwise the tyre will wear down more quickly and I will use more diesel,” says Robert, as he fastens his belt.
“These messages are absolutely vital for us,” as Staniszewski explains. “A typical example is the reference to operating fluids which need topping up, such as AdBlue. That means that the driver can top them up in good time and won’t need to interrupt his journey.”
Mercedes-Benz Uptime uses another method to ensure that the Actros trucks belonging to Maszoński remain operational for longer. If a repair or a service does become necessary, Maszoński’s Service Partner is automatically contacted. “There, they have all the information they need immediately available, can contact us and set up an appointment which perfectly fits in with the schedule for the coming trips,” says Staniszewski. That is good for Robert: “Usually several things are done at the same time. That way, I don’t have to move all my things to a replacement truck too often.”
And, things go faster in the workshop too. It is perfectly prepared thanks to the telediagnosis data being made available at an early stage; repair recommendations are made by Mercedes-Benz Uptime and, if necessary, the workshop can also order spare parts in advance.
Robert now leaves the company grounds. On the A2 motorway he sets off for Germany. Tomorrow he will be able to unload in France. He still doesn’t know his next destination. But one thing he does know: “By the weekend, I’ll be back at home,” he says. “As far as that goes, I have a good feeling.”
RoadEfficiency bundles together an entire package of innovations in one great concept. All advantages for the driver and the haulage company, as well as all information can be found in an overview on the Mercedes platform.
Photos: Sebastian Vollmert