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Maximizing a Fleet’s Health through Monitoring Data

monitoring of fleet excessive data
Author: Erik Rutten, Technical Support Specialist

Preventive maintenance is an integral process for every company striving to maximize the health of their fleet. This process is made significantly easier through telematics solutions as fleet owners can monitor their most important and relevant information with ease. This includes areas such as battery health, fuel level, oil temperature, tire pressure, and other diagnostics.

Early Warning Detection
In order for the process to work seamlessly, Geotab’s telematics devices should be installed correctly according to the instructions provided. To maximize the efficiency and health of the fleet management devices, Geotab continuously monitors data usage as a method for indicating sub-optimal performance. This kind of preventive maintenance can be compared to preventive medicine, where a patient is monitored by a healthcare professional to prevent the cause of a symptom before the symptom ever occurs. This early warning detection can ensure the health of the patient, or in this case, the health of the fleet.

Geotab’s Preventive Maintenance Measures
Geotab’s excessive data monitoring system flags devices that are not operating to par on a daily basis and recognizes faults before anyone in the field even has a chance to detect it. The historical monitoring trend has shown that there are three main issues with devices, all of which could be prevented with proper installation:

  1. Excessive accelerometer data
  2. Excessive power resets
  3. Excessive auxiliary toggling

John Kyes rightly mentioned in the Top 3 Benefits Of Choosing The Right Telematics Harness that choosing the right harness is essential for optimal performance, but such a choice is useless without proper installation.

Main causes of excessive data usage
The most frequent reason for excessive data usage is due to devices’ excessive accelerometer data. Sometimes this is because they are installed in snow plows or other vehicles that undergo intense vibration, but in most cases the device is not installed securely and is shaking around excessively. This causes slight bumps, which ultimately produce large spikes in the data.

Another common reason for excessive data usage is excessive power resets by which the device loses power repeatedly. This may be occurring as a result of a weak battery and can be detected by carrying out preventive maintenance and utilizing a low voltage warning within MyGeotab. Generally, the main cause of these issues is a loose connection, such as the device not being securely connected to the diagnostic port or to the extension harness.

Another instance in which devices tend to use excessive data is due to the fact that auxiliaries are toggling on and off continuously whenever an auxiliary is triggered. On some occasions this is because the auxiliaries are not installed correctly, however, in other circumstances the auxiliary is connected to something like a turning signal which flashes on and off repeatedly. This can be resolved by the application of an auxiliary debounce parameter.

All of the reasons mentioned above, through which a device uses excessive data, cause the clients’ data to deprecate in some way. When accelerometer data is off the charts, drivers will be needlessly penalized for harsh driving. When power resets are occurring frequently, the device may miss recording portions of a vehicle’s trip or cause fleet owners to suspect possible device tampering. When auxiliaries toggle on and off continuously the data is senseless and as a result, useless. Ultimately, for telematics devices to be effective, they must not only be installed with the appropriate harness, but they must also be installed properly so that we can obtain the rich data we seek.

If you have any questions about excessive data usage, please leave any questions or comments in the area below.

2 Comments

  • Posted September 4, 2014 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Hi Rob,

    It’s difficult to recommend a general solution without knowing the particular details of each case, such as the level of acceleration being generated. It may be that the acceleration generated by the truck itself is significantly above average, in which case it may be expedient to disable the logging of this passively generated acceleration which just creates noise. When the accelerometer is disabled in this way we can still detect higher threshold acceleration events such as accidents, but ignore the accelerometer noise which arises from regular operation. To investigate what would be the best solution for you please open a support ticket and one of Geotab’s support engineers will be happy to assist you

  • Posted August 27, 2014 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    This month I have been getting a large amount of complaints about excessive data usage. one other thing that I found was after taking photos and sending them, for some reason the app on the device loops and continues to attempt sending the photo’s. this also leads to excessive data usage and has been reported.

    My question re the accelerometer issues is do you have a solution to this? the guys I have using the function have all had their devices secured in the truck cab but they still have this issue.

    any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Rob McLean

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