Your company’s equipment is the lifeblood of your business. It’s what gets you from point A to point B; without it, you wouldn’t be able to serve your customers.

That being said, downtime is unavoidable regarding equipment—especially in the world of heavy trucks and commercial vehicles. These machines require regular maintenance and even heavy repairs. Still, downtime can cut into your bottom line, especially when the repair is extensive. But, how can you combat this when a vehicle is out of commission for any length of time? Well, Triad Diagnostic Solutions has some answers!

What is equipment downtime?

Downtime is essentially any period of time that a piece of equipment is not working or producing. Downtime can either be unplanned because of breakage or defect or planned in the case of scheduled or intended maintenance activities. However, in general, downtime refers to unexpected machine downtime or machine failure, which causes disruption to production.

It can be due to a variety of factors, including:

  • A breakdown in the vehicle itself
  • A breakdown in the engine or transmission
  • An issue with the sensitive component itself
mechanic looking under car to see what needs replaced

How to Combat Unexpected Equipment Downtime

Commercial drivers are always on the go; If they’re not driving, they’re usually working with some machine. That can mean a lot of unplanned downtimes, especially when it comes to equipment maintenance efforts. Here’s how you can combat unplanned equipment downtime.

1. Update Equipment

Keeping up with the latest updates is critical for ensuring that you have the most up-to-date equipment available.

The best way to keep your equipment healthy is by replacing parts before failure, replacing fluids that are low on stock, and replacing degrading components that have reached the end of their life cycle (this includes batteries).
Maintaining your equipment is essential so it can run smoothly over time. Regularly updating software and supporting hardware helps reduce unplanned downtime, which means less work, too!

2. Make a Preventive Maintenance Strategy a Priority

Preventive maintenance is one of the most important things you can do for your vehicles–and it doesn’t cost anything! Regularly checking the air pressure in tires, changing the oil regularly, and replacing filters will ensure that your vehicle is always running smoothly. Another key factor in preventative maintenance is integrating a total vehicle or equipment scan tool process to view and keep a report on diagnostic health. Jaltest is the answer for quickly gathering all pertinent spec, operational, and diagnostic information with one connection and storing that health report on the computer and in Jaltest’s GRP system for cloud based storage and easy access.

It’s essential to make sure that your preventive maintenance schedule is up-to-date and complete. Jaltest’s software can also help you keep track of these schedules and alert you to when a needed repair is coming up.

3. Device Alerts and Notifications

This is an easy one–Have your employees check their devices regularly to ensure they’re not missing any important notifications. You can also proactively send alerts when there’s a problem with the equipment so that people know to report it immediately.

4. Increase Employee Training

Employee training can also help combat unplanned equipment downtime. Have your shop adhere to a triage vehicle health scan protocol during intake and a post scan process prior to releasing the vehicle back to the customer. This ensures all issues are identified and communicated and checks for the vehicle health prior to sending back to the customer mitigating potential come backs and missed repair opportunities.

Ensure your employees are trained to use the diagnostic scan tools properly and effectively and when to call the tech support network for help if something goes wrong.

5. Use Jaltest Diagnostic Tools

Jaltest offers diagnostic tools that can help you identify the root cause of your equipment malfunction. These kits are beneficial when there’s no other apparent reason why an equipment failure is occurring—you just know something’s wrong.

Whether you’re looking for something for your commercial fleet, off-highway equipment, or material handling equipment, Triad has it all!

These kits allow you to repair and recalibrate equipment with real-time monitoring and give you step-by-step guidance on how to clear fault codes or make dealer-level repairs.

How to Manage Unexpected Equipment Downtime

Downtime is never going to be avoidable, but it can be manageable. Here are some tips on how to manage equipment during these unexpected downtimes.

1. Make sure you have a backup plan! Have everything ready if something goes wrong, and keep your employees informed of these plans.

2. Be prepared with an emergency contact list and know how to reach them! Having a way to get in touch with your employees should they need help is essential if something happens with the pieces of equipment or when there is a breakdown of any kind.

3. Keep track of your regular maintenance schedule so that you are always aware of when things need attention and can take care of them quickly and efficiently!

mechanic running diagnostic scan on car looking for codes

Modern Technology Decreases Downtime for Your Equipment

The worst thing you can do about unplanned equipment downtime is to leave it alone! The longer you wait before having your equipment repaired, the worse the damage will become, and your business operations will suffer.

Triad Diagnostic Solutions is a master distributor of Jaltest hardware and software in North America. We also provide diagnostic tools for automotive, material handling equipment, agriculture equipment and marine vessels. For more information or to speak with a representative, give us a call at (317) 939-3690.