We’ve all been there: driving down the road, minding our own business when suddenly the check engine light illuminates the dash. As a responsible heavy-duty truck operator, you pull over and prepare to inspect the situation. Once you’ve reached a safe stopping place, you pull out your OBD-II diagnostic tool from Triad Diagnostic Solutions. This little engine tool has become a staple in your toolbox, and you rarely go anywhere without it. Knowing the capabilities you have with this handheld device, you’re able to perform dealer-level diagnostics right there on the side of the road. You read the codes, determine your next steps, and then either head back to headquarters or carry on with your haul. As you pull away from your stop area, you marvel at just how quickly you were able to get that done and how easy it was, not even thinking that just a little over a decade ago, this little stop could have put you out of commission for months.

Readers vs. Scanners

While there are many different options on the market, Autel makes some of the best OBD-II diagnostic tools available. However, there is a difference between code readers and code scanners.


OBD-II code readers, like the AutoLINK529HD, are relatively inexpensive tools that anyone can get their hands on. They are designed to read and clear the fault codes on the vehicle’s onboard computer system. From the engine, transmission and ABS systems to body and chassis controllers, HVAC, safety systems and everything in between, the AL529HD is the right answer for your on-board diagnostic scanner. The AL529HD also allows you to view live data while the truck is running down the road or in a shop environment.


OBD-II code scanners, on the other hand, come with a variety of advanced features and capabilities. For example, the MaxiSYS 908CV has the capability to read manufacturer-lever codes and data, while offering over 2,000 bi-directional tests and parameter resets along with live data. This means you don’t have to go to the dealership or maker just to find out what’s wrong with your heavy-duty truck. However, another significant difference between readers and scanners is the price – scanners will cost you more but give you a lot more functionality and coverage than a code reader.

Why You Should Invest in a Reader or Scanner

To keep your engines running, regular maintenance is vital. However, sending your trucks off to a dealership or repair shop can be costly, especially if you’re managing a large fleet. With code readers and scanners, you control more of the repair process and the costs associated with those repairs. Furthermore, these tools allow you to keep up with regular maintenance and prepare for costly parts or labor down the road.

Get Your Autel Readers and Scanners from Triad

Heavy-duty trucks and automotive scan tools are an asset to your shop. But not all brands on the market are equal. Some provide very little coverage and lack quality both in hardware and software services. On the heavy-duty side, you can expect the same great coverage and capabilities with the MaxiSYS 908CV or the MaxiSYS 906CV. Check all of these out online or give us a call at (317) 939-3690.