Mack offers data management system
May 1, 2003 12:00 PM
TO help managers control costs and maintain comprehensive fleet records, Mack Trucks has introduced its new InfoMax Wireless data management system. The new wireless technology was shown during the Mid-America Trucking show in Louisville, Kentucky, March 19 to 21, 2003. It uses Wi-Fi short range wireless data interchange to extract operating data from trucks without actual physical contact with the vehicles.
Information is gathered every time a vehicle returns to base. As a truck enters the property, a communication module mounted under the dash automatically transmits information from the DataMax onboard data logger to a network access point. The access point forwards the information to the company computer network. Once in the company information system, special InfoMax software analyzes the data and prepares reports in the form set by managers.
A single network access point can handle as many as 127 vehicles, eliminating the previously time-consuming task of extracting data by hooking up a portable computer to each truck. The wireless data transmissions are secure and carry no communication fees or licensing agreements. Data extraction is so automatic that the truck ignition key does not have to be on for the transfer to occur.
Reports can be customized by department and function to provide trip summaries, engine operation, driver activity, or maintenance and diagnostic data. Managers can use data for automated maintenance scheduling, driver performance reviews, fuel economy incentive program administration, or detection of unauthorized attempts to reprogram engine functions. In addition, managers can use InfoMax Wireless to change system parameters throughout a fleet in a single operation.
System range is roughly 1,000 ft for direct line-of-sight. Data extraction intervals are programmable so that fleets can gather data daily, every two days, weekly, or at almost any other interval. The system has an internal pause mechanism so that if a truck moves beyond receiver/transmitter range before data extraction is complete, the process takes up again the next time the vehicle comes within range. If a data extraction is not scheduled, the system simply ignores interrogation from the access point.
An optional global positioning package allows InfoMax to compile vehicle location data and use that information for automated fuel tax filings. The optional package also allows historical mapping of vehicle locations.
The new system is available on Mack Vision, CH, and Granite vehicles and can be retrofitted to any Mack vehicle with V-MAC II or V-MAC III electronics. The network access point is produced, installed, warranted, and serviced by Symbol Technologies.
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