Fleet management is also about preventive maintenance of parts
Hassanein Alwan, managing director, Mineral Circles Bearings, explains how fleet managers could increase the service life of automotive bearings in their commercial fleets
There’s a lot to be excited about the growth in commercial vehicle fleet strength across the world. Statistics from the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA), a group of influencers or lobbyists for the European Union's automobile industry whose members include BMW, Ford Europe, Renault, Volvo Group, and Volkswagen Group, reveal that the worldwide commercial vehicle production increased 2.5% in 2017 from 1.1% in 2016.
With regard to commercial vehicle sales or registration, Saudi Arabia tops the GCC list with 109,829 units, followed by UAE at 44,622 units, and Oman at 32,457. Region-wise results on the other hand show MEA having a total of 750,589 commercial vehicles sold or registered, wherein 417,732 units were from the Middle East and the remaining 332,857 units were from Africa, according to the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d'Automobiles (OICA), a French based automotive trade industry association founded in 1919.
The onset of sharing economy, digitization, and a booming e-commerce industry have enabled start-up companies in the UAE such as Trukker and Truxapp to offer road-based logistics solutions throughout the region. Reports state that these companies foresee over a billion dollar market in Uber-like business models, especially for heavy duty commercial vehicles.
With increase in demand for mobility and B2C-like processes in most industries, customer expectations with regard to cost, time, and service have presented new challenges for commercial vehicle fleet owners. Partnering with or signing up for the services of such new start-ups or fleet management providers, or installing the latest software with GPS tracking technology and IoT capabilities could be the starting points for optimising fleets, but form just a part of the overall fleet management strategy.
Truck wheel bearing kits and heavy duty high load EP3 grease
Using wheel hub kits such as the ones manufactured by NTN-SNR can optimize the efficiency of commercial fleets in a long run. Compared with older generation models, these improved versions have double row tapered roller bearings (TRB) that come with accessories and are ready for installation, thus lowering the chances of manual fitting errors and operational downtime. These hubs are engineered for equal load distribution, are shock damage resistant, and are highly durable even in tough driving environments. It’s not surprising that they are widely used by European heavy duty vehicle manufacturers such as Volvo, Scania, Renault, and DAF.
How about regreasing these hubs? Although wheel hubs are "greased for life", some of the older versions that are mostly found in the MEA region need a heavy duty extreme pressure (EP) grease. French-made NTN-SNR's heavy duty high load EP3 grease is suitable because it's formulated to suit the high temperatures and humidity of the region because of its NLGI grade 3 rating.
By combining the power of technology with the premium bearing products and lubrication solutions, fleet managers get more mileage out of their commercial vehicles. In the end, it's all about cost reduction through fuel efficiency, increased productivity, road and manpower safety, and most importantly, better customer experience in this fast paced industry.