Updating parameters is a great way to help the truck function more efficiently in different...

Updating parameters is a great way to help the truck function more efficiently in different applications or conditions, Volvo says.

Photo: Volvo Trucks North America

Mack and Volvo customers can now make unlimited over-the-air parameter updates from virtually anywhere, allowing them to take maximum advantage of options that allow them to make changes to improve efficiency and productivity for various geographies and operating conditions.

“Mack wanted to make it easier for customers to implement parameter updates, since some need to do so on a frequent basis depending upon their specific applications,” said David Pardue, vice president of connected vehicle and contract services for Mack Trucks.

“With an unlimited number of parameter updates, we allow customers to proactively change settings to continuously optimize their truck for its different transport assignments, instead of waiting until it is absolutely necessary,” said Conal Deedy, director of connected vehicle services at Volvo Trucks North America.

Mack offers an extensive list of vehicle parameters that can be set through Mack OTA, including maximum road speed, multiple idle shutdown parameter and kits, and parameters that control the Mack mDrive automated manual transmission.

Volvo Trucks North America customers can select from an extensive collection of individual and bundled vehicle parameter kits to establish controls, such as maximum road speed, cruise speed, idle shutdown time, Volvo I-Shift transmission shift logic and other settings. 

Administering updates remotely gives the customer control to decide when and where to download parameter specs to an individual vehicle, ensuring it is intelligently configured for its actual working environment.

“Volvo Trucks leads the industry in the number of operational parameters that can be adjusted over the air,” added Deedy. “These updates can enhance fuel efficiency, increase a truck’s productivity, reduce costs and improve driver retention, making a direct, positive impact on the customer’s bottom line.”

Unlimited parameter updates can be accessed as part of Volvo Trucks’ Remote Diagnostics bundle of Uptime Services or through the Mack Over the Air remote programming solution. Both are free for the first two years of ownership and can be extended by subscription.

Mack OTA allows customers to make vehicle parameter settings and software updates remotely through Mack’s fully integrated telematics platform, the Mack GuardDog Connect bundle.  

Volvo Trucks’ Driver Display Activation feature, a new enhancement to the Remote Programming service and now standard on all Volvo trucks, also makes the process faster and more flexible by putting parameter and software updates directly into the hands of fleet operators and drivers.

Similarly, Mack recently made driver-activated OTA updates standard on the Mack Anthem, Pinnacle, and Granite models, enabling customers to implement software and parameter updates themselves at a time when it’s most convenient for them. Each customer designates who has permission to initiate the update, whether it’s the driver or a designated technician who will use a unique password. 

Most driver-activated software updates – which enhance product performance – are completed in less than 13 minutes, Mack said, while driver-activated parameter updates are usually completed in less than one minute. Multiple vehicles can be updated at one time.

Why More Parameter Updates?

Previously, Mack and Volvo offered customers two parameter updates per year, with the option to purchase up to 50 more updates during a one-year period.

“There is a direct connection between the strategic use of parameters and the ability to streamline costs, optimize efficiencies and monitor a fleet’s environmental footprint,” said Ashley Murickan, product marketing manager at Volvo Trucks North America.

Some of Mack's popular parameter kits are the road speed kit and the disable idle shutdown kits.

Some of Mack's popular parameter kits are the road speed kit and the disable idle shutdown kits.

Photo: Mack Trucks

Murickan told HDT that the company recently held a focus group with over a dozen regarding Volvo Trucks’ Remote Programming service offering and found some customers did want the ability to do more parameter updates.

“The most popular updates requested by Volvo Trucks customers are to change the vehicle road speed limits and idle shutdown settings,” she said. “These parameter updates offer truck customization for compliance to state or country rules and improve fuel efficiency.”

Mack’s Pardue told HDT that some customers expressed a desire to be able to initiate more parameter updates through Mack Over The Air remote programming. “Some of our most popular parameter kits are the road speed kit and the disable idle shutdown kits.”

With more parameter updates, fleets can make changes on the fly to be more efficient.

For instance, Pardue said, “adjusting the road speed maximum to adhere to local laws, such as in Canada; disabling idle shutdown due to extreme winter weather; adjusting transmission parameters for weather and terrain conditions, as well as for when the trailer is loaded or unloaded, will all help increase efficiency.”

Volvo’s Murickan explained, “We encourage customers to actively utilize the parameter updating functionality and move away from the old way of thinking, where they would buy a truck and never modify any of these things as long as the truck was in their possession. Updating parameters is a great way to help the truck function more efficiently in different applications or conditions.

"Some examples of this would be adjusting idle shutdown time to adhere to city-center laws [like these in New York City], changing transmission parameters to most efficiently operate with a loaded or unloaded truck body, or making adjustments to transmission parameters based upon weather, seasonality and terrain.”

Originally posted on Trucking Info

About the author
Deborah Lockridge

Deborah Lockridge

Editor and Associate Publisher

Reporting on trucking since 1990, Deborah is known for her award-winning magazine editorials and in-depth features on diverse issues, from the driver shortage to maintenance to rapidly changing technology.

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