Fleet Maintenance Costs: Are You Wasting Money on Filters?

Video Telematics

Every fleet manager is looking for ways to reduce fleet maintenance costs. One of the biggest line items within this area is filter replacement.

If you have a heavily used fleet of trucks, those filters seem to wear out so quickly. You would probably love to extend their life. But can you push filters beyond their recommended replacement interval? Or will that jeopardize the purity of your oil, threaten the health of your trucks’ fuel systems, and ultimately increase your fleet maintenance costs?

As it turns out, it’s highly likely that you are replacing your filters too often. This is why Gridline partners with Donaldson Filtration Solutions to help our clients get the most out of their investment in engine filtration requirements.

A Common Area of Waste for Fleets

Donaldson is a fascinating company, and one of the leaders in helping distributors manage their fleet maintenance costs. They’re the leading provider of filtration solutions for industries such as transportation, construction, agriculture, mining, and oil and gas. Anywhere you see medium to heavy duty diesel engines in use, you’ll probably see Donaldson filters in action.

But Donaldson does more than just make and sell filters. They also make Filter Minder products, which connect to air intake, fuel filtration and engine lube oil systems to monitor their performance and lifespan. These products then communicate filter status visually, electronically, and remotely.

This is huge for the fleet management industry. If you’re changing filters based on a recommended mileage interval, you’re probably working off a very conservative number that may or not reflect how often you really need to change your filters. You know the expression, “Your mileage may vary”? This is one instance where we can take it literally.

Suppose you’re changing filters every 3,000 miles. If your fleet assets are operating in dusty environments, changing filters every 3,000 miles may not be often enough. On the flip side, if your fleet assets are mainly logging miles on the interstate and surface streets, every 3,000 miles may be excessive.

There’s only one way to know for sure: with an indicator. And that’s exactly what Donaldson provides. Rather than going off a one-size-fits-all recommendation, you can get assurance that you’re changing your oil and air filters on exactly the interval that’s most appropriate for each individual truck.

With insight like this, you can avoid throwing money away on one extreme, and damaging your valuable trucks on the other.

Using Filter Minder to Control Fleet Maintenance Costs

Think of the ripple effect that a product like Filter Minder can have on fleet maintenance costs. As you know, the cost of a new air filter or oil filter is only one part of the equation.

You also must factor in what you’re paying a technician to install that new filter. And the opportunity cost of pulling a truck off the road so that maintenance can be performed. And the fact that there’s a critical shortage of qualified technicians anyway, so you’re probably trying to minimize your need to make new hires as you grow your company.

But there’s even more value to be realized here. Filter Minder products can even sense when problems first begin to arise. They can not only tell you when an oil filter needs replacing, but also keep you informed of the quality of oil that the filter is filtering. So, if the filter in one of your trucks is still doing its job but the oil contains some contaminants, Filter Minder can warn you. This enables you to change out the oil and filter and give your truck a fresh start before there’s damage to the engine.

We’ll Help You Optimize Your Maintenance Spend

By now you may be wondering, how can I integrate the information from Filter Minder into my overall view of my fleet as I seek to manage my fleet maintenance costs?

Donaldson has partnered with an Italian company that provides ultra-low energy wireless technology. By attaching sensors to the filtration systems on your equipment, distribution companies can transmit information wirelessly to their computing systems.

For an even more centralized view, they can use Geotab integration to pull Filter Minder information into one platform—and to avoid the need to add yet another mobile device to each truck solely for the purpose of gathering filter data.

The bottom line is that fleet managers can open one application to manage and optimize their fleet maintenance costs. It should have always been that easy—and now it is.

If you’re interested in taking advantage of Filter Minder technology to optimize your maintenance spend, Gridline is here to help. Contact us or give us a call at 855.470.0545 and we’ll walk you through your options.