Perfectly timed maintenance for buses and coaches - only when you need it
21 SEPTEMBER 2021
For too long, bus and coach companies have depended on periodic maintenance that doesn’t always come at the right time or reflect the actual status of the vehicle. But Scania Flexible Maintenance for Buses and Coaches introduces condition-based maintenance when it’s needed, to maximise your uptime.
Bus and coach companies and their drivers live with the daily stress of fulfilling tight timetables and specific assignments. Often, the contract includes financial penalties for lateness or breakdowns, underlining the importance of having a well maintained vehicle on the road earning money.
Maintenance is a key part of the package when buying a bus or coach from Scania, but, until now, it has been at fixed intervals, where all of the bus or coach is checked at the same time. That can take the vehicle out of action for a couple of days, and come too soon or too late, risking something breaking down between times.
Scania’s answer is a solution that’s been tried and tested with its trucks – Flexible Maintenance.
“With Flexible Maintenance you measure how the vehicle is being used and adapt the maintenance programme to the particular need. It’s unique to the bus and coach market and we’re very proud of it,” says Bea Bodin, Product Manager for Flexible Maintenance for Buses and Coaches.
The reason Scania was able to create this service was a far-sighted decision taken ten years ago: the installation of a little black box in the company’s vehicles.
“We can offer flexible maintenance because we have had the Scania Communicator installed as standard in our vehicles since 2011. The communicator allows us to collect user data, measuring what happens to the vehicle as and how it’s driven,” explains Bodin.
“We have built up a wealth of data that gives us tremendous insights into our vehicles and how they’re used, and that’s the knowledge we have used to build the service.”
How flexible maintenance benefits operators
Flexible maintenance benefits both city bus operators and long-distance coach companies, but in different ways.
“If you have a very smooth operation, for example if you drive long-distance coaches between Sweden and Spain, then you’ll benefit from having long intervals between services and not need so much time in the workshop,” explains Bea Bodin.
“When we can measure how the vehicle is being used, we can have longer intervals, instead of before when we just estimated when it was time to come in.”
“But,” she adds, “if it’s a really tough operation, such as a city bus or a coach driving tourists in a city such as Stockholm, then there’s a lot of stop and start, driving slowly and starting off again. Common issues include problems with the doors and climate systems and these can take a bus off the road and into the workshop.
“In that case you’ll not have long intervals, and we’ll protect the vehicle. So instead of having too-long intervals and missing, say, an oil change, the vehicle is continuously being monitored so it’s maintained at the right time.”
Coupled with a driver training service that analyses driving styles to optimise how the vehicle’s being used, Flexible Maintenance gives both bus operators and drivers peace of mind.
“Flexible Maintenance is a premium service, but it pays for itself,” says Bea Bodin.
“You get asset protection no-one else can offer. We know Scania vehicles inside out and this service will save you money in terms of fines, broken components and repairs.
“It’s a big deal and it’s so great that we can do something for our bus customers again. Now’s the time for the bus business to go one step ahead.”
Why Flexible Maintenance is the operator’s friend:
1. Maximised uptime
The precise data collected by the Scania Communicator means your vehicle will be serviced quickly when and how it’s needed, keeping it on the road.
2. Peace of mind
“Owners no longer need to keep track of maintenance needs. Instead, the workshop service advisors call the customers and book the appointment,” says Bea Bodin.
3. Protecting residual value
You’ll protect a valuable asset and use it longer, retaining good residual value for the next customer buying the bus as a used vehicle.
At Scania, we approach the challenge from several angles, offering a wide range of efficient, high quality products and services to meet the varying needs of travel operators.