Lessons Learned from a Field Tech in the Trenches
1. I Get To Know Your Operation - Inside and Out
When I’m onsite I meet your people and work directly with your garage manager. I understand how your depot functions and the challenges you face when a bus is not available for revenue service. This helps me to schedule service visits to better meet your expectations and to ensure all buses are available for operators to meet pullout schedules.
2. Partnering with Your Teams Creates Proficiency
While the Clever Devices’ systems are designed to make it easier to serve your ridership, if they are not being properly maintained, it’s your riders who ultimately suffer. Your maintenance teams are great at what they do but, the technology on today’s transit vehicles is complex. Having an additional resource with expert level knowledge can make a tremendous difference in ITS functionality. When I’m onsite, I work side by side with your maintenance personnel to uncover and diagnose issues quickly and efficiently. This real-world experience also provides your maintenance team with key insights and tips to resolve issues they may encounter in the future l been my experience that when I partner with maintenance teams to provide detailed on-the-job training it becomes invaluable in creating a proficient and self-sustaining team.
3. Your Agency Is Evolving - I Can Help Manage That Change and Make Sure Everyone's Trained Properly
People move from one garage to another or they retire. This means that when new hires are brought onboard they haven’t had the opportunity to learn the Clever Devices systems during the deployment phase. I come in and teach them our systems, what to look for and how to keep them operating at peak performance. This ensures that newcomers are trained properly on Clever Devices equipment and frees your existing employees from having to spend time educating them new hires.
4. I Know Who to Call
In some cases, even with my extensive experience I sometimes get stumped. The benefit of being a Clever employee is that I always know exactly who to call at Clever Devices to resolve any problems that occur. I recall one scenario when a customer upgraded their routers and IP addresses were inadvertently changed. I was able to quickly touch base with our most experienced System Support Engineer to quickly find the information I needed. Had I not been onsite the AVM Reports would not have been created and available for the Maintenance Managers when they arrived in the morning.
5. I Can Help Manage Spares and the RMA Process
Your Warranty Parts Manager is busy and responsible for managing spares for various vehicles from various vendors. It can sometimes be challenging to stay on top of everything. Because I’m focused on only Clever Devices components, part of my role is to assist in making sure your spare pool is adequately stocked and replenished. I can also assist with the RMA process to simplify the returns of faulty components for repair.
6. I Take Preventative Maintenance to a Whole New Level
As a part of their job, maintenance crews are tasked with performing preventative maintenance of all systems on the vehicle required to keep the vehicle running and safe. But, it may not always include preventative maintenance of your ITS equipment with the level of detail I look for. I have a notable example for this: I recently worked with an agency onsite in their main garage. As I was performing a preventative maintenance check of Clever Devices equipment, I uncovered the fact that a certain vehicle had an antenna cable that was loose. As a result, the vehicle was sending intermittent AVM data to the maintenance team. The maintenance lead for this vehicle didn’t know anything was wrong. He thought everything was fine, but the truth was, he wasn’t getting the full spectrum of data from his AVM system which meant he didn’t get many of the advance warnings of potentially serious issues. This preventative maintenance check, and a quick tightening of the cable connection, potentially saved a serious issue from occurring in the future.
7. I Can Tell If Your Software is Up to Date
One of the biggest challenges agencies face with their onboard technology is keeping up with the latest software versions. When I’m onsite this is one of the most important things I’m checking for. It’s important that all your vehicles are operating in compliance with the latest versions of our software, including databases and data dictionaries. This is something that can get overlooked and can cause issues with announcements and data reporting and could result in a delay that affects daily operations.
It’s been my experience that the agencies I worked with regularly appreciate the skill I provide. When I’m onsite to help fix a reported issue, I will also check all systems to uncover issues that may traditionally be overlooked by busy maintenance teams. It’s kind of like an added bonus that they find valuable. Intelligent Transportation Systems is what I do every day, all day long. I’m immersed in our Clever Devices systems. This means that I have in-depth knowledge at a level your maintenance teams likely don’t have. When I come to your property, I work with your team and together we ensure that everything is working as it should be. This winds up saving agencies valuable time and money in the long run because oftentimes I can diagnose issues in a fraction of the time.