The truck as a neural network

Steve Bertrand, Midwest district service manager for Peterbilt and one of the judges at the 2013 Rush Truck Centers technician rodeo, speaking to Fleet Owner's Sean Kilcarr on the complexity of today's trucks:

“Trucks today are a giant ‘neural network,’ a rolling ‘cloud’ if you will of interconnected systems and information,” he explained. “That’s why I don’t like to see the ‘part changing’ solution for truck repairs. You may be wasting time replacing a perfectly good part that won’t be covered by the supplier warranty because that’s not where the problem is.”

Bertrand says RTC’s annual rodeo event forces technicians (and RTC employs 2,000 of them) to logistically think through problems, not to just throw parts at it. He says troubleshooting requires technicians to be well-rounded, from turning wrenches to navigating software and databases, "while being able to ‘read between the lines’ to analyze what may really be going on with a fault code.”