Nottingham City Transport rolls out cloud mobile system for fleet engineers

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Nottingham City Transport (NCT) is using the latest mobile technology across its engineering operations as part of the roll out of a new cloud-hosted system from Freeway Fleet Systems. Engineering staff are being equipped with rugged tablet devices that synchronise in real time with a central Freeway system for managing the maintenance of NCT’s fleet of 310 buses.

“For NCT the move from paper to digital working is expected to provide improved compliance and audit-trail as well as significant gains in productivity. Real time visibility of defects will improve vehicle turnaround times, and beyond the efficiencies of more rapid vehicle turnaround the project has also identified significant cost reductions; printing alone has been costing us £25,000 annually,” says Gary Mason, Engineering Director, Nottingham City Transport.

NCT Chief Engineer Liam O’Brien (left) and engineer Christopher Anderson (right). NCT has adopted Freeway’s cloud-based system for managing fleet maintenance. NOTTINGHAM CITY TRANSPORT

NCT is undertaking a phased roll out of Freeway. The first phase is now complete with the introduction of the workshop management software and live connected tablets. The next phase involves the integration of pre-service inspection reports provided by drivers using a Tranzaura app.

The tablets will be used to replace virtually all paperwork and will be used by everyone from technicians to electrical specialists and cleaners. Running Freeway apps, the devices provide quick, easy entry of data to replace job sheets, inspection reports, timesheets, 24 hour sheets and other paperwork.

Unusually, vehicles are allocated by NCT’s engineering department rather than operations. For operations this removes one important variable and simplifies scheduling as vehicle availability is assured. However, it increases the responsibility for engineering to maintain the fleet and minimise downtime.

“Our primary responsibility is to protect the company’s Operators Licence and Freeway will help here but the real benefits come from the fact that Freeway is a tool that will allow us to work more effectively. With everything digital and the information we need always immediately visible we’ll be able to manage things in a way that was simply impossible before,” said Liam O’Brien, Chief Engineer, Nottingham City Transport.