Nottingham City Transport (NCT) is improving safety and fleet management with the introduction of a real time vehicle defect reporting system.  NCT’s drivers are being equipped with mobile data terminals to record their first use vehicle checks updating the central fleet maintenance system in real time.  The system is the result of integration between software companies Freeway and Tranzaura.

Last year NCT transformed their engineering operations with the introduction of a new system from Freeway.  Workshop staff have been equipped with rugged tablets as part of a paperless system that is used to manage the maintenance and compliance of over 300 buses.  The integration of the Tranzaura vehicle inspection application with Freeway gives NCT an industry-leading digital system.

“By linking Freeway and Tranzaura we have a real-time insight into the condition of the fleet allowing us to immediately identify and deal with critical defects.  It closes the loop in the flow of digital data giving us an end-to-end paperless and live system; this is exactly what we set out to achieve back in 2019,“ says Liam O’Brien, Chief Engineer, Nottingham City Transport.

The driver app runs on mobile data terminals – smartphones configured purely as devices to run the Tranzaura app – which provide contactless data reading.  The driver uses the device to touch an in-cab electronic tag to identify the vehicle and they then present their ID card to log on. The app then guides the driver through a pre-defined procedure that ensures complete and consistent data entry. Any defects can be accompanied with photographs taken on the device.

The link between the driver app and workshop system is two way so the driver can see that engineering is aware of any defects. Engineering can then take immediate action, for example contacting the driver on their radio for more information and deciding if the vehicle needs to be taken off road straight away.

“With the Tranzaura and Freeway integrated system we are for the first time completely in the picture from the moment a driver completes their walk around check.  We can accurately assess the seriousness of defects and take immediate action if required; the chances of a vehicle leaving the depot unsafe is greatly reduced,” comments O’Brien.

The seamless incorporation of the driver defect data is also really helps with managing workshop activity as we can immediately schedule in any rectifications that previously were not in the system.  That means we are more efficient and productive – as well as safer.”