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ServiceRanger 4: A reliable shop sidekick

A good technician knows that to do the job right, you need to use the proper tools. When it comes to diagnosing and troubleshooting Eaton’s automated transmissions and hybrid power systems, that tool is ServiceRanger™ 4.

ServiceRanger is Eaton’s PC-based electronic diagnostic and service tool for Eaton’s complete line of automated transmission products, as well as the company’s hybrid power systems.

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The modern design and interface of ServiceRanger 4 makes it easy to use in any environment.

 

“It’s a comprehensive diagnostic tool  that allows technicians to perform tasks such as read fault codes, monitor system data, change configurations and calibration values and re-flash new software into our products,” explains Robert Green, engineering manager, PC diagnostic tools with Eaton.

The latest version, ServiceRanger 4, was introduced in November 2013, complete with added functionality and an improved user interface.

“We investigated how the tool was used, including the environment in which it was used,” Green says. “We know it could be used in a dark shop or maybe even in a bright cab, so we looked at how the colors, text size and layout worked together so it can be easily used in those environments.”

ServiceRanger 4 has also been packed with extra features. Troubleshooting guides and service manuals have been loaded into the tool in an electronic format.

“When you look at a fault code, you can read the description on the screen and a button links directly to the troubleshooting procedure for that fault code,” Green explains.

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Troubleshooting procedures are integrated into ServiceRanger 4 to enable faster fault resolution.

 

Also new is a Service Activity Report feature, which records all the activities a technician has performed and logs the information for later reference. A technician who uses the tool while on a service call, for example, can log the work that was conducted in the field and then review it when back at the shop. That activity report can also be exported as a PDF or in other formats. The Service Activity Report also contains an e-mail feature, allowing the technician to send the report to a colleague or to the Eaton call center for further analysis.

The ability to send full activity reports to the Eaton call center has eliminated some potentially costly repairs, Green claims.

“We have helped our customers avoid expensive repairs just by having the full set of information at our call center, so they could direct a better, more efficient repair,” he says.

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ServiceRanger 4 makes it easy to review reports and data logs when and where they are needed, along with sending reports to Eaton to make call center support conversations more efficient.

 

ServiceRanger 4 is used by service facilities and fleets that perform their own maintenance and repairs on equipment that’s no longer covered under warranty. “As a fleet tool, it’s invaluable,” Green says.  “If they have trucks that are beyond their warranty period or if they do some of their own maintenance, then it makes a lot of sense for them to have the tool at their facility.”

Fleet customers who use the tool have been able to reduce downtime and repair costs. Green recalls an example where several parts were replaced on a hybrid vehicle, which didn’t resolve the issue. Once connected to ServiceRanger 4, experts at Eaton’s call center immediately recognized some configuration values were set incorrectly. The settings were fixed remotely and the truck was able to quickly return to service.

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ServiceRanger 4 enables Eaton to remotely change configuration values, and users to locally change configuration values and run advanced tests.

 

And because ServiceRanger 4 reads data from more than just the transmission, it has also been able to identify problems caused by other systems that affected the transmission’s ability to perform. For example, ServiceRanger 4 can determine when an ABS fault is preventing the UltraShift PLUS’s Hill Start Aid from functioning.

With all the additional functionality built into ServiceRanger 4, Eaton has opted to charge a subscription fee, as most other OEMs have done.

“The overall reaction has been one of understanding, especially since we were one of the last original equipment manufacturers to start charging for our service and diagnostic tool,” he says. “The subscription-based model allows us to meet today’s needs and prepare ourselves to add more features in the future.”

Customers who purchase ServiceRanger 4 have several training options available to them. Training is offered as part of Eaton’s Roadranger Academy automated transmission classes, or free of charge online. The tool also comes with a user’s manual and quick start guide for those who are already comfortable working with diagnostic tools.

While some generic diagnostic tools are available on the market, Green notes only ServiceRanger 4 can ensure you’re identifying the root cause of a problem quickly and accurately.

“To get the complete picture, you really need our service tool,” he says. “When you have ServiceRanger 4, you get the full support of Eaton.  And if you need to change configuration values or run an advanced test, ServiceRanger 4 is the only tool that can do that.”