Why are truck diagnostics important?
Truck diagnostics make it much easier to identify the source of problems and isolate any issues. Modern vehicle electronic control units (ECU) produce a range of codes, often called ‘trouble codes’ when something isn’t operating correctly. The diagnostic tool reads these codes and provides you with easy-to-understand information about your truck’s faults.
Simple diagnostic readers only have the capability of displaying the trouble codes, and you then need to do a little research yourself to determine what the code means. More advanced systems interpret these codes for you and even go as far as providing troubleshooting guides.
Who uses truck diagnostic tools?
Anybody can use diagnostic tools, and it’s recommended that all commercial vehicle operators are familiar with them. If you own a commercial vehicle, it could be wise to invest in a diagnostic tool. Even if you choose a more basic version, it gives you the opportunity to identify faults, determine their seriousness and act quickly if required.
Workshops that do a lot of repairs should also have diagnostic tools, however, these need to be more advanced products. If you only work on one make of vehicle, you may get away with a less-expensive system; if you operate a larger workshop, it makes sense to use something like the Jaltest Diagnostic Kit, which we’ll discuss in detail later on.
Different types of Diagnostic tools
There are plenty of different diagnostic tools on the market, however, a few stand out above the rest. For this article, we’re going to look at the Jaltest Diagnostics tools, which are a comprehensive diagnostic solution, and also the Bosch HDS250 Scan Tool, which has less functionality but is portable and relatively inexpensive.
Jaltest is based in Europe and therefore has developed strong capabilities when it comes to European trucks. They also operate from America, meaning their diagnostic tools are proficient in detecting faults in American trucks, with comprehensive diagnostics for all American engine components including Cummins, Detroit Diesel and Caterpillar.
Impressively, Jaltest engineers have spent a lot of time in Australia and New Zealand over recent years, working with technology partners to understand the local market and conditions. During these visits they have evaluated the local range of Japanese trucks and comprehensively upgraded the Jaltest diagnostic capabilities for Hino, Isuzu, Fuso and UD.
Jaltest CV is the product used for commercial vehicles and is mainly targeted towards workshops that deal with repairs and maintenance of heavy vehicles. The Jaltest Commercial Kit is designed to be user-friendly, with tough, durable hardware and an intuitive graphic interface. Most importantly, guided diagnostics provide technicians with complete step-by-step troubleshooting guides.
In terms of versatility, Jaltest is hard to beat. The modular system allows users to purchase software licenses for their specific vehicles across certain truck makes, tractor heads, trailers, semi-trailers, light vehicles, and much more.
Bosch HDS250 Scan Tool
The Bosch HDS250 Scan Tool is a much more affordable solution, however, it does offer limited functionality. This tool is known as a fault reader or fault clearer, meaning it will let you know where in your system something is wrong. Unlike the larger Jaltest kits, though, it doesn’t offer full diagnostic or troubleshooting guides.
Certainly, if you’re looking for an affordable and very portable diagnostic reader and fault clearer, the Bosch HDS250 is an excellent choice. Its rugged design makes it very durable, and it’s a handy addition to any diesel mechanic’s toolkit.