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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Understanding Truck System Diagnostic Tools

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Truck system diagnostics are the primary method by which technicians identify problems and isolate issues related to truck operation. These processes utilise electronic control units (ECUs) fitted in modern vehicles and produce a set of ‘trouble codes’ whenever they detect a malfunction. However, reading and interpreting these codes is not straightforward. The truck system diagnostic tool ‘translates’ these outputs, thus providing you with the relevant fault information. As a result, you can purchase the right aftermarket parts for European trucks and fix the problem.


While truck diagnostic tools are specialised, their use is universal. Therefore, commercial vehicle operators are encouraged to establish familiarity with them. Keeping one in the vehicle can only be beneficial and a wise investment for the driver. The most significant advantage is quickly identifying faults, determining their severity, and acting accordingly.

Besides operators, it is crucial for vehicle workshops to have diagnostic tools. In addition, they must opt for more advanced iterations. This emphasis will allow them to have a tool that provides accurate reading interpretations for numerous vehicle makes.

Types of Diagnostic Tools

There are two primary types of diagnostic readers: simple and advanced. Simple readers come with limited capabilities and can only display the trouble codes. Thus, it falls to you to look up the relevant meanings. Conversely, advanced tools will describe the nature of the code and, in some cases, even provide the appropriate troubleshooting guide.

Besides capabilities, efficiency also separates the main types of truck system diagnostic tools available on the market. The following are two examples of tools that stand out:

Jaltest Diagnostics

Jaltest is a European based diagnostic tool manufacturer. This basis offers them an advantage in developing appropriate tools for European trucks like DAF, IVECO and MAN. Beyond Europe, their American and Asian arms also provide diagnostic software and hardware tool solutions based on specific market requirements.

The company’s commercial vehicle diagnostic arm is known as Jaltest CV. Its primary objective is to provide excellent diagnostic tools to workshops that deal with heavy vehicle maintenance and repair. For example, the Jaltest Commercial Kit is a product that combines an intuitive graphic interface with durable hardware to get a user-friendly design. This attribute carries over into the guided diagnostics feature that provides step-by-step troubleshooting guides while in use.

Jaltest is expanding by branching into the New Zealand and Australian markets. The company’s approach to this development collaborates with its technology partners to understand conditions that affect and drive the local market. In doing so, Jaltest engineers have upgraded the diagnostic capabilities of some products; this is in response to their evaluation of the local range of trucks in use.

Jaltest offers numerous versatile diagnostic products. In addition, there is a modular system available through which end-users can purchase the appropriate software licenses for a specific vehicle type and make.

Bosch HDS250 Scan Tool

The Bosch HDS250 Scan Tool is a more affordable alternative to Jaltest. However, its functionality is also limited. Instead, its capabilities only extend to identifying and locating a fault. Therefore, it does not provide the same troubleshooting or diagnostic guides that Jaltest kits offer. This difference is why industry professionals also refer to this product as a fault clearer and diagnostic reader.

While it may be a more ‘basic’ alternative, the Bosch HDS250 is still an excellent portable and affordable diagnostic tool.

The best truck system diagnostics tools are assets that help you cut down on maintenance and repair time to get your vehicle back on the road sooner.


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