Technology, Trends & Trailers

If you have a moment, try this quick little experiment: Turn off your computer monitor, take your desk phone off the hook and turn your cell phone, smart-watch and any other smart device to silent and put them out of sight. Now take a deep breath and sit for a minute.

How do you feel?

Disconnected? A little anxious? Are your fingers drumming on your desk? Are you watching the clock waiting for the minute to be up? This is how entrenched technology is into every facet of our day. Right now, your trucks are out there on the road and something is happening – and you need to know about it.

Okay, you can turn your monitor on and check your phone.

While we focus on the alerts and notifications that tell us something is wrong with our trucks or trailers, there’s an even more powerful feeling – knowing that everything is okay. There are no unplanned service alerts. Your trucks are moving along their way.

In the same way that instant communication and real time information has woven its way into the fabric of our lives, data-driven technology solutions have integrated into tractors and trailers. While tractors have led the way with real-time telematics and remote diagnostics, trailers aren’t far behind. In addition to location tracking capabilities, today’s offerings take advantage of the latest technology to provide deeper trailer analytics.

Asset utilization is a huge opportunity to improve the efficiency of your business. Trailer telematics allows you to measure productivity and efficiency, enabling you to make more informed decisions about where your operation might need additional assets or where you have too many.

When your trailers are on the move, stop verification can confirm drops and pickups to ensure there are no unauthorized stops along the way, which could help identify possible theft situations. It can also help determine how long trailers dwell at customer locations.

Telematics are evolving to alert you to the status of your trailer – the load status, cargo weight, door security and more. For reefer applications, telematics can report on the temperature inside the trailer in real time and send alerts if temperatures drop below or climb above pre-set thresholds.

Going even further, communication with your trailers will soon be a two-way street. Like the over-the-air (OTA) remote programming offered by today’s diesel engine manufacturers, trailers will receive OTA updates, improving the software to offer a clearer picture of your trailers’ operations. Business intelligence solutions will help you crunch the data, which can lead to predictive modeling. Knowing this information ahead of time can potentially allow you to avoid a costly unplanned service event by tweaking your preventative maintenance schedules.

Data-driven technologies are ushering trailers into a brave new world of productivity and efficiency. A trailer is more than a big white box; it’s a solution and it’s a cornerstone of your business. Trailer telematics has evolved, and it’s time to start leveraging this technology to make your business more efficient, proactive and cost-effective.