NASHVILLE, TN — Great Dane has unveiled several pending product upgrades, including an antimicrobial trailer liner, stronger underride guards, and a smart trailer concept that will deliver information ranging from pre-trip inspections to on-road alerts.
The smart trailer system, displayed during the recent Technology and Maintenance Council meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, monitors data including tire inflation, weight distribution, door sensors, lights, global positioning and more. All of that can be accessed through an onboard LCD display, or delivered by Bluetooth to a mobile app or desktop software.
“Prototypes are currently being tested with multiple fleet customers,” says Dennis Skaradzinski, chief engineer.
The choice of setting to display the prototype was no accident. The device was based on a 2011 call by the council’s Future Trailer Committee, which was led by Great Dane representatives, to develop an automated pre-trip inspection device to help drivers pick up trailers more quickly. The related action item was part of a five-year plan established by the committee.
Meanwhile, the company’s PunctureGuard and ThermoGuard linings will by mid-year include a broad-spectrum antimicrobial treatment to fight against bacteria, stains and odor for the life of the trailer, the company says, adding that it is the first trailer maker to offer the antimicrobial protection.
“These linings will help our customers become a carrier of choice as new, stricter Food Safety Modernization Act rules go into effect,” says Brandie Fuller, vice president – marketing.
New rear impact guards will alos a step beyond regulated demands — including the Canadian requirements that are the toughest of all. The guards recently passed the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s 30% offset test.
The traditional bolt-on design remains, however. And the new underride guards will by the end of this year be installed on all new reefers, dry vans and trailers. Retrofits will be available for 2007 and newer models.