Today's Trucking

Truck-Lite entering telematics market

Posted: February 27, 2017

NASHVILLE, TN – Truck-Lite, a supplier long known for vehicle lighting and mirrors, is expanding its offerings to include telematics – and this new form of visibility will not be limited to lights alone.

Known as Road Ready, the system creates “smart” trailers using a solar-powered Master Control Unit and a series of peel-and-stick sensors. The solar power itself comes with a roof-mounted solar panel and a 10-year battery that will maintain a charge for 60 days without any sunlight. The underlying firmware is designed to minimize power draws, and just one hour of daylight will offer enough power for five days.

None of it requires a connection to the tractor, and individual sensors feed information by RF signal.

“We’re expanding what we’ve been doing with lights to actually provide fleets with visibility,” said Brett Jackson, manager – market and product development. “This system will install in less than 10 minutes. There’s no holes to drill, no wires to run, everything is just peel and stick.”

“Road Ready is the only telematics system that can provide fleets with a complete view of a trailer’s road-readiness,” he added.

Monitored systems and issues include tire pressure, Anti-lock Braking Systems, open doors, moving or missing cargo, reefer temperature and fuel levels, arrival and departure, and Global Positioning System data to support what is marketed as Hypertracking. An in-cab warning light will warn about failing bulbs anywhere on the trailer and from any manufacturer. A new nose box mounted at the front of the trailer continually runs circuit checks.

Event-based data is fed to a computer desktop, offering operations teams the information needed to pre-trip trailers before drivers arrive.

While the sensors are easy to install, Jackson stressed that they will hold firmly in place. “It’s the same tape that skyscrapers will use to hold the windows,” he said. “You can hit them with tree limbs or bump them with forklifts and they will stay stuck.”

Collectively, Truck-Lite says there are more sensors than any competing system, allowing it to be customized for fleet needs.

The idea for the system emerged four years ago, when an intermodal company on the East Coast of the U.S. was looking for a way to alert drivers about dead bulbs.

Road Ready will be available to trailer makers by June.

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