In the big scheme of things, trailers have never really been viewed as smart or highly specialized. With as little trouble as possible, they carry the biggest payloads imaginable, and that’s about it. Here and there, they may be called upon to execute some unique task or haul a particular commodity. Some are built to resist corrosion and be extremely resilient when it comes to wear and tear. But it pretty much stops there. And when you compare them to the tractors that pull them, with all of their electronics and high-tech equipment, trailers just don’t come off as being highly evolved. But all of that is changing!
Regulated Temperature Trailers
If you want to protect the perishables that you are shipping, you would be well advised to invest in a temperature regulated trailer with temperature monitoring sensors. Some of these trailers even have separate compartments to keep various loads at different temperatures. There are both heating units and refrigeration units in the more sophisticated trailers. Some have the ability for operating cycles to run tests on themselves to protect the load with controls, monitors, and sensors. And if you want to know about real-time numbers, there are trailers that record and document the temperatures within and transmit that data to the people responsible for operation.
If a trailer is equipped with telematics or tracking, this simply means that its on-demand or automatic data transmission goes to a home base. It fills in the operators so that they have full knowledge of what a vehicle/trailer is doing. They don’t even have to talk to the driver. You may notice, on the rooftops of some trailers, a small satellite antenna. Inside the cab, there is likely an electronic box responsible for transmission.
What’s more, some trailers are even capable of supplying the device with a full charge via solar panels mounted on the top of the trailer. Companies are now communicating through cell phone networks, satellite links, or both. You won’t always see these devices because they are highly desirable targets when it comes to hijackers and thieves. So, the devices may be hidden, or sometimes in plain sight.
In addition to always knowing where their trucks are, fleet managers are also finding that this kind of equipment allows them to gain productivity. If a load sits for too long, they are going to want to know why.
Next on the list of high-tech improvements may be intelligent suspension to determine ways of reducing frontal area and drag at highway speeds.
Prevent Failures with Early Warnings
In addition to intelligent suspension, trailers that can convey early warnings in order to prevent inevitable failures are in the works. Things like circuitry, light functions, wheel-end temperatures, and brakes will be monitored. That way, should something show signs of failing or wearing, something can be done before disaster strikes. Possible lines of communication to be used for transmitting this data could be Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. And again, gauges, sensors, and data boxes would be used.
When it comes to trailer maintenance, parts, and service, Mickey is unrivaled in the industry. Not only our service centers but our customer service department uses top of the line staff who are ready, willing, and highly capable of taking care of your trucking and transportation needs. Call Mickey today to see why we have been a top name in our industry for decades. And be sure to check out our online inventory of new and used trailers.