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Watch: Let’s talk trailer telematics

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Jason Morgan is the editor of Fleet Equipment. He has more than 14 years of B2B journalism experience covering the likes of trucking and construction equipment, real estate, movies and craft beer industries.

In addition to the location tracking capabilities that immediately spring to mind when thinking of trailer telematics, today’s offerings take advantage of the latest technology to provide deeper trailer analytics. To make informed trailer management decisions you need as much information in as near as real-time as you can get–everything from cargo status, door status and temperature if you’re hauling reefers.

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When considering a trailer telematics solution, look for a system that meets asset utilization and classification, preventative maintenance, location and stop verification challenges. What is stop verification? That’s data that will account for drops and pickups to ensure there are no unauthorized stops along the way, which would help identify possible theft situations. It can also help determine how long trailers dwell at customer locations or ports.

Trailer data solutions are also evolving to include cargo sensing that will tell you if a trailer is loaded and some can even tell you the weight within the trailer. When it comes to reefers, temperature monitoring and management are key focuses with the ability to control temperature set points and unit operating modes, as well as the ability to reset alarms.

When looking at trailer telematics, a few questions to ask include:

• How long has the supplier been in the business of providing trailer-tracking solutions?

• Does the supplier offer different service plans?

• How often does the supplier update its user interface software?

• Does the supplier have open APIs to integrate this information into other telematics systems?

• Does the solution provide the right sensors to support your applications?

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