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Using technology to stay on top of trailer maintenance

Managing Editor of Fleet Equipment Magazine

Wabash1

The technology offerings in the trucking industry today are innumerable, so it should come as no surprise that there are several technological methods that can help improve your winter maintenance program.

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For example, many trailer components can have sensors attached that report data to a main telematics hub, giving you an inside look at the health of all your trailer components, such as brakes, tires and wheels.

“Some of the items that have been integrated into telematics include light out detection; ABS fault code reading; tire pressure measurement; tire pressure inflation; and wheel end vibration/temperature,” says Ian Fox, product manager for refrigerated van at Wabash. “All of these items can be integrated into the trailer vehicle to help give actionable data for the fleet.”

“Hyundai Translead has developed a sensor solution system that can connect to different existing telematics companies,” says Cory Bogler, manager of customer care at Hyundai Translead. “HT has developed Tire Pressure Monitoring System Sensor [TPMS], Wheel End Temperature Sensor [WETS], Cargo Sensor and a Door Event Sensor. The first two sensors can assist with predictive maintenance as they let the operator know of potential harm on the trailer.”

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Chris Hoyt, FleetPulse product manager for Great Dane, also mentions the potential for predictive maintenance.

“The basic idea is that by analyzing real-world usage data—actual miles traveled, average weight on bogie, ABS or TIS faults—you can more accurately predict when a trailer is going to need a specific service,” Hoyt explains. “While we recommend regularly scheduled maintenance, sometimes those general timetables can’t tell you everything you need to know, like whether one trailer can go longer before brake maintenance is needed, because it’s seen a lower average weight per mile.

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“The data needed for predictive maintenance is accessible through telematics. It’s one of the reasons why we developed our telematics solution, FleetPulse—to get real, useful data in the hands of our customers, so they can make the best decisions for their fleet and business.”

For more on how to keep your trailers in the best possible shape, read our full story here.

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