Having more of something is always great, but when there is much more than you know what to do with it can lead to inefficiency and actually slow down the entire process. Data can be a valuable asset for businesses, but it’s crucial to have effective data management systems in place to ensure that the data collected is accurate, relevant, organized and most of all, actionable.
This can improve efficiency, reduce costs, and help businesses make better-informed decisions. Let’s see what CJ Biank, global marketing manager, Grote Industries has to say about the current state of trailer telematics product offerings and how other companies alike are adapting to the evolving market demands to handle mass amounts of data.
“It’s more than just track and trace now. We’re seeing the want and demand for more information, not necessarily more data, more information, more actionable information. So we see the need for additional components and sensors. We’re seeing that yes, real-time data is great and location is great, but can we start providing safety notices, maintenance issues? Unfortunately in some cases, theft notices, when trailers are moving, but they’re not tethered to a tractor.”
According to CJ, there are five ways Grote Industries is adapting to the developing needs of its customer base through trailer telematics:
“No. 1—The track and trace. It’s real-time monitoring. It’s the most common and has been around for decades. I don’t think that’ll ever go away, because I think there’s absolutely value in that.”
And he’d be right! Real-time tracking and monitoring is especially important in this industry where the timely delivery of products is the name of the game. By using track and trace technology, companies can monitor their products at every stage, from production to delivery.
“No. 2—Safety is a big component that we’re seeing be wanted and needed in the trailer telematics world. So obviously, if you think more on the tractor side, we can find out driver behaviors, if they’re idling, things of that nature. But let’s apply that on the trailer side. Can we tell you and tell those fleets, ‘Hey, you’re coming close to obstacles when you’re backing into docks?’ Absolutely, through our radar system, you can do that.”
Ensuring driver safety and monitoring tractor behavior is, of course, crucial aspects of real-time monitoring. However, companies like Grote have begun implementing radar systems on more than just tractors. By leveraging radar technology on trailers, the system can assist fleets in avoiding obstacles when backing into tight spaces, significantly reducing the risk of accidents or costly damage to products.
“No. 3—Cargo. What’s ingrained in my mind are some of those pictures of the trains coming off the docks in LA and all the cargo spewed out everywhere. That’s happening everywhere. It’s not just on trains, it’s on class A trailers as well. So can we start notifying when doors are opening while they’re on a road, not in a yard. We want to be able to provide that.”
By implementing this into operations, companies can quickly respond to potential security breaches or prevent cargo from spilling out during transport.
“The last two really revolve around data, but predictive maintenance. So being able to say, ‘Hey, you might have a failure coming on a specific sensor or a piece of hardware,’ before that failure occurs. And then we’re seeing a big push on integrations. There are a lot of silos on a trailer, whether it’s brakes, axles, or just telematics, there’s all these silos. We’re seeing a want from fleets saying, ‘Hey, bring these silos together. I don’t want seven applications I have to log into. Give me one.’ So what we’re doing is trying to bring all those vendors into one application to really make the end user’s benefit greater. Because again, they don’t need seven logins.”
Catching a spark before it becomes a wildfire and increased data integration are two big bonuses to utilizing trailer telematics. By integrating all the different silos of trailer technology into one easy-to-use application, the user experience can be simplified and provides a more efficient way to monitor all aspects of trailer health, from its head to its toes… or should I say, from its hitch to its wheels?.