Trailer tracking systems and route optimization

Trailer tracking systems and route optimization

Vehicle tracking solutions provide actual vehicle position and route history

Vehicle tracking solutions—in particular, trailer tracking systems—provide fleets with the ability to monitor a vehicle’s actual position and route history. Used on demand or at regularly scheduled intervals, these systems provide valuable information for scheduling, routing and better management of operations, improving asset utilization and a fleet’s productivity. An additional benefit is security, with notification features that can be used to reduce losses.

Qualcomm offers two solutions for trailer tracking, Trailer Tracks 200 for untethered units and Trailer Tracks 100 for vehicles tethered to a tractor. Trailer Tracks 100 provides near real-time tractor and trailer identification, location and status information for improved visibility into operations. An optional refrigeration unit interface is offered, as well.
Trailer Tracks 200 communicates via the Internet through integrations with dispatch software whether the trailer is connected or disconnected from the tractor. Features include position and event reporting throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico, and over-the-air upgrades. Now available for refrigerated trailers, Trailer Tracks 200 enables configurable alert notifications for refrigeration unit alarms and the ability to customize refrigerated profiles and monitoring plans. Options include a solar charging system and door and cargo sensors.

The VeriWise Asset Intelligence system from GE provides real-time uninterrupted trailer tracking. A maintenance solution can also be used to identify contributing factors affecting brakes and tire wear, information that can be used for maintenance planning. The system provides for control of reefer engines, as well. GE VeriWise reports and tools can measure performance, determine factors affecting performance and help fleet managers set objectives for improvement.

The SkyBitz GLS400 Mobile Terminal is the next generation of the company’s asset tracking solution. The system, powered by standard AA batteries, is driven by SkyBitz’s GLS technology that provides the benefits of GPS wireless tracking systems without the high-power consumption required for on-board calculations. Instead, the SkyBitz Service Operation Center performs positioning calculations centrally. The SkyBitz InSight Web application has 50 separate standard reports and custom reporting features, as well as an adaptable application program interface (API) that can accept data feeds from other management solutions.

Thermo King’s TracKing Cellular GPRS system for refrigerated trailers provides asset location and real time temperature data to a central facility, identifies door opening events, unit functionality, and any potential alarm conditions that may exist. The web-enabled wireless temperature management system can be used to track untethered units in a fleet utilizing cellular, satellite and Internet technology, and offers the ability to control refrigeration units on demand.
With TracKing, fleets can view asset and unit reports covering GPS mapping, status, operating functions and alert information. A data storage and retrieval system provides complete history and actual usage information, including door status and fuel level. Features of the system also include the ability to monitor and control a specific trailer unit at high speeds, including crucial functions such as start, pre-trip, stop, defrost, set point, operating mode, return and discharge air, clear alarms, fuel level, hour meter, door status, battery voltage and unit power status.

Today’s advanced trailer tracking and control systems can help fleets increase uptime and lower costs of ownership and operation.

Accurate data on vehicles enables improvements in fleet utilization, efficiency and productivity. Safety and security are also enhanced by the ability to identify unauthorized vehicle movement or events, reducing theft, spoilage and cargo claims.

Route and fuel optimization
Hand in hand with vehicle tracking are route optimization technologies that fleets are using to enhance overall operational efficiency and productivity. Two solutions from TMW Optimization Software illustrate the possibilities:
IDSC TripAlert is a real-time asset tracking solution that monitors vehicles along the entire trip, ensuring that the driver is taking the most efficient route to the customer. At the time of dispatch, the software produces the most efficient route and continuously monitors the vehicle to determine if it goes out-of-route. The solution then provides alerts to dispatchers and managers based on pre-determined exceptions including parameters such as on-time/late/projected late, on-route/out-of-route, geofence triggers, driver at home, arrive at customer, depart from customer, weather, traffic, and more.
IDSC TripAlert provides reports with drill-down detail. Historical out-of-route reports are available for a user-specified date range. These reports display system-wide out-of-route percentage as well as by driver, manager and power unit.

Managers are able to double-click on any power unit to retrieve detailed out-of-route information by trip.
Company and manager statistics in IDSC TripAlert are displayed with key factor information such as out-of-route miles, actual miles, plan miles, percent out-of-route miles, out-of-route miles per trip, number of trips, and average length of haul. Additional capabilities include wizards that easily generate reports for continuous improvement in the reduction of out-of-route miles and late deliveries.

Another solution that assists in optimizing operations is IDSC ExpertFuel. In addition to providing an optimized route, the solution provides a fuel purchasing plan that determines the location and amount of fuel to purchase to reduce a fleet’s fuel spending. Fuel plans are generated using a unique algorithm to calculate all essential factors including current fuel prices, fuel level, vehicle fuel consumption, state tax implications, fuel network implications, out-of-route miles, route policies, terminal fueling policies, tank fill policies and driver amenities.

When each dispatch assignment is completed, IDSC ExpertFuel automatically generates an optimal travel route and a specific plan for fueling along the way. The resulting trip plan includes highway-by-highway directions and specific fuel-buying instructions, including the number of gallons to buy at each truck stop. Drivers receive detailed instructions on the truck’s onboard display—or even by cell phone—for reference. IDSC ExpertFuel will also provide reports on driver compliance with fuel-buying instructions.   FE

Details at:
GE VeriWise:
Thermo King:


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