Technology has changed the way we accomplish our daily work. From trading in our pen and paper for tablets and cellphones to monitoring our actions in real-time via telematics, the future continues to be shaped by technology and its quick advancements.
For the commercial trailer industry, this is increasingly true. As new technology emerges, the way commercial trailers are designed and operated is changing. In the year ahead, technology will continue to offer improvements for the industry. Today, we’ll take a look at the newest technology in commercial trailers for 2021 and what impact these technologies will have on day-to-day operations.
Smart Trailer Monitoring
Perhaps one of the greatest ways in which technology is changing the operation of trailers is via smart monitoring. In the past, hauling a trailer involved several manual inspections. If there was a concern with the trailer’s condition, the driver would be required to pull off on the side of the road, get out of the cab, and look at the trailer to do a visual inspection.
This was problematic for a few reasons. For starters, it was time-consuming, resulting in deadlines potentially slipping and upset clients. Secondly, it was dangerous. Often, drivers had to pull off on the side of a highway to try to unearth whatever issue was occurring. Lastly, it was reactive rather than proactive, which often resulted in costly repairs and unplanned downtime.
Today, this is all changing. Modern commercial trailers are being designed with built-in smart monitoring systems. These sensors are located throughout the trailer, including on tires, hubs, and brakes. They provide real-time data on the health of the trailer.
This offers a myriad of benefits. For fleet managers, this means maintenance can be planned well in advance, ensuring that there is no disruption to delivery operations. This also results in cheaper repairs, as issues are discovered before they become catastrophic.
For drivers, they can quickly assess the health of their trailer without ever stepping foot on the side of the highway, resulting in improved job safety. It also means that any regulatory data can be quickly accessed with all trailer data stored in the cloud.
Data-Driven Predictive Maintenance Plans
Alongside the advancement in smart trailer monitoring is the latest in predictive maintenance plans. Through real-time monitoring systems, data can be gathered about the condition of a trailer’s components and predictive maintenance plans can be created based on this data.
In fact, modern technology is now using machine learning to predict trailer failure before it even occurs.
This new predictive technology is going to be instrumental for fleet managers moving forward. It will help managers better understand the lifecycle of their trailers, and it will ensure that maintenance is integrated into scheduling well in advance.
At the same time, it can help cut down on unnecessary part replacement costs. Instead of replacing components based on a static number, predictive analytics can help fleet managers choose the ideal time for repairs.
Imagine it like this, instead of pulling a trailer out of rotation during a busy season because of routine maintenance, predictive maintenance plans will allow fleet managers to schedule maintenance around the busy season. By better pinpointing a window of time for maintenance, fleet managers can make the best decision for the business.
Onboard Tracking & Improved Telematics
Along the same vein as smart monitoring and data-driven maintenance plans, commercial trailers in 2021 are being designed with onboard tracking and upgraded telematics systems. Going beyond just the health of the trailer, onboard tracking allows for real-time monitoring of the location of a trailer, as well as automatic uploads on data for speed, travel time, and more. This data is then integrated into a cloud-based system.
This takes the place of laborious logs of old and increases the ability for fleet management to take place across any location at any time. It also means that it is easier to deploy a trailer to a nearby job site based on the trailer’s current exact location.
Additionally, improved telematics systems are now offering insights into floor space available in a trailer, thereby optimizing the amount of cargo being hauled at any given time.
This also makes it easier to provide real-time updates to clients, ensuring customer satisfaction during peak seasons.
Lastly, improved telematics will allow for better driver training programs. Analyzing all the data that comes in, fleet managers and owners can begin to look for areas where drivers could use additional training.
For example, if trailers are consistently being driven above recommended speeds, fleet managers can implement a new driver safety program, helping to increase awareness around the dangers of exceeding recommended speeds.
Shop Transwest for the Newest Technology in Commercial Trailers
Commercial trailers are becoming smarter. As technology continues to move forward, the commercial trailer industry is reaping the benefits of onboard improvements. From smart monitoring systems to GPS tracking, 2021 is the year to consider upgrading your commercial fleet to take advantage of the newest technology.
If you are interested in upgrading your fleet, talk to the team at Transwest. We carry the latest and best in commercial trailers and will be happy to discuss your business's technological needs.
In addition to our premium inventory of commercial trailers, we also offer in-house financing options and a full-service center for ongoing maintenance and repairs. Come visit us today to learn more about where technology is taking the commercial trailer industry.
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