At Dickinson Fleet Services, we work to stay on top of the latest technology trends in the transportation industry. Being ahead of the curve is what allows us to provide the best mobile fleet maintenance and repair services available today.
As we come across interesting news, we make it a point to share that with our clients and followers. Today, we wanted to share a couple of topics that seem to be coming up quite a bit here lately; trailer tracking and driver simulators.
Solar Powered Trailer Tracking
Fleet Managers are demanding more out of trailer tracking and many are looking at solar powered options. Early trailer tracking was mostly based on satellite networks and regular batteries (that lasted several years) powered things. This would provide updated location just a handful of times throughout the day. Now, using solar powered energy, it’s possibly to get a report every 15 minutes or more.
A company called SkyBitz is preparing to launch its second product with solar powered batteries. After introducing the Falcon GXT5000 in October, the company plans to launch the next version of that device, the GXT5002C, with a built-in cargo sensor and other new features.
The GXT5002C is equipped with two solar panels and installs on the front of a trailer in 8 to 12 minutes, The device’s narrow design enables it to fit between the corrugation of an intermodal container. Using solar power enables the tracking device to provide the durability and easy installation of a battery-powered unit while offering the more frequent data reporting of a tethered device.
Very cool option for trailer tracking and we will be following along to see if it catches on.
Next up – trucking simulators. The trucking industry is making a move to step up it’s trucking simulators game. This includes adding more driving related duties and simulation focused on backing skills as well as driving in adverse weather conditions.
The VS600M truck simulation system offered by Virage Simulation is modeled on a standard truck cab and consists of a fully functional pneumatic driver seat with all typical controls, a seat belt, pedals and a fully adjustable (height and tilt) steering column with integrated flashers and trailer hand brake. It can be configured with an automatic or manual transmission, offering from four to 18 manually gears. At the annual Truckload Carrier Association (TCA) meeting this year, Virage demonstrated how simulators help drivers sharpen their backing-up skills.
Trucking simulators are nothing new, but they continue to evolve along with the industry. As the whole “gasification” trend continues to grow, you can expect these simulators to focus more on driver behaviors such as maximizing fuel efficiency.
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* photo from http://viragesimulation.com