Now They're Talking About "smart" Trailers

Topic 26507 | Page 2

Page 2 of 4 Previous Page Next Page Go To Page:
Banks's Comment
member avatar

I believe there might be the rear-vision advantage to cameras on trailers. Such cameras have been brought up on this forum before - and instantly dismissed. S. Dad, I think I see two holes in your idea. First, those cameras (even at $25 each) will be "no one's" responsibility and will quickly get damaged. Second, there needs to be a way to connect the camera on your new trailer to your tractor (cab). Wires? Bluetooth over 90 feet (distance back of trailer to the driver seat))?

Finally, "money talks": the cost of getting cameras into your fleet (upwards of 2000 trailers - Prime Inc owns 10,000) and the (managerial term warning) cost/benefit and/or insurance savings will not improve the company bottom line.

In the five years I've been in this business, I have seen issues of drivers resisting onboard cameras, anti-tailgating warning/conrol, cruise control, even auto-shift transmissions. Of course, driverless trucks! You probably could add the trailer cameras to this list.

One more issue, "Dad"*, is you are just now coming in to this industry, and you should know that any "bright ideas" suggested by a newbie coming into any new business won't be appreciated. Been there/done that.

*I'm 68 years old and it's weird to call a young man like you "Dad". smile.gif

I don't think it's an issue of him being a newbie... I'm a newbie. In my little experience, I've learned it's easy to get into a fixed stare. You see your sights on where you want your trailer to go and that's where your focus is. I have to snap myself out of it and remind myself to be aware of my surroundings.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Banks gets into a staring contest:

In my little experience, I've learned it's easy to get into a fixed stare. You see your sights on where you want your trailer to go and that's where your focus is. I have to snap myself out of it and remind myself to be aware of my surroundings.

You are going in the right direction. Regardless of what a driver sees in a backup camera, he/she has to be able to steer the trailer. That is the magic you are learning. Once again in Managerial terms: It's easy to hit a golf ball, but getting it onto the green is another story.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

SD says,

One of the reasons they haven't installed APUs across all the fleets is the cost. Everyone knows the benefits, but those dollars talk.

This is a "Whatabout"/change of topic. Trailer-rear cameras relate directly to trucking operations. An APU is really a driver perk. Yes, in the competition to attract drivers, it is a draw, and the ROI is in that direction. Some companies are going there, and others aren't so fast.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APUs:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Southern Dad...

Executive Management will look at the cost of camera technology and quickly calculate the return on investment before blowing it off as a bad idea. Of course, when they say bad idea, they mean it will cost them money. One of the reasons they haven't installed APUs across all the fleets is the cost. Everyone knows the benefits, but those dollars talk.

Why are you really here Southern Dad? Are you hear to learn, to be coached? Are you serious about becoming a truck driver?

Or are you here for another reason?

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APUs:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Southern Dad's Comment
member avatar

G-Town, I was having a conversation and expressed my opinions on the topic. I didn't disrespect you or anyone else, in any way. I joined the forum because I am actively looking into becoming a driver. I was 100% upfront with my reasons in the introduction message. Just today, I spoke with a recruiter, I believe from the company for which you drive. We may not always agree on subjects, but I will always defend your right to say it and encourage you to say it. I've listened to a dozen of the Brett's podcasts. I've been surfing this site on my iPad for a couple of days. I'm a social person.

Obviously, I could not have taken all these tests in the time since you posted your message. In addition, would I have paid for the iOS app if I wasn't studying to learn the CDL test? I am here to get tips from people who are already doing this job. People who have made or have seen the mistakes made by others. Just last night, I was reading about Sleep Apnea and how with my neck size of 16 1/2" and a BMI of 30.4%, I may have to do a sleep study, no matter how I answer the questions. That got me looking into that topic of sleep apnea and truckers. No one has ever even suggested that I have sleep apnea but do I?

0468662001568054522.jpg

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

I think it would he handy to have rear facing cameras to monitor while backing, but my fear is that drivers would then not do GOAL's. Cameras or not, doing the GOAL's is imperative.

Technology is good, but it will never replace the good old human brain if that brain has common sense.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

We have talked about the backup camera issue a few times, and it's an interesting topic. I've never heard of a single company that has used them. Has anyone else?

Backing accidents are by far the most common accidents, but it's rarely because the driver didn't know about something that was behind the truck. It's normally because there are so many areas that can come in contact with something while you're backing up on an angle. All four corners of the trailer, the drive tires, and the front corners of the tractor can all come in contact with something when you're not backing up in a straight line, which is most of the time. It's in those cases that getting fixated on the camera screen would cause the most problems.

So I think having backup cameras on the back of the trailer would be a distraction that would cause more accidents than it solves. If anyone had concluded that the benefits of the system might be worth it you would see at least a few companies using them. I'm not aware of anyone that's using them.

I have seen the newer version of the cameras on 4-wheelers that show a 360-degree view from above the vehicle. It would take a rather large array of cameras to produce that view on a big rig, but it would make it seem like you were backing up a big rig on a video game, which is pretty cool but not necessarily safer. It might make for a good teaching aid, though, in helping the student see the big picture of how the angles change in relation to each other.

As far as sleep apnea goes, you may have to be tested for it. That will vary from company to company. Each company makes its own decisions on the matter.

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
there are so many areas that can come in contact with something while you're backing up on an angle. All four corners of the trailer, the drive tires, and the front corners of the tractor can all come in contact with something when you're not backing up in a straight line, which is most of the time.

This is why I don't think we will ever be using cameras to back 75 foot long articulating vehicles. Brett didn't even mention the rear of the trailer or both sides of the trailer. I recently witnessed a guy confidently backing into a spot in a Connecticut truck stop where he was doing so well until the side of his tractor rammed into one of those brightly painted yellow concrete pillars. Yes, there's another two points of possible contact - the sides of your tractor.

It's hard to realize all the variables involved in going backwards when your vehicle bends in the middle. It's really mind boggling and frustrating for rookies to coordinate it all. Adding a rear camera just provides another focal point that more than likely becomes a distraction.

Southern Dad, I know it sounds like we're afraid of technology, but we're far from that. What we're afraid of is not being focused on what matters during critical moments.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Southern Dad's Comment
member avatar

Considering the other aspects of smart technology that could be implemented in trailers besides cameras, we may see some of them soon. Would shippers like Amazon, Walmart, FedEx, or UPS install 3G cellular devices on the trailers? They already scan every package going into a trailer allowing the customer to see where the package is at a given time. Amazon already has this kind of tracking on the blue vans used for Amazon Now deliveries.

Two of my personal vehicles have a device called Automatic Pro (old version 3G no contract), that allows me to see where the vehicle is, where it has been. I also get notifications if the vehicle is in an accident, jack rabbit starts, or hard brakes. I installed them for different reasons, one was to track a 16-year-old and the other was to turn on automatic lights, adjust temperature at home before I arrive.

DaveW's post references gateways, devices, security, and analytics near the end. If the trailer had a small 3G box on the rooftop that connected to a door sensor, temperature sensor, and position sensor, it would feed a lot of information back to the shipper. I see something like that happening in the near future. Customers love to track their packages. I use Informed Delivery from the Post Office to see what is coming to my mailbox. If only I could see how far away my mail lady is with that package.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Phantom 850's Comment
member avatar

I love technology. My house is loaded with smart home technology. Even my chicken house is smart. Trailers have added skirts and tails to get better mpg. Monitors for 4 wheelers to see ahead is an excellent idea. Another great idea is a camera that transmits to the driver, like RVs have.

Man, forget all this work talk. I wanna hear more about the smart chicken house.

Page 2 of 4 Previous Page Next Page Go To Page:

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More