Now They're Talking About "smart" Trailers

Topic 26507 | Page 4

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PackRat's Comment
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Backup cameras for newer technology on trailers? We haven't gotten around to putting backup lights on the trailers, yet. So we're only behind smaller vehicle technology improvements on that one by about 50 years?

I haven't needed a backup camera so far.

Southern Dad's Comment
member avatar

It seems like Walmart is ahead when it comes to this kind of technology. I can really see the benefits in the yard for this. Walmart has a distribution facility in Monroe, Georgia which is only 40 minutes from my home. It is definitely a Swift Transportation Dedicated Customer. I read your post that you got on a dedicated after only a few months and that has given me hope that it could happen to me.

I have seen people in that yard riding around in golf carts with handheld units that have antennas on them. I thought they were for bar code scanning, but I'll be those were to identify trailers.

Old School wrote:

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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.

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Ditto... I agree totally with Old School's reply.

I was being totally honest with you SD (and not upset "Jan")...in 6+ years I have never once wished I had a camera perched on the end of my trailer. And if you (or Jan) believe I am anti-technology, please read my profile. Not so at all. But I am pragmatic, practical and realistic when it comes to this sort of thing.

SD I can only speak for Walmart (because I run NE Dedicated for them), they have smart technology on all of their trailers...to the point if I enter an invalid trailer # while sending status macros, their system knows I am under a trailer with a number that doesn't match the number I entered. It knows when the door is opened and closed...if I am looking for a trailer # at the DC and can't find it? All I need to-do is flag down a spotter and they can pull up an overhead satellite view of the entire property and tell me exactly where the trailer is located. I am sure a variety of other data is also captured and transmitted.

I have several pics I can share...will post when I have a moment later on tonight.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Where is the monitor for this? Is it distracting to you? For example causing you to have to look at an extra place like the dashboard.

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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.

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One of the trucks I drive has this. When you turn on the right turn signal a camera on that side turns on and displays an image down the right side of the truck and into the next lane.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

SD, no disrespect intended, and no Jan I'm not offended (are you!? It seems only time you post is to criticize us. Why are u even here?) But until you actually get out there and do this job please dont try fixing our "issues" that aren't issues. It's always the outsiders or rookies that are struggling with backing that think these are a good idea. Thankfully in 2 years I've been driving I haven't hit anything, Including backing incidents. I had a couple close calls early on by focusing too much on a mirror because It was tight on that side and thankfully looked at other mirrors to realize I was about to hit something. If we have a camera for every angle of the truck you'd never move that truck because theres a million things going on at each side of the vehicle that's ever changing. Picture this. You're backing off the street into a narrow alley. You're only focused on the what's directly behind you and the corner of each side of the back. Cars inch closer the longer you take as their frustration grows and they're going to squeeze in as soon as they have room regardless if they have adequate room. You're so focused on not hitting what's behind you that your drive tires have now hit a car due to the angle you're at. Technology is not the answer. There have been numerous times by getting out and looking seeing that although my back end may hit the dock as I hoped I will end up having my tractor or front of trailer hit another object.

SD, in no way am I criticizing you but focus on getting your CDL and once you've been out here you'll have plenty of time to fix all the world's issues, however you'll be better informed. I spent about 4 years on this forum before taking the leap and thought I knew almost everything. Boy was i wrong. If after being out here 6 months to a year when your backing is decent and you feel the same way then I'll gladly discuss it. Until then just focus on getting your CDL. I wouldn't come into your corporate office and start telling you how things should be done without experiencing it. There is a HUGE difference between a tractor trailer that bends in the middle and your Prius or CR-V.

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.
Southern Dad's Comment
member avatar

I'm sorry that anyone took me as criticizing them. I was discussing the topic that was brought up in the original post after reading the linked story. I am not trying to fix your issues. I was just discussing the issue in the original post.

SD, no disrespect intended, and no Jan I'm not offended (are you!? It seems only time you post is to criticize us. Why are u even here?) But until you actually get out there and do this job please dont try fixing our "issues" that aren't issues. It's always the outsiders or rookies that are struggling with backing that think these are a good idea. Thankfully in 2 years I've been driving I haven't hit anything, Including backing incidents. I had a couple close calls early on by focusing too much on a mirror because It was tight on that side and thankfully looked at other mirrors to realize I was about to hit something. If we have a camera for every angle of the truck you'd never move that truck because theres a million things going on at each side of the vehicle that's ever changing. Picture this. You're backing off the street into a narrow alley. You're only focused on the what's directly behind you and the corner of each side of the back. Cars inch closer the longer you take as their frustration grows and they're going to squeeze in as soon as they have room regardless if they have adequate room. You're so focused on not hitting what's behind you that your drive tires have now hit a car due to the angle you're at. Technology is not the answer. There have been numerous times by getting out and looking seeing that although my back end may hit the dock as I hoped I will end up having my tractor or front of trailer hit another object.

SD, in no way am I criticizing you but focus on getting your CDL and once you've been out here you'll have plenty of time to fix all the world's issues, however you'll be better informed. I spent about 4 years on this forum before taking the leap and thought I knew almost everything. Boy was i wrong. If after being out here 6 months to a year when your backing is decent and you feel the same way then I'll gladly discuss it. Until then just focus on getting your CDL. I wouldn't come into your corporate office and start telling you how things should be done without experiencing it. There is a HUGE difference between a tractor trailer that bends in the middle and your Prius or CR-V.

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.
Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

The criticizing comment was about Jan.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

The criticizing comment was about Jan.

Jan always bashes us for bashing technology. Happens once each quarter when she posts.

She must drive for NASA.

Phantom 850's Comment
member avatar

As an elder millennial, (we were the first to embrace smartphones, but we remember rotary phones) I love tech. Automated transmissions are amazing, satellite radio is awesome, and DEF, well, I hate DEF. The trick is making tech “trucker proof”. Let’s be real people, we’re hard on stuff. What works in a soccer mom’s suv that does 10,000 miles a year isn’t going to hold up in a truck that does 120,000. If they can make it work, I’m all for it. However, the trap lies in people relying on it too much. All the tech in the world will never replace a good G.O.A.L. A lot of driver love the old school. I’m one of them. There’s nothing cooler than a W900 with an Easton tranny and 8 inch stacks. But you know what else is old school? Hard mounted cabs, no power steering, and optional front brakes. SD, I’m glad to have you here. Anyone that sparks intelligent debate is ok in my book. That being said, it’s a different world on the road. I know you realize that, you’re too smart not to.

Cornelius A.'s Comment
member avatar

Most of the rush to technology development that i see in trucking happens in Chicagoland. Some carriers here even have their own technology development teams: Diesel tanks sensors... you just filled up your tank 100 miles away so why are you opening your tank now (well most of the time is to sell fuel to that small owner-operator), a technology to monitor a drivers driving pattern if they notice that he is driving erratically or taking too many risky routes...the minute that driver parks the truck? They cut of his engine from a distance, technology to track and monitor their trailers that tells them if seals where broken or door was getting opened in a location that was not the delivery location, a technology to monitor brakes, air pressure, non-working required lights, and the list goes on and last year? This software development company out of the Chicago suburb called Alar just developed a new technology that will serve as the command center to which all the other monitoring devices will respond to rather than having to monitor every one of them individually. That final technology was welcomed with a lot of hoorays at the national independent truckers convention that was held in Illinois.... The list of the monitoring equipment those guys install in their trucks is crazy and too long... will one day compile the list

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Big T's Comment
member avatar

Maybe lack of sleep is getting to me, but did I read the same article as everyone else?

It appeared to me that the issue was how to integrate the technology portals so that fleets and shops could better utilize all this data that is being generated.

I missed the back up camera aspect, but I would bet if there was any potential to them U.S Express would have them already. The big wigs over there have always been protech.

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