A trailer telematics solution can help you increase trailer uptime.
Freight demand has been increasing since mid-2020, Transport Topics reports, and in 2021 “the trucking industry has entered a historically strong business environment that many analysts expect to endure for the rest of 2021 and beyond.”
As the industry continues to struggle with the challenge of not having enough drivers, carriers now face another hurdle as they try to meet rising freight demand: a trailer shortage resulting from supply chain disruptions, labor shortages at trailer manufacturers and other factors.
“You cannot order another trailer in 2021. They just don’t exist. That’s how critical trailers are right now” Webb Estes of Estes Express Lines tells the Journal of Commerce, which reports that trailer production backlogs have been pushed well into 2022.
Increasing trailer utilization is always an admirable goal. But when simply buying or leasing a trailer is not an option amid a trailer shortage, maximizing utilization – along with trailer lifespan – becomes crucial.
That’s where trailer telematics come in.
A telematics system with GPS trailer tracking and connected sensors that monitor trailer health and cargo status can give you the edge when it comes to doing more with your existing trailer fleet.
Here are three ways that trailer telematics can help you beat the trailer shortage.
Trailer Telematics Help Maximize Trailer Uptime
Before you can put a trailer to work, you need to know where it is. Too often, though, trailers get misplaced and end up sitting idle. A trailer telematics system provides the exact location of your trailers – the first step to increasing utilization.
Likewise, data from the system will help you track dwell and detention time and take proactive steps with receivers to get your trailers back on the road more quickly. And when your trailers are on the road, the real-time data will help you provide accurate ETAs to customers.
Also, sensors can provide data on cargo status, letting dispatch know when a trailer is empty and ready for a new load or when there may be more room for additional back-haul cargo, increasing efficiency and maximizing revenue.
Avoid Safety and Compliance Issues
Issues with brakes, tires and lights are some of the most common reasons that trailers are put out of service. A trailer telematics system with connected sensors provides crucial data that can alert you to potential problems with the health of your trailers, allowing you to fix them and avoid the risk of getting hit with a violation – or, worse, having a tractor-trailer involved in an accident. This data also supports a proactive approach to maintenance, helping to extend the life of your trailers.
Increase Driver Productivity and Satisfaction
Drivers got into the trucking business to drive. After all, that’s how they make their money. When trailers aren’t where they are supposed to be, or they’re not ready to roll due to cargo or maintenance issues, you’re wasting drivers’ hours of service and cutting into their ability to earn a living. Accurate data on the location, health and readiness of a trailer can help you avoid those frustrations and keep drivers happy and productive.
Given the labor market, driver satisfaction should be a top concern for all carriers, Hugh Ekberg, CEO of CRST, tells Transport Topics: “All of us are going to be more focused on making sure that we do the right things for our drivers. It’s a very important job.”
EROAD’s Trailer Telematics Solution
EROAD has partnered with industry leader Phillips connect to offer a full range of trailer telematics solutions that provide motor carriers with powerful, actionable insights to increase trailer utilization. Our solutions install in minutes to provide consistent, reliable tracking. Bluetooth connected sensors report on cargo status, tire and brake health, and lights.
Learn more today about how EROAD’s trailer telematics solutions can help you run a more efficient operation with your existing trailer fleet.