Fleet Management

Tech Bytes: Decker Uses Two-Way Refrigerated Monitoring from Orbcomm

September 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Department

by Jim Beach, Technology Contributing Editor - Also by this author

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Decker Truckline will install Orbcomm’s RT6000+ refrigerated two-way monitoring/tracking devices to its fleet of refrigerated trailers.
Decker Truckline will install Orbcomm’s RT6000+ refrigerated two-way monitoring/tracking devices to its fleet of refrigerated trailers.

Decker Truckline, Fort Dodge, Iowa, is installing Orbcomm’s RT6000+ trailer telematics devices on 500 of its 800 refrigerated trailers.

Founded in 1931, Decker runs 700 tractors and 1,550 trailers throughout the 48 contiguous states and seven Canadian provinces.

In addition to refrigerated loads, including meat, ice cream products and pharmaceuticals, the company hauls flatbed loads such as wallboard and steel, and dry van freight such as grocery and paper products and machine parts.

The Orbcomm RT6000+ is a two-way cold chain telematics device that offers temperature management, reefer fuel status and other information. The deployment also includes a web-based application featuring analytics and data reporting capabilities to help improve in-transit visibility. The trailer data
will be integrated into Decker’s back-office trucking management system.

In a release announcing the deployment, Decker vice president and co-owner Dale Decker said the company selected the devices to gain savings related to fuel usage and maintenance of its refrigeration units. Decker also noted the devices will allow the company to “better monitor our trailers’ in-transit temperatures so we can greatly reduce claims, maximize compliance and provide our customers with the highest level of service.”

Orbcomm is a major provider of cold-chain monitoring in the transportation industry. The company has acquired three cold-chain monitoring firms in the last three years, the latest being the acquisition of Euroscan Holdings, a Netherlands-based supplier of refrigerated transportation temperature compliance recording systems. Included in the transaction was Euroscan’s North American subsidiary, Ameriscan. Orbcomm said the acquisition would add scale and an expanded portfolio of cold chain monitoring services to its North American operations.

“We dominate the reefer truckload marketspace,” Chris MacDonald, vice president of sales, StarTrak business for Orbcomm, told HDT. “We are comfortable in that vertical market, and the addition of Euroscan gives us a much more centered food-service model in terms of being able to print out a compliance report right at the delivery point.”

Rules being developed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and expected to be published in 2016 are likely to require closer monitoring of the transport of food items, including refrigerated items.

Like other tracking devices, the Orbcomm RT600+ can use cellular, satellite or dual mode for communications. MacDonald said the dual mode runs on cellular until it loses a signal and then switches to satellite. He said the new rule will probably make the dual mode more popular among refrigerated carriers.

“I believe that the new rules will demand close scrutiny. Cellular coverage is getting better, but still does not cover 100% of the country.”

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