-  HDT Graphic

HDT Graphic

At the end of each year, Heavy Duty Trucking’s editors look back at all the product announcements we reported on and choose the ones we felt were most significant and innovative.

Then we ask a panel of fleet decision-makers from our HDT Truck Fleet Innovators, Emerging Leaders, and our Editorial Advisory Board to weigh in and evaluate them in three areas to help us make the final decisions:

  • Innovation
  • Ability to address an industry issue
  • Potential to affect a fleet’s bottom line

The product must be commercially available in the U.S., or scheduled to become available in 2024, to be eligible. Entire powered vehicles or concept products were not eligible.

Awards will be presented at the American Trucking Association’s Technology & Maintenance Council annual meeting in New Orleans in March.

The 2024 HDT Top 20 Products appear below in alphabetical order by company.

Aperia Halo Tire Management  -  Photo: Aperia

Aperia Halo Tire Management

Photo: Aperia

Aperia Technologies: Halo Tire Management

Building on its suite of Halo-branded tire management solutions, Aperia Technologies’ new Halo Tire Management platform can be a single source for fleets looking to more effectively manage their tractors, trailers, and tires with a single tool, according to the company, especially with the addition of asset tracking. Halo Connect’s proprietary tire analytics engine receives data from several sources and translates that data into meaningful maintenance recommendations. The Halo Tire Management platform comes standard with APIs allowing fleets to pull the latest location and tire information into their other software platforms.

Cargobull Hybrid TRU  -  Photo: Deborah Lockridge

Cargobull Hybrid TRU

Photo: Deborah Lockridge

Cargobull North America: Hybrid TRUs

Utility Trailer and European trailer maker Schmitz Cargobull are bringing a new transport refrigeration unit technology and brand to North America. The Cargobull North America joint venture is offering TRU technology that offers as much as 20% less fuel consumption, with plug-in hybrid and all-electric units to reduce and eliminate emissions. The 625 Hybrid and the 655MT Hybrid multi-temp unit are available now, with two more models coming soon, the e625 Electric and the e655MT Electric. A compact, low-profile design allows for a shorter tractor-trailer gap. The evaporator has three high-velocity vans and an ultra-low profile for more clearance inside the trailer.

Carrier Logistics Inc.: A/R Risk Analyzer

Carrier Logistics Inc., which provides freight management software for less-than-truckload fleets, has a new feature in its FACTS solution providing automated accounts receivables risk scores. The enhancement uses artificial intelligence to identify at-risk accounts, which saves valuable company resources and reduces bad debt. Fleet users can quickly know which customer accounts are at higher risk and use that information to prioritize collection efforts and improve cash flow. The data can be presented in various options, including in Excel format, and in line and bar charts to illustrate scores over time.

CLI A/R Risk Analyzer  -  Photo: CLI

CLI A/R Risk Analyzer

Photo: CLI

ConMet EMobility: Nmotion Zero-Emission Refrigeration

ConMet eMobility’s Nmotion TR 160-45 makes possible a zero-emissions refrigerated trailer, cooled by an electric standby transport refrigeration unit powered by energy generated from in-wheel electric motors. It’s the initial application of ConMet’s PreSet Plus eHub technology, which uses an in-wheel electric motor packaged with ConMet’s hub assembly to create a regenerative energy source. The complete system pairs two eHub wheel ends on a customized suspension with an attached energy management unit (EMU). The EMU contains the proprietary system controls, thermal management system, and automotive-grade battery storage.

Conmet Nmotion zero-emission refrigeration  -  Photo: Conmet

Conmet Nmotion zero-emission refrigeration

Photo: Conmet

Dana: Spicer Electrified Zero-6 e-Transmission

Dana is expanding its Spicer Electrified e-Powertrain offerings to include a family of e-transmissions for medium-duty electric-vehicle applications. Accommodating a gross vehicle weight rating up to 59,500 pounds, the Zero-6 e-Transmission series will be available in two models, the eS4700t and the eS7900t, offering 4,700 and 7,900 Nm of output torque, respectively. The new SpicerZero-6 e-Transmission accommodates a diverse range of medium-duty applications, such as straight trucks, walk-in vans, refuse trucks, utility trucks, and platform trucks. The technology will launch on a global electric vehicle platform in 2024. 

Spicer Zero-6 e-transmission  -  Photo: Dana

Spicer Zero-6 e-transmission

Photo: Dana

Doleco USA: ConnectedDeck System

Double-decking systems have helped fleets increase the cargo density of their trailers for years. Doleco USA says its ConnectedDeck System takes those to a new level and addresses pain points fleets have with decking systems. The patented ConnectedDeck is a pre-platformed double-decking unit. It merges two or three adjustable, self-leveling decking beams with a formed composite panel that creates an integrated cargo platform that is easily adjustable, stores at ceiling height, and never has to be disassembled and reassembled.

Doleco ConnectedDeck  -  Photo: Doleco USA

Doleco ConnectedDeck

Photo: Doleco USA

Dragonfly Energy: Battle Born Electric APU

Dragonfly Energy has entered the trucking industry with its new Battle Born all-electric auxiliary power unit. The company said its lithium-ion battery system provides ample wattage to run auxiliary power on trucks, even when the engine is off. Lithium-ion batteries allow for longer run time, addressing a big driver complaint about traditional electric APUs. The Battle Born also is significantly lighter than other electric APUs, according to the company. It mounts between the frame rails, which should help reduce vibration and thus reduce maintenance costs.

Battle Born Electric APU  -  Photo: Dragonfly

Battle Born Electric APU

Photo: Dragonfly

Flipturn: Flipturn Connect

Flipturn Connect provides real-time data on battery-electric truck and charging performance to help companies better manage their EV fleets. Fleets that adopt electric vehicles face operational challenges involving vehicle range, charging infrastructure, and energy costs. Flipturn Connect is a unified EV fleet operations platform providing cross-system visibility across fleets’ vehicles, chargers, and related systems. Managers can monitor location and state-of-charge for all vehicles, track the availability and status of all chargers, set charging schedules automatically, minimize electricity costs through charger power management, analyze kWh per mile and cost per mile across vehicles and trips, and more.

Flipturn Connect  -  Photo: Flipturn

Flipturn Connect

Photo: Flipturn

Fontaine Fifth Wheel: SmartConnect

The SmartConnect Fifth Wheel uses sensors to monitor the fifth wheel lock position when a tractor is coupled or de-coupled from a trailer. It gives drivers an indication of whether the fifth wheel is properly coupled or not with an indicator light. The SmartConnect uses the data from sensors to help fleet managers anticipate maintenance needs before problems surface. The system analyzes the gathered data and predicts fifth wheel maintenance needs and issues alerts for servicing or inspection. When integrated with the truck OEM's CAN and telematics systems, SmartConnect will transmit lock status, hours of use, number of couples and maintenance alerts to fleet managers.

Fontaine SmartConnect Fifth Wheel  -  Photo: Fontaine Fifth Wheel

Fontaine SmartConnect Fifth Wheel

Photo: Fontaine Fifth Wheel

Grote Industries: 4See by Grote With Rear-View Camera 

In partnership with Stoneridge, Grote added a back camera to its 4See smart trailer system. The camera is hardwired through the standard J560 7-way connector for a reliable feed directly from the rear of the trailer to a video display in the cab with virtually no latency. It seamlessly integrates with the full 4See by Grote smart trailer system, including sensors for trailer lights, cargo, ABS, proximity-sensing radar technology, GPS tracking, tire pressure monitoring, and automatic tire inflation, made possible through Grote’s digital harness and 4See smart nose box.

Mack Trucks: ElectriFi Subscription

Mack Financial Services is offering a new usage-based leasing option for Mack MD Electric medium-duty trucks. ElectriFi Subscription allows customers to pay as they go for miles driven. Chassis and body, charging, any incentives, physical damage insurance, and maintenance costs for the term of the agreement are bundled into a single monthly payment. ElectriFi Subscription reduces upfront investment while lowering long-term risk with the option to walk away at the end of the term. Terms are flexible starting at three years, with an option to extend up to a total term of six years.

Mack ElectriFi subscription  -  Photo: Jim Park

Mack ElectriFi subscription

Photo: Jim Park

Motive: AI Omnicam

Motive said its AI Omnicam is the industry’s first artificial-intelligence-enabled camera designed for side-, rear-, passenger-, and cargo-monitoring. When the AI Omnicam is paired with Motive’s AI Dashcam, it gives fleets and drivers a full 360-degree view of a vehicle, its interior, and its surroundings. Since its launch in 2023, the AI Omnicam now also detects collisions, unsafe lane changes, sideswipes, and rear accidents to enable accident reduction. The AI Omnicam helps fleets improve road and job site monitoring and safety, investigate and combat potentially fraudulent claims, and resolve disputes over transportation and handling of valuable cargo and goods. 

Motive AI Omnicam  -  Photo: Motive

Motive AI Omnicam

Photo: Motive

Orbcomm: CT 1000 Solar-Powered Asset Tracker

Orbcomm said its CT 1000 asset tracker enables fleets of any size to cost-effectively monitor trailers, intermodal containers, and other transportation assets and gain operational visibility. It offers a solution for fleet and intermodal managers looking to monitor asset location, start/stop motion status, and configurable alerts a few times a day. It installs in as little as one minute per asset and has minimal upkeep requirements thanks to its solar-powered battery and over-the-air updates. The company called it an easy, effective way to keep track of trailers without having to worry about dead batteries.

Solar powered asset tracking  -  Photo: Orbcomm

Solar powered asset tracking

Photo: Orbcomm

Phillips Industries: EC47 Tractor-Trailer Connectivity Solution

We still rely on 60-year-old technology to manage communications between the tractor and trailer: the seven-pin J560 connector. There are limits to how far wireless connections and telematics will take us; conventional wireless communication is too slow for the demands of future connectedness. Phillips has an answer with its new EC47. The name comes from what it offers: two ethernet connectors, two CAN network connections, 4 AUX connections, and a 7-way J560 power connection. No adapters are required, as the EC47 interfaces with present-day J560 components. This new connector is backwards-compatible while accommodating future connectivity requirements.

Phillips EC47  -  Photo: Phillips

Phillips EC47

Photo: Phillips

Range Energy: Range RA Electric Trailer

Range Energy’s RA-01 is a 53-foot electric trailer that can help fleets reduce fuel costs and their carbon footprint. The trailer’s electrification platform and equipment set — an e-axle, battery pack, and smart kingpin — provides power to auxiliary devices, enables zero-emission precooling for transportation refrigeration units, provides the ability to move trailers with reduced emissions, and increases the overall uptime of tractors. Preliminary third-party testing results showed the technology enables up to 36.9 percent fuel efficiency gains (+3.25 mpg) for semi-trucks.

Range Energy RA Series electric trailer  -  Photo: Range Energy

Range Energy RA Series electric trailer

Photo: Range Energy

SMC³: Dynamic PriceBuilder

The Dynamic PriceBuilder system from SMC³ pairs a less-than-truckload carrier’s specific cost model with a flexible business rules engine to enable strategic, dynamic price generation. Powered by SMC³’s fully hosted platform – Dynamic PriceBuilder delivers high-speed, secure API connectivity and 100% service reliability for quote generation, retrieval and reporting. Using it, carriers can immediately adjust prices based on internal and external factors such as available capacity, shifting national freight patterns, and other external market conditions such as extreme weather events. 

SMC3 Dynamic Price Builder  -  Photo: Averitt

SMC3 Dynamic Price Builder

Photo: Averitt

Stemco: Auto-Torq Axle Fastener

Stemco says its new Auto-Torq axle fastener simplifies wheel-end installation — no torque wrench required. Auto-Torq is designed with an internal mechanism for optimal wheel bearing adjustment. With no need for washers, clips, snap rings, screws, or keepers, Auto-Torq makes installation simple and efficient, according to Stemco, reducing potential causes of installation failure. An integrated locking mechanism prevents backoff while still allowing easy removal for annual inspections and maintenance. Plus, by applying the optimum clamp load on the bearings every time, bearing wear is minimized, resulting in longer bearing service life.

Stemco Auto-Torq  -  Photo: Stemco

Stemco Auto-Torq

Photo: Stemco

Texa: IDC5 Axone Voice & TXT Multihub – Advanced Diagnostics + Multi Environment Vehicle Connection

Texa launched the Axone Voice, a hand-free diagnostic device for heavy-duty technicians that features voice control and facial recognition. Axone Voice is Texa’s first unit with voice control, a function developed in collaboration with Microsoft. It uses face recognition to identify who is using it, unlocking a series of exclusive functions to access the protected diagnostic procedures provided by the manufacturer. Axone Voice can tell technicians what to do in many situations. Techs do not have to touch the tool; they can simply say “Hey Texa” followed by the command. Axone Voice works with the TXT Multihub to provide a universal vehicle connection for all vehicle environment / industry types.

Texa's Axone Voice  -  Photo: Texa USA

Texa's Axone Voice

Photo: Texa USA

Thermo King: TracKing Pro Telematics

Thermo King’s new TracKing Pro telematics uses predictive technology and machine learning to deliver actionable insights for refrigerated fleet operations. TracKing Pro telematics offers an energy usage dashboard on select units that provides comprehensive insights into fuel consumption, electricity usage, and opportunities to improve uptime. TracKing Pro telematics enables customers to quantify their fleet’s CO2 emissions in metric tons for both diesel and electric standby operations. Predictive analytics make it possible to anticipate where failures may occur and provide the necessary alerts in advance.

Thermo King TracKing Pro Telematics  -  Photo: Thermo King

Thermo King TracKing Pro Telematics

Photo: Thermo King

Lightweight parachute tarp  -  Photo: US Cargo Control

Lightweight parachute tarp

Photo: US Cargo Control

U.S. Cargo Control: Ultra Lightweight Parachute Tarps

U.S. Cargo Control’s new parachute material tarps are a lightweight solution for truck drivers to protect their cargo. Parachute tarps, also known as airbag material tarps, are made with 6-oz. nylon packcloth material, which makes them 20-30 pounds lighter than those made with standard vinyl polyester. The ergonomic design is also more flexible to fit around heavy cargo such as pallets, crates, steel, and machinery, making drivers’ jobs easier and lowering risk of driver injury. Available in two versions, along with the option to create a custom parachute tarp with specific dimensions.

About the author
Deborah Lockridge

Deborah Lockridge

Editor and Associate Publisher

Reporting on trucking since 1990, Deborah is known for her award-winning magazine editorials and in-depth features on diverse issues, from the driver shortage to maintenance to rapidly changing technology.

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