How do you go about choosing the best new product announcements of the past year? It’s not an easy process. First, HDT’s editors individually go back through all the products we reported on, in the magazine or on Truckinginfo.com, and pull out the ones we feel are the most significant.
The ones singled out by the most editors are summarized and sent to a small group of fleet professionals to get their input — this year, it was our newly formed HDT Editorial Advisory Board.
Products are evaluated in three areas:
- Ability to address significant industry issues
- Potential to affect a fleet’s bottom line
In order to be considered, a product must be commercially available or reasonably expected to be commercially available this year. We don’t consider full vehicles. And we award only one product per company (joint ventures may be considered as a separate company.) The resulting Top 20 products are listed in alphabetical order by company name.
The awards will be presented during individual ceremonies at the American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, in early March and at the Mid America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky, at the end of March.
1. Bendix Intellipark
Bendix Intellipark is a new electronic parking brake system that brings the familiar red-and-yellow air brake control technology into the modern age. It is essentially a “smart” park brake system for air-braked vehicles that can provide a host of safety functions, including preventing rollaway and runaway crashes by automatically setting the brakes if the driver exits the vehicle while it is not parked. Beyond rollaway mitigation, the system uses information available on the vehicle network to allow the park brake to be released only when an authorized driver is in full control of the vehicle. Intellipark also delivers features such as Trailer Auto-Park Release, which can automatically release trailer brakes when the vehicle is moving. An improved, driver-friendly interface eases the effort of setting the parking brake, replacing the red and yellow push/pull knobs with switches that can be flipped on and off with a single finger.
2. Carrier Transicold Vector 8611MT
Carrier Transicold’s new Vector 8611MT is a multi-temperature trailer refrigeration unit, which the company says enables a trailer to be divided lengthwise into two refrigerated compartments – or one refrigerated and one frozen compartment. It incorporates two evaporators and fans for two-zone cooling without requiring a separate remote evaporator. The all-electric architecture of the Vector series enables the unit to independently manage the two zones more simply and efficiently than mechanically interconnected competitive units, according to the company.
It gives food service and grocery distribution operations flexibility in creating center-divide configurations. The split evaporator design creates a 15-inch-wide area for center-wall placement, for more efficient accommodation of pallets, allowing up to 17% more cargo than competitive systems requiring trailers to be divided precisely down the middle.
3.CIMC Intermodal Equipment Revere premium-spec intermodal chassis
CIMC’s Revere premium specification chassis offers high-quality components as standard equipment, including electric harness and lights from Phillips Industries, KIC/Accuride 10-year wheel ends, TSE brake chambers and slack adjusters, Holland Saturn 62 IM landing gear, Hutchens spread axle mechanical suspension, and Bendix ECU and air valves. The chassis features CIMC standard KTL powder coating and is assembled using robotic precision welds and laser metal cutting processes. All post-frame assembly was done in the U.S. with American-made products and components and is supported by a 10-year warranty on all non-wear items.
4. Continental ContiPressureCheck Solo
Continental’s standalone tire pressure monitoring system for trailers, ContiPressureCheck Solo, operates separately from a tractor’s TPMS. The ContiPressureCheck Solo notifies the driver of tire pressures in real time while keeping the trailer TPMS completely separate from the tractor’s. The Continental tire sensors are mounted on the inner liner of each tire and are protected from weather, theft, curbing, and damage during mounting. Sensors can be retrofitted into existing tires, or intelligent tires with preinstalled sensors can be ordered directly from the Continental factory. The central control unit, mounted on the trailer, continuously receives data from the tire sensors and activates alerts if needed. The notification light, mounted in an industry-standard position and visible in the driver’s side mirror, is activated if low pressure is identified in any of the trailer’s tires. Multiple levels of low pressure alerts ensure notifications reflect the severity of the issue.
5. Cummins Filtration FleetguardFit
FleetguardFit is a real-time filtration monitoring system that offers full visibility to filter and oil life through intelligent sensing and advanced data analytics. This gives customers the ability to proactively detect problems, allowing them to avoid downtime, reduce repair and maintenance costs, and potentially improve total cost of ownership. FleetguardFit uses sensors, a control module, and existing telematics services to collect and communicate filter and oil life information in real time.
6. Doran YardCheck 360 Wireless Gate Reader TPMS
Doran’s YardCheck 360 Wireless Gate Reader tire pressure monitoring system is designed to monitor trailer tire pressure and temperature data. The YardCheck 360 Gate Reader creates a secure wireless network around a fleet’s facility. The trailer transceiver continuously monitors trailer tire pressure and temperature data, storing this data while a trailer is away from the facility and uploading it to the cloud-based website when it returns. While tethered or untethered in the yard, the transceiver periodically transfers new data to the cloud, alerting fleet management to alarm conditions before they result in on-road tire failures. It can operate as a stand-alone system on trailers or communicate real-time data to a truck in-cab display or telematics partner through a Doran SmartLink monitor. A web-based dashboard allows fleets to easily and remotely view tire pressure and temperature data for all trailer tires in a fleet.
7. EKA Solutions Omni-TMS
The Omni-TMS cloud-based supply chain platform from EKA Solutions provides visual business intelligence tools that deliver information in an interactive and intuitive graphical form – right at the time of decision-making, such as pricing information via the PriceSolv tool. Other proprietary technologies, such as RouteSolv, VisibilitySolv, DocuSolv and RiskSolv, integrate the data of the users with outside data sources such as DAT’s spot freight market data or telematics and electronic logging systems. External news and information that can help improve planning and negotiations will also be added to the platform. This is an end-to-end system, including billing and accounting functions. Users can do things such as generate income statements and run reports by customers, lane, etc.
8. ENow Electric, solar-powered refrigerator unit
ENow has unveiled a new, all-electric, solar-based refrigeration system on a 53-foot tractor-trailer. Its new “reefer trailer” integrates a proprietary, advanced solar technology, battery storage, and patented electronic control system. According to the company, a testing unit achieved emission reductions of 98% nitrous oxide, 86% carbon dioxide, and 97% particulate matter over a five-month test period, compared to traditional, diesel-powered TRUs. Additional testing showed the eNow TRU functioned as well as a diesel reefer unit, and was projected to reduce operating costs by up to 90% thanks to lower fuel and maintenance costs.
9. Hendrickson Brake wear indicator tool
Hendrickson Trailer Commercial Vehicle Systems’ air disc brake wear indicator tool allows maintenance personnel to check brake pad and rotor thickness without removing the wheel or the brake pads from the caliper.
10. ID Systems LV Series
ID Systems’ LV Series camera-based sensor and asset-tracking suite is a line of sophisticated asset-tracking and telemetry products. It offers an interactive voice-user interface for accessing analytics of the data those systems provide. The LV Series combines trailer or container tracking telematics units with low-powered sensors, connected via Bluetooth communication. They can track not only location, but also loaded levels, tire pressure, antilock braking system lights, door opens, and other issues. The LV-710 is a patent-pending, wireless high-definition camera, image recognition processor, door sensor and cargo-area environmental sensor that integrates with the family of LV tracking devices as well as the new YardView smartphone app. When used with LV-740 pallet sensors, the LV-710 can also detect and report if and where pallets are loaded, as well as environmental alerts (such as temperature), to deliver complete cargo visibility.
11. Lanehub Backhaul Assist
Truck capacity is tight, while many private and dedicated fleets have excess capacity. Lanehub says it has a solution, with a technology that allows shippers that have private fleets or use dedicated contract carriers to market their available or anticipated capacity to other shippers. The two-year-old company describes itself as a collaborative transportation network that enables shippers or carriers to match recurring freight lanes on a consistent basis. This new capability is called Backhaul Assist. With Backhaul Assist, shippers with empty mileage in their private or dedicated fleets can find the best “matches” with other shippers’ consistent lanes. Users set customizable parameters to automatically determine if there is a match. This way, the shipper with a fleet can get paid for previously unused capacity, while the partner shipper gets its goods shipped at a savings compared to using the spot market.
12. Michelin Energy Guard
Michelin’s new Energy Guard aerodynamic system for tractor-trailers increases fuel economy, decreases maintenance costs and requires no driver interaction. Energy Guard consists of a trailer skirt, trailer-end fairings, aerodynamic mud flaps, and a patent-pending wake reducer that eliminates the need for “boat tail” fairings or combining aerodynamic products from different suppliers. Energy One features several innovations in its patent-pending design, including a trailer skirt that fully integrates with other aerodynamic components. The systems automatically function once installed and are activated without any driver actions.
13. Peterson PetersonPulse
Peterson’s PetersonPulse intelligent trailer system brings CAN-Bus technology and telematic capability to trailers. It not only controls and detects real-time status of vital trailer systems — lights, ABS, tire pressure, cargo temperature, and more — but also alerts drivers and fleet managers via Bluetooth and cellular communications. Whether a trailer is parked or underway, Pulse enables real-time monitoring of all trailer systems. There’s even a backup battery to power the system whether or not the trailer is connected to the tractor. With a smartphone, a driver can do pre-trip walk-around inspections to check for issues with any trailer system. On the road, Pulse’s trailer intelligence detects any issues and sends alerts via Bluetooth to the driver’s smartphone or tablet. Alerts can also be sent to fleet managers via a cellular network.
14. Phillips Industries Qwik-Check
The Phillips Industries Qwik-Check was developed for quick and easy confirmation of power within the seven-way connection between a truck and trailer. Designed for integration into the electrical system of the nosebox, it eliminates the immediate need for a continuity tester by visually confirming an electrical signal from the tractor to the trailer. With the tractor turned on, and power supplied to the seven-way connection, the color-coded LED lights of the Qwik-Check will light up as each circuit receives power. Each light is an indication that power to the correlating circuit is reaching the seven-way connection. If a light does not come on, it indicates that there is a problem with the associated circuit and further investigation is warranted.
15. Rotary R5000HD Alignment Machine
Rotary has launched the R5000HD Commercial Truck Alignment System, designed to improve the process of aligning commercial vehicle wheels by eliminating the need for rolling compensation. Alignments often require attaching a four-point clamp to the outer edge of a wheel, which in turn requires rolling compensation to ensure accuracy. Rotary’s R5000HD alignment system contacts the wheel at the bolt circle, which is the strongest, truest portion of the wheel, instead of the outer edge. The process makes rolling compensation unnecessary and eliminates the added labor time, expense and physical effort associated with it. The system can also reduce labor time by electronically measuring axle offset on every alignment. Other systems may require the technician to manually measure axle offset, which can take 10 to 20 minutes. The Rotary R5000HD automatically measures axle offset and notifies the technician when there is a problem.
16. Roush Cleaner Propane Autogas Engine
Roush CleanTech has developed a propane autogas engine that is 90% cleaner than the EPA heavy-duty engine standard. With this latest design, Roush’s propane autogas engine is the first certified by the California Air Resources Board to meet its optional low oxides of nitrogen emission standard for heavy-duty engines, according to the company. The new CARB certification covers the 6.8L V-10 3-volt propane autogas engines for Class 4-7 vehicles. Installation of the optional ultra-low NOx engines has begun with some 2018 Ford commercial vehicles and Blue Bird Vision propane school buses. Class 4-7 medium-duty trucks and buses equipped with ultra-low NOx engines are expected to be very competitive in seeking funding from the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust settlement.
17. SAF Holland Tire Pilot Plus
SAF-Holland’s Tire Pilot Plus is an active tire pressure management system, which can top off or even release air to make sure proper tire pressures are maintained across a trailer. The High Pressure Relief function vents off excess pressure when tires become over inflated. It has been engineered to work seamlessly with the company’s suspension and axle offerings. The company says Tire Pilot Plus will protect tires, reducing wear and associated costs, improve fuel efficiency, and optimize uptime. SAF-Holland says the new system has a return on investment of less than one year, and can help fleets control maintenance costs by reducing time spent on tire repairs and replacements and eliminating the need for routine tire pressure checks.
18. Stemco ABS TrailerTail Deployment
Stemco’s ZeroTouch is a motorized system that unfolds the TrailerTail fairing panels when the vehicle reaches 35 mph. ZeroTouch is a simpler alternative to Stemco’s existing radar-based AutoDeploy product. TrailerTails increase fuel economy by about 0.4 mpg, according to the company. ZeroTouch is available only for new trailers purchased with specific ABS ECU systems. Fleets without these systems can still obtain automatic deployment of their TrailerTails on existing trailers with AutoDeploy systems.
19. Trimble PeopleNet Display.5
Trimble has debuted an in-cab display called the PeopleNet Display.5, an Android-powered fixed-mount display designed specifically for the trucking industry. The PeopleNet Display.5 gives customers the option to implement a ruggedized display and offers electronic logging device mandate compliance as well as other applications such as navigation and in-cab scanning. Through PeopleNet’s Managed Mobility service, fleets can also manage both business and third-party apps running on the display and provide drivers with remote assistance during support cases and troubleshooting other mobile applications. The PeopleNet Display.5 can pair with multiple in-vehicle gateways for a customizable solution that uses 4G LTE connectivity.
20. Xstream Trucking TruckWings
XStream Trucking introduced TruckWings, which it calls an “active-aero device” that automatically deploys at highway speeds to reduce the turbulence caused by the gap between the tractor and the trailer. TruckWings features a patented design, which automatically deploys large panels to cover the sides and top of the tractor-trailer gap. The panels, which are made of high-impact, glass-reinforced composites, create a continuous connection between the truck and trailer that allows the air to flow smoothly over the entire length of the truck. When the truck slows down, the panels retract without driver intervention, providing the necessary clearance for turns at any angle.