-  Illustration: Phillips Connect Technologies

Illustration: Phillips Connect Technologies

Phillips Connect Technologies showed off its TrailerNet, ChassisNet, and ContainerNet trailer telematics platforms at the annual meeting of the Technology & Maintenance Council of the American Trucking Associations in Atlanta March 17.

The company has been talking about the potential for TrailerNet since Phillips Connect Technologies was announced during the 2017 TMC meeting. It is an open, agnostic platform for consolidating all smart-trailer sensors (from any supplier) into one central hub, using one data plan to deliver alerts to the driver, and customizable fleet management dashboards to the fleet’s operations or dispatch teams.

PCT’s trailer telematics solutions address many of the challenges facing transportation providers, Phillips said.

“I can tell you from my fleet experience that unexpected downtime, CSA violations, logistical inefficiencies, and component failures all negatively impact a fleet,” explained Gerry Mead, executive director of innovation, previously senior VP of maintenance at U.S. Xpress. “The PCT product platforms address all those issues.”

Each of the platform product packages demonstrated during TMC is designed to communicate and integrate into one master channel of information about components, activity, and conditions that fleets need to make decisions.

“We did a lot of work to understand the issues that are facing fleets today,” Mead said. “And as we did that research, we came to understand that we cannot just be another telematics company with just another telematics product. We are a smart solutions provider. We help fleet managers solve problems by giving them actionable information. And the best way for us to fulfill that mission is by providing a single connection that makes it easy for fleet managers to digest information off of their assets and take action on that data.”

All PCT telematics solutions have access to the company’s proprietary user interface, which provides customized dashboards, maps, maintenance summaries, and detailed reports.

PCT’s open platform strategy is based on the premise that customers want choices and every company has its own unique needs. Its proprietary business Intelligence tools are a professional service that includes consultations with industry insiders to map out detailed analytical reporting based on fleet-specific key performance indicators (KPIs).

“Something that had really stuck out to us during the development of our smart assets, was that suppliers are building out these smart components, and then simply dumping all of this data on the fleets to sort through and try to make sense of,” explained Mead.  “Therefore, we developed these exclusive BI tools, because we didn’t want our smart system and components to be cumbersome, we wanted the fleet to see their actual ROI in a live format.  Through these tools, fleets can set up customizable plans, in accordance with their KPIs, and get live interactive analytical reporting whenever they want.”

The PCT product portfolio includes:

  • TrailerNet Gateway with wired or wireless communication from trailer components. Available now are the GPS and the Plus package which comes standard with GPS, geofencing, trailer mileage, and 7-way voltage reporting.  It has the option to add nine additional compatible sensors, such as door sensors and cargo sensors.  
  • ChassisNet Gateway with wired or wireless communication from trailer components: The GPS, Plus, and Pro packages are available now.  The Plus package offers options to add seven compatible sensors, and the Pro package, eight compatible sensors.
  • ContainerNet Gateway with wired or wireless communication from trailer components: The GPS and Plus packages are available now.  The Plus package offers options to add four compatible sensors, such as door and cargo sensors.

For fleets looking for a less-comprehensive telematics solution, PCT also introduced EZTrac and AssetTrac, which are easy to install requiring no special tools:

  • EZTrac is a GPS tracker integrated into an easy-to-install plug-and-play harness piece.
  • AssetTrac is a battery-powered asset tracker with an internal motion sensor and BLE which can send periodic reports or report on motion. Batteries will last up to five years with one report per day or three years with a report on movement.  

PCT said its unique open product platform roadmap will significantly reduce the total cost of ownership of fleet assets.

“We wanted our system to relay proprietary information from the sensors they are communicating with,” Mead said. “We could translate data from brake sensors and relay that to fleet managers. But our position is that nobody knows more about the brake manufacturer. So we wanted our system to easily work with other sensors from other systems. Because nobody knows more about a brake system than the brake manufacturer. And it’s their data the fleet manager should use when making decisions about that component.”