Mobile communications giant Qualcomm has announced trailer tracking agreements with two major truckload fleets, including what is probably the largest single trailer tracking sale by any vendor to date.

Qualcomm announced that Swift Transportation of Phoenix, Ariz., will install TrailerTRACS units on its entire fleet of approximately 30,000 trailers. That number will grow to approximately 45,000 if Swift's proposed merger with M.S. Carriers of Memphis, Tenn., is approved and completed.
Even without the merger, the Swift agreement appears be the largest single fleet sale of any trailer tracking technology. According to the announcement, deployment is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2001.
The second agreement involves North America’s largest truckload carrier, Schneider National of Green Bay, Wis. According to the Qualcomm announcement, Schneider has named Qualcomm its "provider of choice for trailer tracking solutions."
Schneider National has been working closely with Qualcomm on trailer tracking technology since 1994. "While we're still in a development and testing mode, we're very pleased with what we've seen, and we will continue to work toward a solution that will set the standard for asset tracking management," said Scott Arves, chief operating officer, Schneider National.
The Schneider announcement included no commitment to specific product deployments, but a Schneider spokesman told "not to underestimate the importance of the provider-of-choice announcement."
Both Swift and Schneider are users of Qualcomm’s OmniTRACs mobile communications systems.
Qualcomm TrailerTRACS system comes in two flavors, tethered and untethered. The tethered option communicates by satellite, but only when a trailer is hooked to a power unit equipped with OmniTRACS. The trailer's location is updated in transit, and each trailer connect and disconnect is stamped with a date, time and location. Even though the dropped trailer ceases communication, dispatch still knows where it was dropped. The untethered option continues to communicate trailer information even when not hooked to a power unit. This version of TrailerTRACS works by satellite when hooked up and across the ground-based Aeris Microburst network when unhooked.