Smart trailers

by Inside Logistics Online Staff

Grote Industries is offering a smart trailer system. Its 4SEE product is a combination of hardware and software that will give truck fleets data related to their operations and help improve safety on the roadways.

Currently, only five percent of the three million trailers on the road in North America are considered smart trailers. Grote Industries is increasing this number with 4SEE, projecting the ability to deliver this groundbreaking technology to 34 percent of trailers by 2027.

“Grote Industries has its eyes set on the future,” says Dominic Grote, CEO and president. “The tech revolution in trucking is currently underway, and with 4SEE, Grote is at the forefront of that, giving operators the capability of tracking their fleet easier and keeping drivers and cargo safer on the roads.”

Historically, technological advances in trucking have focused on the cab. By turning that attention to the trailer, fleet operators will have even more control over safety, security, efficiency and cost savings. Smart trailers allow even more insight and accessibility than the location-focused telematics systems of today provide. They enable drivers to receive critical notifications through a mobile app on their smartphones about problems such as low tire pressure, lights that are about to go out — even crucial information in the event that a trailer is stolen, or the cargo is damaged in transport.

Grote Industries’ 4SEE technology works by connecting the harness, nose box and multiple sensors, creating unique data points for fleets to utilize. 4SEE hardwires all the components with a digital harness system that connects without grease and has a single connection point – the 4SEE nose box – to cab inputs. This allows a driver or fleet manager to have all outputs in one place. The 4SEE technology has the ability to integrate with existing telematics solutions, so it becomes part of the fleet’s one solution for data needs.

Proximity sensors that are part of the 4SEE system will assist drivers in changing lanes, notifying the driver if a vehicle is in the blind spot of the trailer.

The goal of the 4SEE system is to bring all the independent solutions together into one system, with a common communication stream, without increasing the harness or hardware required on the trailer. The 4SEE digital harness system also provides modules to connect legacy hardware and digital hardware to the same harness while isolating them to prevent one piece of the system from interfering with any other.

“We are already testing these smart trailers, and have over 500,000 miles completed, soon to cross the 1-million-mile threshold,” Grote says. “In so many ways, semi-trucks are the backbone of America, and this technology can start helping businesses immediately. We’re already taking orders and plan to have 4SEE available as soon as October.”

Recent supply chain issues have plagued hundreds of industries, but Grote Industries is able to offer supply chain security by manufacturing 4SEE in North America at its own facilities. Additionally, Grote’s 4SEE smart lamps- which help trucks avoid Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) fines and citations – are being manufactured in Madison, Indiana, reinforcing Grote’s commitment to providing supply chain solutions and jobs right here in North America.