21 Apr 2023

From shoe box to high-tech trailer

Modern trailers can be located, report their air pressure and document the temperature of the load compartment. Behind this are various telematics solutions. They are now part of the standard equipment of major trailer manufacturers and rental companies.

A "shoebox on four wheels" - that's what a semi-trailer used to be called. Today that is no longer the case. (Pictures: Jürgen Rösner)

A trailer is a "shoebox on four wheels". This statement comes from a former marketing manager of a large German trailer manufacturer. However, the quote is more than 20 years old and has long since ceased to be true. This is particularly evident in the telematics solutions available from almost all suppliers.

Warn of dangers

At Kögel, the corresponding products have been brought together under the "Kögel Telematics" brand. The range offers a series of telematics solutions specially developed for trailers and semi-trailers from the Burtenbach-based vehicle manufacturer. With these, important data of the towed unit can be recorded in real time and called up in Kögel's own portal. In addition, Kögel Telematics warns the fleet operator of unusual events. This includes when the tyre pressure deviates from the target value. Due to the high influence of tyre condition on the safety and fuel consumption of a truck, all newly registered trailers in the EU must be equipped with a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) from July 2024.

Thanks to open interfaces, third-party suppliers can also be integrated at Kögel.

Another advantage of Kögel Telematics are the open interfaces. This allows the data from Kögel Telematics to be integrated into the portals of third-party providers. All information is also accessible on Android devices with the help of an app. Customers can use a total of two apps to further increase the user value of Kögel Telematics. The free Kögel Driver app informs the driver about the location and technical condition of the trailer. The paid app Kögel Tour in turn serves as a means of communication between the dispatcher and the driver. The dispatcher can contact the driver directly via the telematics portal and send him orders. In addition, the driver receives important information about his trailer - including the interior temperature in the refrigerated body, the tyre pressure and the EBS data. The driver can also use the app to log the mandatory departure check before each journey.

Interfaces facilitate retrieval

The Krone Telematics division of Fahrzeugwerk Bernard Krone has also recognised the importance of interfaces. This makes it even easier for customers to retrieve their telematics data from anywhere. For this purpose, Krone uses an open and downward compatible standard push interface for all partners. There are currently more than 250 outgoing interfaces - and the trend is rising. The new services also include "Self Service", which enables easier and more transparent data transmission to all connected systems.

Here, the customer can determine which data from vehicles is released for which period of time. A transparency report is also generated to protect the data. This prevents accidental data leaks or the misuse of telematics data.

Telematics in rented trailers

Telematics in trailers is not only an issue for purchased vehicles, but also for rented trailers. The TIP Group has founded a digital service division for this under the name "TIP Insight". Various telematics services for the entire fleet can be found there. TIP Insight includes the installation of telematics devices, sensors and other peripherals and their display and analysis on a user-friendly platform. The functionality on the platform ranges from simple track & trace with geo-fencing to performance-based alerts on the screen. Here, the spectrum ranges from the performance of the brake system, to the opening of the rear doors, to the tyre pressure and the temperature of a cooling unit.

By the way: Krone, Kögel and TIP are exhibitors at NUFAM.