If you manage fleet operations for your company, you’re familiar with telematics solutions and the numerous benefits they provide to logistics operations. What you may not know is that telematics systems leave visibility gaps that can negatively impact the efficiency of your supply chain. Pairing your telematics system with a trailer tracking solution gives you complete visibility over the truck and trailer. Integrating trailer tracking with a telematics system is a powerful combination that streamlines logistics operations and improves asset utilization. In this blog, we will explore the benefits of integrating trailer tracking with your telematics system and provide a step-by-step guide to successful implementation.
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- Loss Prevention. Reduce the amount of loss that occurs during the supply chain process
- Location Coverage. AirFinder Everywhere uses a combination of GPS, Cellular, and WiFi to determine location everywhere
- Security Alerts. Know when a delay in shipment has occurred so the problem
can be addressed immediately.
Step One: Make the Decision to Integrate
Before integrating trailer tracking with telematics, you need to understand why the solutions should be used together. Many companies want to compare the two to decide which is better for fleet management, but they both serve different purposes, and both are needed for successful supply chain management.
Telematics provides visibility of your powered assets which are the trucks. While trucks are driven around the country, telematics provides fleet managers with insight into where the trucks are, where they’ve been, how fast they’re going, how much fuel they’ve consumed, and more. These systems rely on power to operate, so this information is only provided when the truck is powered on. Telematics systems are important because they provide useful data about the truck, but they need help providing data regarding trailers. Trailers are unpowered so the telematics system can only determine the trailer's location if it's connected to a truck that is powered on; otherwise, you lack any visibility of your trailers. A trailer tracking system provides visibility of your trailers and other non-powered assets no matter where they are. Since this system powers itself, it doesn’t require the trailer to be connected to a powered-on truck. This is important because the time visibility is needed most for trailers is when they’re sitting disconnected from the truck. Those are the times that theft most often occurs. Having visibility of the trailer itself allows you to address theft in real time instead of arriving at the warehouse in the morning to discover your trailer is missing.
Since a trailer tracker tracks unpowered assets, you can go above and beyond just tracking the trailer to track the pallets and cargo on the trailer. Mistakes can be made in the supply chain process with pallets being incorrectly loaded on the wrong trailer or accidentally left behind in the daily rush. Tracking the pallets in addition to the trailers lets you know if any of these mistakes are made before it’s too late to fix it. When a telematics system and trailer tracking system work together, fleet managers have all the visibility they need to operate successfully and make important decisions surrounding operational improvement.
Step Two: Search for the Right Solution
If you’re following the law, then you already have a telematics system in place for all of your trucks. What you need to search for now is the best trailer tracking system for your company. There are a few key factors you need to evaluate before searching.
First, you need to identify the features that you need your system to have. These features will vary depending on what you’re transporting. For example, a company distributing cold chain products will need a system that monitors temperature inside the trailer while a company transporting nonperishables doesn’t care whether or not condition monitoring is a feature. A feature that is important to every company is integration with their existing telematics system. This integration makes it easy to collect and store the data gathered by both systems in one central location for easy access. Integrating fleet telematics and trailer tracking helps your trucks and trailer stay connected and allows your trailer to become an IoT platform.
Once you determine the most important and essential features you need in a trailer tracker, you can begin to research companies that offer an appropriate solution. Ask qualifying questions to discover if they meet your requirements, and remember to make sure you are searching for companies that can help you at a commercial scale. Sometimes, fleet managers look into a product intended for consumers and get discouraged when they find out it can’t scale to their needs. Another common differentiator companies have is the type of technology that they use. The most popular offering you’ll come across is GPS. While GPS provides accurate and precise location information, you should find a solution that combines GPS with other location technologies to conserve battery life. By investing time and effort in finding the right trailer tracking device, you can ensure a smooth integration process and set the foundation for effective fleet management.
Step Three: Pilot and Install the System
Once you’ve narrowed down your search to your top choice, you should run a pilot before full installation. This is to ensure that the solution works the way you want it to. During the trial, you can work with the solution provider to work out any kinks you notice so you’re not wasting money on a full installation with problems. During the pilot phase, choose a diverse range of trailers that represent various routes, terrains, and operating conditions. This will provide a comprehensive understanding of how the tracking system performs in different scenarios. Engage with drivers and other stakeholders to gather feedback on usability, accuracy, and overall effectiveness.
After a successful trial, it’s time for the full installation. To ensure successful integration of trailer tracking with your telematics system, your company should establish clear objectives. This helps you to measure the effectiveness of the integrated system and identify areas for improvement. You should also schedule regular maintenance and software updates to keep the system running smoothly and up-to-date. Make sure you leverage data analytics and customizable reports to gain valuable insights into your fleet's performance to enable data-driven decision-making.
Why You Should Integrate AirFinder Everywhere
AirFinder Everywhere is a cutting-edge trailer tracking solution that seamlessly integrates with telematics systems to provide fleet managers with unparalleled visibility into their operations. By combining the power of AirFinder's advanced tracking capabilities with telematics data, fleet managers can achieve comprehensive insights that lead to more efficient and secure fleet operations. AirFinder's trailer tracking technology utilizes GPS in combination with cellular and WiFi sniffing to enable real-time location monitoring of trailers and cargo. When integrated with telematics, this data is seamlessly transmitted to the central management platform, allowing fleet managers to monitor the precise location and status of each trailer at any given moment.
With AirFinder, fleet managers can set up geofences surrounding facilities so they can receive alerts when the virtual boundary is crossed. This proactive feature helps address potential issues promptly, such as unauthorized trailer movements, prolonged idling, or deviations from the planned routes. As a result, fleet managers can take immediate action to ensure the safety of their assets and cargo while optimizing overall operational efficiency.
The integration of AirFinder with telematics goes beyond just tracking locations. You also gain access to essential trailer-specific information, such as temperature changes or shock. These critical data points enable fleet managers to ensure the safe delivery of their cargo.
The combined capabilities of AirFinder and telematics also support data-driven decision-making. Fleet managers can analyze historical and real-time data to identify patterns, optimize routes, and forecast maintenance requirements. By leveraging these insights, companies can reduce operational costs and streamline their logistics operations, leading to enhanced customer satisfaction and a competitive edge in the industry.
The Future of Telematics and Trailer Tracking
In the ever-evolving landscape of fleet management, the future of this integration looks promising with cutting-edge advancements on the horizon. The convergence of technologies like 5G connectivity will usher in a new era of real-time data transfer, empowering fleet managers to make informed decisions and provide superior customer service. IoT integration will bring smart sensors and devices to trailers, enabling predictive maintenance and reducing downtime and maintenance costs. AI and machine learning are revolutionizing analytics, optimizing routes, and enhancing safety by identifying risky driving behavior. Additionally, a growing emphasis on environmental sustainability will drive eco-friendly fleet management practices. As cities become smarter, seamless integration with smart city infrastructures will optimize delivery routes. Embracing these future trends will enable businesses to stay competitive and lead the way in efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally responsible fleet management.
Are You Ready to Integrate?
Integrating trailer tracking with your telematics system is a transformative step towards achieving fleet management excellence. The combined power of real-time vehicle and trailer data enables businesses to optimize operations, improve asset utilization, enhance security, and make data-driven decisions. By following the steps outlined in this guide and carefully selecting the right tracking solution, you can unlock the full potential of integrated trailer tracking and drive your fleet towards greater efficiency and success. Our AirFinder Everywhere solution is the best choice to integrate into current telematics systems to enhance fleet visibility. Book a demo with our team of experts to dive further into AirFinder’s ability to improve your productivity.