Product Insight: Trailer Telematics

With trailers constantly moving up and down the nation’s roads, and being dropped off in various locations, it is all too easy to lose track of which assets belong where. This means the ability to track the location of trailers alone presents a big advantage to fleet operators.

Microlise Trailer Telematics represents a far reach above traditional ‘dot on map’ tracking, not only allowing transport managers to track where their trailers are – or where they are headed – but also presenting a wide array of additional utilisation data like usage, owning depot, trailer ID, coupling, temperature monitoring, door status and EBS information. Allowing fleet operators to get the most out of their trailers, Microlise Trailer Telematics offers all the benefits of increased efficiency and powerful integration with a range of other functionality as part of our wider Fleet Performance product.

An Integrated Solution to EBPMS

Engaging Microlise Trailer Telematics also enables fleet operators to take advantage of our Trailer Brake Performance Monitoring (TBPM) solution, which automatically gathers data from the trailer’s Electronic Braking System to create a trailer brake safety profile on the Microlise Web Portal.

Microlise TBPM can help to act as an early warning system, providing users with a notification when an issue with their trailer brakes is detected and empowering them to adopt a more proactive approach to trailer maintenance (and improve fleet safety) by allowing operators to manage by exception.

Compatible with most modern Knorr-Bremse and Haldex EBS systems, Microlise TBPM allows operators to avoid the financial costs and vehicle downtime involved with meeting the DVSA’s strong recommendation of quarterly rolling road braking tests.

Braking performance trends can also be monitored over time, with dedicated reporting over a selected date range making it quick and easy for operators to see trends in their utilisation data – and to make informed decisions on when their trailers need maintenance.


The Product

Feeding near-live data straight from the trailer into the Microlise system to make their utilisation data directly available to users, the simple but powerful addition of a Microlise Smart Gateway tracking unit to a trailer allows users to factor their trailers in alongside their other assets, incorporating trailer dimensions when planning truck-specific routing, and using satellite navigation in combination with other integrated apps to reduce the risk of bridge strikes.

Specifically designed for use with trailers, our tracking units are IP69K rated, ATEX approved, and able to greatly conserve power by entering ‘sleep mode’. By default, the unit will then only awaken every 12 hours to report information about a trailer when it is unhooked, allowing trailers to be stored unpowered without battery charge levels being one more thing for an operator to keep track of.

Using the fleet map view on the Web Portal, operators can review their trailer data right alongside their tractor data. Specific icons make it quick and simple to tell vehicle types apart, with distinct colour coding and styles indicating varying heights and which vehicle has which equipment installed.

Each trailer can be assigned a unique trailer ID, enabling a tractor and trailer to be paired within the Microlise System. It will then appear as a coupled trailer on the map screen, making it easy to see which vehicle a trailer is connected to as the planned activities for the day progress. This information can also include the owning depot of the trailer, allowing you to search the system for specific trailers, return a lost trailer to its home depot, and identify which depot is responsible for the servicing and maintenance of which trailer.

For fleets dealing with temperature-controlled goods, being able to provide hard data and prove that temperature integrity was maintained during transit is essential to compliance auditing – and perhaps more importantly, in maintaining the confidence of an end customer.

Microlise Trailer Telematics further enhances our Temperature Monitoring functionality, with integration available to either a refer unit (or temperature logger) or alternatively our own independent system of temperature probes. Plugging directly into our telematics unit, the probes will feed live temperature data back into the Microlise system.

This data can then be audited to track trends over time with our detailed reporting suite, or viewed directly from the Web Portal for live trailer compartment monitoring. Automatic alerts can be customised, making it easy for operators to set temperature thresholds so that a user is warned if temperatures stray outside of agreed minimum or maximum parameters and can immediately take action.

The integration of data from door sensors can also offer a useful addition to your temperature monitoring solution, keeping a record of when trailer doors are opened or closed and sounding an alert should this significantly affect the internal temperature of a trailer.

Door sensors can be an essential safeguarding tool for any operation towing high value goods. Whether a vehicle is opened outside a designated safe zone defined using our easy to use Geofence tool, or even whilst moving mid-way through a journey, Microlise Trailer Telematics can help protect your trailers by raising a system alert whenever a trailer door is opened. This is even more powerful when coupled with load facing and rear trailer cameras, providing both an internal view of the trailer and an external view of the trailer doors which can be downloaded over-the-air in the event that a vehicle is hijacked.

The Benefits

Most transport personnel have experienced the pain of trying to find a trailer without any idea of where it came from, losing a trailer only for it to turn up in an unexpected place a month later, or ending up liable for servicing a trailer from another depot. Having too few or (too many) trailers is also a persistent problem across the industry, but Microlise gives operators the tools to meet these challenges and maximise utilisation levels to get the most value out of their trailer fleet.

Our trailer telematics solution goes above and beyond just location tracking, making it quick and simple to complete the initial categorisation process that makes administration a much easier task in the long term. All of this data is then fed into all areas of the system, including the fleet map, vehicle overview page, and our suite of data reports.

The ‘trailers on site’ function shows which trailers are at a particular location, alongside their hooked status, name, type, profile, last used information, owning depot and any additional equipment such as tail lifts etc. This combined with unique trailer IDs makes the process of finding out exactly which trailers are at which location as simple as executing a quick search on the map and applying some filters – all without relying on drivers to input the correct information themselves – with the automatic trailer information provided by the EBS reducing the admin time needed to keep trailer data up to date across any fleet size.

Temperature compliance also becomes easier when you can detect and deal with issues long before a trailer load of food has to be scrapped, avoiding the possibility of a loss in customer confidence. The additional level of security offered by automatic alerting from door sensors can be the difference between losing a load of high value goods and apprehending the culprits. Plus, through integration with other Microlise systems (like our blind-spot trailer cameras) a level of enhanced safety and security can be added to your fleet.

Above all, by managing information input and using that information in your day-to-day trailer management and reporting you’ll greatly enhance decision making – both routine and strategic.

For more information on how our range of solutions can benefit other aspects of your transport operation, including fuel efficiency, driver compliance and optimised route planning please get in touch.

Interested in finding out more?

Contact us directly to book a demonstration or reach out to your account manager for more information on Microlise Trailer Telematics.