Great Dane strengthens rear impact guard, explores telematics

by Truck News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Great Dane unveiled product updates at the spring meeting of the Technology & Maintenance Council, including a safer rear impact guard.

The new rear impact guard passes the 30% offset test, ensuring protection for motorists who collide with the rear of the trailer on an angle.

“This new rear impact guard was designed to make it stronger without changing the traditional bolt-on design,” said Chris Lee, vice-president of engineering. “It was important for us to include this design as a standard on all of our trailer product lines – reefers, dry vans and flatbeds.”

The new rear impact guard will be standard on all Great Dane trailer models, beginning later this year. A retrofit option will be available for 2007 and later model year trailers.

Also shown for the first time at the show was a telematics concept that will keep drivers and fleet managers informed about pre-trip inspection checks. Tire inflation data, weight distribution, door sensors, lights, GPS location and more will be offered through the system.

“We are excited to launch our smart trailer concept in beta at TMC to get customer input and continue the development of the device,” said Dennis Skaradzinski, chief engineer for Great Dane. “Prototypes are currently being tested with multiple fleet customers. The results of the testing will help Great Dane develop a final product that truly meets our customers’ needs.”

The company also showed improvements to its PunctureGuard and ThermoGuard linings, adding antimicrobial protection to the lining material. This will be standard as of mid-year, Great Dane announced, claiming to be the first trailer manufacturer to add antimicrobial protection to its linings.

“With the addition of antimicrobial protection to our reefer linings, we are making possible a cleaner environment that fights against bacteria growth,” said Brandie Fuller, vice-president of marketing. “These linings will help our customers become a carrier of choice as new, stricter Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rules go into effect.”

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