Mats: Consortium delivers high-tech proto-trailer

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Great Dane, Volvo Trucks North America, Thermo King, Meritor WABCO and Hendrickson International have given the trucking community a glimpse at where technology may eventually take the industry.

Highlighting the tractor (a Volvo 770) and trailer (a Dane SuperSeal XLT) combination is its Power Line Carrier (PLC) for trucks communication system using the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) of the Meritor WABCO TCSII Enhanced Easy-Stop Trailer ABS.

“We’ve got lining wear sensors, wheel-end temperature sensors and can even monitor the state of the reefer,” says Charles Fetz, Dane’s vice-president of research and development. “We can then take that information – and much more – and send it to the in-cab display or beam it to the fleet via satellite.”

While the configuration is far from ‘commercialized,’ he adds customers will now have a chance to see and try out many new technologies. Feedback gleaned from those demonstrations will help determine how individual consortium partners will proceed with some of the features.

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