Spectra to offer wireless air brake diagnostics with BSM

WOODBRIDGE, Ont. — Spectra, a designer of manual and automatic brake stroke indicators, has inked a deal with a Canadian wireless provider to develop a remote air brake diagnostic and monitoring solution for both trucks and trailers.

Based on Spectra’s proven brake sensor technology, the product will be coupled with the remote monitoring function of BSM Wireless’ cutting edge vehicle tracking and fleet management solutions to ensure out-of-adjustment brake issues will be reported to maintenance in real time.

In addition to monitoring through the Brake Inspector, in-cab display module, the BSM interface will send an email alert in real time to the fleet maintenance department as well as the driver so that the problem can be dealt with immediately.

Brake problems on heavy trucks and buses is the number one safety and maintenance concern for operators and regulators throughout North America. It’s routinely cited by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance as the top out-of-service violation found during roadside inspections.

“The ability to identify a brake problem remotely, anywhere in North America, will allow maintenance personnel to direct the driver to the nearest repair facility and avoid costly roadside fines, reduce vehicle downtime and mitigate potential accidents,” said Spectra CEO Andrew Malion. “We are thrilled to be part of what will be a quantum leap in preventative air brake maintenance procedures.”

The first Canadian fleet to test the technology is TFX International, a specialized, 10-truck, exotic vehicle transporter based in Toronto.

President Wally Horodnyk says the monitoring system gives him peace of mind. “Safety and road worthiness of our fleet is our prime concern,” he says. “I will be able to monitor the status of my equipment’s braking systems remotely and in real-time.”

If anyone has his finger on the pulse of all his trucks it’s him. Horodnyk, who in a recent profile in Today’s Trucking, described his fleet as a “beta test company” where suppliers “benchmark their products,” says he runs his fleet from his hip — literally.

A Blackberry sits in a holster on his belt. From there he receives and manages diagnostic and security-related information automatically sent by dispatch, via BSM.

The custom system not only has GPS and microburst technologies, but is also Internet-based — meaning the trucks can be remotely controlled and monitored from anywhere in the world with an Internet or wireless connection 24-7. “I could be on the beach in the Cayman Islands and kill the engine with a cell phone,” Horodnyk says.

(Click the link ‘Auto Pilot’ below for more on TFX International).

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