TMC Report: Stemco, SkyBitz offer trailer tracking with mileage readings

Truck News

TAMPA, Fla. — Stemco and SkyBitz announced a new alliance at the Technology Maintenance Council meetings in Florida this morning, which will provide mileage readings as well as real-time tracking for trailers.

The partnership allows for a direct interface between both companies primary product lines. It will be especially useful for trailer leasing companies, said Todd Anderson, vice-president of engineering with Stemco, as they will now be able to accurately track trailer mileage. The new system will also save fleets money because it will allow them to adjust their PM schedules based on mileage travelled, rather than calendar time, he added.

Having access to actual mileage readings will take the guesswork out of scheduling preventive maintenance, said Ken Veit, director of business development for BAT RF by Stemco. Fleet maintenance teams can eliminate unnecessary calendar-based PMs and instead schedule maintenance based on actual mileage.

Stemco officials said fleets can potentially save thousands of dollars by eliminating unnecessary maintenance on trailers that have barely accumulated any miles.

The partnership is the first of its kind, noted company officials.

Through this alliance, SkyBitz is the first trailer tracking provider to enable up-to-the-minute mileage with every real-time trailer tracking report, said Roni Taylor, executive vice-president of SkyBitz. This value-added capability is especially attractive to trailer leasing companies because they can now run mileage reports each month to bill their customers without having to physically read the hubometers.

The Stemco system consists of a sensor that is placed on the wheel end, much like a hubometer. It tracks mileage, and wirelessly sends the data to a small module mounted on the roof of the trailer. SkyBitz then transmits the data by satellite and enables customers to access their trailer location and mileage in real-time over the Internet. It takes about 37 seconds for a reading to be transferred from the trailer to the online reports, said Taylor.

Installation takes no more than a few minutes, Taylor said, and the batteries last four to five years before they need to be replaced. The drawback for Canadian fleets is that the system does suffer some interruptions in extremely cold weather, the companies admitted.

Stemco and SkyBitz officials said they are testing the system with several North American fleets. They will roll it out to the rest of the industry in mid-2007.

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