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March 6, 2018 2:30 PM, EST
Peterson Launches Intelligent Trailer System
Peterson System Pulse System by John Sommers II for Transport Topics

ATLANTA — Peterson Manufacturing Co. introduced an intelligent trailer system that the company said brings expanded connectivity and telematics capability to trailers.

“It’s the ability to take data — events that are happening on the trailer — and do something with that information,” Vice President of Sales Steve Meagher said about the company’s Pulse system. Meagher spoke with Transport Topics after the company’s March 5 press event about the system at the annual meeting of the Technology & Maintenance Council here. TMC is part of American Trucking Associations.

Meagher

Meagher by John Sommers II for Transport Topics

In a press release, Peterson said it “thinks it’s time that fleet trailers got as smart as today’s high-tech trucks.”

The Pulse system controls and detects real-time status of vital trailer systems and alerts drivers and fleet managers via Bluetooth and cellular communications, the company said.

Meagher said there are many sensors on a trailer, including those for lights, tire pressure, open doors and interior temperature. On the road, for example, Pulse’s trailer intelligence detects any problems and sends alerts via Bluetooth to the driver’s smart phone or tablet, the company said. Alerts also can be sent to fleet managers via a cellular network.

“The value of the system is offloading the data to either the driver or an office so that somebody can do something about an event that’s happening on the trailer,” Meagher said. For example, if a light is out, the system can alert the driver, he said.

Peterson said it developed Pulse in partnership with “industry leaders” in tire-pressure monitoring, anti-lock braking and telematics technology.

The system is slated for production by Jan. 1, 2019, “but I would expect before that,” Meagher said.

The Pulse system is engineered to CAN-Bus specifications, according to the company. The system’s cabling links front and rear control modules, system sensors and communication components, similar to computers in a network, the company said. “Pulse brings trailers up to speed with today’s smartest trucks,” Director of Engineering Cory Adams said in the press release. “By signaling trailer issues as they happen, Pulse enhances the safety of driver and cargo, and helps avoid road incidents, CSA violations and costly fines.”

Based in the greater Kansas City, Mo., area, Peterson engineers and produces vehicle safety lighting, custom wiring harnesses and other safety-related products.

The Pulse system features its LumenX LED lighting package and the harness-building experience of its Maxi-Seal division, the company said. In the release, Peterson said that “Compared to the heavy, multi-wire cabling of traditional harnesses, Pulse twisted-pair cabling is lighter weight, flexible and installation friendly.”