Great Dane Introduces ‘FleetPulse’ Smart Trailer System

Great Dane
Mike Molitor, Great Dane’s director of business development, speaks at the press conference. (Anneliese Mahoney/Transport Topics)

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ATLANTA — Great Dane has introduced FleetPulse, its new smart trailer telematics system that is the result of a three-year project. It is available now and intended to begin to prepare a foundation for trailers in the emerging world of electrification, autonomy and smart distribution centers.

The system’s built-in, non-proprietary sensors collect precise measurements directly from the trailer’s components, keeping watch over key indicators such as tire inflation systems, open doors, cargo weight, burned-out lights, rear axle weight, ABS fault codes and actual mileage. The data is collected and reported via a 4G platform, so fleets are alerted to potential issues and receive reports on what type of maintenance needs to occur and when. This integrated telematics system helps fleets solve problems faster and increase uptime by leveraging each trailer’s usage and health data with access to Great Dane’s parts list, according to the Chicago-based company.

Great Dane made the announcement at the North American Commercial Vehicle Show here Oct. 27.


Great Dane Trailers' booth at NACV by John Sommers II for Transport Topics

“FleetPulse provides a high-resolution view into the conditions of the trailer’s components, and pairs that information with other proprietary information on the asset, including things like specs, aftermarket parts numbers, and tools from all of the component suppliers that help drive maintenance costs down,” said Mike Molitor, Great Dane’s director of business development.

Molitor told Transport Topics that within the last three years, eight companies have entered the trailer-tracking space.

“While they are competitors to us effectively, we think it is a great thing for the industry that there are more resources, funding and attention being paid to smart trailers because a smart trailer leads to a safer trailer. It’s incumbent upon trailer manufacturers to take advantage of the technology,” he said.

He forecast that by 2023 every trailer maker will have some form of a telematics platform on its trailers. The approximate cost of the FleetPulse system was $1,500, which is rolled into the cost of the trailer. Great Dane is waiving subscription fees for the first three years of usage. Van trailers on average cost about $30,000 and refrigerated trailers about $60,000.

He suggested 80% of trailers get spec’ed with “some sort of GPS tracking device” so fleets are already paying $700 or $800 for a three-year subscription period for less information compared with FleetPulse.

“Each trailer on the road is unique in how it was built, and that information is critical when it comes to maintaining trailers — and it’s information that only the [trailer maker] has,” he added.

In related news, Great Dane announced elsewhere a partnership with Coretex, a global provider of supply chain compliance and fleet management technology, to offer customers with refrigerated trailers insight into critical refrigerated components such as the reefer unit and temperature controls.

The two companies will offer customers FleetPulse with Reefer Control by Coretex.

Great Dane also intended to showcase a new lightweight and fuel-efficient trailer aerodynamic system prototype in its booth at the show, along with its pre-owned trailers program and six pieces of equipment.

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