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It seems like everything is getting "smarter" these days, and trailers will no longer be trailing behind their powerful counterparts when it comes to a boost in tech. Recently, tech to help companies track their freight better has been added on aftermarket as new innovations became available. But, as the senior engineer at Thermo King, Matt Srnec, said in an interview, "In general, connectivity is moving from bolted-on to built-in." This is a dynamic shift for trailer technicians and means more training to stay relevant in the industry going into the future.
Aside from basic GPS tracking, new sensor tech is being incorporated into flatbed trailers to help companies better track mileage, weight per axle, inflation issues, and even load capacity. One significant advantage to this new technology is it will allow fleets to know in real-time when trailers need maintenance. This could lead to a boost in traffic to repair shops and keep technicians in high demand, especially if trained in repairing the telematics. In that same interview, the executive vice president of sale for Great Dane, Chris Hammond, said "You're going to be able to measure everything at some point. The sky is the limit."
Though not considered a "smart" innovation, flatbed trailers are also beginning to get a total redesign with innovative materials that make them stronger, more durable, and reducing the overall weight. Though it may be several years before we see some of those innovations coming off the line, they will no doubt require technicians to be trained in repairing these new materials properly.
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