Easitracker successfully addresses some of the major issues and compromises with live trailer tracking. The following article presents the issues and solutions which make Easitracker a unique and credible alternative to hard wired trailer tracking systems.
In hard wired systems the trailer A.B.S. loom must be breached to obtain power from the prime mover to recharge the in built and bulky battery pack. This supports the unit when un-tethered. There are major concerns that using the A.B.S. loom as a power source could affect the safety of the trailer. Furthermore the battery pack cannot support trailers parked without connection to the prime mover for more than 1-2 weeks at a time. This technology has existed since 2002, but the concerns over the alleged safety issues have never been properly overcome.
Hard wired trailer tracking system
The major advance in our system is in the smart way our software manages the power consumption, providing live tracking with only solar power. The solar panels charge even in overcast conditions and we have installed remote telemetry to monitor battery levels. Nobody can guarantee the life of any battery, even on a trailer by trailer basis the demands will vary the serviceable life. Our optional 5 year warranty covers battery wear & tear and is available for a low supplement. We have every confidence the battery will last between 3-5 years in any case.
By using solar power we provide the following benefits:
Live tracking without hardwired installation
No risk of added complications when trailer electrical faults occur
No risk of the loom being accidentally damaged during installation
Cheaper, quicker and simpler installation
Damage to roof mounted systems
To prevent damage to Easitracker a rubber dome surrounds an IP rated hard casing containing the electronics. The hardware is never directly exposed to the elements so is well protected from the perils of water, salt and tree branches. It also protects against the effects of wind chill and icing. The unit is installed in a position which has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of impact. The dome itself is shock absorbent and sloped in a way which repels both debris and branches which simply slide over it. Dirty water from the road cannot accumulate on the solar panel protector, due to the shape of the unit and effects of airflow over the pod. Btrack offers to cover the replacement value of any equipment hit off the roof within set guidelines.
Where is my trailer now?
The problem with many trailer tracking systems is that they cannot offer instant polling, satellite based systems for instance are currently only available with simplex (one way) modems so they cannot accept incoming calls. Systems with only battery power support cannot cope with the demands of regular live polling without frequent battery replacement. Some tracking system manufacturers argue live information is unnecessary for some fleets. We disagree with this and offer the following benefits with Easitracker from having a live polling facility:
Operators can enable customers to track their own consignment progress
Operators can provide customers with e-mail alerts of impending deliveries
Immediate identification of trailers available for loading is always available
Operators can help lost drivers while out on a drop
Rental firms can instantly locate trailers for collection
A pretty convincing argument we believe and something which allows operators to potentially share the costs of the system with clients.
To enable these benefits Easitracker features a GPRS modem which automatically updates the web based mapping every 15 minutes with 3 equally spaced fixes whilst the trailer is moving. Easitracker also offers live polling to provide its exact location in between updates when on the move. If the trailer has not moved for 24 hours, it will provide daily Im alive signal.
All activity is built into an inclusive monthly airtime tariff of 9. Easitracker keeps its costs down by being an off the shelf solution and offers no ancillary readings. This protects the power reserves and means it can retail below the 500 mark. Compared to a leading rival on a 5 year lease, Easitrackers hardware costs alone are 9k lower over a 12 month period on a fleet of 100 trailers.
European Roaming Advances
Call charges to and from mobile phones in Europe can be as much as 1.00 per minute on some tariffs. Easitracker can provide a whole hours trailer activity for no more than 4p in the majority of Western European countries. This is a major breakthrough in roaming charges, particularly as we have the ability to charge in 1p steps for each 15 minutes the trailer is running on the continent.
Easitracker has one of the most advanced vector and web based street level mapping systems on the market. The system provides maximum and average speeds as well as distance travelled in either metric or imperial units. The system also zooms in and out on a location by means of a scroll bar. The reporting and menus can be customised to include client logos and more specialist reports. We can offer clients multiple logons with the ability for specific equipment to be allocated to a customer for tracking their own consignments.
It has taken two years of development and testing to complete our product and we are 100% confident of its abilities. Easitracker is a valuable sales tool which we believe will help our customers win contracts. It is also highly cost effective and as a real time trailer based solution the only one of its kind as a plug and play solution. Our optional 5 year warranty covers battery replacement and component failure for just 36 per year per unit. This will provide reassurance to any issues of the long term life of the equipment for a minimal supplement.