When you are hauling a semi trailer—especially a loaded semi trailer—perhaps no component on your rig is more important than the brakes. If a problem arises with the truck’s engine and it won’t run, that can be inconvenient and cause you to miss a deadline. If the brakes on your truck and/or semi trailer go out, that can be deadly.
The ability to track trucks and semi trailers using GPS (Global Positioning System) technology is essential to efficient and effective operations and fleet management. Using telematics to monitor when and where rigs are traveling can help you reduce fuel usage, complete more jobs in a given time period and provide better customer service, to mention just a few of the advantages.
It’s a sound you don’t want to hear: You have just started a trip and you apply the brakes or round a corner and a thud or the cracking of wood tells you that the cargo in the back of your dry van trailer or refrigerated trailer has shifted and something has been damaged. You pull over, open the cargo door and discover that you have some clean-up work to do and will be having an uncomfortable conversation about the cost of whatever has been destroyed.
Nobody ever expects a breakdown, but you always have to be prepared for one. Reacting properly helps protect you and other drivers around you. It can also minimize the damage to your tractor and/or semi trailer.
Many accidents occur every year because an improperly secured load falls off a flatbed semi trailer. In some cases, vehicles behind the trailer strike, or are struck by, objects and are damaged. Flying cargo can also damage property adjacent to the roadway. In addition, the sudden shifting of a load can cause the truck driver to lose control of the rig, resulting in a single-vehicle accident. For these and other reasons, whether you rent a flatbed semi trailer or have your own equipment, it’s vital that you know how to immobilize any loads you haul.
As with all businesses, stakeholders in the transportation industry—from trucking companies to rental semi trailer providers to companies that transport their own goods—are continually looking for ways to operate more efficiently and cost-effectively. For many, the answer is to implement new technologies as they become available.