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Today’s Pickup: Spireon tackles mixed-fleet trailer tracking with new FL Flex unit

Carriers require different reporting attributes from trailers depending on application, sometimes even within their own fleets, so having flexibility in a tracking solution is important. (Photo: Shutterstock)

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Good day,

Trailer tracking solutions have traditionally been an issue for mixed fleets that require custom data depending on the application the trailer is used in. Spireon is hoping to solve that problem with its new FL Flex modular trailer tracking solution.

Part of its FleetLocate product line, FL Flex allows a fleet, such as a rental operation, to purchase and deploy a single type of unit and then customize that unit to match the needs of a specific asset. FL Flex can record data from door, cargo, temperature and other settings and can be equipped with solar panels to maximize uptime.

“Premier Trailer Leasing believes in outfitting its trailers with the best technology. FL Flex’s modular design and long life supports many configurations, including solar, giving us actionable real-time trailer data that our customers demand,” said Jim AuBuchon, CEO of Premier Trailer Leasing.

FL Flex is small, making it easy hide the company said, and incudes tamper detection capabilities to deliver real-time alerts when any attempt is made to remove or disconnect the GPS device. Its battery can be recharged through a roof- or nose-mounted solar panel for continuous power through the expected 10-year lifecycle of the battery.

“In an industry muddled with disparate, bulky and unreliable tracking devices, it was time to completely rethink the next generation of trailer telematics, and finally address the pains of tampering, dead batteries, and trying to retrofit these units in the field,” said Richard Gruenhagen, CTO at Spireon. “We designed FL Flex to be more compact, more power efficient, and more reliable than any other tracker on the market, with the flexibility to easily customize each unit based on the needs of the business and the characteristics of the trailer, or other mobile asset.”

 A variety of configurable sensors for FL Flex will be rolled out throughout 2018.

Did you know?

Strong equipment orders have extended to trailers, which topped 40,000 units for the third straight month in January, according to preliminary data reported by FTR. If the number holds when final orders are reported, it would be the first time in history that orders have been above 40,000 for three straight months.

Quotable:

“Every day I see one of my trucks I thank God that we were able to accomplish what we did accomplish. The number of people we were able to hire, their families, the kids we helped put through college because they had a good-paying steady job for decades. It’s just a tremendous feeling.”

- Myron Shevell, chairman of Shevell Companies, New England Motor Freight’s parent company, to Logistics Management on the company’s 100 years in business

In other news:

Gas tax hike finds little support in Congress

Despite President Trump suggesting he is open to a fuel tax hike to pay for infrastructure, Republicans in Congress say it’s doubtful any plan would be brought up for a vote. (Bloomberg)

What’s behind the movement to exempt glider kit from emissions rules?

The New York Times has raised questions about how political lobbying and some well-timed funding could be carving out a loophole in emissions regulations to exempt glider kits from regulations. (New York Times)

Rates declining, but shippers still concerned

As freight rates decline from recent highs, shippers are relaxing a bit, but they remain worried about securing capacity going forward. (Wall Street Journal)

Happy 100th birthday

New England Motor Freight is the second oldest freight company in the U.S. and is celebrating its 100th birthday this year. (Logistics Management)

XPO expanding last-mile delivery in Europe

XPO Logistics announced that it will expand its last-mile delivery options to five countries in Europe, offering delivery of online orders of heavy goods. (DC Velocity)

Final Thoughts

New England Motor Freight is a bit of Northeast tradition when it comes to trucking companies. The company is celebrating its 100th birthday this year, after being founded in 1918 to move products for the National Biscuit Company. The only freight company older than NEMF is UPS at 111 years old. Happy birthday to NEMF, and good luck on your next 100 years.

Hammer down everyone!

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