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Tracking suppliers get Defense Dept. extension

Aug. 24, 2009
A critical 2-month deadline extension is now in place for suppliers of trailer tracking technology so they can help carriers hauling arms, ammunition, and explosives (AA&E) comply with new Dept. of Defense (DOD) rules that go into effect February 15 next year

A critical 2-month deadline extension is now in place for suppliers of trailer tracking technology so they can help carriers hauling arms, ammunition, and explosives (AA&E) comply with new Dept. of Defense (DOD) rules that go into effect February 15 next year.

The new DOD rules require AA&E carriers to install tracking devices on their trailers that can provide several key pieces of information, including location reports every 15 minutes; cargo and door sensors that record the opening/closing of trailer doors plus any removal of cargo; and notification when a tractor hooks or unhooks from a trailer.

Technology suppliers now have until Nov. 15 to introduce trailer tracking systems that meet those requirements and are self-powered and “HERO” certified as well. “HERO” stands for “hazardous effects of radiating ordinance” and measures the electrical field generated by technology such as trailer tracking devices, making sure the electrical fields don’t detonate the munitions. Originally suppliers were required to have systems in place by Sept. 15, giving fleets five months to ramp up to meet the new rules.

Craig Malone, senior vice president for SkyBitz, told FleetOwner that the new trailer-tracking DOD rules are in addition to the agency’s previous in-cab tractor communication standard and are designed to not only beef up munitions transport security, but improve efficiency as well.

“The ultimate goal with this technology is to provide global visibility for munitions transport, eventually down to the cargo level,” Malone said, “As a shipment translates from train, to rail, to barge, or to ocean container, it can be tracking in real-time no matter where it is in the world.”

For the trucking piece of the puzzle, the new rules should beef up security to the point that fewer escort vehicles are needed. “It guarantees visibility of the most important part of the shipment – the munitions,” Malone explained. “In the past, you knew the tractor’s location, but was it really hooked up to the trailer? Were the trailer’s doors really closed or not? These new rules add more certainty to the security of AA&E shipments, to make sure there are no gaps.”

About the Author

Sean Kilcarr | Editor in Chief

Sean previously reported and commented on trends affecting the many different strata of the trucking industry. Also be sure to visit Sean's blog Trucks at Work where he offers analysis on a variety of different topics inside the trucking industry.

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