Telematics Systems

Jan. 1, 2008
Commercial vehicle telematics systems intermingle computers and wireless telecommunications technologies to perform a variety of tasks, many in real-time.

Commercial vehicle telematics systems intermingle computers and wireless telecommunications technologies to perform a variety of tasks, many in real-time. Among other functions, these systems can track and monitor trucks and trailers, and allow instant communications with drivers. Here is a sampling of what is available.

SARS RoadTrac fleet tracking service debuts

SARS Corp, provider of remote asset management and telematics systems, has announced SARS RoadTrac, a fleet tracking service for the road transport industry. It uses the integrated satellite/GPRS SureLinx satellite terminal from SkyWave Mobile Communications.

SARS RoadTrac integrates with a range of hardware platforms and is designed to improve safety, security, and operational efficiencies of midsize road fleets.

With SARS RoadTrac, customers monitor their vehicles on a customizable map-based interface and receive real-time business intelligence on the status and location of vehicles. SARS RoadTrac is accessed through a standard web browser, allowing users to be in touch with their assets, anywhere, anytime.

The service employs SkyWave's SureLinx terminal that integrates satellite and GPRS for simplified networking and cost-efficient application integration. The discrete terminal features low power consumption and a rugged exterior, making it versatile enough to suit a range of applications requiring dependable coverage across urban and rural or remote locations. Access for more information.

Stemco BAT RF products enter next phase

Stemco announces the next phase of RFID (radio frequency identification) sensor-based BAT RF products that use automatic communication modes to collect and manage fleet information. The BAT RF scalable automated sensor system allows fleet managers to capture real-time truck and trailer information.

The BAT RF system incorporates sensors mounted to a vehicle that measure tire pressure, mileage, and the asset's identification. As vehicles enter a “wake-up” field, information is automatically communicated to a web-hosted application from each sensor, providing at a glance information on every piece of equipment in the fleet. WebBAT flags vehicles requiring attention so they can be dealt with immediately. Fleet information can be monitored real-time or reviewed as needed from reports that highlight problem areas.

The AirBAT tire pressure monitor provides warning lights on the wheel to indicate that a tire is under a fleet's specified tire pressure limits. The person responsible for trip inspection can look for the flashing lights to determine what action, if any, is needed. When the sensor is used with the entire BAT RF system, information is captured automatically and can be managed by anyone with access to the Internet.

The TracBAT electronic hubodometer provides mileage collection and can be used to schedule maintenance by mileage activity rather than time. Each unit has a display for visual reading of the mileage.

An asset ID sensor can be used in conjunction with gate control to heighten security measures and prevent unapproved access. Fleet managers will know that the right trailer is coupled with the right tractor and driver.

Access for complete details.

LoadMaxx makes onboard scales smarter

Air-Weigh has unveiled LoadMaxx, a new in-cab electronic scale that incorporates hardware and software technology packaged in a new ComLink hardware device. LoadMaxx offers an interface to J1939/CAN bus, two programmable weight alarm outputs, an interface to an inclinometer, and enhanced self-test diagnostics.

The J1939/CAN bus interface allows dash displays and on-board computers to easily obtain weight information for wireless transmission to fleet headquarters or for viewing by the driver in the cab. Two alarm outputs can warn the driver when an axle group weight or GVW exceeds legal limits.

Parking on an incline can result in uneven pressure on a vehicle's suspension, which affects the accuracy of a scale reading. With the inclinometer option for LoadMaxx, the weight display, J1939 outputs, and alarm outputs are turned off when detecting an incline that will affect weight reading accuracy.

LoadMaxx is available with or without an optional Air-Weigh display device. Weight information consisting of steer axle weight, drive axle weight, gross vehicle weight, and payload weight, is provided on the optional display. The weight information may also be transferred to an on-board computer for display and use by other applications.

For more information, visit

PrePass, BESTPASS provided as a package

PrePass and BESTPASS are now offered as a package to motor carriers with fleets of less than five trucks, enabling small motor carriers to enjoy single-device interoperability between weigh station bypass and toll collection systems using a single BESTPASS transponder. Until March 2007, the offering had been generally limited to Ohio-based motor carriers.

PrePass enables qualified motor carriers to comply electronically with state weight, safety, and credential requirements at highway speeds. Motor carrier participation is strictly voluntary, and carrier eligibility is subject to state safety qualifications. BESTPASS offers increased toll savings on the Ohio Turnpike as well as the E-ZPass tolls on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, New York State Thruway, and Maryland toll Bridges.

Interested carriers may phone either 1-800-PrePass or BESTPASS at 518-458-9696 to enroll. Registration information is available at or

LoadMaster GPS Fuel Tax Module debuts

McLeod Software has a new module for its LoadMaster enterprise transportation management system. The LoadMaster GPS Fuel Tax Module saves fleet operators time and money by using GPS position data captured from the LoadMaster Symphony Mobile Communication interface to streamline reporting processes and produce accurate in-state miles for each of a tractor's movements.

The LoadMaster GPS Fuel Tax Module eliminates data entry for fuel tax processing by using the position data already captured in the McLeod Symphony Communications Module and comparing mobile communication system position reports to actual dispatch dates and times. After any adjustments, the GPS distance can be easily transferred to the fuel tax module for reporting purposes. The GPS Fuel Tax Module also allows users to exclude an individual position, a particular movement, or specific tractors from the fuel tax processing. Access for more details.

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