Great Dane debuts new trailer features, telematics concept at TMC

Updated Feb 28, 2017

Great Dane is releasing three new product features at this year’s Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) Annual Meeting this week in Nashville, Tenn.

Under a theme of â€śEnsuring the Safe and Efficient Delivery of Goods,” Great Dane is introducing a new smart trailer telematics concept, interior reefer liners enhanced with antimicrobial protection to fight bacteria and a stronger rear impact guard to help ensure those on the road with our trailers are protected.

Great Dane’s conceptual telematics device is the result of an action item developed by the Future Trailer Committee, which was chaired by Great Dane representatives, at the 2011 TMC Annual Meeting. The task was to develop an automated pre-trip inspection device to assist drivers with quicker turnaround at trailer pickup. This action item was part of a five-year plan set forth by the committee, and Great Dane says it is proud to present its concept product at the 2017 TMC event.

Great Dane says its smart trailer concept will keep drivers and fleet managers informed about basic pre-trip inspection checks and alert notifications while on the road. Data monitored by the technology includes tire inflation, weight distribution, door sensors, lights, GPS location and more. Data from this system can be received through an onboard LCD display, a Bluetooth connection with a mobile app and desktop computer software, Great Dane says.

“We are excited to launch our smart trailer concept in beta at TMC to get customer input and continue the development of the device,” says Dennis Skaradzinski, chief engineer for Great Dane. “Prototypes are currently being tested with multiple fleet customers. The results of the testing will help Great Dane develop a final product that truly meets our customers’ needs.”

On the product side, Great Dane has enhanced its exclusive PunctureGuard and ThermoGuard linings by adding broad- spectrum antimicrobial protection to the lining material. Beginning mid-year,  Great Dane says PunctureGuard and ThermoGuard linings will come standard with antimicrobial protection, which helps fight bacteria growth, stains and odors for the entire life of the trailer. Great Dane says it is the first trailer manufacturer to introduce antimicrobial protection in trailer linings.

“With the addition of antimicrobial protection to our reefer linings, we are making possible a cleaner environment that fights against bacteria growth,” says Brandie Fuller, vice president of Marketing. “These linings will help our customers become a carrier of choice as new, stricter Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rules go into effect.”

Additionally, Great Dane is releasing its new rear impact guard, which the company says was developed thanks to a goal to create stronger safeguards around its equipment.

Great Dane’s rear impact guard has for years met all safety regulations, including the most-stringent Canadian requirements. However, to make its trailers even safer for truck-trailer drivers and those on the road with them, Great Dane says it has enhanced its rear impact guard to help make it safer during collisions. It was recently tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and passed the organization’s rigorous 30 percent offset test.

“This new rear impact guard was designed to make it stronger without changing the traditional bolt-on design,” says Chris Lee, vice president of Engineering. “It was important for us to include this design as a standard on all of our trailer product lines – reefers, dry vans and flatbeds.”

The new rear impact guard will be standard on all Great Dane model trailers beginning later this year. Also, due to the traditional bolt-on design of the guard, Great Dane will offer a retrofit option for 2007 and later models, the company says.

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