German chassis leasing company, UES Chassis, has equipped 200 vehicles with BPW’s Internet of Things (IoT) technology and CargoTracer to assist hirers and drivers with tracking trailing equipment more effectively.
An unloaded container chassis is up to ten metres long and can weigh up to 5,500kg, according to BPW, yet despite their size, these chassis frequently disappear without a trace.
Commercial vehicles weighing several tonnes are often misplaced, according to UES Chassis Managing Director, Matthias Emme. UES has over 700 vehicles in all sizes in tonnages, covering the entire range of container transport from heavy-load to refrigerated.
BPW confirms container haulage is a fast-growing market due to the increasing number of hauliers relying on a mix of their own, leased and hired chassis to react flexibly to fluctuating workloads – while keeping operating expenses predictable.
Emme told BPW that service is a critical success factor for UES Chassis.
“With a comprehensive service network, replacement vehicles and individual support packages, UES ensures that the containers can get back on the road more quickly if worst comes to worst,” he said. “Flat tyres are quite common, for example, occurring on average 1.3 times a week. Finding the vehicle to provide service has proven to be particularly time-consuming, as the general lack of drivers has forced hauliers to hire an increasing number of employees with little or no knowledge of the German language – which often proves to be a real problem in the event of a breakdown.”
UES Chassis now has the ability to immediately locate the vehicle and guide the service vehicle to the site without detours or communication problems.
This is made possible by CargoTracer from BPW Innovation Lab: an inconspicuous tracker the size of a smartphone is mounted to the chassis and transmits its location data via an innovative, worldwide ultra-narrowband network developed by IoT supplier, Sigfox. Due to low power consumption, the device is simply screwed to the chassis without any wiring; the battery reportedly lasts up to five years.
This technology enables the UES service team to determine the location of the vehicle at the customer’s request, which is also helpful when the chassis ‘disappear’, according to BPW. The equipment specialist said there were many factors that can contribute to a misplaced chassis, including: time-poor vehicle operators parking at depots and human error.
Emme contributed to the development of CargoTracer as a pilot customer. “The smarter the vehicles become, the more efficiently we can reduce the workload for drivers and dispatchers,” he said. “This is why we expect to see a growing number of sensors being installed in trailers and chassis, which will also make predictive maintenance possible.”
Emme will continue to contribute ideas from the field to support the BPW Innovation Lab in its development of new solutions.
One example of predictive maintenance is BPW’s new ‘BrakePad Monitor’, a retrofittable sensor that gradually displays brake pad wear in ten per cent increments – reportedly making it possible to accurately schedule service appointments in advance.