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NASHVILLE — Velociti has partnered with Meritor to develop a new, “turnkey” retrofit tire inflation system for trailers with the Meritor Tire Inflation System by PSI. According to Deryk Powell, president of Velociti, the system is revolutionary thanks to a deferred billing program that essentially lets fleets and owner-operators pay for the system with the return on investment funds generated by the technology.

Speaking to reporters at the Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) Annual Meeting Sunday, Powell said the most common reason fleets do not retrofit trailers with automatic tire inflation systems is because of budget constraints and concerns that the logistics of installing the systems are too great to bear in a dynamic, busy logistics environment.

Velociti, which manages the installation and deployment of a wide range of technology solutions for transportation and other industries, counters these concerns by deferring billing during the installation phase of the program, plus extending payment terms on the entire package. This gives fleets an ATIS program that provides immediate and sustained savings on fuel, tread wear, maintenance and downtime. Those proceeds are used to pay for the program while the fleet stays in positive cash flow while adding money to its bottom line.

The key, Powell said, is that Velociti now offers a complete ATIS package which includes hardware, a 90-day retrofit installation and 24/7 remote monitoring and event reporting via telematics integration.

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NASHVILLE — Lighting and visibility systems supplier Truck-Lite unveiled its new generation of trailer-focused telematics at the Technology & Maintenance Council meeting Sunday.

The new system is called Road Ready, and according to Roger Elmer, director of research and technology development for the company, boasts a variety of new features and functions designed to let both drivers and fleet managers know when a problem with trailer lighting occurs.

Road Ready is based around an array of peel-and-stick, solar-powered, wireless sensors that communicate with Master Control Unit (MCU) and relay real-time data on a variety of trailer-oriented events including tire pressure, light-out detection, anti-lock brake system monitoring, unauthorized door openings, cargo fill and movement detection, temperature and auxiliary fuel levels for reefers, as well as geofencing and trailer arrival and departure alerts. The system is designed to brand-agnostic and customizable/expandable in terms of adding additional monitoring and alert functions to meet any specific fleet requirement.

The MCU is also solar powered and features a quick-charging battery capable of holding a charge for 60 days without sunlight and a 10-year lifespan. The MCU continually monitors data transmitted by the wireless sensors on the trailer and relays alerts to a intuitive, desktop dashboard that allows fleet managers to monitor an entire trailer fleet at a glance. Additionally, Road Ready also expedites pre-trip inspections by recording inspection events and logging a record of the inspection process.

“Our primary focus is to help drivers and the fleets they serve to operate in full compliance of all safety standards,” said Brian Kupchella, president and CEO of Truck-Lite. “This product line is the result of multiple initiatives by Truck-Lite’s research group over the past 18 months and this expansion into the telematics industry fits our mission to be a true See & Be Seen company.”

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NASHVILLE — The benefits of tire inflation systems on trucks are obvious. So, too are the benefits of aerodynamic wheel covers. Until now, fleets were forced to choose one system over the other, since aerodynamic wheel covers were not designed to fit over hub-mounted tire inflation components.

Aperia Technologies, which manufactures the Halo bolt-on tire inflation system, is seeking to change that through a partnership with aerodynamic component supplier FlowBelow and the joint development of a new, Halo-compatible aerodynamic wheel cover designed to fit over the Aperia tire inflation system.

Announced during the ATA’s Technology & Maintenance Council annual meeting, the new wheel cover allows fleets to either spec new equipment, or retrofit older vehicles with both systems.

According to Josh Carter, chief executive officer for Aperia, the combined benefits of both systems can deliver up to 3 – 4% improvement in fuel economy.

“After seeing the demand from our mutual fleet customers, we partnered with FlowBelow Aero to develop this wheel cover system,” Carter said. “This means that our customers can realize the fuel saving benefits of a total efficiency package that includes both the patented Halo Tire Inflator and the patented Tractor AeroKit System from FlowBelow which includes these wheel covers.”

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NASHVILLE — Expanding on its experience and success in the automotive sector, Mitchell 1 is bringing Manager SE Truck Edition, shop management software to independent repair shops that service all makes of Class 4-8 trucks.

Announced at the Technology & Maintenance Council annual meeting, Manager SE Truck Edition delivers a complete system to help medium and heavy truck repair businesses streamline repair processes, improve communication inside the shop, engage with customers, track performance, and increase revenue per repair order. Key features include built-in business reporting, an interactive Work in Progress dashboard, customer engagement tools, appointment scheduling, plate-to-VIN decoding automated data recovery and more.

Manager SE Truck Edition integrates with Mitchell 1’s TruckSeries repair information. It gives independent truck repair shops immediate access to repair information, trouble code diagnostic procedures, labor estimating and management tools on one platform.

“Until now, independent shops that service a variety of vehicle brands and models lacked a comprehensive repair and management system to streamline their businesses for maximum efficiency,” said Kristy LaPage, business manager for Mitchell 1’s commercial vehicle group. “This powerful end-to-end business solution can help shop owners simplify everyday tasks and improve overall productivity.”

Mitchell 1 offers full training to subscribers.

“It’s a comprehensive program and thereby fairly complex,” says Scott DeGorgio, general manager of Repair Products for Mitchell 1. “The training will help the customer get full value from the program.”

The detailed overview of business activities and performance offered by Manager SE Truck Edition gives shops greater control and visibility to track vehicle repairs through every step of the process to be sure they are on schedule and contributing to the bottom line. When combined with the optional ProPack customer communication toolbox, truck repair shops can quickly and easily build custom inspection worksheets specific to their needs.

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When I first started this job more than a year ago, I never would have imagined that technology would be such a huge part of what I write about. Well now it seems the race to put the first all-electric… …Read the rest of this story