Telematics for trailers; how to get started

Telematics for trailers

A trailer is no longer just a box on wheels. Just like in the rest of the transportation industry, new technologies have been developed to secure a smooth journey for your fleet. It is a digital asset, a “smart trailer” with trailer telematics. If you want to connect with the future of logistics, here’s how can you get started with trailer telematics.

We will outline the current status of telematics, its ROI and how you can start to benefit from it.

Trailer telematics – what is it?

Trailer telematics uses technology and software linked via wireless communications to sensors on trailers to generate data to help fleet managers maximise their trailer ROI and uptime and minimise their Total Cost of Trailer Ownership. Trailer telematics data gives operators more information so they can make better decisions. It also provides greater transparency in real time on all aspects of a trailer, from the condition of its mechanical components and the need for preventative maintenance, to its travel and the condition of the cargo it is carrying as it moves through the supply chain to final delivery.


ROI through trailer telematics

  • Maintenance. Sensors on a trailer can give the fleet manager vital information about the condition of specific mechanical parts on the trailer including tyres, brakes, suspension. For example, sensors may flag up an early warning of an issue with a broken light, wheels showing an elevated wheel-end temperature or excessive bearing vibration. The fleet manager can then bring his or her trailer back to a workshop for preventative maintenance, avoiding costly unexpected roadside breakdown and potential road safety regulation infringement. Such proactive trailer maintenance has positive implications for driver safety.

You can extend the life of your trailers by monitoring their usage and rebalancing their deployment between those that are being used the most and least. Trailer life longevity is greater when they are used on an equal basis.  (source: IoT World Today[1])

  • Transparency and efficiency. For those trailer fleets participating in the growth of ecommerce, there is demand and pressure from shippers and end-customers for real time transparency on delivery windows. Fleets need to allocate and track their trailers as efficiently as possible. When fleets apply trailer telematics data wisely to offer more precise and accurate delivery information, they improve their reputations and increase business with their customers. (source: Fleet Equipment Mag)[2]
  • Cargo theft prevention. Trailer telematics provides real time tracking of a trailer’s location. Thanks to geo-fencing technology, it alerts when the trailer doors are opened or closed in an unexpected location. Through remote access, fleet managers can f
  • Cold chain transport. Telematics enables the fleet manager to remotely control factors in the reefer trailer such as temperatures, humidity, whether doors are sealed and the condition of the items being transported to ensure the safe and regulation-compliant delivery of pharmaceuticals and food. (source: Fleet Owner)[3]


Get started

Fleet Equipment Mag[4] offers trailer telematics first-timers some helpful advice on getting started.  Its panel of experts recommends four steps.

  1. Identify your trailer management challenges. The clearer you are about what objectives you want from trailer telematics, the easier and more quickly you will be able to find the right telematics system for you and generate a measurable ROI.
  2. Shop around. When choosing a telematics provider, check that its systems are interoperable with other trailer and truck technologies. Does the telematics system use widely available technology standards and spare parts? Can the provider share case studies including trailer manufacturers selling them as standard or optional equipment?
  3. Integrate and implement. Does the telematics solution give you a dashboard through which you can manage the telematics and integrate its data and analysis with existing fleet management systems from other suppliers?
  4. Reach ROI nirvana. Having purchased your trailer management solution, the experts recommend that you start off your trailer telematics management by picking a small number of objectives and deliverables to begin with. This will enable you to build up your trailer telematics expertise gradually and generate ROI more quickly.

Start trailer telematics with TIP trailer leasing and rental

TIP Trailer Services is a leading provider of trailer leasing, rental, maintenance and repair to customers in transport and logistics companies in Europe and Canada. TIP has the expertise and experience to advise on the best ways to introduce telematics for trailers.

TIP Insight trailer telematics advantage

On top of its core services, TIP offers telematics solutions that improve the safety, efficiency, and connectivity of commercial vehicles. TIP Insight offers a variety of digital fleet management services including track and trace, remote trailer health and diagnostics functionalities, safety features such as tyre pressure monitoring and cold chain management that support leaner, greener, and safer fleet operations.

Telematics and full-service contracts

Telematics on TIP trailers equip fleet managers with new data and analytics.  TIP’s full-service contracts include service scheduling, maintenance, worn parts replacement and uptime performance manager at any one of our 119 workshops. These services combine to enable fleet operators to manage their trailer fleets even more effectively and reduce total cost of trailer ownership.

TIP offers telematics on all its leases and rentals vehicles for a better visibility of the fleet.

Trailer op snelweg met TIP digital iconen

Strong TIP range

Our customers range from multinational transport companies with large fleets to owner-drivers with a single trailer.  We operate in seventeen European countries covering the Nordic countries, Benelux, Central Europe, the Mediterranean and the UK and Ireland and across Canada.

TIP’s trailer fleet of over 113,000 vehicles is spread across 102 locations. It gives our customers international reach and convenience, flexibility and peace of mind as we can provide them with any trailer and associated service that they need wherever they are. For more information on how your fleet can benefit from trailer telematics, please contact your local TIP Trailer Services manager.


[1] IoTWorldToday

[2] FleetEquipmentMag

[3] FleetOwner

[4] FleetEquipmentMag