A Q&A with Chris MacDonald, ORBCOMM’s Vice President of Transportation Solutions
Managing trailers and ORBCOMM’s two-way asset tracking and control within McLeod’s LoadMaster
Why should companies track their trucks and trailers?
It’s all about boosting the bottom line. Managers of fleets of all sizes use tracking to optimize trailer utilization, improve tractor-trailer ratios, reduce maintenance costs, minimize cargo loss due to improper temperature or theft, reduce fuel consumption and more.
What kind of information can asset tracking deliver?
In addition to GPS, the range of capabilities includes notifications when vehicles enter or leave specified locations or stay in a location longer than expected; cargo tampering alerts; fuel usage monitoring and dynamic preventative maintenance scheduling.
Our reefer solutions deliver status reports, alarm notifications if the cargo temperature strays above or below a specified range and the ability to adjust trailer temperature remotely.
How does ORBCOMM integrate with McLeod software?
Our integration with LoadMaster connects the location and status of assets with dispatch on a single screen, making it easier to manage operations. Industry leaders like Swing Transport use the ORBCOMM/McLeod solution, so we know it delivers results.
Are your devices up for the industry’s unique challenges?
Oh, absolutely. We designed and built them with the industry in mind. Our GT 1100 has a unique hermetically-sealed and waterproof solar panel for reliable dry van trailer tracking without need for battery changes. Our new PT 6000 provides direct interface to various Carrier Transicold and Thermo King transport refrigeration units and allows for two-way monitoring and control for temperature and fuel management.
The trend seems to be toward cellular and satellite dual-mode tracking. Why?
Dual-mode tracking offers the best of both worlds. We provide multiple cellular airtime plans with the option to add satellite communications when vehicles go out of cellular range. It’s the most economical way to maintain complete visibility.
What’s the next big thing for fleet managers?
We always have our eye on the future. We have hundreds of engineers working on new telematics devices and features for our CargoWatch application, based on extensive feedback from the field. For our integration with McLeod’s LoadMaster, our two-way capabilities enable fleet managers to receive information and send commands from their dispatch screen. We were the first company to offer it—it was a game changer then and continues to be a differentiator for new customers looking to get even more from McLeod’s Loadmaster.
Where can people learn more about ORBCOMM’s integration with McLeod?
We’re committed to our integration with McLeod, and have a dedicated page at www.orbcomm.com/mcleod where visitors can download documents and watch a webinar to learn how they can access valuable trailer and container data right from the McLeod Loadmaster platform.