Controlled Atmosphere Containers Made Easier for Refrigerated Cargo Transport

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container fleet tracking webinarTransporting perishable goods over long distances has always been challenging. It can be a race against time for produce to get to their destination intact as oxygen in the air will cause it to ripen quickly and eventually start to decompose.

Controlled Atmosphere Lengthens Shelf Life

Controlled Atmosphere containers use advanced technology for atmosphere control by regulating carbon dioxide, oxygen and nitrogen levels. The right conditions inside a container help to slow down ripening, preserving perishable produce and vastly improving its shelf life especially during long-distance trips.

These state-of-the-art containers have been particularly successful for transporting high-respiratory produce such as avocadoes and bananas, allowing the fruit to arrive in perfect conditions, ready for sale on supermarket shelves.


Where To Find Controlled Atmosphere

ORBCOMM’s Controlled Atmosphere technology is now available in the ReeferConnect and VesselConnect platforms for leading OEMs Daikin and StarCool. The new functionality enables customers to remotely monitor and control containers, including setting Controlled Atmosphere functionality, initiating pre-trip inspections and accessing data logs.

Speaking of the enhanced functionality, ORBCOMM CEO Marc Eisenberg said: “We are the first IoT company to support Controlled Atmosphere containers, which will take intermodal operations to a higher level of operational efficiency and compliance while ensuring optimal care for high-value, perishable cargo.”

For additional information about ORBCOMM’s support of Controlled Atmosphere containers, see the official announcement made at Intermodal Europe 2019.

Read more on the ORBCOMM blog: Unit 45 Pioneers Smart Containers for the New Silk Road.

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Posted in 1. Transportation Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Mixed Fleet Telematics – The Foundation of Heavy Equipment Fleet Performance

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We’ve heard a lot of buzz about Industry 4.0, but what does it really mean to your business? According to the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Industry 4.0 “is a transformation that makes it possible to gather and analyze data across machines, enabling faster, more flexible, and more efficient processes to produce higher-quality goods at reduced costs.”  The construction and mining industries are in the midst of this transformation and need to adapt and embrace this change to successfully compete and not be left behind.

Data about all aspects of the use, condition, maintenance, and operation of heavy equipment is critical to managing fleets today. By looking at idle ratio, fleet owners can reduce fuel waste and ensure maintenance practices are based on actual usage. Construction companies can track machine location to see if assets are at the right job site at the right time, ensuring optimal asset utilization. Companies can look at cycle time, production tonnage, and idle ratio to optimize machine and operator productivity. Finally, operator safety and compliance can be achieved by monitoring parameters such as speeding and harsh braking and providing tools for eLog and DVIR compliance.

Today, most heavy equipment manufacturers (OEMs) provide a telematics system with their equipment. These systems can be homegrown or from a third-party that specializes in heavy equipment telematics. Each of these systems provide different data and have different approaches to making the information visible to machine owners. In many cases, the information discussed above is provided by the OEM.

But most construction and mining companies have mixed fleets, manufactured by different OEMs. The challenge is that each OEM provides their data in their own format, displayed based on their approach or point of view. Trying to pull the data into a single cohesive view can be challenging.

The Rise of Telematics Standards

To begin to resolve this challenge, the Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP) introduced a telematics standard in 2010. The standard has evolved and AEMP 2.0 (also known as ISO 15143-3) is the most recent version. The standard creates a common data format that facilitates pulling mixed fleet data together on a single portal, website, or enterprise business system. Almost 20 common parameters are part of the standard including asset identification, location, operating hours or miles, fuel burn, engine temperatures, fuel level, idle time and average power percentage.

But challenges remain. Owners of mixed fleets will still get a separate data stream for each OEM. Part of these data streams may be in a common format (ISO 15143-3), but other parts may be proprietary. And with multiple data streams, how do fleet owners achieve their goal of having a single view of their data and be able to act on that data?
Fleet telematics application

Powered by FleetEdge

Enter ORBCOMM’s FleetEdge. FleetEdge supports the AEMP 2.0/ ISO-15143-3 telematics standard and is the industry-leading third-party telematics solution for heavy equipment, powered by rugged devices and multi-network connectivity. FleetEdge can integrate multiple OEM data streams into a single user interface, ensuring that fleet managers can manage their entire fleet, irrespective of the OEM, from a single pane of glass. FleetEdge is specifically designed to provide heavy equipment managers access to location data, operational status as well as analytic, predictive and diagnostic tools for every asset in their fleet.

See You at EquipmentSHIFT 2019

ORBCOMM will be attending EquipmentSHIFT 2019, the Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP) annual conference. The conference promises to “provide insight on leveraging data, emerging technologies and a culture of innovation that will separate you from your competition and increase your bottom line in ways never before imagined. Knowing how to strategically manage your big iron, tools and people will give you the opportunity to take your operations to the next level.”

For more information, contact us to book a meeting or schedule a demo.

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Posted in 2. Heavy Equipment Tagged with: , , ,

Goodbye AOBRD, Hello ELD: Expert Advice on the Transition

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The days of the AOBRD grandfather clause are numbered. As most fleet owners are fully aware, the December 17 deadline is looming, and the FMCSA has made it clear there will be no soft enforcement after this date.  

While many fleets have already made the transition, if yours is not one of those, then get moving fast. The ELD mandate deadline waits for no one.  

To help smooth the transitionwe asked some ORBCOMM experts and customers for their ELD advice. Training and educating drivers, identifying driver leaders and communicating openly with all stakeholders are key elements for a successful transition from AOBRD to ELD.  

“Definitely talk to drivers about it…we’re bringing in a better solution and a better tablet and a better system to help with the transition.” Doug Ostrowski, Director of Operations, Queen Transportation and Logistics.  

Watch our latest video to find out more.  

With contributions from:  

Doug Ostrowski, Director of Operations, Queen Transportation and Logistics 

Ray Brogdon, Chief Administrative Officer, Texas Freight Services 

Chris MacDonald, ORBCOMM VP Sales, North America 

Scott Stofer, ORBCOMM Director, Product Manager 

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Posted in 1. Transportation Tagged with: ,

Fleet Management, Reefer Monitoring, Trailer Tracking and More: See the Latest at ATA MCE 2019

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The ATA MCE is one of the leading events of the transportation industry, bringing together more than 2700 trucking professionals to exchange ideas and get a look at some of the latest technologies.  

The stakes have never been so high for carriers and drivers. With the ELD regulation coming into effect in December and added pressure on carriers to streamline freight and logistics operations, many of this year’s conversations will center around how technology can help fleets improve operations, retain drivers and be more profitable.  

We’re excited to be a part of the discussion again this year. With more experience in the trucking industry than any other provider, ORBCOMM has built the industry’s most complete fleet telematics solution, covering every aspect of fleet management across all asset types, from driver behavior to the security and integrity of cargo.  

We will be showing attendees: 

  • Why drivers love our ELD solution and how we’ve helped fleets like yours successfully transition from AOBRDs to ELDs. 
  • Our new GT 1200 series. This is ORBCOMM’s innovative, next-generation solarpowered trailer and container tracking devices with optional integrated cargo sensors.
  • Why the biggest names in the industry and over 85% of the market, trust ORBCOMM for reefer monitoring.

 ATA Management Conference & Exhibition
October 5 – 9, 2019
San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA
ORBCOMM Booth 3003 

Read more ›

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Tech Talk, Compliance and Fuel Budgets – All in a Day’s Work at FTA Autumn Seminars

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Fleet Fuel EconomyThe FTA has announced details of dates and venues for this year’s Transport Manager Conference Series in the UK, and ORBCOMM is looking forward to taking part in what is set to be a record-breaking year, as we join hundreds of industry professionals from across the UK during October and November.

Whether it’s compliance, safety, fuel auditing, urban restrictions, tachograph rules or truck sales, the FTA Transport Manager Conference series is a fantastic way to engage in the debate.

Sessions That Matter

The events aim to highlight the key issues the transportation industry is facing and outline some of the solutions to these challenges. Of course, Brexit will likely feature as we move swiftly towards the key date of October 31st. However, we’ve got to start thinking beyond that too.

This year’s conference covers the breadth of industry concerns. We will hear an update on enforcement by the DVSA. Other sessions will run the gamut from tyres to technology. There will be talks with the latest advice on reducing your fuel budget, monitoring brake testing, urban restrictions and drivers’ employment status. Innovation in trailer technology is also on the agenda, with ideas on how technology can help your business work smarter and more efficiently. The National Vehicle Threat Mitigation Unit will give an update on the use of vehicles as a weapon. The information sessions will be in addition to the popular interactive quiz too.

Carlie Nowell from the FTA says: “the events provide the ideal opportunity for delegates to gather the very latest compliance information, straight from policymakers and experts, and we’re delighted that so many transport managers are keen to come along and make sure they are in possession of the most up-to-date information available.

Meet the ORBCOMM Team

Be sure to visit our stand to meet with our team. We’ll be on-hand to talk through the biggest challenges the industry is facing and how our telematics systems can help to make a difference. We’ll be discussing refrigerated rigids and how they are the workhorse of the industry, we’ll show you how we make digital tachograph rules easy, and we’d welcome the chance to discuss the major challenges that your fleet faces.

Andy Newton, UK Sales Manager with ORBCOMM is looking forward to joining the conferences: “The FTA seminars are always a great event. To get on the ground talking about the challenges the industry is facing and ways to solve these problems makes it such a valuable day.”

  • 10/10/2019: Grand Hotel Gosforth Park Newcastle
  • 17/10/2019: Etihad Stadium, Manchester
  • 31/10/2019: London Heathrow Marriott, London
  • 12/11/2019: MacDonald Inchyra Hotel, Falkirk, Falkirk
  • 19/11/2019: Doncaster Racecourse
  • 26/11/2019: Ricoh Arena, Coventry

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Satellite IoT for Fleet Management and Safety

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In our latest case study, we look at how ORBCOMM worked with our partner Machinestalk to develop a custom fleet management solution for one of their customers. The customer had a set of stringent requirements for the solution. In addition to wanting to ensure driver safety, the solution had to be localized into Arabic, it needed to work in all regions of a country where cellular coverage is known to be spotty and required data to be stored in-country.

“ORBCOMM’s field application engineers helped us to meet tight customer deadlines and exceed customer expectations by working closely with us and allowing us to leverage their technical expertise.” – Nawaaf AlShalani, Group CEO, Machinestalk.

ORBCOMM partnered with Machinestalk to deliver a fleet management solution meeting the customer’s rigorous requirements. The solution monitored driver behavior including sharp cornering, speeding, harsh braking and seatbelt usage to make sure all drivers followed safety and security procedures while operating company vehicles. In addition, all regulatory requirements were met.

Machinestalk worked with ORBCOMM engineers to develop a solution that combined an ORBCOMM dual-mode satellite-cellular terminal with an integrated seatbelt sensor and an immobilizer installed on the fleet of vehicles. Satellite connectivity was vital to guarantee coverage in all regions of the country.

This is just one example of how ORBCOMM is working with our partners to deliver the benefits of satellite IoT.  From enhancing fleet safety and monitoring the electrical grid to maximizing uptime and helping minimize illegal fishing, the applications for satellite IoT are endless.

To find out more about how ORBCOMM can help its partners enter new markets and achieve success, visit our new Partner website or email us at

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Container Shipping Alliance Starts Knocking Down the Digital Silos

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container fleet tracking webinarThe Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) has released its first standards for data flows – an important first step in the process of ending the fragmentation that is holding back the development of digital technologies in the industry.

In an announcement at the beginning of September, the DCSA, which was only officially established in April this year, launched what it has called an “Industry Blueprint” that sets out current standards for the processes used in container shipping. The aim is that carriers will align to it when delivering “digitalisation and standardisation initiatives in the industry in the future”. The Blueprint includes a glossary of terms, a process catalogue and process maps for three types of journeys – shipment, equipment and vessel.

The DCSA now comprises AP Moller-Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd, MSC, ONE and CMA-CGM as well as (pending regulatory approval) Evergreen Line, Hyundai Merchant Marine, Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation and ZIM Integrated Services. This means that it now represents 70% of the market, so it has a significant voice.

A Welcome Move

This process is long overdue and certainly one that ORBCOMM customers will welcome. Although the digitalisation of the maritime and intermodal industries is progressing fast, as we set out in a previous blog, there are concerns at the moment that companies are not getting the right benefits for sharing their data and that too many products are siloed. André Simha global chief information officer at MSC and now chairman of the supervisory board at DCSA, has said that these siloes lead to “frustration and more bureaucracy for customers and other collaboration partners”. On a practical level, it also makes it harder to future proof these products in a fast-moving industry.

This cannot last. After the launch of the Industry Blueprint, Simha expanded his thinking in a post on LinkedIn, explaining that technology has made doing business in the B2C sphere simpler than ever, with “seamless and intuitive services”. But when those consumers turn up to work, “our systems seem outdated at best and defunct at worst”. Customers now expect complete visibility of the location and status of their shipments so that they can plan and allocate resources efficiently. They will not accept being kept in the dark because data cannot easily flow between products. It’s no good going from dark, dumb and disconnected to smart and visible if that visibility is then restricted to a select group. The way forward is clear, developing in a more open and collaborative manner will streamline processes for regulators, port authorities, shipping lines and other industry participants.

Breaking Down the Silos

As a business that is driven by customer demand, ORBCOMM has always ensured that interoperability and openness lie at the heart of our products. For example, VesselConnect – ORBCOMM’s comprehensive solution for monitoring reefers at sea – creates a wireless network on a ship that enables the seamless transmission of real-time container data. The system does not require connection to a land-based cellular network and can integrate with satellite data, allowing reefer data to be sent to the shipping company’s back-office applications. These simple infrastructure and hardware requirements mean that the system can integrate with AIS vessel data and vessel stowage plans as well as data from other telemetry system and wireless technologies.

In addition, the new CT 3000 series, the next generation of ORBCOMM’s refrigerated container telematics devices, are small, quick to install and, crucially, give ocean carriers, inland barge operators, ports, depots, 3Ps and other members of the industry the ability to monitor containers and shipments that they do not directly own or control. These are just two examples of how agnostic products need to be able to integrate data from many different sources and to work not only for containers and vessels, but also trailers, chassis, gensets and truck units. Tech suppliers need to integrate to meet the needs of customers and the wider supply chain.

A New Ecosystem

As the hardware behind IoT and telematics becomes mature, the focus must now shift to the best ways to present this data to all stakeholders, combining and integrating datastreams across all platforms and enterprise software. In effect, we need a system of systems – a way of ensuring that, although no one platform dominates, there is an ecosystem that allows users to integrate multiple smart devices and suppliers. This will require a new kind of DeviceCloud middleware that can channel data from any device into any enterprise software.

Standardisation can be a long and difficult process, so the DCSA should be applauded for moving so quickly with this blueprint. They were driven by the knowledge that, as Simha has said, the container shipping industry as being “at a fairly low start of digitalisation,” which most would describe as an understatement.

In doing so, they have thrown down the gauntlet not just to themselves, but to the rest of the industry to get on board and develop a proper ecosystem. We need to respond with an industry-wide commitment. This will require companies with scale, scope and strategic insight born of long experience developing digital products in an open manner to step forward. Challenge accepted!

The ORBCOMM team will be at Cool Logistics in Valencia from 17-19 September to discuss the next phase of IoT in shipping digitalisation with fellow technology companies, ocean carriers, shippers and other members of the cold supply chain.

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Posted in 1. Transportation, 5. M2M/IoT Trends Tagged with: , ,

Leading the Way, ORBCOMM at Gastech, Houston 2019

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The ability to have verbal coaching while driving helps identify bad driving habits and eliminate complacency behind the wheel, which has shown to improve any driver’s behavior. – Safety Director, Complete Energy Services

Anyone involved in the oil and gas sector is aware of the safety challenges the industry is facing. With road accidents topping the list of fatality causes in oil and gas, understanding how telematics can incorporate in vehicles to help improve safety and minimize road crashes is a hot topic for operators. The ORBCOMM team is looking forward to attending Gastech this month and sharing its in-depth knowledge of fleet safety in oil and gas.

Leading the global gas, LNG, and energy industry, Gastech has 45 years of experience in the market. The conference features some of the world’s leading industry speakers and an exhibit that will host over 35,000 industry professionals from 30 different sectors.

What Will I Hear from ORBCOMM at Gastech?

In recent years we have seen an increase in oilfield fatalities. In the 22 Permian Area counties, there was a 46% increase in road fatalities between 2017 and 2018. While it’s clear that oilfield driving brings its hazards, it’s estimated that 90% of these accidents are caused by driver behavior. By utilizing a system designed especially for the needs of the industry, fleets can look forward to seeing:

Actual oilfield fleet safety improvements after 90 days.

  • 90% Reduction in Accidents
  • 89% Reduction in Aggressive Driving
  • 86% Reduction in Speeding
  • 88% Reduction in Seat Belt Violations

deploying fleet safety

Enhancing Fleet Safety

Purpose-built for the oil and gas industry, our fleet safety solution minimizes the risk of crashes, reduces costs and ensures compliance with the ELD mandate. Our solution is registered and meets all the guidelines of the FMCSA.

From the unrelenting heat of Texas to the tundra of Alaska, major companies trust our ruggedized solution for fleet operations.

ORBCOMM improves oil and gas fleet safety via:

  • Verbal Driver Coaching: Deliver real-time alerts for speeding or aggressive driving.
  • Seat-belt Alerts: Alert drivers and managers if a seatbelt is not in use.
  • Speed-by-Street: Compare vehicle speeds with post limits.
  • Crash Detection: Get an instant notification if a vehicle has been involved in a crash.
  • Driver Scorecards: Use the information to reward drivers with good records and identify those that need further training.
  • Compliance: Ensure your fleet is compliant with hours of service rules with ORBCOMM’s ELD.
  • And much more…

ORBCOMM will be at Gastech Exhibition and Conference in Houston, Texas 17-19 September 2019. Visit the team at SME Zone, Booth U80E.

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Posted in 4. Oil & Gas / Utilities Tagged with: ,

The Intermodal Future is Bright with Telematics: ORBCOMM at IANA Intermodal Expo 2019

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remote container managementThanks to innovative telematics, we at ORBCOMM give operators the opportunity to revitalize supply chains and deliver new and innovative ways to increase operational efficiency and meet the challenges of the industry head-on, all with one fully integrated solution.

Our comprehensive transportation offering currently helps fleets monitor more than 600,000 assets across road, rail and sea. Prevent cargo loss with real-time alerts. Seamlessly manage your assets with automatic temperature recording, centralized asset management and door-open or route change alerts. Reduce spoilage with temperature sensors and increase profitability by avoiding costly errors and more.

IANA Intermodal Expo 2019 brings the intermodal freight community together annually with educational sessions, networking and technology showcases. We look forward to seeing you in Long Beach on September 15 – 17.

“ORBCOMM’s (intermodal container tracking) solution will play a significant role in improving shipment visibility and enhancing service to our customers.” Chris Kravas, Chief Intermodal Officer at Hub Group, Inc.

Join us at IANA Intermodal Expo 2019

  • September 15-17, 2019
  • Long Beach California
  • ORBCOMM Booth 404

What Can I Expect from ORBCOMM?

ORBCOMM delivers the complete picture with end-to-end telematics. See all your data – driver management, temperature monitoring and asset tracking on one platform.

We’ll also be showcasing the next-generation in solar-powered technology for dry containers. Join us for a Dialogue Box session on Monday, September 16 at 11 am to find out more. This 15-minute session looks at our new technological developments as we look to integrate cargo sensing and asset tracking technology into a single device to deliver comprehensive visibility, management and control of trailers and intermodal containers virtually anywhere.

The Clock is Ticking for ELDs

With just a few months to go until the final phase of the ELD mandate, is your fleet ready? Truck and driver management solutions are key to compliance for ELD and beyond. We offer customers like Chief Express the most comprehensive, open, and scalable truck telematics solution on the market today.

The Importance of Integrations

We integrate with leading TMS partners too, such as McLeod. Drop-by our booth to find out how our platform and McLeod’s LoadMaster work in harmony to reduce load spoilage, improve fuel economy and optimize asset utilization for customers like Mike Tamana Trucking.

Monitoring Every Step of the Cold Chain

We help fleets to monitor their temperature-controlled assets at every step of the complex supply chain journey. Our ruggedized cold chain monitoring solution delivers remote monitoring and temperature control of reefer containers in some of the toughest environments on earth. We enable real-time tracking and two-way temperature control to help carriers and shipping lines increase their ROI.

Container Visibility at Sea

Completing the full spectrum of transport monitoring, ORBCOMM provides remote refrigerated container management at sea. VesselConnect virtually eliminates the need for manual checks at sea with centralized management, delivering information such as reefer temperature, humidity, location and status to help reduce cargo damage, minimize operating costs and keep crews safe.

We look forward to seeing you in booth 404 at IANA Intermodal Expo!

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CVSA Brake Safety Week 2019 Just Around the Corner, Is Your Fleet Ready?

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Fleet Fuel EconomySeptember is usually associated with going back to school, back to routine and taking stock. The CVSA’s Brake Safety Week 2019 Initiative is coming up soon to remind carriers across North America to take stock of their vehicles and brake safety systems.  

Every year, the CVSA runs its weeklong brake safety check event. Its big aim is to reduce road crashes caused by vehicles with faulty brake systems. The CVSA wants to emphasize to vehicle owners that brakes must be in good working order, all year round. Inspectors can place unsafe vehicles out-of-service resulting in violations and/or downtime.  

The blitz runs from September 15-21, 2019.  

While we may hear these messages quite often, it’s apparent that it is still required. In May’s unannounced Brake Safety Inspection, out of over 10,000 vehicles inspected, 16.1% had brake-related critical items. Many of these were related to tubing and hoses specifically. At the International Roadcheck event last year, 45% of out-of-service violations were for out-of-adjustments brakes and brake system violations. Similarly, the FMCSA says that brake-related violations accounted for six of the top 20 most frequently cited violations in 2017. 

Each year’s Brake Safety Week also has a specific theme. This time around, inspectors will be paying special attention to hoses and tubing. The CVSA is reminding drivers and carriers of the importance of brake hoses and tubing to vehicle mechanical fitness and safety. If brake hoses or tubing is damaged, leaking or not appropriately flexible, it can cause problems for the entire braking system.  

Telematics Can Help 

Carriers who plan and maintain vehicles will be best prepared for Brake Safety Week. Your telematics systems should be able to help with inspections. It can assist carriers and drivers in monitoring and caring for brakes and all systems within the truck. Electronic DVIR reports ensure that drivers can send reports at the push of a button on completion of their walkarounds. If a driver notices a brake fluid leak, for example, they can let their fleet manager know at the touch of a button. That keeps managers aware of vehicle health and they can quickly alert the shop team if maintenance is required.  

Scheduling regular maintenance is another way of ensuring your brake systems are in good working order. With maintenance planning from your telematics provider, you can schedule regular services and inspections based on the time elapsed (e.g. every six months) or per distance travelled. This applies to all systems in the truck, brakes or otherwise.  

Putting the Brakes on Brake Violations 

Sponsored by the CVSA, Brake Safety Week is run in parallel with FMCSA and Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators road safety initiatives. The message is clear, check your brakes, ensure proper maintenance and avoid out-of-service violations. To find out more about Brake Safety Week, visit the CVSA website now 

If you have questions about how telematics can enhance maintenance planning or DVIR reports, talk to the team today. Email now to arrange a call.  

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