XTRA Lease adds new features to trailer-tracking solution

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Dormant and idle trailers could become more scarce for fleets using leased trailers, thanks to a new set of trailer-tracking features announced Tuesday, June 5, by XTRA Lease, a provider of over-the-road trailer equipment rental and leasing in North America.

With new custom landmarking tools and the ability to isolate dormant trailers at these landmarks, users now have even more ways to impact fleet productivity and minimize idle trailer time, XTRA Lease says. Other new features just released — emergency tracking and enhanced options for pinging trailers and monitoring cargo and door sensor events — are intended to improve fleet visibility and tighten security.

In March, XTRA Lease introduced a new trailer-tracking system for its fleet, a customized version of Qualcomm’s T2 Untethered TrailerTracs asset management system. The tracking devices use solar-powered charging, combined with seven-way power, to increase battery life, according to the company, and a new Web-based interface enables XTRA Lease customers to immediately hone in on trailer dormancy and utilization, and find trailers quickly. The newest features add even more capabilities, XTRA Lease says.

“We’re giving customers more power to monitor their fleets, along with the ability to customize trailer-tracking reporting based on their freight patterns,” says Bill Franz, chief executive officer and president of St. Louis-based XTRA Lease.

For example, not only can fleets determine which trailers are located near custom landmarks, they quickly can uncover valuable information about those trailers, the company says. Users can discover which trailers at a landmark have been dormant the longest, which landmarks have too many dormant trailers, which landmarks are low on dormant trailers, and more. Armed with this information, fleets can make better decisions about the number of trailers they really need and where they’re needed, according to XTRA Lease.

“Providing fleets with decision-making tools that speed up freight processes and eliminate underutilized assets is priority one,” Franz says. “That’s what sets us apart — being able to provide exception-based reporting that puts the user in better control of utilizing their rental and leased trailers.”

Another new feature, an emergency tracking service, is designed to enable fleets to activate a higher level of trailer-tracking service during emergency situations. When a trailer is lost or stolen, for example, fleets can temporarily activate frequent status reports to determine the trailer’s location and route, if moving. Pinging is designed to enable fleets to zero in on the trailer’s most immediate known current location.

XTRA Lease also has added the ability to track trailer movements, door openings and closings, and cargo loading and unloading to its new service. Other new enhancements include the ability to schedule e-mail delivery of trailer location and dormancy reports, as well as improved search capabilities; for example, a user could search for dormant trailers with translucent roofs and roll doors to best match cargo with available assets.

XTRA Lease and Qualcomm collaborated to create a new Web-based user interface for XTRA Lease customers to manage their fleets through trailer tracking, along with expanded coverage into Mexico; to date, XTRA Lease has installed T2 asset management system installations on more than 30,000 trailers. A third release of enhancements, available later this year for XTRA Lease’s long-term lease customers, should provide even further advanced reporting capabilities.

XTRA Lease says it has offered trailer tracking as a free service on dry van rentals since 2000 as a way to help educate the industry on the service’s value as a productivity tool. XTRA Lease says it will continue to include free trailer tracking on dry van rentals with Qualcomm T2 asset management systems.