Orbcomm creates GT 1100: solar-powered trailer tracking with unlimited messaging

Orbcomm, a global provider of machine-to-machine (M2M) systems, announced the commercial launch of its GT 1100 trailer tracking platform at the American Trucking Association (ATA) Management Conference & Exhibition from October 19-22 in Orlando, Fla.

The GT 1100 is Orbcomm’s first self-powered device but one of several M2M asset tracking and monitoring platforms it offers. Orbcomm has purchased three companies in the last eight months. And in 2011, it acquired two reefer tracking and monitoring systems, PAR Logistics and StarTrak, to capture 70 percent of that market.

The GT 1100 has a compact form factor and low, one-inch high profile to install on trailer roof tops, in between the corrugations of intermodal containers and virtually any type of unpowered asset, Orbcomm says. The ruggedized device uses solar recharging technology for low power consumption. It has efficient messaging and long service life in the field. It can send 2,600 messages with no solar charge and one-hour in sunlight increases its capacity by 50 messages, said Craig Montgomery, senior vice president of marketing.

The GT 1100 also has a versatile communications platform that allows customers to build their messaging schedules around their business requirements without any message restrictions or extra costs. The initial release has a cellular communications platform but future releases will have dual-mode satellite communications.

The GT 1100 also includes CargoWatch, a robust web application for device management and visibility for fleet and operations managers. The application delivers near-real-time alerts on trailer status, location, history, as well as arrival and departure events. In the near future, Orbcomm plans to release a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that encompasses all its separate tracking and monitoring devices so that fleets with diversified equipment and operations that include reefer and dry-van trailers, for example, can use a single application, Montgomery added.

“Orbcomm’s GT 1100 solution is designed to make trailer tracking hassle-free, eliminating frustrating battery changes, reducing maintenance and providing customers with a reliable solution that costs much less over time,” said Marc Eisenberg, Orbcomm’s chief executive officer.