Carrier Transicold’s new FuelCheck ultrasonic monitoring option for Vector and X2 Series trailer refrigeration units is designed to help reduce operating costs and protect the integrity of the cold chain by alerting drivers when low-fuel situations could lead to a system shutdown. It also enables fuel consumption tracking, helping to improve fuel management across entire fleets.
“The FuelCheck option is a perfect example of how Carrier Transicold applies technology to develop dependable solutions for the everyday challenges fleet operators face,” says David Kiefer, Carrier Transicold director of marketing and product management. “We expect it to help improve refrigerated operations for drivers and transport managers, while also helping to increase efficiencies and avoid costs associated with unnecessary breakdowns.”
Service calls due to units running out of fuel and losing their prime can be among the most costly maintenance expenses faced by a fleet, according to Kevin Williams, Carrier Transicold trailer product manager. “Those avoidable situations can also inconvenience a fleet’s customers and risk the integrity of cargo,” Williams says. “Fuel prices are at their highest levels in two years and are projected to stay that way for some time, so fuel consumption monitoring and analysis are more important than ever.”
FuelCheck software is designed to track the fuel level via the DataLink data recorder of the refrigeration unit’s Advance microprocessor control. Such information also can help spot problems such as fuel theft, especially when monitoring is done remotely via telematics. In use, the Advance microprocessor is designed to continuously monitor the level of diesel in the refrigeration unit’s fuel tank, as sensed by the FuelCheck ultrasonic transducer mounted at the top of the tank.
Carrier Transicold says ultrasound measurement provides accuracy regardless of the fuel type, be it low-sulfur diesel, a biodiesel blend or fuel with special conditioners or additives. If the fuel level drops below 15 percent for more than 30 seconds, the
refrigeration unit’s LED light bar glows a cautionary yellow to warn the driver, and the control unit’s message center displays “Low Fuel Warning.” If the fuel level drops below 10 percent for more than 60 seconds, the refrigeration system shuts down automatically to prevent loss of prime in the fuel lines.
“It’s essential to the integrity of the cargo and the proper operation of the refrigeration system to ensure that it doesn’t run out of fuel,” Williams says. “Once the tank runs dry, air can be drawn into the system, and a technician will need to bleed the fuel lines before restarting. The FuelCheck option helps avert this, enabling the driver to restart the system as soon as the tank is refilled, without incurring the cost of an emergency callout or requiring any other technical intervention.”