The Utility Connect system stems from Utility’s proprietary wiring harness that has been reengineered to work with the Phillips Connect Smart7 nosebox. Utility recognized early on the advantages of providing the highest quality, corrosion-free harnesses that would seamlessly and reliably connect to multiple sensors for the life of the trailer, according to the company. Because Phillips Industries is the standard wiring harness supplier for Utility Trailer, upgrading to the telematics version of its existing harness can be done without slowing the trailer production rates. All connections of the Utility harness are soldered, and connections are over-molded.
The Utility Connect product suite at launch will include GPS trailer tracking, light-out detection, intelligent ABS fault code reporting, tire inflation system monitoring, and the ability to connect to additional sensors (sold separately) including door open/closed, ultrasonic cargo detection, and interior cargo cameras, among others. It also has built-in expansion capabilities, offering over-the-air communication updates that will integrate with advanced tire pressure monitoring systems and Bendix’s Roll-Stability system, trailer weight, air tank pressure, and optional brake pad wear-sensors for disc brakes. Future systems will include connection to reefer units and liftgates for monitoring status and maintenance.
“I really appreciate the way that Utility worked with our team to develop its Utility Connect smart-trailer solution. Rather than focusing on being first to market, we put our technical resources together to develop the most reliable, fully integrated, and easiest-to-install system available,” said Rob Phillips, founder and CEO of Phillips Connect. “Quality and reliability were always paramount to everything else, and they never compromised. Utility Connect is a true game-changer for its premium fleet customers.
“Our team also worked with Utility and our mutual customer, Hirschbach for Utility’s first large-scale installation of the Smart7™ system,” he said. “Hirschbach now has more than 1,200 Utility refrigerated trailers in operation with the Smart7 telematics, and has placed an additional order for Utility refrigerated trailers to be delivered in 2022.”
The Connect1 online or mobile platform is incredibly powerful, yet intuitive, and displays all the critical alerts for a trailer on just one screen, Utility added, and the system even makes it easy for fleets with multiple telematics solutions to get to the right provider’s platform with a few keystrokes and a single click.
“Phillips has been an excellent partner to Utility and its dealer network for the last 40 years,” said Steve Bennett, VP of Utility. “Utility Connect components, such as the Smart7 nosebox, the Utility Connect wire harness, and accessory items such as door sensors and cargo sensors are available at Utility Trailer Dealers throughout North America.”