Grote Industries recently unveiled the 4SEE smart trailer system, a combination of hardware and software that will enable truck fleets to access more data related to their operations, helping improve roadway safety.
The 4SEE technology works by connecting the harness, nose box, and multiple sensors, creating data points for fleets to utilize. 4SEE hardwires all the components with a digital harness system that connects without grease and has a single connection point—the 4SEE nose box—to cab inputs. This allows a driver or fleet manager to have all outputs in one place.
The goal of the 4SEE system is to bring all the independent solutions together into one system, with a common communication stream, without increasing the harness or hardware required on the trailer. The 4SEE digital harness system also provides modules to connect legacy hardware and digital hardware to the same harness while isolating them to prevent one piece of the system from interfering with any other.
The 4SEE system integrates many of the same sensors seen on other systems available today; this includes tire pressure, load weight, radars, proximity sensors (sensing both interior and exterior), temperatures, operating hours, vibration, and more. The system collects all of this data and makes correlations between trailer performance and the data coming from such sensors.
The 4SEE smart nose box is pre-wired, meaning that there is no need to open the box to connect terminals. Present are two connectors—one to a traditional 7-way harness, and another to the 4SEE digital harness.
The 4SEE nose box also contains an “easy-to-use” interface that can control the trailer and display critical trailer-health information. The box is also built to withstand any weather condition, protects against impact and water ingress, and can even face high-pressure washes.
Digital harness technology
The 4SEE system is designed to be modular and expandable. Users can simply plug in a new sensor or device to an existing connection point without disruption, or the need to run new wires or tear out existing installations.
The digital harness features four converter modules designed to adapt devices to the digital network: one for adapting smart devices which utilize digital communication, one for controlling proprietary lighting devices, one for analog sensors, and one for enabling any current trailer device to operate on the 4SEE network. This means that the 4SEE converter modules can integrate both proprietary and third-party devices into the 4SEE harness.
When it comes to trailer lighting, 4SEE is compatible with traditional lighting as well as digitally controlled and customizable lamps. These lamps can monitor their own performance, provide feedback, and are multifunctional—as they can serve as strobe, beacon, backup, stop, turn, and tail lighting.
The 4SEE smart trailer system will have a limited release in Q4 of this year, with a full release beginning in 2023. The 4SEE system will be available through the OEM spec’ing process, as well as a retrofit. Grote has established a retrofit network throughout North America capable of installing the system regardless of OEM.
Furthermore, Grote can train maintenance personnel for fleets that wish to handle the install in-house. Depending on the trailer setup, installation can range anywhere from two to eight hours.
See the October issue of TBB for additional coverage.