East Manufacturing's flatbed, refuse, and dump trailers can now communicate critical intelligent data to the driver through an optional Power Line Carrier (PLC) communication system that uses Meritor WABCO Vehicle Control Systems' Infolink Gateway Communications Capabilities. From an in-cab screen, drivers can monitor several trailer systems, including air system pressure and load weight. On dump trailers, drivers can also tell from their cab if the trailer bed is completely down and cradled, and if the tailgate is closed and latched.
“Through what is called “multiplexing,” additional digital and analog data can travel through the ABS power line already installed on the trailer,” said John Pierce, director of engineering for East.
The big operational benefit is the ability for the driver to approximate the weight of his load, but there are additional benefits. First, the Smart-Trailer system measures air system pressure, so the driver is alerted before irregularities can become problems. For dump trailers, sensors in the tailgate allow the driver to be sure his tailgate is closed. Finally, the system alerts the dump trailer driver if the bed is raised, so he knows if the body is completely down and ready for transit. Infolink processes this information, then, acting as a command center, shares it with the tractor using a Meritor WABCO-provided display that interprets data for the operator.