AssetWatch: BigChange's Trailer Tracking Solution

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This article provides an understanding of AssetWatch, a solution by BigChange® designed for tracking trailers and other mobile equipment. It highlights the importance of this tool in the logistics industry and how it can enhance resource efficiency, load security, and service management.

 

What is AssetWatch?

AssetWatch is a tracking solution developed by BigChange®. It involves fitting a small tracking device to each trailer, which reports its position at regular intervals to the website. This tool is particularly useful for tracking trailers and other mobile equipment that may occasionally have power available.

BCA AssetWatch tracking device

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Why use AssetWatch?

Trailers, often overlooked in the logistics industry, are valuable resources. While they may not be as costly as tractor units and do not require an expensive driver resource, their efficient utilisation requires visibility of their current location, which AssetWatch provides. With tracking in place, additional benefits such as load security, recovery in case of trailer theft, and management of servicing and MOT can be realised.

 

Important Aspects of AssetWatch

Installation

The tracking device should be installed in a location with a good view of the sky for GPS operation, yet not be easily noticeable or vulnerable to damage. The device should be waterproof (IP66 minimum) and rugged. The usual place for installation is on the underside of the load bed at the front of the trailer; this area gives good reflected sky visibility when the trailer is parked in the yard and is protected from road spray by the tractor mudguards and aerodynamic features. 

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Cost

Given the lower value of the trailer asset and the fact that operators may have more trailers than tractors, trailers attract lower operating charges. Customers often opt to install the devices themselves to keep costs down.

 

Unattended Operation

The device should provide some degree of autonomous operation, hence an internal rechargeable battery is essential. The battery is recharged by the 24v supply from the tractor unit when coupled.

 

Features of AssetWatch

The configuration on the device gives basic tracking features:

  • Start/Stop and breadcrumbs: reports sent as the trailer moves, regularly when moving and when it stops again.
  • Sleep: to save battery power it will sleep after a period if the trailer stops moving but will wake on vibration (when the trailer is being loaded or coupled to a tractor).
  • Daily wake-up: this is also scheduled to reliably locate trailers not used for extended periods.
  • Power status: reports to show when the trailer is getting power from the tractor and when the internal battery is low.

 

Potential Operational Issues with AssetWatch

If the driver fails to plug in the ABS/EBS Susie lead, the internal battery won't get charged. This could lead to the battery running flat after a while, affecting the tracking operation.

 

Conclusion

AssetWatch is a valuable tool for the logistics industry, offering efficient trailer tracking and management. By understanding its features and potential operational issues, users can maximise its benefits and ensure smooth operations.