LAFAYETTE, Ind. (May 5, 2000)—Customized truck trailer manufacturer Wabash National Corp. and Terion Inc. are partnering to make and market technology that monitors truck tire pressure, among other features.
Lafayette-based Wabash recently signed a letter of intent to form an alliance with Terion to develop what it called an advanced trailer management system that will include alerting truckers to flat tires and failing brakes.
The two firms will use Terion´s FleetView Trailer Monitoring System and Wabash´s Smart Trailer technology as a base for this proposed system, which also will allow companies to track trailer location and whether they are loaded. If successful, the system would be the first of its kind in the trucking industry, the companies said.
Melbourne, Fla.-based Terion is a communication and software management company that provides two-way wireless communication for the trucking industry.
The tire pressure monitoring feature will be an add-on to Wabash´s current Smart Trailer system, which uses a microprocessor to analyze bearing temperature and wheel direction, said Jerry Ehrlich, Wabash Chairman and CEO.
Smart Trailer´s microprocessor will alert a dispatcher that a tire is losing air pressure, and the dispatcher then will communicate that information to the driver, Mr. Ehrlich said. The system also will detect low tire pressure on a trailer even before it is dispatched, he said.
Unlike tire-pressure-monitoring systems for run-flat passenger tires, there are no sensors connected to the tires. Smart Trailer monitors track tire pressure through a magnetic switch on the wheels, said Mr. Ehrlich, who declined to discuss further details of the proprietary system.
The two companies intend to offer their products and services as an original equipment installation, as well as on a retrofit basis.
Mr. Ehrlich could give no time frame as to when the deal with Terion will close, but said production of the first units tentatively is scheduled for July. The system currently is in the prototype stage.
Wabash manufactures standard and customized truck trailers under the Wabash and Fruehauf trademarks.