“The future starts here,” that’s the tagline for the Fleet Forward conference this week. The symposium's agenda is packed with presentations about topics such as intelligent transportation systems, IOT, electric vehicles, connected vehicles, public policy, and even autonomous vehicles. At DECA we work with the transportation industry and welcome the prospect of a mobility revolution because it:
is good for the environment
improves the safety of all drivers on the road
supports the comfort of commercial drivers
alleviates current logistical issues facing American manufacturers and consumers
Environmentally Friendly Fuel Options
A number of companies are developing commercially-viable larger trucks, including semi-trailers which run on either batteries or electric fuel cells instead of fossil fuels such as diesel. In addition to passenger cars, electricity can be used to power a wide variety of vehicles, from forklifts to bucket trucks, and even busses. The railroad company BNSF even created a demonstration model of a hydrogen-powered switch locomotive. No matter what type of fuel cell or battery is used, the wire harness used in EV’s must be able to transfer high voltage power consistently and be properly shielded for shock, corrosion, and extreme temperature.
Safety and Comfort
High-tech equipment and software is being designed into newer commercial trucks to keep everyone on the road safer. Improvements include alarms for driver fatigue, collision avoidance, lane departures, and dash cams. Even seats, steering wheels, and controls are being redesigned to reduce fatigue and improve driver comfort and ergonomics. These new elements require secondary wire harnesses that transfer data and power to function properly and integrate into truck’s main systems.
Improved, Informed Logistics
Truck tracking, in the form of software and telemetrics, are being used to by companies to ensure efficient routes are used and truck capacity are fully utilized. On-board diagnostics will also be able to track vehicle performance and efficiency making it easier to schedule service and maintenance to avoid costly and dangerous breakdowns.
With the current logistical challenges making it harder to get both raw materials and finished goods to their destinations; improvements in logistics and safety might it alleviate supply chain problems. Trucking improvements should also make it easier to retain existing drivers and perhaps recruit new employees. Estimates for trucking company turnover rates run well over 50%.
Updating Existing Trucks
Existing commercial trucks often need new wire harnesses due to wear and tear and to provide needed updates to their functionalities. We recently created new harnesses that allowed the owners to update the functionality and safety features of their dump trucks.
While passenger cars may have one primary wire harness linking the systems together, larger trucks, especially semi-trailers need harnesses that link cab to the trailer as well. At a minimum, these secondary cables need to
Control lights and brakes
Monitor tire pressure
Monitor trailer door status
Specialized trucks such as tankers, concrete, and refrigerator trucks require even more sophisticated wire harnesses that can monitor conditions in the trailer such as temperature, pressure levels, and vibration levels. These cables need to be heavily ruggedized with regards to the wire used, shielding, and connectors.
Charged and Ready to Go
In addition to trucks and other commercial vehicles changing energy sources, the technology, products and services required to facilitate them need to evolve too. Until charging and alternative fuel stations are widespread, many companies are building their own charging/fueling stations or joining networks to keep these newer vehicles powered and ready to go.
Do you have a truck project for OEM, aftermarket, or replacement wire harnesses on the horizon? Contact us today.