The patent pending Smart Trailer system provides real-time visibility and control of trailers’ stock in remote locations and improved customer equipment up-time with reduced costs.
Armored Diesel Repair & Services, LLC was started in 2013, in San Antonio, TX by Andrew and Ellen Hernandez. The business focused on truck and equipment repair and maintenance for Oil & Gas and Industrial customers. Armored Diesel services their customer’s trucks, pumps, and equipment at their customer’s truck yard locations which are mostly in remote areas, so the customer does not have to transport their trucks to be repaired. It has grown rapidly, and now services many customers in the San Antonio area.
A big part of servicing customer’s trucks and equipment is to have the right parts and consumables at the locations when they are needed. A mechanic’s time is valuable, and a customer’s truck and equipment up-time is even more so. Some of these truck yards can be several hours away and in remote locations. If the mechanics do not bring all the right parts, then hours and days can be wasted from completing a job.
Armored Diesel came up with the idea of a Smart Trailer™ Inventory system. The concept is to have a trailer with the proper inventoried parts and consumables at the customer-designated locations. The Smart Trailer™ includes a magnetic lock that is opened when a personal ID card is scanned and authenticated. As the authorized user enters the trailer, a security camera turns on and records the event. The user takes the needed items from the shelves or bins and places them on the “Smart” RFID-enabled table, where antennas read the RFID tags that are attached to each item. If everything is correct, the user presses on check-out button on the LCD, takes the items, and leaves the trailer. After the items leave the trailer, systems can send optional notifications by email or SMS. Using cellular connectivity, the system automatically updates the Dominate Inventory Visibility System databases thru the secure VPN wireless network.
On a weekly basis, each trailer gets replenished with parts and consumables. The replenishment levels for each trailer are generated by the Dominate Inventory Visibility system. A replenishment truck will deliver the needed parts and accessories to each trailer. This helps to always have parts ready at the point of use and never be out. Another advantage is the traceability and accountability that the system offers. Armored Diesel knows who took what items at what time and using the data they can quickly and accurately invoice the customer for the parts used.
The system improved customer equipment up-time, reduced costs, and enabled inventoried items and their costs to be tracked for each truck in the fleet.
The first Smart Trailer™ was placed at the customer location in September of 2016. There were 2 months of field development and training before going live.
After several months of usage, the customer has found significantly reduced equipment downtime due to waiting for the right parts. The Armored Diesel Smart Trailer™ concept is patent pending and easily scalable.