Manufacturing Technology

Utility Trailer Collaborates with Phillips Connect to Launch the Utility Connect Advanced Trailer Telematics Platform

With the launch of Utility ConnectTM, Utility Trailer Manufacturing Co., the industry's largest manufacturer of refrigerated trailers and a market leader in dry freight vans, flatbeds, and Tautliner® curtain-sided trailers, is pleased to announce Phillips Connect as its exclusive trailer telematics partner.

Utility Connect is based on a proprietary wire harness that was reengineered to work with the Phillips Connect Smart7TM nosebox. Utilities identified early on the benefits of supplying high-quality, corrosion-free harnesses that would connect to various sensors smoothly and reliably over the life of the trailer. Because Phillips Industries supplies the industry's standard wire harness, switching to the telematics version of its existing harness may be accomplished without affecting trailer production rates. The utility harness's connectors are soldered and over-molded.

At launch, the Utility Connect product suite will inclde GPS trailer tracking, light-out detection, intelligent ABS fault code reporting, tire inflation system monitoring, and the ability to connect to additional sensors such as door open/close, ultrasonic cargo detection, and interior cargo cameras (sold separately). Additionally, it includes built-in expansion capabilities, including over-the-air communication updates for integration with advanced tire pressure monitoring systems and Bendix's Roll-Stability system, as well as trailer weight, air tank pressure, and optional brake pad wear sensors for disc brakes. Future systems will be able to connect to reefer units and liftgates so that they can be monitored and kept in good condition.

"I really appreciate the way that Utility worked with our team to develop its Utility Connect smart-trailer solution. Rather than focusing on being first to market, we put our technical resources together to develop the most reliable, fully integrated, and easiest-to-install system available, Quality and reliability were always paramount to everything else, and they were never compromised. Utility Connect is a true game-changer for its premium fleet customers.

Rob Phillips, founder and CEO of Phillips Connect

"Our team also worked with Utility and our mutual customer, Hirschbach, for Utility’s first large-scale installation of the Smart7™ system," he said. Hertzbach now has more than 1,200 Utility refrigerated trailers in use with the Smart7 telematics, as well as another order for Utility refrigerated trailers to arrive in 2022.

Connect1's internet or mobile platform is extremely powerful yet easy, displaying all of a trailer's essential warnings on a single screen. It also makes it easy for fleets with a lot of different telematics providers to quickly get to the platform of the right one with a few keystrokes and a single click.

"Phillips has been an excellent partner to Utility and its dealer network for the last 40 years," said Steve Bennett, VP of Utility. "Utility Connect components such as the Smart7 nosebox, the Utility Connect wire harness, and accessory items such as door sensors and cargo sensors are available at utility trailer dealers throughout North America."