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RFID tracks trailers

Unisto Electronic Seals has launched a transport management system called YardTrak™ that uses passive RFID tags to keep track of the precise location of trailers, tractor units and even drivers within a Distribution Centre. This significantly improves the efficiency of deploying equipment and gives better use of driver working hours. The software also manages the maintenance schedules for units irrespective of where they are currently located in the country.
YardTrak is the latest addition to Unisto's GateSuite™ family of software modules that comprises GateHouse and GateTrak. Each trailer, tractor and driver has a passive RFID tag and the gates, bays and yard are equipped with RF readers. The software can thus show the accurate location of each trailer and tractor and who is driving it so that trailers can be allocated to an appropriate docking or parking bays and drivers informed as they arrive on site. This process can be manual or automatic.
“Some distribution centres can have hundreds of drivers, trailers and tractors,” explained Mark Hayward, Sales and Marketing Manager at Unisto Electronic Seals. “Companies were finding it almost impossible to keep track of what was where, who was driving what and what is its status. Our new system makes this task incredibly easy with graphical representations on the PC screen that show at a glance exactly where everything is and what is going on. This can save huge amounts of time and ensures that valuable resources are used to their fullest extent.”
An important feature of YardTrak is that it manages the tractor and trailer maintenance schedules – highlighting when MOTs are due, what spare parts have been used, what is still covered by warrantee, and keeps a running total of maintenance costs. Above all, it will flag up trailers which need maintenance so that schedulers can route them back to the servicing depot in time. Out of MOT trailers can be 'grounded' to ensure they do not go out illegally.
Additional security can be used by fitting the trailers with Unisto's award winning Crypta Data Tags that combine RFID with sealing vehicles. Being electronic enables them to relay the status of the security of the load to the GateSuite software to form a fully integrated security system.

GateHouse – shows on a screen in the gatehouse all the details on trailer, tractor and driver to ensure that these are correctly matched and also displays a driver photo for added security. This automation can significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to verify each vehicle in and out from minutes to seconds. It even has manual input for third party vehicles and plastic or mechanical seals.

GateTrak – enables the transport office to manage and allocate available resources to routes, indicates the status of planned routes, indicates gate out and in activity, and enables drivers, trailers and tractors to be allocated to routes. It can also generate detailed managements reports covering security, trailer utilisation, journey times, efficiency, load times, etc.

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