Truckers generally have no choice as to their whereabouts when disaster strikes. It is crucial for both independent truckers and for large commercial truckers to be prepared with the right technology for their IoT systems to ensure that a natural disaster or truck accident does not stop business in its tracks.
The modern trucking industry uses elaborate tracking systems to locate trucks and other assets, and to collect data to monitor and evaluate fleet operations. Ken Ehrmann, a technology advisor, says that there are four factors for the tracking components of an IoT system that must be considered when preparing for disasters.
These four factors contribute to how the devices hold up under stressful conditions and include the battery, the enclosure for the device, the correct certifications, and network connectivity.
In the event of a natural disaster, how long a battery lasts determines the length of time companies can track assets when an IoT device lacks power sources. Battery life has two aspects to consider: how long a device can fully function before recharging is needed, and quality degradation. The latter refers to the ability of the device to switch into a low-power mode as the battery’s reserves are depleted, sustaining the battery life. High quality battery designs give fleet managers more time to locate and manage assets stranded in a disaster zone.
The best IoT devices have a hardened plastic enclosure for physical protection – minimizing shocks and vibration damage. Hardened plastic performs better than metal casings, which can attract electrical shocks and disrupt electrical signals.
To be certain that IoT devices can stand up to hurricane conditions and the aftermath, invest in those with MIL-810-G (military drop test) and IP-69K (protection against dust solids and liquids) certifications. Both the device itself and its sensors must be certified.
Even when IoT devices have the best protection and batteries available, the system is not worth anything if connectivity is lost. When choosing between satellite or cellular, consider location and cost. High-risk operations may want to invest in a multi-channel approach, however, this is the most expensive option because each device must have two antennae and both a cellular and satellite modem. Both services require a monthly charge making this option better suited for high asset, high risk operations.
Those with less overall risk may want to install a multi-channel system only for assets involved in high-risk areas. For most other businesses, cellular networks match satellite coverage 99 percent of the time and are recommended over satellite networks.
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