Trucking company tracks flatbed trailers with Teletouch

FRAMINGHAM (03/18/2004) - Transport Continental Inc. (TCI), a trucking company based in Pharr, Texas, has selected tracking systems from Teletouch Communications Inc. to monitor its fleet of flatbed trailers.

The tracking devices, which rely on Global Positioning System satellites and two-way data communication, allow the fleet operator to monitor a truck's location, maintain two-way communication with the driver and monitor the truck's engine.

"Outfitting a flatbed trailer with a satellite-based tracking device wasn't an easy task," said J. Kernan Crotty, president of Tyler, Texas-based Teletouch. Part of the problem involved finding the right spot to mount the unit to avoid tampering.

According to Crotty, TCI outfitted all 171 of its trailers with the devices after Teletouch demonstrated that it could covertly mount one of its wireless, self-contained, battery-powered devices on a flatbed trailer. Each wireless device costs less than US$300, and when placed on a vehicle or piece of equipment, it transmits information via satellite, allowing users to monitor assets from their desktops.

"Teletouch has provided us with something we weren't sure we would ever have -- the ability to know exactly where our flatbed trailers are," said TCI President Jim Cowart.

Cowart said that his company has already booked more business because it can now track its trailers.

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