The taillights on an 18-wheeler are a simple yet critical piece of equipment that supports highway safety. But some taillights are much more than that, doing double duty as covert trackers that can thwart thieves and help locate missing trailers.
One such device is the TrackLight, a fully functioning taillight from Ontario, California-based Anytrek Corp. that comes with a GPS tracker hidden inside. Built into either a four-inch round or six-inch oval taillight, the tracker runs on the same power source that powers the taillight and can provide the full gamut of GPS tracking functions, the company says.
Once installed, the unit can help fleets locate trailers that are dropped off at the wrong spot, lost, or stolen. The sensors typically broadcast their position over standard cellphone networks every five minutes when moving and charging, every 15 minutes when moving and not charging, and every six hours when idle.
Already in use by a number of fleets, the device is now being integrated into the Trucker Tools software ecosystem. Last month, the Reston, Virginia-based digital load-tracking specialist announced that it would incorporate location data from the trackers into its real-time visibility platform. The addition will allow Trucker Tools to expand in-transit visibility for truckload carriers, drayage firms, and flatbed operators, the company said in a release.Designed for all trailer types, the TrackLight was specifically engineered with security in mind, according to Estefania Gallegos, Anytrek’s manager of operations. “One of the issues with traditional trailer tracking devices is they are visible on the trailer and are easily and quickly removed and discarded by someone attempting to steal the trailer. [But] our unit is installed inside the taillight, invisible to a potential thief,” she said in the release. “We used to see trailers just as rolling boxes of metal. Now, we are bringing intelligence to that trailer, making what was a dumb trailer into a smart one.