Text: Oliver Schönfeld
Photos: Schwarzmüller GmbH
Order a telematics system for the new trailer? And if so, which one? These questions no longer arise for customers of Wilhelm Schwarzmüller GmbH. Since June 2021, the vehicle manufacturer based in Freinberg, Austria, has been equipping its trailers with networked technology as standard ex works. Without additional costs for the customers, but with tangible added value.
Remote diagnostics, tracking, fleet management and many other services have been standard on board new and rental vehicles from Wilhelm Schwarzmüller GmbH since the beginning of June 2021. Each trailer is equipped with a central control unit for this purpose. It continuously records vehicle states and positions as well as driver behaviour and can transmit the data continuously thanks to the integrated SIM card. The advantages of data-supported real-time functionalities are thus available to Schwarzmüller customers directly from the first kilometre.
On the way to the networked trailer
The Schwarzmüller Intelligent Telematics system – SWIT for short – was developed together with idem telematics GmbH, a brand of the BPW Group. It took the two partners just over a year from the initial idea to the implementation of their cooperation. The declared goal is to establish the networked trailer as the standard in the commercial vehicle industry. “We are the first manufacturer to make the benefits of telematics available to all customers, regardless of the type of vehicle used,” emphasises Roland Hartwig, CEO of Schwarzmüller.
Data will become the success factor of the future
Three tailor-made service packages
Safer and more profitable on the road
For the trailer sector, telematics is still a relatively new piece of equipment that first has to establish itself, Roland Hartwig points out: “But its benefits speak for themselves. For example, tyre monitoring can minimise the number one cause of breakdowns in long-distance transport. The anticipatory maintenance of the braking systems helps to avoid costs and reduce dangers. For the future, Hartwig also sees great optimisation opportunities in the use of the vehicle fleet: “The more flexibly a trailer is to be scheduled, the more important its current data is. Alarm functions or predictive maintenance are not possible without digital applications.”
Easy entry into networking
The fact that the starting signal for SWIT comes in the year of Schwarzmüller’s 150th anniversary is more than just a happy coincidence – the trailer manufacturer is also underlining its own claim to be an innovation driver in the industry. Every vehicle that is technically suitable is equipped directly ex works: That is around 10,000 units per year. The standard equipment comes at no extra charge and, in the view of Martin Kiesler, head of the Contract and Telematics Department, offers in particular the opportunity to make smaller and medium-sized transport companies aware of the possibilities and advantages of telematics: “For many of our customers, this is the first step in telematics. It was therefore particularly important to us to keep the entry threshold for users as low as possible and to create a solution that is easy to use – without high administrative effort.“
Martin Kiesler, Head of Contract and Telematics at Schwarzmüller, has his sights set on smaller and medium-sized transport companies in particular.
Prepare data according to needs
Every user receives access to the SWIT portal, where the current status of the entire networked fleet can be read. idem telematics attaches particular importance to the needs-based preparation of the data, which is displayed on the screens of the transport company and its dispatchers, on the smartphones or tablets of the drivers or also on end devices of recipients and subcontractors. “Crucial information is available to team members, partners or customers at exactly the right time, suitably prepared,” explains Jens Zeller. “We create security and efficiency without a flood of data. This is the only way telematics drives the transformation of transport.” In addition, the three data service packages also include numerous interfaces to third-party systems of all kinds. For Schwarzmüller’s rental fleet, idem telematics offers a special function that simplifies the handling of vehicle deliveries and returns and even speeds them up with higher quality.
Comprehensive support for transporters
A free three-month start-up phase makes it even easier for transporters to get started. “We want to give our customers time to test the system extensively and to get to know all the advantages,” Martin Kiesler explains. In addition, Schwarzmüller supports customers with technical support, a newly created telematics service telephone, training, explanatory videos and intensive communication. The first feedback from the market confirms the concept: users appreciate the high data quality as well as the easy handling. In addition, user-specific use cases have already been created that would not be possible without networking.
Roland Hartwig expects rapid penetration with the new system: the gain in efficiency and the associated added value for the transport companies speak for themselves, the Schwarzmüller CEO is convinced.