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The Trailer Technologies You Need to Know About in 2021

Posted by Richard Swenson on Feb 15, 2021 11:00:00 AM

Mckinney_Trailer.jpgTrailers continue to become more sophisticated. In 2021, we expect to see some exciting advancements in technologies that will make moving freight easier and more efficient.

Three years ago, "smart trailer telematics" was the buzz in the industry. The leading trailer manufacturers introduced their new trailers with fully outfitted smart trailer technology at the American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) Technology and Maintenance Council conference. 

The various trailer component manufacturers were all working and promoting their versions of smart trailer technology. 

But there was little discussion about standardization with the different systems required for communications and who would communicate this to the cloud—and then once communicated, how fleets would use the potentially enormous amount of data to improve productivity and administer that predictive maintenance they all desired.  

Prior to 2017, the trailer telematics industry was 20 years stagnant with only trailer tracking and cargo and door sensors. Whether you are a fleet owner, truck driver or transportation manager, everyone should benefit from trailer technology in 2021. 

This includes:

SkyBitz Kinnect

This next generation of advanced GPS tracking solutions is designed to capture and communicate all of your remote asset data through one device. Quick and easy to install, Kinnect gathers data from most sensors, whether wired or wireless, giving you more control over the information you need to make smart cargo management decisions. 

With accurate mileage from Kinnect, tractor-trailer providers like Mckinney Trailer Rentals are able to bill actual miles monthly versus waiting until trailers are returned. This evens out your cash flow and you will receive invoices based on actual usage. 

Kinnect can also be used across a wide range of assets—including trailers, containers, flatbeds, chassis or tankers—for a simplified approach to device inventory and installation.

SkyBitz SkyCamera

SkyCamera is an ultra-durable, high-resolution in-trailer camera and volumetric sensor that provides accurate and actionable data in real-time using artificial intelligence-powered software. With this technology:

  • You can pinpoint the exact location of trailers or intermodal containers
  • Retrieve the total usable cubic space, as well as entire floor space availability 

Furthermore, SkyCamera produces crystal-clear and sharp images of freight inside the trailer, allowing dispatchers to determine if it was loaded correctly or not.


Connectible to most telematics systems, MAX LINK™ takes liftgate performance to a new standard. MAX LINK™ improves the diagnostics of the charging systems and batteries, preventing unexpected and expensive equipment failures on the road. 


HiConnect is a connected service that helps you monitor and get the most out of your fleet by using the data available. With HiConnect, you receive real-time data right to your computer or mobile device. 

With easy access to data, you can improve performance and avoid unnecessary downtime. Clear and simple overviews and graphs help you monitor status, plan service and improve the operation of each unit in your fleet. In short, HiConnect helps you optimize your fleet as well as support and empower your operators. 

What Technologies Does Mckinney Have With Its Trailers?

In 2019, Mckinney added reefer telematics with solar charging to all new refrigerated trailers. Using ORBCOMM’s PT 6000, Thermo King’s TracKing, and Coretex telematics, Mckinney now provides 2-way monitoring and tracking throughout the US.  

Customers can check pre-trip status, set temperatures and set up alerts for temperature, location and reefer unit issues. It will also assist with regulatory compliance by keeping a historic record of reefer temperature readings for each particular load.

In 2020, Mckinney added P.S.I.’s automatic tire inflation system to its new dry vans, flats and reefers. This is a proven ROI for fleets where they rent trailers on a net or standard maintenance basis. With it, you receive:

  • Extended tire life
  • Improved fuel economy
  • Decreased maintenance costs with fewer ERS calls
  • Improved safety

This year, Mckinney expects to roll out SkyBitz Kinnect, SkyBitz SkyCamera, MAX LINK™ and HiConnect to its customers. Whether you’re interested in trailer leasing or a semi-trailer rental, Mckinney has the trailer technology you need to make your job easier. Contact us today to learn more.

Topics: Semi-Trailer Rentals, trailer leasing, trailer telematics

Richard Swenson

Written by Richard Swenson

Richard Swenson is the VP of Operations for Mckinney Trailer Rentals and has been with Mckinney for almost ten years and in the industry for 37 years. Rich lives in Gig Harbor, Washington where he enjoys hiking and cruising on the Puget Sound and area lakes with family and friends.

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