In-depth article

Rail companies keep overview of non-powered fleet by tracking rail cars, vehicles and trailers.

Imagine always knowing the position, usage and condition of your non-powered cars or trailers.

More and more rail companies turn to IoT tracking for solutions to some of the most complicated challenges of their business.

Tracking rail cars helps you answer: 

  • How do we keep overview of a complex fleet of non-powered rail cars?
  • Are we overusing certain rail cars while others stand idle? 
  • When is service due?
  • How do we effectively perform preventive maintenance?

The relatively small investment into IoT tracking devices is an effective solution to these challenges and – as you will see in this article – many others as well.

rail cart with tracker

Full visibility to non-powered vehicles by tracking rail cars and trailers

A tracking solution equips managers with great tools for optimizing their daily tasks:

  • Start off the day with an exact overview of your entire fleet. Log on to the software platform to see every tracking device on a map.
  • By knowing exact positions, managers can find misplaced rail cars, identify idle ones, and optimize the general use of the fleet.
  • The tracking devices make it possible to sort rail cars on the software platform and assign them to groups to keep everything organized.
  • Managers can create additional users to delegate control to other employees.

Long-life tracking devices, such as the Trusted TG9+, offer several years of battery life.

By combining this small, advanced tracking device with a multi-platform software solution, IoT tracking is a game-changer that is ideal for the rail industry.

Tracking rail cars to perform preventive maintenance and service on time – every time!

Staying in control of an entire fleet through tracking is an invaluable tool in itself. But there are even bigger advantages when tracking your fleet.

From the software platform managers can see actual use of each rail car in kilometers or miles. 

The advanced sensors in the tracking device measure utilization of assets based on motion. This will highlight whether some rail cars are being overused or not used at all. 

You can also stay in control of when rail cars need maintenance or when service is due, based on criteria such as time of use or distance covered.

Set alarms to notify you to save time and money on inspections and break downs.

What you get: high on data, low on investment costs

The little effort of mounting a tracking device to a rail car or a trailer is what it takes to join the IoT revolution.

To see just how impressive the amount of data from non-powered assets can be, we have looked at a Trusted tracker currently in use.

On a standard configuration based on the intelligent motion sensor, the tracker, which is mounted on a rail car, has successfully sent more than 5850 transmissions to our servers in a 15-month period.

In the same period, more than 12200 in total of the more battery-preserving data logs have been registered by the device and sent to the server in user-specific intervals.

Browsing through the data, we see that the rail car in question has been moving for a combined period of 68 days and 13 hours in which it has accumulated almost 49.000 kilometers.

We also have data on position, shocks and impacts, temperature and light – all of which are parameters that can be analyzed for the optimization of the use of the cart.

These previously hidden insights from non-powered assets are available for the customer from the Trusted online platform.

An impressive amount of data for a comparatively low cost.

User cases solved by tracking

The many advanced sensors also provide further advantages:

  • IoT sensors provide data on position. This means you can find misplaced trailers or rail cars left on stations, in yards or on sidetracks.
  • Make transports safer by tracking unwanted shocks or tilting to rail cars and cargo from switchers/shunters or track bumps.
  • Prevent theft by placing trackers with rail cars, containers, and trailers that are loaded with high-value goods and therefore require extra security.
  • Use the shock sensor to make a heatmap of how bumps (based on G-sensor data) on the tracks affect cargo.
  • Activate Geo sites and receive alarms when rail cars or trailers leave or arrive at a selected geographic area.
  • Sensors measuring temperature or humidity/moisture will help you monitor cold chain transports during rail transport.

The installation of hardware is a hassle-free experience. Being battery-powered and extremely durable, trackers are easy to mount on rail cars.

Because of the long battery life, you do not need to worry about servicing or constantly replacing the tracking units.


Interested in hearing more about how our customers from rail companies use tracking to keep overview of their fleets? 

Please give me a call today or book a meeting.

Sales Manager

Peter Nissen


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