Thermo King,the temperature control people, announced two new smartphone apps at MATS on Wednesday. One of those apps provides location and contact information for Thermo King dealers with drop lots where drivers may be able to pull off the road and park. Thermo King personnel said they could not be specific regarding possible charges, but said use of the drop yard service could involve a "nominal fee."
According to Gayatri Abbott, Director of Smart Products & Telematics for Thermo King, the service called Dealer Locator and Drop Yard Referral System provides alternatives for drivers who may be running short on hours and in need of a place to stop, for example. The system might also serve a driver looking for an overnight stop close to an AM delivery location. In any case, the sheer number of dealer locations – 2,250 in all – provides possibilities to drivers, particularly in the densely populated East and Midwest.
Individual dealers are free to charge what Abbott called a "nominal fee" for the Drop Yard service, and not all facilities offer driver services, say food and showers, like those at a truck stop. However, she noted, it's something some dealers are working on. Considering that the system is new and that space at any one dealership might be limited, Abbott agreed it is best to call or text the dealership before showing up. To use the system, a driver must first download and install the Dealer Locator app from the Apple Store or from Google Play.
The second app announced Wednesday enables smartphone access to data sent from Thermo King's TracKing Telematics system that is available on the web. A driver need only download and install the app on his or her smartphone that will then be able to display critical information from a Thermo King unit on their truck. The driver who can be inside a truck stop or virtually anywhere remains able to monitor product temperature and other indicators.
To download either app, Abbott said, simply enter Thermo King in an Apple Store or Google Play search window to see a selection of Thermo King apps.