Utility Trailer Manufacturing Company and European trailer manufacturer Schmitz Cargobull Corp. are bringing a new transport refrigeration unit technology and brand to North America.
Under the name Cargobull North America, Utility Trailer is the exclusive North American distributor of Schmitz Cargobull’s latest TRU technology on Utility’s 3000R line of refrigerated trailers.
Schmitz Cargobull is the market leader in TRU technology in Europe, according to the announcement, with 30,000 TRUs currently on the road.
The Cargobull technology offers as much as 20% less fuel consumption, according to the company, with plug-in hybrid and all-electric units to reduce and eliminate emissions.
“This technology is new to North America and will be available exclusively on our 3000R, providing a giant leap forward in terms of TRUs,” said Jeff Bennett, Utility’s new president and CEO, during a press conference at the International Foodservice Distributors Association’s 2023 Solutions Conference.
The new lineup coming to North America on Utility’s 3000R reefers includes the 625 single-temperature and 655MT multi-temperature hybrid TRUs. Both can hold temperatures from minus 20 to 80 degrees. The compact, low-profile design allows for a shorter gap between tractor and trailer for better aerodynamics.
The multi-temp TRU offers up to three different temperature zones in the trailer. An innovative snorkel and air chute system help eliminate hot spots. The evaporator has three high-velocity vans and an ultra-low profile for more clearance inside the trailer.
The shore power receptacle is located at the back of the trailer.
The TRU technology already meets California’s stringent emission standards for 2030. It’s also compliant with California Air Resources Board ultra-low-emission TRU regulations without using a diesel-particulate filter or exhaust-gas-recirculation.
Because the units can be plugged in at a loading dock, operators will lower emissions while maximizing cooling efficiencies.
The new Utility and Cargobull North America TRUs include a Hatz industrial diesel engine with fuel-sipping common-rail injection, a reliable hybrid powertrain, fully embedded shore power, and noise-dampening options that come standard.
Schmitz Cargobull is also bringing its advanced trailer telematics to monitor and manage fleet logistics.
“The trailer is becoming more and more of an Internet of Things vehicle,” Schmitz said. Today’s customers need real-time, up-to-date data to monitor loads and operate their fleets more efficiently. And customers increasingly require fleets to share real-time data on their loads.
The Utility TrailerConnect Pro telematics solution is factory-installed and offers temperature-control management with active monitoring and intelligent remote control of the refrigeration units.
The TrailerConnect Pro Integrates the TRU and trailer telematics. In addition to monitoring the TRU, the systems provides monitoring of trailer ABS, brakes and tire pressure monitoring, as well as predictive maintenance for both the TRU and the trailer.
Standard integrated solar panels ensure telematics remain in communication.
The telematics platform is also designed so transport companies can easily share the data with their partners.
“We’re using a simple API,” Schmitz explained, with an open system allowing customers to integrate the data into their existing systems. There’s also a mobile app available.
“We are fully aware that this data belongs to our customers, not to us,” he said. “The customer can choose who he wants to share that data with. He doesn’t have to be afraid we will use that data for something else.”
At the same time, he said, there’s an extensive security system protecting both the hardware on the truck and the data that’s in the cloud.
Schmitz highlighted some of the systems that, while not available in North America immediately, will be made possible by the telematics.
For instance, an integrated door-locking system will only open the door when the trailer is in certain geofenced locations.
Fully electric models with battery-recuperation axles are on the way. The system is being tested with prototypes already running in Europe. An electric e-axle will recuperate energy from the axle to charge the battery and power an all-electric cooling unit. Plans are to make it available in North America, as well.
“We can see ourselves eventually optimizing cooling cycles based on the individual use of the customer,” Schmitz said. Some loads may require temperatures to be held in an extremely narrow range, while other runs that have more flexibility could be programmed to operate more fuel-efficiently.
Cargobull foresees setting up a manufacturing plant in North America by 2026.
Family-Owned Trailer Makers with a Long History
The two companies are both family-owned and operated, on their fourth generation of leadership with a fifth in the wings.
“I am very much looking forward to our collaboration,” said Schmitz Cargobull Chairman of the Board Andreas Schmitz in a news release. “Above all, I am convinced that together we will provide added value to North American customers and revolutionize the market.”
Utility President and CEO Jeff Bennett said, “We don’t just want to be the biggest, but also the best, holistic destination for everything reefer customers need, from strong and lightweight boxes to energy-efficient TRUs and high-tech telematics — all in one trailer.”