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Rush Tracking Systems Acquires ShockWatch Equipment-Monitoring Division

With this acquisition, the company has adopted a new name—TotalTrax—and will now offer a complete solution that can track not only a forklift's location and cargo, but also its driver's identity and any collisions that may occur.
By Claire Swedberg
The TotalTrax package will consist of ShockWatch's technology, as well as the company's Sky-Trax and VisiblEdge solutions for tracking each forklift's location—and, thus, the locations of the goods that vehicle is carrying, employing a combination of both optical and RFID technologies. Optical sensors (cameras) that read optical markers are installed on a warehouse ceiling. The camera mounted on the top of the lift truck snaps photographs of the location markers at a rate of several photos per second as the vehicle moves, in order to calculate its location, direction and speed. Moreover, the integrated package includes a VisiblEdge RFID interrogator, mounted on the front of the forklift. With passive EPC Gen 2 RFID tags attached to the pallets or cartons, the system enables users to determine what a particular forklift is carrying—and, based on that vehicle's location, where the items are located, and when and where they were put down by the vehicle (since the reader would cease to interrogate the tags at that point.)

According to McMillan, the company will now work to incorporate ShockWatch's FleetControl Manager software with the TotalTrax software solution. The integrated software package will be given a new name, McMillan says, though such a name has yet to be determined.

Each component previously provided by Rush Tracking Systems, Sky-Trax and ShockWatch can be purchased separately, Rush says, or the entire package can be bought together. When the solutions are installed as a single package, he adds, the system will be less expensive, though the price range will vary widely, depending upon an installation's scope.

"We have worked with the forklift market for (nearly eight) years," Rush states. When working with multiple vendors, he notes, "It's very hard to get all the parts together. With this solution, we take the complexity and cost out."

For years, Rush says, "our vision has been to be able to put together an end-to-end smart-truck solution."

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