This website uses cookies that are essential to the operation of this site, to personalize content and allow us to analyze site performance. If you continue to use our website, you consent to the use of our cookies. Click OK to indicate your acceptance of our cookie policy, including advertising cookies, analytics cookies, and sharing of information with social media, advertising and analytics partners.

Learn more >
During this unprecedented time of uncertainty due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we want to assure you that you can count on SmartSense to continue to support your business. Our Technical Support team is available to address your needs. Learn More.

Installation Support

Product guides, videos, downloads, and more.

SmartSense Cold Chain: Transportation & Warehouse Installation Guide

Formerly Digi SafeTemps

Table of Contents

  1. Overview
  2. SmartSense Equipment
  3. Transportation Installation
    1. Interior of Trailer
    2. Gateway Mounting
    3. Making the Connections
    4. Sensor Mounting
  4. Proper Installation
  5. Improper Installation
  6. Uncommon Installation Scenarios
    1. Van Installation
    2. Reefer Run Time
    3. Moffett Installation
  7. Warehouse Installation
    1. Gateway Installation
    2. Sensor Installation
    3. Data Logger


This guide will instruct you how to install SmartSense products in refrigerated trailers, reefer trailers, and warehouses. It will also show you proper placement and installation.

Tool Requirements

The following tools will be required to be brought to site to complete the work described in this guide:

  • Safety vest
  • Volt meter
  • Electrician's scissors
  • Drill and bits
  • Socket Set with 1/4" to 5/8" and metric in similar sizes
  • Flash light
  • 6' ladder
  • Screwdrivers (Phillips and flathead)
  • Open ended wrench set
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Digital camera
  • Cell phone
  • Laptop / tablet
  • Magnets (for sensor testing)
  • Paper masking tape
  • Sharpie
  • Plastic tubing

SmartSense Equipment

SmartSense B Gateway
SmartSense B Sensor
 SmartSense B Repeater
SmartSense BH Sensor
SmartSense Data Logger

Power Harness
Self-Drilling Screws Zip Ties

Additional Equipment

The site contact will have your SmartSense B Gateways, SmartSense Sensors, wiring harness, material kit, and magnet kits, or it will have been sent to you prior to the installation date.

SmartSense Supplied Material

T-magnet bracket kits for road/curb door (leftover brackets will be shipped to SmartSense once the install is complete).

Required Hardware

The following hardware is recommended for each truck. Hardware may be supplied by SmartSense or the installer.

  1. #8 x 3/4" hex washer head self-tap screw (stainless steel or outdoor rated)
  2. #10 x 1" hex washer head self-tap screw (stainless steel or outdoor rated)
  3. 2 3/4" stainless steel hose clamp (SAE size 20) (max 0.5" band width)
  4. 11" blue arctic zip ties
  5. 7" black cable ties (UV outdoor rated)
  6. M8 stainless steel metric nut
  7. M8 stainless steel metric lock washer
  8. M6 x 25mm hex head stainless steel metric bolt
  9. M6 stainless steel metric nut
  10. M6 stainless steel metric lock washer
  11. 7/32" x 1/2" washers
  12. 1/4" p-clamps / cable clamps (outdoor rated)

Important Information

Tech will need to work with SmartSense field services to confirm when trucks will be on site and available for installation over the weekend.

Some trucks will already have sensors and gateways installed. It is our responsibility to uninstall all old or non-working equipment. All old and extra equipment should be left with the yard manager.

Units that are dead on arrival on site should be set aside until the end of the full install. All old, DOA or extra equipment should be sent back to SmartSense once all trucks are complete.

Transportation Installation

Equipment should be mounted in specified locations within a refrigerated trailer. The gateway should be mounted on the front of the trailer. If there is a reefer unit, the gateway is mounted inside of it. If there is no room inside of the reefer unit, or if there is no reefer unit on the front of the trailer, then the gateway can be mounted externally on the front of the trailer.

The trailer may have a single type of area inside of it, or it may have several temperature zones separated by partitions. They may be similar to the image below, or they may run laterally, splitting the truck down the middle.

It is recommended that you review the trailer setup before installing the equipment. For trailers with a reefer unit on the front of the truck, a sensor will be placed near the air-return intake in a location that is within the flow of air being pulled in to the unit.

A sensor will be placed at the top of the rear rolling door. This sensor will gauge the temperature of the trailer’s dry-zone as well as detect when the door is open or closed. Additionally, sensors along with a magnet will be placed at the edge of side-doors to detect if they are open.

Trailer Interior (Forward View)

The following diagrams show common sensor placements inside refrigerated trailers. Trailers come in various sizes and configurations and may not have all of the locations shown here. The following sections will guide the installer through different install locations and should provide the information needed to place sensors in any type of refrigerated cabinet. If you still have questions about sensor locations contact SmartSense.

In the example below, a sensor is located on the air-return vent on the ceiling-mounted cooler unit. Sensors are located over both the curb-side and road-side doors, each with a door-mounted magnet to sense if each door is open or closed. A sensor is located near the air-return vent on the frozen zone unit at the front of the cabinet.

Trailer Interior (Rear View)

Sensors can detect a variety of data beyond temperature. In addition to sensing temperature in the trailer’s dry-zone, the sensor attached to the roll door also detects when the door is open or closed. It does this by sensing a change in orientation when the door is raised.

For this reason, the sensor must be installed at the top edge of the roll door in the center. Installing it too low may result in the sensor failing to detect when the door is open.

Note: The sensor must be installed flat against the door, with the mounting point oriented upward and the logo on the front of the sensor oriented correctly.

Gateway Mounting

The SmartSense B Gateway can be installed inside or outside of the reefer unit. Installing the gateway inside the trailer’s reefer cabinet is the best method. If this is not an option, external mounting on the trailer wall is also acceptable.

Mounting Inside the Reefer Cabinet

Some reefer units may have a metal equipment-mounting plate with existing screw ports. An M6-1.0 x 25 mm cap screw with a lock washer can be used with these mounts. Then use two 3/4” self-tapping sheet metal screws to secure opposite corners of the gateway to the metal plate for added security. Pilot holes (1/8 bit) may need to be drilled if the mounting plate is thick. Use caution when drilling pilot holes and using the self-tapping sheet metal screws, to prevent damage to the electronics or other devices behind the plate.

If there is no mounting plate, attach the gateway to another available surface. The gateway can be screwed into a flat surface such as the back wall of the cabinet or securely zip-tied to a crossbar within the unit. Verify that the gateway is mounted in a way so that it cannot move or come off.

Be sure to note the Gateway ID (ex. F001234) and the Trailer Number or ID on the unit that the gateway is being installed into (this will be needed to setup the SmartSense dashboard). Connect the 3/8" ring terminals to the 12v battery terminals in the reefer unit. Red connects to the positive (+) terminal and black connects to the ground (-). Use zip ties to secure the power cable. Affix it to other cables and/or crossbars. Be sure to not let the power cable interfere with machinery.

Mounting Outside the Reefer Cabinet

If there is no space or no mounting point inside the reefer unit, affix the gateway to the exterior of the truck in an area adjacent to the reefer cabinet. Place the gateway 1/2 to 3/4 of the way up from the bottom of the trailer, on the same side of the cabinet as the reefer unit’s battery. Install the gateway on the road side, to avoid damage by low hanging tree branches and traffic signs.

Choose a location for the gateway that will allow the reefer cabinet door to open. Secure the gateway with #10 1” self-tapping sheet metal screws on all four corners of the gateway. Be sure to note the Gateway ID (Example: F001234) and the Trailer Number or ID that the gateway is being installed into. This will be needed to set up the SmartSense dashboard.

Run the cable into the reefer unit and attach the 3/8" ring terminals to the reefer battery. Red is positive (+) and Black is ground (-). Verify the gateway power LED indicator is on (solid green indicates power). Neatly secure the cable with 1/4” cable clamps or zip ties.

Making the Connections

Connecting Directly to the J560 Connector Terminal

  1. Connect the provided power cable to the SmartSense B Gateway
  2. Remove the cover of the J560 connector to access the connection terminal on the back of the cover plate
  3. Thread the gateway power cable through the cable entry point at the bottom of the J560 case
  4. Cut the gateway power cable to length so that you have a uniform fit
  5. Crimp #10 ring terminals to the red power lead and the black ground lead of the power cable
  6. Attach the red gateway power wire to pin 7 (blue wire) of the J560 connection terminal
  7. Attach the black gateway ground wire to pin 1 (white wire) of the J560 connection terminal. Reattach the J560 connector case cover
  8. Secure the gateway power cable to the trailer and/or reefer cabinet using cable clamps and zip ties

Note: Do not over tighten or cause stress on the cable. The wiring harness and gateway can handle the elements (rain, snow, heat, etc.) and can be exposed.

Connecting Directly to the Reefer Unit Battery

  1. Connect the provided power cable to the SmartSense B Gateway
  2. Locate the reefer battery
  3. Thread the gateway power cable into the reefer cabinet
  4. Connect the red wire of the wiring harness to the positive terminal of the battery 
  5. Connect the black wire of the wiring harness to the negative terminal of the battery 
  6. Be sure existing connections remain connected
  7. If needed, add any necessary washers to terminals to secure connection of wire harness ring terminal connections
  8. Tighten all connections

Confirm Power

Provide a power source to the trailer or connect to a tractor. When power is applied, the SmartSense B Gateway will power up and connect to the cellular network. Confirm the blue LED is flashing and the green LED is solid.

In the event LED activity is not as described, please check all connections. It is normal to see a periodic red LED flash. If you see a constant red LED or are unable to make the gateway power up or communicate, contact SmartSense Solution Support at 1-866-806-2653.

Sensor Mounting

Reefer On/Off Sensor

The ideal installation location for the reefer on/off sensor is on the micro-processor’s positive wire. This wire is usually red, and will be identified with a + sign. A micro-processor may not be present on older units, in which case attach the sensor directly to the battery’s positive wire. This wire is usually red, and will be identified with a + sign. If the positive wire is a thin red wire, use a small piece of plastic tubing around the red wire, to ensure a snug fit when you attach the hose clamp.

Make sure that the face of the sensor is pressed against the cable. The face of the sensor is the side that has the sticker on it. This may appear backwards, but it is important that the side of the sensor that has the SmartSense logo on it is pressed against the cable. The hose clamp must wrap around the entire sensor and loop through the mounting point on the sensor so that it cannot come off. Attach a red zip tie to the cable near the reefer on/off (if the gateway is inside the reefer unit, then only one zip tie is needed).

Barn Door/Roll Door Sensor

Roll Door

Secure the sensor flush with the door, so it will not move with a 3/4” self-tapping sheet metal screw. The sensor must be mounted in the center of the door, at the top edge of the door.

Confirm proper door open/close detection after sensor installation. Start with the door closed for at least one minute and no LED light activity on the sensor. Open the door while watching the sensor. You should see the red or red and green LEDs flash within 15 seconds of the door being opened. Wait another minute for the LEDs to go off, and close the door. You should see the green LED flash within 15 seconds of the door being closed.

Barn Door

If the truck has barn doors instead of a roll door, install the sensor as you would a curb or road door sensor (refer to following section).

Cooler Zone Temperature Sensor

Use two zip ties to secure the sensor to the return air vent on the ceiling-mounted cooler. Make sure the zip tie loops through the mount point on the sensor and wraps around it so that the sensor does not move.

Note: Do not dangle the sensor from the vent. Secure it in place with two zip ties wrapped around the sensor. In this configuration it is okay for the sensor to be parallel with the celling.

Road/Curb Door Open/Close Sensors

Secure the sensor to the top of the door frame, so it will not move. If possible you can use an existing screw or add a 3/4” self-tapping sheet metal screw. The sensor must be located within 1” of a magnet when the door is closed. If there is already a magnet in place from previous equipment, you can use that or attach a new magnet provided with the sensors. Attach the magnet-bracket to the door sing self-tapping screws so that it lines up with the sensor and does not prevent the door from closing. See the two examples below.

Confirm proper door open/close detection after installing the sensor. Start with the door closed for at least one minute and no LED light activity on the sensor. Open the door while watching the sensor. You should see the red LED flash within 15 seconds of the door being opened. Wait another minute for the LEDs to go off, and close the door. You should see the green LED flash within 15 seconds of the door being closed.

Frozen Zone Temperature Sensor

Freezer units mounted in the front of a trailer come in a variety of configurations. Below are examples of common types of freezer vents. Examples may not match the equipment you are installing in. The sensors must be placed so that the air being pulled into the return vent will blow directly overhead.

To correctly mount a sensor near a freezer like this it should be attached with a 3/4” self-tapping sheet metal screw below or near the return air intake. It is ideal to place it against the front wall of the trailer; however, it can be placed on the side wall if it is still within the flow of air. If you are unsure of sensor placement, contact SmartSense.


  • Do not attach the sensor to any rubber bumpers located under the vent
  • Do not zip tie the sensor to any wire mesh that is protecting the vent
  • Do not mount the sensor up inside of the vent where it cannot be seen
  • Do not mount the sensor on the output vent (usually near the top of the cabin)
  • Do not screw the sensor too tightly, or else the plastic casing may snap

Proper Installation

Firmly attached with two zip ties and no dangling Two screws for extra security
Cords are neatly bundled and out of the way Sensor is on the door frame
Testing the sensor before remediation Sensor face down on red wire, with red zip tie

Improper Installation

Sensor off the edge of the door frame Sensor installed into bumper
Improper orientation Improper orientation
Alternator not connected Sensor attached to green wire using zip ties
Sensor dangling, improper orientation Sensor dangling, improper orientation
Sensor on wrong air vent, zip tie not cut Sensor on wrong air vent, zip tie not cut
Old equipment not removed, sensor more than 1" from magnet Improper orientation

Uncommon Installation Scenarios

Tri-Fold Rear Doors

If a truck has a tri-fold rear door, install the sensor with a magnet, the way you would install a curb/road door sensor. The sensor should be installed into the door frame with two screws for extra security.

The magnet should be installed directly into the top of the most exterior of the tri-fold doors (this should be the first door that opens from the outside). The magnet should be placed in a position that when the tri-fold doors are closed, the sensor is located less than 1" away from the magnet. The sensor should not dangle over the doorway.

Van Installation

If the battery is under the hood of the van, the gateway should be installed inside of the truck cab behind the driver’s seat, with the cable connecting to the battery. If a reefer unit is present on the van, then the gateway should be installed inside of the reefer unit, with the cable running to the battery. The gateway should be secured with double sided tape, so that it will not move while in transit. Ensure that the gateway is installed behind the driver’s seat so the lights are not disruptive to the driver while en route. The sensor should be installed secured to the drain hose, using two zip ties.

Reefer Run Time

For a reefer run time sensor, the sensor should be installed on either the alternator or generator cable. In the instance of an alternator, install the sensor on the positive cable (usually red, marked with a +). In the instance of a generator, install the sensor on the negative cable (usually black, marked with a -). In either instance, the sensor should be installed face down with the logo against the cable.

Duromax Frozen Zone

Below is an example of an air-return bulkhead on the front-wall of a trailer. Some bulkheads have a single row of vents along the bottom, some may have two rows of vents as show below.

In this example, the sensor is placed inside of an upper vent that is recessed. This is the ideal position, but you may need to use your judgment based on the criteria stated above and the specific design of the bulkhead you are installing into. If the bulkhead had no recessed vents it is acceptable to zip tie the sensor directly to the intake vent.

Moffett Installation

To install a gateway in a Moffett forklift, the Moffett's battery must first be removed, and the gateway should then be installed behind the battery. Once the gateway is installed and secure, replace the Moffett's battery in its original position.

The sensor should be installed as normal to the positive power cable from the Moffett's battery. Attach with a hose clamp, SmartSense logo facing down on the cable.

Warehouse Installation

Installation Planning

The division kickoff is focused on gathering information in the pre-installation workbook. The first step in warehouse deployment is sourcing the warehouse layout schematic. Using the warehouse map, SmartSense will collaborate with the customer to scope the gateway and sensor locations. The map will be the guide for the installation resource to apply the hardware. Standard applications consists of 10 temperature monitoring points. Typically, the cooler zones and freezer zones are deployed. Ambient zones are optional.

Sample warehouse map:

Gateway Installation

The SmartSense B Gateway is an IP rated wireless router. All radios and antennas are embedded within the device casing. Installation consists of mounting the gateway approximately 6 -10 feet from the floor, plugging it into a standard 110v power outlet, and strapping the power harness neatly to an existing conduit or p clamps. If the facility is currently equipped with similar monitoring technology, the power outlet for the existing device can be utilized.   

Common height for mounting gateways and sensors is between 6 and 10 feet off the floor. Always ensure the gateways and sensors are not mounted in areas where they will be completely surrounded by product. Ensure the gateway's cabling is routed and secured, and that there are no loose hanging wires. Also choose target areas that will provide the gateways and sensors the best ability to wirelessly communicate.

For large walk-in units where gateways are installed inside of the units, select power outlets near fire exits or doors to provide the best opportunity to obtain a cellular signal. It is recommended, but not required, that the sensor that is furthest from the gateway has more of a direct line of sight. Post installation, verification that the installed gateways and sensors are communicating properly with the dashboard is required.

Sample gateway installation:

Sensor Installation

SmartSense B Sensors are capable of interpreting temperature, humidity, magnetic open/close, and orientation. The standard warehouse application applies up to 10 sensors. Humidity sensors can be deployed on request. SmartSense sensors are always on, always reporting. The standard temperature profile is at a 10 minute reporting rhythm. Each sensor is NIST certified and renewed on an annual basis. This maintains a current NIST certificate to ensure accuracy and audit worthiness.

Range 300' line of site
Communication Frequency Default 10 minutes
Communication Method Bluetooth 4.0
Temperature Operating Range -40ºF to 212ºF
Temperature Accuracy +2ºF
Battery Life Minimum 12 months
Certifications NSF and NIST

Data Logger

The SmartSense Data Logger is always on, taking temperature every 10 minutes. Holding the sensor in a vertical/upside down position will trigger its LED lights. The red and green lights will flash, validating the logger is active and receiving signal. Data loggers should be placed close to product, but not inside the product or out of sight.

Was this article helpful?

Need additional help?

SmartSense support is standing by to help
Monday-Friday 8am-5pm EST