Phillips EC47 Connector Wins Tech Achievement Award

Phillips Industries

Phillips EC47 Connector Wins Annual Tech Achievement Honor

(Trailer Technician) – A tractor-trailer connector that works with new “smart” trailers as well as older trailers has won the 33rd annual Technical Achievement Award, the sponsoring group announced today (March 6). The product is Phillips Industries’ EC47 “cross-compatible” connector, which emerged as the favorite among eight nominees in voting by a panel of truck writers.

The EC47 combines a standard J560 seven-pin connector with additional ports to transmit signals from trailer sensors to send additional operating data to the cab. Examples are wheel-end temperatures, tire pressures and images from rear-facing cameras, Phillips had said in announcing the product last year. The new connector replaces a second cable that some operators have been using.

Phillips EC47 Connector
Phillips EC47 connector has ports on either side of the traditional seven-pin connector to transmit additional information from trailer sensors to the tractor. Truck writers chose it from eight products for the annual Technical Achievement Award.

“The EC47 is the latest example of products and services that have won the award since we gave out the first one, for a red LED tail light, in 1991,” said Tom Berg, chairman of the truck writers committee that decided the 2024 edition. “All have shown advanced engineering that offers practical benefits to commercial truck owners and operators.”


Berg announced the award during the Technology & Maintenance Council’s annual meeting in New Orleans. The award is now named for Jim Winsor, an editor who covered trucks and trucking, and was active in TMC and a predecessor organization. He passed away in 2015. Susan Fall of LaunchIt Public Relations sponsors the award.

Technical Achievement Award 2024
(From left) Tom Berg, chairman of the truck writers committee, presents a trophy marking the Technical Achievement Award to Dan Forthoffer, vice president of corporate research & development for Phillips Industries, and Rob Phillips, CEO and president.

The EC47 connector was one of three finalists announced earlier by the truck writers. The others were Aperia’s Halo Trailer Connect, a tire pressure monitoring, inflation and reporting system, and Fontaine’s Smart Fifth Wheel, which monitors parts wear and warns a driver and his managers if a trailer’s kingpin has not been securely engaged.

They were from eight products the writers nominated early this year. The other five are Cobra FM-CB radios, which add entertainment to two-way voice communications; Motive 360-degree multicamera system, which provides around-the-truck views to drivers; P.S.I. Digital ThermAlert, which senses and warns of abnormally high wheel-end temperatures; Stemco AutoTorq, which automatically sets wheel-end bearings during installation; and Valvoline Blue Restore Gen2 motor oil, which removes carbon deposits on piston rings.

All had been introduced and became available to customers during calendar-year 2023. Berg said the award competition is not for entire trucks and trailers, but for components used in them and services that help keep them running. Deliberations for the next award will begin early in 2025 for items introduced this year.

Panel members represent the trucking industry trade press in Canada and the United States. Aside from Berg, who writes for Land Line and Construction Equipment, members are: freelancer John Baxter; Jason Cannon, Commercial Carrier Journal; Seth Clevenger and Michael Freeze, Transport Topics; Beth Colvin, Truck, Parts, Service; Josh Fisher, Fleet Owner; James Menzies, Today’s Trucking and Trucknews; Jason Morgan, Fleet Equipment; and Jim Park and Jack Roberts, Heavy Duty Trucking.