When many of us think of the trucking industry, we don’t exactly associate it with new technology. For people without inside knowledge of this field, the overall mechanics of trucking seem very simple: drivers transport cargo from Point A to Point B. While this assertion is true in many respects, it also oversimplifies the aforementioned industry to an incredible degree. In recent years, emerging technologies have helped make trucking safer, more efficient and more attractive to jobseekers. As you’ll find, the relationship between trucking and tech is much closer than many people realize.
Fleet-monitoring tools and telematics technology have played a significant role in enhancing the efficiency of many transport companies. Since monitors are able to keep track of drivers’ locations and vehicle mileage, many drivers have become less likely to engage in side trips. Additionally, being able to reach out to a monitor at any time has greatly reduced the risk of drivers becoming lost – one of the most common causes of late deliveries. Monitors can also help drivers maintain a general sense of time and assist them in charting the most efficient course to their destinations.
Increased Driver Safety
Increased driver safety is arguably the most important benefit of fleet-monitoring tools. Thanks to this technology, trucking companies can know exactly where their drivers are at all times. This makes it nearly impossible for drivers to become lost or stranded in remote areas. These tools also enable monitors to keep drivers abreast of accidents, road construction and unfavorable traffic conditions and help them alter course accordingly. Furthermore, if a driver becomes sick or injured while behind the wheel, monitors will have all the information they need to send medical personnel to their exact location.
Checking in with monitors on a regular basis also reduces the likelihood of drivers operating their vehicles while overtired or in emotionally unstable states. When communicating with drivers, monitors pay close attention to how they sound and recommend stops and rest periods as needed. Additionally, if extreme weather conditions are in the forecast for an area a driver will soon be approaching, a monitor will make them aware of this and help them chart a new course.
As previously stated, telematics technology makes tracking vehicles a piece of cake. With this tech at their disposal, transport companies can know the exact location of any vehicle at any time and maintain comprehensive electronic logs. Prior to the advent of telematics, ascertaining the precise location of a truck could be tricky, particularly if the driver had become lost or was unclear on their location. By consistently staying abreast of their vehicles’ locations, transport companies can reduce late deliveries, provide drivers with real-time navigation and learn the best possible routes to various destinations.
In decades past, many drivers were faced with an undue burden. In addition to working against tight deadlines, they were tasked with figuring out routes and plotting out their own schedules, which often entailed forgoing food, sleep and bathroom breaks. As a result, trucking was commonly viewed as a difficult, lonely and thankless profession. Fortunately, the emergence of telematics technology has given way to more favorable working conditions for many truckers.
Receiving directions and traffic reports in real time has helped reduce travel times, thereby ensuring that drivers aren’t always meeting deadlines by the skin of their teeth. Additionally, drivers need no longer fear becoming stranded in remote areas. Faster, more efficient deliveries also mean more time off for busy truckers. Instead of simply hopping from one delivery to the next, drivers now have more time to decompress and recharge their batteries before hitting the road again.
The trucking industry is not commonly associated with technological breakthroughs. After all, as far as people outside the industry are concerned, there’s no real science behind transporting cargo. While the core mission of the trucking industry remains unchanged – getting cargo to its destination on time and on-budget – the overall mechanics have undergone considerable alterations in recent years. As an industry, trucking has benefited significantly from new and emerging technologies. Thanks to technology, noteworthy improvements have been in made in nearly every facet of trucking. From driver safety to vehicle efficiency, tech plays a much larger role in the trucking world than most people realize.