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4 ways technology is changing the trucking industry

4/15/2016

4 ways technology is changing the trucking industry

As technology has continued to evolve in the trucking sector, it is now essential for companies to remain current with tech trends. According to a recent report from the American Journal of Transportation, technological trends have disrupted the trucking industry to the extent that early adopters are set to become the most effective and efficient operators.

Everything from driver staffing and recruiting, driver monitoring and traffic coordination to safety and communications are now driven exclusively through technology for many companies. Listed below are some of the most notable ways in which companies are now leveraging technologies to improve their operations and logistics.

Driver monitoring
With the onset of data sharing technology in the trucking sector, companies are able to keep track of driver and vehicle progress. Mileage, distance routes and all other behaviors in the front seat can be monitored remotely now, which gives companies the ability to make real-time changes and improvements.

Communications
Communications tools have evolved to the point where drivers, motor carriers, dispatchers and all other trucking company staff members can contact each other 24/7. All employees are able to use internal networks to communicate with one another now, which has not only improved in-cab driver responses, but also enhanced logistics and operations. In turn, the result of these improved communications are reducing errors and ultimately costs.

Traffic coordination
With the ability to communicate and access fleet information remotely, companies and drivers alike are now able to improve delivery times. This is achieved by coordinating driving patterns, delivering real-time traffic reports, updating information on surrounding areas and even telling a driver about something in their blind spots. Traffic coordination technology has resolved many road transport issues for truckers as a result.

Recruiting and staffing
The Internet has evolved to the point where online transportation job boards can be accessed on your phone. This accessibility has disrupted the trucking job market because now drivers and owner operators can log-on to job boards that are updated in real-time and apply directly to open roles while sitting in the cab of their truck. Furthermore, it has helped recruiting and staffing agencies source positions and find qualified drivers to fill open positions more readily. Overall, the process of candidates connecting with employers has been streamlined with technology that matches them.

Safety Technology
Safety technology have been perhaps the most significant disrupter in the trucking industry. This facet of the sector is constantly experiencing changes with:

  • Stability control
  • Anti-lock braking systems
  • Collision avoidance systems
  • Lane departure warning
  • Interior cameras
  • Rearview cameras
  • Blind spot warning devices
  • Side monitor cameras and sensors

Investments in safety technology not only reduce accidents, injuries and fatalities, but they have been shown to cut costs as well. For instance, according to research released at the recent Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week in Las Vegas cited by TruckingInfo.com, it costs between $100,000 and $200,000 in payouts for property damage, up to $455,000 for accidents with injuries and close to $885,000 and $1.3 million for accidents that end in fatalities. The high costs of accidents has prompted many companies to adapt to new technologies.

In fact, the same research showed that just on the adoption of lane departure warning systems alone, there is significant return on investment. The average cost is around $800, which means it generates an ROI of somewhere between $1.37 to $6.55 for each dollar spent.

Bottom line
The trucking industry is in a state of great flux as it becomes flooded with new technologies. This is more than likely a trend that is set to grow exponentially in the future. 

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