It’s no secret that trucking software and technology are rapidly evolving, but are you aware that the industry’s drivers are following suit? Truck drivers are changing and growing alongside the technology they use to get the job done. This has made the trucking sector more efficient and productive than ever before.
Most modern businesses now use advanced telematics to help their staff and drivers manage every aspect of their jobs. Technology is being used by truckers to deal with trip scheduling, freight-related challenges, and safety on the road. It’s also applied to a multitude of other day-to-day tasks to streamline operations.
It’s safe to say that technology and trucking now go hand in hand, and as new advancements are made, they’re fast adopted. Take a look at how technology is shaping modern truckers, helping them to stay ahead in an increasingly competitive industry.
The Freight Industry’s Technological Takeover
You won’t often find traditional paper maps in the modern logistics industry. Nearly every driver in the world uses turn by turn navigation software instead. Paper checklists have also been done away with. Replacing them are digital lists that are in a central location and provide all the information drivers need in a single, convenient place.
Cloud-based documentation storage has made drivers’ lives measurably easier. This tech also makes life easier for logistics companies’ office employees. Performing truck inspections using pre-journey checklists is now a seamless process. Drivers can instantly send virtual photos, photographic evidence, and checklists to the office to simplify administrative procedures.
Trucking companies have shifted from using paper forms to virtual forms for several reasons. The latter option carries a lower carbon footprint, equipment, and supply costs plus businesses can generate and personalize as many forms as they need online. The companies using these forms can report back and act on their contents using user-friendly virtual checklists and other smart documents.
Digitally Enhancing Driver Performance
No matter how experienced, no truck driver is perfect. A good few are willing to admit that their on-road skills need an upgrade, or that updated training wouldn’t go amiss. Most drivers are confident in their vehicles, but that confidence is subjective, especially when handling a heavy-duty vehicle with specific driving requirements.
Telematics can provide companies and their drivers with insights into exactly how safely and professionally they’re driving. This technology gathers detailed data on truckers’ driving habits. It then uses sophisticated algorithms to offer guidance as to how best they can improve their performance.
Vehicle tracking technology has the power to promote safer, more cost-effective driving behavior. It allows companies to recognize and address the habits of their truckers that are less than ideal and it offers insight into how to avoid mistakes and improve trucking skills. Driver alerts help to address potentially deleterious actions on the spot. These alerts send text messages that notify managers of regular, problematic infractions.
All drivers’ actions, both positive and negative, are stored and added to each employee’s virtual scorecard. This allows the drivers’ scores to be used to design effective training and skill supplementation plans. This intuitive technology allows drivers to see exactly how they perform and improve over periods of time. Concurrently, they provide management with valuable insights into how their drivers behave on the roads. These features can all facilitate constructive changes, reduce freight-related risks, and help logistics firms meet local health and safety regulations.
The Power of Automated Fleet Tracking and AI Navigation
When a driver embarked on a job in the past, it was virtually impossible to track them down or stay in contact until the delivery was complete. Nowadays, however, if a driver is involved in a collision, stuck in traffic, or suffers a breakdown, they can contact their supervisors immediately to inform them of the delay.
GPS-based fleet tracking has allowed back office employees to keep track of drivers and get real-time ETAs while they’re on route. Most in-cabin devices now offer instant messaging functionality. This allows companies to contact drivers without disrupting their routes or distracting them on the road.
The best GPS virtual navigation systems enable truckers to use step-by-step routes that offer real-time, up-to-date information. They can keep tabs on traffic disruptions and accidents, roadworks, and severe weather conditions. This allows them to keep their schedules running on time and minimizes unexpected and potentially costly delays.
The Hazards of Outdated Trucking Technologies
Outdated technology is one of the primary causes of high driver turnover. It’s also one of the trucking industry’s greatest challenges. The American Trucking Association estimates that larger fleets have lost drivers at a whopping rate of 89% per year. Smaller companies suffered a similarly high 77% turnover rate.
Drivers forced to work with old, inefficient technology face many challenges. Low morale and reduced income because of unreported detentions and unnecessary delays in paperwork are just two. New, custom-built mobile technology can reduce this turnover rate for logistics firms, and address drivers’ most pressing frustrations, all while simplifying the process of training new truckers.
Advanced digital solutions have replaced clunky application grids with a unified workflow interface that performs well across a multitude of smart devices. They have the potential to make drivers more productive and to keep them safer, all while eliminating avoidable delays and issues at the same time. This will, in turn, boost drivers’ earning capabilities and their overall job satisfaction. The knock on effect of this is an improvement in turnover rates and simpler recruitment procedures.
Improving the Industry at Every Turn
Modern technology is continuously revolutionizing the trucking industry, making it more efficient, productive, and timely than ever before.
Today’s truck drivers are no longer hindered by outdated processes and hard-to-use navigation systems. Instead, they’ve been liberated and supported by advanced digital systems. These systems allow them to stay aware of their on-road actions, accurately plan their routes, and stay safe for every mile of their journey.
Guest Blog: Lorie is a fulltime writer and editor with a background in logistics management and freight forwarding, covering a variety of topics and news within the industry.