How to Transform Commercial Trucking with Technology

Changing trucking from the inside

Technology is reshaping almost every aspect of the trucking industry, whether it be modern rigs becoming easier and safer to drive, route planning, recalculation done on the fly or tracking expenses on the road.

The greatest change technology has had on commercial trucking is with the people running the show. Fleet ownership and management are leading a technology revolution in the back office and maintenance yards, propelled by technology solutions offering new ways to increase efficiencies, advance safety and reduce costs. Not all changes are technological either, with fleet operators revamping everyday tasks.

Updated Maintenance Views Reduce Downtime

One shift in the commercial trucking industry is proactive fleet maintenance. Instead of waiting until a rig breaks down, operations are utilizing technology pre- and post-trip to identify and fix small problems before causing a breakdown, helping improve federal safety standard compliance.

It may not strike many as a big deal and may seem as logical as changing car brakes any time wear and tear appears, but this is far more complicated than that. Carriers are investing in updated hardware, software, training and continuous education in hopes of minimizing costly major repairs. Carriers are using advanced diagnostics to uncover a host of problems before they become detrimental and sideline a commercial vehicle.

Visibility into Data and Fleet Management

Using data to influence fleet management has also helped revolutionize commercial trucking, with an ever-increasing number of companies collecting data points and analyzing trends to make more informed business decisions. Fleet managers are able to easily transmit real-time information and share it across teams. Through accessibility and affordability of revolutionary software, staying on top of those behind the wheel becomes a reality for any size business.

Keeping Trucks on the Road

One of the best tools carriers are equipped with when thinking about proactive fleet maintenance and management are their drivers. Many companies are transforming federally required inspections into an integral part of their proactive maintenance strategy, engaging drivers early by training them on what to look for and how to use technology in order to actively communicate. Investing time and money in training and tools shows drivers that a company is serious about providing reliable vehicles. Vehicle care then becomes a coordinated effort where the drivers feel as deeply invested in keeping trucks on the road as the company itself does.

Learning from Others

Applying asset performance management principles from the business and manufacturing world helps fleet operations establish efficient technology-based programs. Software is being used by trucking companies to monitor driver performance and develop more efficient systems for vehicle upkeep, maintenance scheduling and cost calculations, providing insight into personal and commercial fleet performance.

The Next Generation

An unexpected outcome from the embracing of technology by trucking companies is the piqued interest seen from the next generation of workers. Young, tech-savvy candidates are seeing the industry’s digital push and it’s helping them view truck driving in a whole new, opportunistic light. Consider the fact that we are close to a large portion of drivers closing in on the end of their careers. Just as they are about to hang up their keys, there is a clear reinforced need for companies to drive toward technological advancement.

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