How technology will continue to change trucking
The trucking industry is in the midst of an enormous shift. As the ELD mandate approaches, many have been left wondering what changes will occur next.
While that is still up in the air, one thing is for certain: technology is only going to play a bigger part in the industry going forward.
When the ELD Mandate was first sanctioned in 2017, the industry was in complete shock, and unprepared to handle such a shift. Many drivers retired, fearing that they would be left behind by the technological advances coming.
Two years on, and the trucking world has adapted well. Many drivers aren’t fond of some of the constraints coming from ELD use, but they’ve found ways to manage nonetheless.
Nevertheless, technology shouldn’t always be viewed as a negative for the industry. One aspect that technology has positively affected has been logistics.
Google Maps and many other GPS systems have only made the industry more efficient, along with weather applications that are available on mobile devices.
It was only 20 years ago that folks still relied heavily on CB radios and physical maps to plan trips and receive weather updates. Now, much of that information can be received instantaneously on a smartphone.
Technological advances in trucking will continue to help with efficiency, even as more issues arise.
One problem that is currently plaguing in the industry now is parking, for example. Often times, drivers are pulling up to lots and they’re already full, which can ultimately affect their hours of service.
Of course, an enormous solution would be to improve parking infrastructure and make it more readily available for truckers nationwide, but another solution that is on the rise is the creation of parking reservation apps.
Drivers are now able to plan their stops way ahead of time by scouting locations with open parking spots. By booking ahead of time, it allows them ample opportunities to use their on-duty time to the fullest, as they don’t have to worry about finding parking as their clock is running out.
While technology has greatly facilitated work for truckers, it may also be their eventual downfall. If current projections are to be believed, the industry is roughly 20 or so years away from the implementation of trucking automation.
While it wouldn’t immediately put truckers out of jobs, it would slowly start to chip away at employment over time. Automation, not just in the trucking industry, is by far one of the biggest adversaries to working people, as many jobs are in danger of being replaced.
In trucking, though, automation has the potential to drastically hurt a large portion of workers. While automation can be viewed as a solution for the current shortage of drivers, there still needs to be some protections for working people.
In the end, automation may well be an addition by subtraction for the industry. Big corporations who ship products would cut costs, as they’d no longer need to pay driver wages.
Additionally, if companies still happen to use drivers, freight rates would virtually be wiped out as truckers would have to battle for loads with automated trucks who could move loads for much cheaper.
Technology, when employed responsibly with people in mind, can be a significant tool to improve working conditions. While some technological advances have helped the trucking industry improve, others such as automation, may not have the same effect for truckers and would only benefit those already profiting from the industry.
So, what do you think about the technological advances in the trucking industry? Let us know in the comments or on social media!
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