Technology always marches forward, and truck drivers have certainly benefited from technology advancements over the past couple of decades.
While technological advances surrounding location, mapping, and time logging have already transformed the way truckers work, trucking companies continue to adopt transportation tech as part of their day-to-day operations.
These advancements continue to help truck drivers reach their destinations and back in a safe, comfortable manner and make their jobs a little easier.
Today’s leaps ahead aren’t necessarily self-driving trucks or “Jetsons”-like flying vehicles, but modern trucking tech has absolutely improved the truck-driver experience.
Location tracking has been around for quite awhile, and the ability to chart your course with your smartphone makes finding a destination markedly easier. Dynamic routing optimizes delivery routes, reduces time on the road, and saves fuel — all vital metrics for trucking companies. This means slow traffic or stops on the highway, which previously might have cost drivers precious hours, can now be anticipated, giving drivers time to find an alternate route.
They say there’s an app for everything, and in the trucking world, that’s pretty close to being true. Need to track your driving route, avoid accidents, and optimize your trip? There’s an app for that. Need to find the best place for cheaper fuel?
There’s an app. Need something to track inspection and maintenance schedules? They have one. Need to track individual driver performance, including mileage, hours, fuel, service costs, and average cost per mile? You know there’s one.
Smartphone apps make tracking all of these things easier and faster while keeping the information in the palm of your hand, improving tracking and monitoring, safety, and organization. Just be sure to stay off your phone while driving!
In-cab cameras have been around for a while, but today’s dash cams have made them mainstream for anyone who wants one. Camera systems provide protection for vehicles, and more recent advancements mean streaming, night vision, and high-definition images uploaded to the cloud. Dash cams also provide protection for trucking companies, particularly in lawsuits involving accidents or fraud.
When transporting goods that need to stay below a certain temperature, temperature tracking helps ensure your load is safe and sound. As part of the Food Safety Modernization Act, truckers hauling food are required to have a way to ensure sanitary transportation for their cargo.
As a result, most refrigerated units today are fitted with a temperature-tracking device, which not only monitors the in-trailer temperature, but sends readings to the fleet management platform with GPS positioning.
As an early-warning device, temperature trackers alert drivers and management to temperature increases, allowing drivers to pull over and investigate (and correct issues if they’re able). The results are increased food safety and a higher rate of safe delivery, which means more money to shippers.
Collision Mitigation Technology
Though self-driving vehicles are making truck drivers nervous for their jobs, the development of collision mitigation technology undeniably helps prevent accidents, reduces the risk of human error, and saves lives.
The use of proximity-sensing technology to alert drivers to potential crashes, radar detects hazards both in front of and in the blind spots of trucks. Collision mitigation systems are quickly becoming standard on new rigs and are a vital part of today’s truck-driving experience. They can also be retrofitted to work on existing trucks.
Portable Bathroom Solutions
Time off the road is time wasted, and nothing wastes time like unscheduled stops. Products like Brief Relief’s Daily Restroom Kit® can help truck drivers make a quick stop for relief rather than having to track down a rest stop or resort to using a dirty gas station. With Brief Relief products, it’s a quick stop on the side of the road, and your potty is self-contained, sanitary, and ready to dispose of properly.
Electronic Logging Devices (ELD)
ELDs electronically track and record truck drivers’ hours of service to ensure drivers are operating within the limitations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Once a certain threshold has been met, the truck is no longer able to drive.
Meant to enforce driving limits for the safety of drivers and the public, ELDs are required to be installed in trucks. Some owner-operators and small-fleet drivers grouse at the idea, but ELDs are vital pieces of safety equipment that makes truck drivers, company owners, and the general public safer.
Despite these advancements in technology, today’s truck drivers still have one of the most important jobs in the world. In the age of IoT, they have access to more tricks, tips, and new devices than ever, and they deserve to have all the advantages they can.
That’s one of the reasons why Brief Relief creates portable bathroom solutions for truckers who know when they have to go. Truck drivers can employ many of Brief Relief’s products to help keep them going when they’re going. Check out Brief Relief’s full line of products, and see which can help you arrive at your destination safely and quickly.