The Technology Behind The Truck

Posted February 12, 2018

Last month, on December 18, the U.S. government mandate requiring truckers to outfit their rigs with electronic logging devices (ELDs) went into effect. A small piece of technology that tracks drive times and ensures that truckers are complying with the federal limit of only 11 hours on the road.

Meanwhile, Tesla and Navistar are making headlines with electric trucks. Internet speculation is awash with questions like who’s going to launch more electric trucks? When? And for how much?

Then Embark and Otto have been not-so-quietly testing self-driving trucks. Embark has been hauling refrigerators in California since October, and Otto began by delivering 50,000 cans of Budweiser in Colorado in 2016.

With all these headline-making technological advances – still working their way through the development stages –  the workhorse, day-to-day technology feels a bit like the ugly step-sister. However, less glamorous technological innovation is making a big difference for truckers right here, right now. No R&D needed.

Trucking seems like such a simple job. You pick up freight, drive it where it needs to go, drop it off and head home.

Most things that seem simple usually aren’t. Every day there is paperwork to manage, time-constraints to work within, detours and construction to work around.

Technology that we find most useful as a truck company focuses on moving more efficiently in a two key areas:

Streamline Paperwork

The less actual paperwork that needs to be done when delivering or picking up freight the quicker we can get back on the road.

DocHauler is the main piece of technology that we use to simplify the trailer by keeping all the paperwork needed right on our drivers phone. DocHauler stores all of it in addition to training videos, company updates, up-to-the-minute gas costs for the cheapest refuel and driver calendars.

It’s a virtual assistant drivers can take on the road keeping them connected to everything they need instantly.

We developed this app for our fleet here at V&S Midwest Carrier Corp. and found it so helpful that we put out for others to use.

Stay Connected

Technology that keeps us connected to the right people and information at the right time allows us to make real-time changes. If road closures or construction loom we can respond quickly. We can easily route our trucks more efficiently to save fuel and time. Operations that can be streamlined virtually are – which increases profitability and saves time.

Fleet operation management – from administration and billing to fleet tracking – requires a smart user interface that’s able to sync up all the systems to operate seamlessly. Transport dispatching can be a complicated task, and we use TruckMate’s Command Center to keep it simple and ensure that we are monitoring the information that is important to us in real-time. When questions or problems come up we can immediately find a solution because we have all the information we need to make the right decision, right away. This results in long-term gains as we aren’t struggling to catch up – we just adapt.

Investing in the right technology costs us less – both in time and money – in the long run and allows us to get back to the simple stuff, like, you know, driving.

Still, our biggest strength is not in the specific systems we use, but how we are able to unite them into one cohesive system of information. Next blog, we’ll dig into how we approach technology to ensure that it truly serves the people it needs to.

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