The heavy transportation and trucking industry walk a fine balance to not only maintain client relations but profit. Often this fine line can be tricky at best to navigate successfully, fortunately, the adoption of specific technologies is helping business owners and their employees find success in a stressful industry.
Real-Time Location Tracking
In 2021, there were over 21,000 supply chain disruptions globally which placed a massive amount of stress on logistics companies in general, let alone trucking companies, and sadly resulted in some of them folding. Being able to see potential disruptions then has become a priority for the industry. One overlooked technology that has enabled this is real-time location tracking.
This is done by providing fleet managers the ability to see where each truck is at any given time. This information can then be used to provide customers with real-time updates so all parties involved can make better near-term decisions an asset for any CDL job. For those about to enter a truck driver job, the technology will help plan better routes and driver behaviors that will help them succeed in their new profession.
With the combination of the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) the trucking industry now can better predict when vehicles need maintenance to avoid costly breakdowns. IoT sensors in the vehicle can provide information to fleet managers. The collected data can then be combined with predictive AI algorithms to generate predictive models and set up better maintenance routines.
This can be leveraged to better use a mechanic’s time and with trucking forecasts for 2022 not inspiring confidence and further staffing shortages expected, your staff’s time and how it’s used is more important than ever. It also almost goes without saying that preventing costly breakdowns has an incredibly positive effect on the bottom line.
Driver Safety Monitoring
The current workforce shortages alluded to above, and the forecasts that predict it’s only going to get worse, are a crisis for the trucking industry waiting to happen. Any leveraging of technology to improve personnel safety and work conditions can then be seen as mission critical. Again, IoT sensors can provide important information that can be used to improve driver security and behavior for the better.
Typical information that can be provided to fleet managers comprises instances of harsh braking, taking corners too quickly, and speeding. Curbing these behaviors is not only important for driver safety but also for the load being delivered. Over the years, ignition locks relying on a successful breathalyzer test and an onboard camera to check safety measures like seatbelts are adhered to have all been proven in preventing accidents and more importantly fatal accidents. In the coming years, AI will better refine these technologies.
To overcome both the current and future challenges facing the trucking industry, advanced technologies will need to be adopted. These technologies can be leveraged to improve all facets of the business, from keeping staff and loads safe to the continued efficient use of the fleet. Ultimately, these technologies will keep companies competitive in a crowded market. While technology often requires a significant capital outlay in the three instances listed above, that outlay will provide a return on investment and improve the overall profitability of the company. In this sense, IoT tech and future AI improvements are an investment rather than an expense.