Truck driving is a risky and tough job. It requires not just skill, but also patience, preparation, and discipline. Truck drivers must get a job done, despite conditions out of their control, like bad weather and terrible road conditions. Businesses won’t move if the supply chain is disrupted, after all.
As such, truckers and drivers alike face substantial pressure from the corporations counting on them. Corporations set standards for their logistics, which is the responsibility of the truckers, then truckers will pass on these standards to their drivers. If a driver is expected to transport tons of goods within a given time, they should deliver accordingly, or their employer gets in trouble.
These standards force drivers to set aside their safety. As a result, truck drivers become a threat to other road-users, and if they do get into an accident, the damages they caused will incur hefty costs in the trucker. From then on, the effects will ripple: Drivers get hurt or cause injury to other motorists, the trucker covers the cost, and the corporation they’re serving loses trust in them.
There’s also the matter of fuel economy. Bad driving behaviors can burn more fuel, increasing costs and safety risks on the road. To mitigate this problem, as well as the productivity issues of drivers, truckers started depending on technology. From GPS devices to dash cams, different devices are able to track a driver’s performance.
Technology has also helped truckers monitor their costs better. To know more about these technologies, refer to the list of must-have trucking gadgets and equipment below:
1. GPS Device
Uber and Lyft drivers aren’t the only ones who benefit from a GPS device. For truck drivers, having a GPS device can mean the difference between hitting a quota or not. Certain GPS systems can show traffic conditions and updates, allowing drivers to choose a different route if their usual one is impassable. In addition, GPS devices can be voice-activated, so drivers can keep their eyes on the road.
2. Dashboard Camera
The primary reason for installing dash cams in a truck is to be able to defend a driver if they get into a collision. That’s because a plotting road user can intentionally crash into a truck and claim that it’s the truck driver’s fault. Fleets make an appealing target when one needs instant money, after all.
With a dashcam, truck drivers can avoid being held liable for accidents they didn’t cause, and truckers can prove that they’re not responsible for any costs. Moreover, dash cams can break the common misconception that road accidents involving trucks are always the truck driver’s fault. And of course, dash cams can also do the opposite and show a driver’s bad behavior, like frequent hard braking. The camera data showing bad driving examples can be used to coach drivers on improving their methods and following safety rules.
3. Driver Scorecards
Scorecards track a driver’s fuel consumption and the distance they cover per gallon of fuel (MPG). It can help detect unsafe driving, because a high fuel consumption is an indicator of such.
Truckers can connect their dashcam to the scorecard. But that depends on the scorecard they’re using. If they chose one with smarter functionalities, they can extend the capabilities of their scorecard so that it can also compile footage of driving behaviors while tracking fuel economy.
4. Safety Devices
Apart from dashcams, safety devices also include collision warning systems, departure warning systems, and adaptive cruise control. According to a 2020 survey by the National Private Truck Council (NPTC), 60% of fleets now use these devices, which is great news. In addition, more than 75% of fleets are also now monitoring speed. That’s considerably helpful because many trucking accidents are due to over-speeding.
5. Cost Tracking Device
High-tech trucker accounting services allow truckers to monitor their costs in real-time. Drivers just need to log in to the device, input their receipts from expenses like food and fuel, then send the data to their accounting firm. In an instant, the truckers can see an updated version of their Profit and Loss Statement. If they see unfavorable results, they can immediately impose changes on their business practices.
Controlling operational expenses is highly crucial for truckers because, for them, higher expenses can mean a bigger carbon footprint. If they don’t make efforts to improve their environmental impact, they’d risk losing clients who are committed to sustainability.
Thankfully, high-tech devices came to be and helped truckers improve drivers’ safety and productivity. If they also want to increase the well-being of their drivers, devices for that are available too, like portable coffee makers and refrigerators. Using those would be better than making a driver stop by a convenience store and buy drinks, adding to the daily expenses of a trucker.