Use Next-Generation Tech to Reduce Risk, Improve Driver Experience
By Carolina Ruiz • Published July 27, 2022 • 4 minute read
Outdated systems in the transportation industry can leave motor carriers susceptible to mounting challenges anytime something does not go as planned. And in an industry as dynamic as trucking, things rarely go as planned. There can be unexpected hardware failures, for example, when batteries of asset tracking devices unexpectedly die, or an essential component breaks. The impacts of such events can be widespread.
In situations like this, fleets must revert to manual methods to locate trailers. This squeezes already busy schedules in the office and out on the road. Drivers could experience long delays in finding available trailers, which may also cause service failures downstream. What’s more, the recovery process – repairing any issues that occur and getting systems up and running again – isn’t always a quick (or inexpensive) fix.
Outdated systems not only have a financial and operational impact on the business; they can impact and influence the workforce. If a carrier’s trailer tracking system goes down, the dispatcher loses visibility and access to the information they need to pass along to drivers. Without accurate and timely information, drivers will be passing through rows of trailers in drop yards, and in some cases walking around trailers one by one to assess which ones are loaded or unloaded and available for use. If system downtime and operational delays become a regular occurrence, it can push the workforce into looking for employment elsewhere.
Carriers can’t afford to lose good talent. Last year, the American Trucking Association estimated the driver shortage rose to 80,000 drivers. If some of the challenges contributing to turnover aren’t resolved, it’s estimated that the trucking industry could need more than 160,000 drivers by 2030.
Motor carriers shouldn’t let their systems and solutions be yet another reason for the workforce to struggle or the business to remain stagnant – especially not when there are modern solutions that deliver a fast return on the investment by introducing operational efficiencies that benefit everyone.
How next-generation technology addresses industry challenges
Modern trailer telematics solutions are developed with capabilities specifically designed to overcome pressing challenges for motor carriers.
Some systems are limited to reporting loaded/empty status only. The right solutions go much further by providing visibility inside the trailer by capturing and analyzing clear images of the entire cargo space, with easy installation and robust hardware that is maintenance free for the life of the trailer. Effective, easy-to-implement technology is what the trucking industry has been waiting for to increase trailer fleet performance, reduce cargo loss/claims, increase productivity, and improve customer service and the workforce experience.
Here’s how it can work: Fleets can install a smart camera at the rear of a trailer to scan the full length of the floor and report trailer fullness. The information and supporting images from the camera provide certainty of a trailer’s loaded or unloaded status to prevent any potential issues that would cause drivers to waste time and fuel navigating to find trailers that are ready to be picked up as well as help dispatchers match available equipment to loads.
Having certainty of trailer and cargo status protects fleets against potential claims from shippers. If something was strapped or loaded incorrectly by the shipper, the smart camera can provide an accurate, time-and-location stamped image of the situation to eliminate guesswork and friction from the situation.
These may seem like “simple” improvements to the normal course of business, but to motor carriers and the driving workforce, they make a big difference.
The technology that can make this all possible is available today and can be quickly deployed. Download this free industry guidebook to learn more about how carriers are overcoming modern challenges: “Clearing Capacity Hurdles with Driver and Trailer-Focused Technology.”