3 Ways the Internet is Changing Truck Driving
Truck drivers are not new to networking. In fact, they were probably doing it long before anyone else was.
Even before the internet, truck drivers were networking, building camaraderie with fellow truckers via CB radio or a favorite truck stop.
1 – The internet has made drivers more social
The technology may have changed but the idea hasn’t; drivers stick together. It can be a lonely job so forming social bonds with others in the industry can make it bearable. But there are other benefits for being social such as sharing good ideas, warning others of potential dangers or comparing notes on the best way to tackle problems.
The internet has changed how all of us interact and truck drivers are affected by this move online just the same. No longer confined to a CB radio, some drivers beat the loneliness by keeping a laptop by the wheel. They can interact with the rest of the world while hauling cargo down some quiet back road, staving off the loneliness and keeping in contact with friends and family while physically miles from anyone.
Apart from online chat with a single person, drivers can share their message with thousand via forums, such as truckersforum.net, where topics can range from the sensible (compliance changes and roadside inspections) to the sublime (how many pets do you have in your cab?).
LinkedIn is also attracting workers from a huge variety of professions looking to connect, and there are already some well-established forums for trucking, fleet management and industry verticals such as construction equipment. LinkedIn can be a good tool for drivers, not just to make new friends but also to scout for new work, meet prospective employers and keep up with changes in the profession.
2 – The internet has made drivers an integral part of the communication chain
As truck cabs become more connected, drivers will be more than just social, they’ll be vital links in fleet communication, helping ground control to coordinate resources the instant they’re needed.
For a long time the only way to communicate with drivers was by using a short wave radio. But even when that was possible, talking lacked the detail often needed to make effective decisions.
Now with GPS fleet tracking and telematics solutions like Telogis Fleet, a driver and their vehicle are constantly communicating mission-critical data back to the control room. Information such as position, speed, path taken, use of auxiliary motors – or anything else that needs to be tracked can be sent immediately to a real-time website dashboard for more effective managing of the entire fleet.
3 – The internet is keeping drivers informed
We’ve already mentioned the social benefits for drivers, and for many that’s where they collect a lot of their information but sometimes hearsay isn’t always the most reliable media. The internet gives drivers access to more authoritative sources of information that help them stay informed of updates to their profession and DOT guidelines and legislative changes.
Particularly with CSA 2010 coming in, it’s more important than ever for drivers to stay informed and keep up-to-date with compliance issues that affect them. Here are some websites that can be valuable when trying to stay up to date with legislative changes.
- FMCSA – The official government agency tasked with monitoring transport companies around the U.S.
- CSA 2010 – The new Comprehensive Safety Analysis affecting CMVs over 10,000lbs that travel interstate or carriers moving hazardous material.
- FleetOwner – While aimed mostly at fleet managers (& owners) this website can also be a useful resource for truck drivers wanting to keep up with developments in the industry.
There’s plenty of other ways truck drivers can benefit from the internet, and this will only continue to grow as internet connections become more ubiquitous and applications become smarter.
If you’re a driver, is your cab “online” and is your carrier managing you and other drivers using online tools?