Trucking Technology is Evolving in 2019

Technology has taken over much of the world, including transportation.  

ECM downloads can predict the activity of engines, refrigerated trailers speak to the language of temperature variations from pick up to delivery, satellite tracking provide real time delivery of location, movement of vehicles, technology is improving lane assistance awareness while dash cams record a multitude of information both while in motion and while stable.   The future dictates that technology will become more refined and defined both with equipment and the ability to accept and transport freight with more knowledge than ever before.

As easy as technology makes it easy to communicate and transact business, it certainly has its pitfalls

Technology translates into more money.  More money to purchase the equipment as well as inflating the cost to repair both at the shop and at the roadside.   Just a question – will freight rates keep up with the rising costs of equipment, claims and repairs?  They should as it makes sense but in reality I fear the true answer.

What about technology as it relates to operations?  What about public profiles both with the MTO and the FMCSA?  The public has a calico of information at their fingertips by inserting a name and a click of a button.  Especially when inquiring plaintiff counsels want to scrimmage to divulge disparaging information on a carrier.  Diligence if ever before is needed to ensure that infractions are combated and checks on a monthly basis to protect the integrity of the company profile.   Many times the MTO / FMCSA will record inaccurate information on a carrier’s profile.   It’s difficult six months down the road to attempt to remove this information from a SMS or CVOR report.   Sometimes, it can affect insurance consideration or rating.   It’s far too late at renewal time to start to clean up incorrect information so the suggestion to keep monthly awareness of the public reports should not be cast aside.

As we finish of the first quarter of 2019 it’s a chance to reflect on the New Year.  The new year of many changes.   Elog technology for cross border drivers has been the education curve during the past couple years but now elogs lies on the horizon for Canadian carriers.  When is the good time to start investing and educating?  Certainly not at the last minute.   There is an adaptation period to transition from paper to technology.   Start embracing the process now, reach out and gather the feedback from current users.

More importantly we will see the immediate future dictate that dash cams and other technology be a part of our everyday lives in transportation.   In addition on many levels there will be a focus on how the Carrier educates and trains their driver force.   It always has been an expectation but the ease of technology will deny any excuse for not enforcing continual education for drivers, regardless of their tenure with a company.   Online training is a great resource.   Remedial training both theory and commentary will be necessary to refine skills that are forgotten or merely to capitalize on a refresher course.   Being a driver is a profession.   Education is needed to update skills and techniques and it needs to be documented.   If it isn’t documented, it cannot be proven that it happened.  Another thought, would one have confidence in a surgeon who graduated twenty years ago and never updated or upgraded any knowledge, skills or techniques?  I for one would be extremely cautious and seeking an alternative.   

Technology has been great in many ways, cumbersome to adapt at times but it is how life is now and in the future.   Hang on 2019 we are ready for you and here we come!

Linda started her career in the insurance industry in 1979 and gravitated toward the niche market of transportation insurance in 1986. Linda has been active in the transportation community since her beginnings and is a Board Member with the Durham Region Transportation Association. Since 2006, Linda has been contributing relevant industry articles in Ontario Trucking monthly periodicals

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