Thursday, May 5, 2011

Wired Wheels - Technology and the Trucking Industry

Day after day, technology seems to be becoming more prevalent in both our personal and professional lives. Personally, many people are finding technology is making the world a smaller place, with ample opportunities and channels available to connect and keep in touch with family and friends, no matter how far away they may be. Professionally, technology is hailed as the great efficiency maker. For the trucking industry in particular, technology can help create more efficiency throughout the supply chain, and as such, many companies are investing heavily in new and progressive technologies in order to stay ahead of the pack.

Let’s look at 4 technologies that are of special importance in the trucking industry:

- GPS – GPS is fast becoming a must have tool for the industry. Most GPS software goes beyond basic truck tracking to offer reporting, truck routing, fuel costing, mileage, and loss prevention tools that can offer great cost and planning advantages to a trucking company. Many GPS technology providers also have trailer temperature monitoring software that is a great asset to the carrier. The system will alert you if the trailer temperature goes above or below a certain threshold. Many trucking companies are using GPS in conjunction with verbal daily updates to provide customers with a more comprehensive view of truck and trailer location, product status, and maintenance of transit times.

- EOBRs – this is a hot issue on the table for the trucking industry at the moment. We all know that all truck drivers are required to keep a logbook of their hours of service, to ensure they are in compliance. Many companies have installed Electronic On Board Recorders (EOBRs) that transmit a driver’s activity back to the company’s headquarters to be recorded. There are advocates and opponents for the widespread installation of EOBRs in the industry. Read more on the issue here.

- Mobile Phones – a cell phone is a cell phone is a cell phone, or is it? Mobile phone technology is one of the fastest progressing technologies out there. One of the most important things for a trucking company and driver to keep in mind is that a cell phone with a camera function is an absolute necessity these days. It allows you to secure loads (many companies require daily picture updates on loads in order to monitor the status of a product, like tomatoes for example). Camera phones are also a necessary tool when it comes to documenting issues at pickup or delivery. If you arrive at a shed and the product they are loading on your truck is leaning on the pallets, the best proof to back up your case is to TAKE A PHOTO!!! You can then send this (via text message or email if you have a smart phone) to the interested parties. Smart phones (phones with email capabilities) are also becoming the standard. This not only allows you to stay easily connected to family and friends while on the road, but allows for timely and efficient communication on a professional level. The mobile phone industry is very competitive, and as such, owing a smart phone is now a cost effective way to add much value to your business!

- Document Imaging – being able to quickly send legible paperwork across the chain is extremely important. For the customer, it means they can have legible electronic proof of deliveries in their systems moments after the truck has finished unloading. For the carrier, it means that they can get paid in a timely manner without having to worry if the documents arrived at their destination in their entirety or if they were legible. UWC has partnered with Pegasus Trans Tech’s TRANSFLO Express® system, a document imaging system that is offered at over 800 truck stops throughout the United States and Canada. We offer this service FREE to all Carrier Partners! Discover more here.

We want to know, how do you use technology to help your business? Are you an iPhone, Android, or a Blackberry user???

On another note, UWC’s 3rd annual bowling extravaganza is tonight!! Wish us all luck in the lanes!!


  1. Well I would just like to say that I am most impressed with UWC's Blog! All very up-to-date information regarding the industry and of course the extracurricular bowling news....can hardly wait to hear how the 3rd Annual Bowling Extravaganza went. Thanks very much. Keep me posted !!!

  2. you have captured all aof the industry news in one shoot. This is a great post. Loved reading the knowledge you have tried to spread.

    Trucking Companies