The trucking industry is massive in the United States, with a net worth of over $800 billion. It employs between 7.4 and 8.9 million people, many of which are small business owner-operators. As such, many technological innovations are targeting this industry, promising enhanced revenue and profitability.
However, only some technologies can live up to the hype and deliver a sound return on investment. The following list explores the top technologies that can help independent trucking companies streamline their operations.
While dashcams have been a staple in the law enforcement industry for years, they are finding more popularity with truckers in recent years. These cameras can be a lifesaver if an accident occurs as they can corroborate the events from your perspective. They can often provide details that may not be noticed during the confusion often experienced during an accident. And this benefit can come in handy with your insurance company since the vast majority of accidents involving a commercial truck are the other driver's fault. In the unfortunate event that you are involved in an accident, you can rest easy knowing that the case should be fairly straightforward and simple with video proof.
Dynamic routing technology
Meticulous route planning is often one of the best ways to cut costs, boost efficiency, and increase profitability. But even if you invest a ton of time into planning efficient routes that minimize gas consumption, there is still the potential for things to change quickly. A severe accident or weather event can slow down or even stall traffic for hours. Any number of unforeseen circumstances can result in delaying your load delivery and costing you extra time and money.
Dynamic routing technologies account for real-time traffic and weather information to provide you with the optimal path at any given time. This feature ensures that your route accomplishes the goals planning seeks by saving time and reducing mileage. It also provides you with accurate delivery estimates for your clients, which can increase your customer satisfaction.
Trailer tracking technology
As your business grows, your fleet often expands. And while this allows you to serve more clients and increase your profitability, it takes much more logistical planning to account for your trucks and trailers. Adding GPS systems to your trailers can be a great way to keep track of your equipment. Additionally, these systems can warn you if the driver is in an area that experiences high theft rates and even tell you where a stolen trailer may be. GPS systems make sense for protecting your company’s assets. Moreover, they are relatively inexpensive and easy to install and use.
Despite requiring relatively little upfront investment, they can go a long way to protecting your investment and minimizing your potential risk. This investment can be a strong marketing point, as your clients may appreciate knowing you are doing all you can to protect their assets. Some trailer tracking systems can even provide you with data to help you optimize your maintenance scheduling and inspections. This data is a great resource when you need to make major purchasing decisions since you can get a summary of the performance of all trailers.
Temperature tracking technology
If hauling food is part of your company’s business, you may already be required to have temperature tracking technology by the FDA. The Food Safety Modernization Act mandates this requirement for all trucks transporting human and animal food. But even if you aren’t required to have this technology, many clients - even in other industries - may find it appealing that you can show and maintain a specific temperature. More and more products must stay within a specified temperature range to optimize performance. And your ability to deliver this benefit can help you attract new clients and expand your business. Additionally, this technology can often provide data to a fleet management platform and monitor for problems, streamlining recordkeeping.
Fuel price apps
Fuel cost is often one of the biggest monthly expenses for any trucking company. Even a few cents a gallon can translate into thousands in lost profit each month. Fuel price apps can make it easy to compare fuel prices to help you make the best decisions on where to purchase. Over a long period, using these apps can save you a ton in fuel costs, dramatically increasing your bottom line.
Truck performance monitoring systems
The performance of your trucks is critical to your operations. If one goes down, you may be unable to deliver on client commitments. And the downtime often represents a loss in income, usually in addition to any repair costs required to fix the inoperational truck. Truck performance monitoring systems can monitor the health of your truck and provide you with an immediate notification if there are any issues.
These systems help you monitor the status of your truck at all times, meaning they catch minor problems before they become big and more expensive issues. And they can provide you with a summary of performance, which is often critical for making investment choices. In short, these systems can save you money in maintenance, optimize the performance of your trucks, and provide you with crucial information to make smart business decisions. They also simplify recordkeeping related to truck performance.
Tire pressure monitors
Nearly one-fifth of commercial trucks operate with one or more tires under-inflated. Yet, optimizing inflation can reduce vehicle and tire wear, optimize fuel efficiency, and result in fewer breakdowns. Tire pressure monitoring systems can help you achieve optimal tire pressure and help you avoid flat tires and overheating.
There can be no doubt that future technological innovations will continue to revolutionize the trucking industry. And while there is no telling what the latest and greatest tools will be in a few years, the ones featured on this list can help you streamline operations and run at peak performance. And achieving this goal is one of the best ways to ensure the long-term success of your trucking company.