Technology is changing the way we all live and work - and while most people think of industries like banking and computer technologies, the trucking industry is no strange to technology and tools making their lives easier. Though we’re likely to see driverless trucks hitting the roads over the next decade, there are still plenty of tools truckers can use now to improve their experience while they’re at work.
Headset for Improved Communication Over Long Hauls
Communication on the road is important, but can be difficult. Using your cell phone while driving isn’t smart when you’re in a standard vehicle, let alone an 18-wheeler. That’s where hands-free Bluetooth headsets come in to make up the difference. But not all of them are created equally. A gaming headset battery won’t cut it for a driver who’s on the road for days on end. But the new Voyager 104 from Plantronics offers a battery that lasts 24 hours, and communication from up to 60 feet away. It’s hitting the shelves at major truck stops this month, so be sure to keep an eye out for it.
Keep Cash Flow Positive
Working as an owner/operator means that you’ve got to have the money for fuel to haul the next load, even if your invoice for your last trip hasn’t been paid. Since many accounting departments are anywhere from net 30 to net 90, this means keeping a positive cash flow can become quite the balancing act. To make things a bit easier, you can sell your invoices to a truck factoring company to get a bit of cash now, and the company accepts your invoice payment. It’s not a credit-based loan and can be a lifesaver for many truckers.
Electronic Log Books
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published their final rule on electronic logging devices (ELDs) in December 2015, giving drivers two years, or until December 2017 to become compliant. This ensures drivers are more easily able to keep their Record of Duty Status (RODS), which shows when they are on the road when they are off the road, on-duty and not driving, and more. With the ELD, you won’t have to worry about keeping track of a pen and paper log every time you get in and out of the truck. Everything transmits wirelessly - either over Wifi or Bluetooth connections, so as long as your device is compliant, you will be, too.
Use Any Extra Space in Your Truck to Make More Money
If you’re an owner/operator with some space in your truck to accommodate more freight on a route, you can use apps like Transfix, Cargomatic, and Convoy to connect with shippers. This way, you’re not only getting rid of the middlemen freight brokers, but you’re also reducing the number of empty miles you drive - allowing you to maximize your earning potential on each trip. Just make sure the additional freight doesn’t mean you’re overweight, or you could face fines at weigh stations along the way, cutting into your profit margin.
As technology continues to evolve, we’re likely to see even more tech and tools change the way truckers run their businesses - making them more efficient and helping them to earn more money. Even when trucks drive themselves, there will still be demand for experienced truck drivers.