Truck driving has been a career that hasn’t really gone through many changes until recently. Sure, there have been modifications made to various parts of a truck: easy to use gearboxes; power steering; and even climate control in the drivers cab. However, the most noticeable change compared to fifty years ago is the introduction of computer technology. Modern trucks, like most most modern cars, now have computer technology that control a truck’s engine ensuring the truck uses the most power possible from each drop of fuel.
That’s in the engine and we’re more focused on what happens in the drivers cab. There you will find big changes. GPS was the first major change that affected truck drivers. Rather than relying on CB radio and other truck drivers, GPS can keep a driver up-to-date on a wide range of road issues, particularly traffic snarls and alternative routes. Truck drivers can now take on routes they have never traversed before, using their GPS unit to guide them to their destination.
We are now looking at the introduction of iPad or Tablet PC type technology that not only includes GPS functions, but many other computer functions. Drivers can communicate with their dispatchers (using computer technology like Skype or instant messaging). They can also keep in contact with family and friends, more so now that most truck stops include free WiFi connectivity. Truck drivers can also use these devices to set reminders such as compulsory break requirements to maintain compliance with trucking regulations.
Technology is all around us and it is changing quickly. The trucking industry is not being left behind, in fact, the trucking industry is at the forefront of change, making use of technology when appropriate. These changes are making the role of truck driving much easier, and in many ways, much safer as well.