In the last 20 years, our lives have been transformed by technology in every area. Everything was so hands on before. Not so much today, especially in the trucking world. There are now so many advancements in this industry it would make your head spin.

Change is a part of life. It always has been. Some people like it, some people don’t. Throughout the years people say technology and advancements are suppose to make our life easier, but do they? Some people embrace change and others reject it and complain about it, but at the end of the day, it’s coming whether you like it or not.

What started out as something cool could quickly turn into a nightmare with not knowing how to use the new gadget, or it not working the way it was suppose too. Therefor spending a ton of time on a customer service call to get it fixed, or figure it out. So how much time did it really save us?

Some of the cool advancements in technology in the trucking industry are actually really good, and are a big part of overall safety for the driver and the general public. Let’s have a look at some of them shall we:

First we have the CB radio. This cool gadget could help drivers communicate with each other from one truck to another, maybe to past the time while driving, or to warn each other of upcoming danger on the roadway. A lot of friends were made out on the road this way.

Then came the ECU’s (electronic control units), which became the main stay in every truck engine with a ton of sensors that monitored everything. We all know how many drivers love sensors. lol. This made way for automatic transmissions and a ton of safety devices.

Then came along driver assist. This device would assist drivers with anything that came into their path while on the road. The problem with these things is that they were short range and weren’t very reliable. The buzzers went off all the time. Collision warning systems were also part of this. This made way for automatic self braking and keeping the truck in its lane without the driver doing it.

Next we have GPS and satellite tracking of the trucks. This uses satellites in orbit to track the movement of the trucks as they go down the highway. This is great for knowing where your trucks are at any given time. This then lead to being able to read the ECU through satellites to have engine diagnostics remotely.

The next interesting thing to come along was the Electronic Log Book. Now anyone that was used to doing it the old fashioned way, generally didn’t respond to this very well. There was the tachograph which was a manual reader of HOS, the log book as most people are familiar with, and then the electronic logs. As much as the older generation doesn’t like them, they can save you in an accident situation with who was at fault, or better yet, could save your life, or someone else’s.

Telematics, what a great idea they said. Telematics can read everything a truck is doing in real time. It knows when it starts, when it stops, tracks the trucks movement, rpm’s, speed, engine diagnostics, mileage, best routes to take, near misses with potential accidents, hours of service, maintenance schedules, remote reefer controls, and a whole range of other things. When you add onboard camera systems to the mix, now you have a 360 view around the truck, and the driver movements as well, right from the office. You would almost think the truck could drive itself, just like a video game. hmmmm!

So what is next? You have all heard by now of electric trucks, the wave of the future. Some think this, and others don’t. Imagine going down the road with a truck that has lots of power, instant torque, and no fuel stops. Are we living in the future? Yes you are! This is what electric trucks are all about. You plug them in at night and they are ready to go when you need them. The more development there is, the better they get.

The latest thing to come about are self driving trucks. What!!! Yes, you heard that right. Imagine a truck that can drive itself with no driver. Moving freight across the country by remote control. This leads one to believe that video games and gamers might have a future in trucking. Imagine being at your desk with a simulator kind of set up with 4 or 5 screens. You are operating 4 to 5 trucks at once by computer, monitoring what they are doing as they cross the country. You are watching for any issues that arise. This is your job. How cool would that be? This could very well happen.

So with any technology in any industry, it has it’s good points and bad points. It’s coming whether we like it or not. Will it make truck drivers obsolete, maybe so, but not for along time yet. I wonder what the next big thing will be? Could it be floating trucks that run on air, maybe we will get rid of the power unit altogether, You all remember the Jetson’s cartoon from way back. Doesn’t seem so far off now does it?

Todays blog sponsor is Pioneer Safety Solutions.

Pioneer Safety Solutions bring you end to end, coast to coast solutions in the transportation industry.

If your trucking company or training school is looking for ELD’s, On Board Cameras Systems, Remote Reefer Controls, Engine Diagnostics, Driver Coaching Software, Automatic Maintenance Scheduling, Safety Monitoring Devices, or any number of trucking solutions contact Pioneer Safety Solutions today at pioneersafetysolutions.com

Dana G. Smith, CC

Dana G Smith CC is a Certified Relationship Coach/Consultant and co-creator of The Mindful Trucker, helping companies and professional drivers with better Health, Safety, Wellness & Driver Solutions.