The trucking business is among the most vital industries in the United States. Without trucks to ship our goods in and truck drivers to drive them, our entire nation would come grinding to a halt. Trucks handle the vast majority of our shipping needs, far outworking would-be rivals such as airplanes, ships, trains, and pipelines. And our hard-working truck drivers make speedy shipping possible, which is crucial for everything from vital medical shipping tasks to the online shopping revolution.
This is how things have been for quite some time now. America’s vast network of interstate highways was created during the Cold War, and the trucking industry was already going strong in the years that followed. After years and years of dominance by trains in the shipping world, the modern trucking industry got a jump-start during the First World War. By 1920, a million trucks were on the roads. The invention of the diesel engine and the creation of the aforementioned interstate highway system helped trucking surge ahead of trains, and trucks have been the primary force behind American shipping ever since.
But trucking hasn’t been the same since those days. On the contrary — the industry has always embraced new technologies and trends to compete in a fast-moving world. The rise of the internet, mobile data, and other technological advances has transformed our nation, and the trucking industry is no exception. The modern trucking industry uses technology and computers in all sorts of ways. Thanks to software and data, trucking has become more efficient.
Technology and fleet management
Truckers don’t usually work alone. Big trucking companies manage large fleets of vehicles, sending them this way and that to complete speedy shipping jobs and keep customers satisfied. But managing a large fleet isn’t easy, especially in the fast-moving modern world.
That’s why fleets use software solutions like FleetPal Connect to make sure that they’re always on top of their fleet’s needs and tasks. A whole industry is dedicated to creating effective software solutions for the companies that manage the fleets of trucks that get us the things we need when we need them.
Technology and maintenance
Caring for trucks isn’t easy. Diesel engines are reliable, but semitrucks need the care of a reliable and experience mechanic to ensure that they can perform properly. They need top-notch replacement parts, effective and lasting repairs, and routine tests and maintenance to stay strong.
Keeping track of parts, maintenance schedules, and tasks isn’t easy, but modern mechanics have the help of customized software solutions. A mechanic from the early days of trucking would be stunned to see how computers keep things organized in the sometimes messy world of truck maintenance and repair.
Big data and a bright future for trucking
Computers can handle organizational tasks and help automate certain things. But they can do more than that. Modern computers can look at huge amounts of data and even “think,” making decisions that humans would have had to make in the past.
Some observers believe that big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence will soon revolutionize the way that shipments are allocated and how trucks and drivers are routed. Shipping companies and truck fleets may be able to use big data to spot ways to be more efficient in their use of their assets.
The trucking industry has been with us for a long time, and it seems sure to be with us for years to come. But it hasn’t stood still as the world has evolved — instead, it has embraced change and used technology to transform itself with the times.