IT Tools Help Truck Drivers Succeed
Technology plays a big role in the daily life of a Transport America truck driver. The company’s CIO, Tom Benusa, says Transport America is constantly looking for ways to improve IT to make daily tasks easier for truck drivers, so they can focus on delivering goods to customers on time.
The MC200 is just one of the tools that help drivers achieve their goals. This in-cab device allows for communications to easily flow between the truck driver and the company. The truck driver can update the company on any issues and arrival times. This device also allows the driver to electronically log mileage, record Hours of Service (HOS) requirements and truck routes, and use it as a web browser to check news and emails.
Additional enhancements to the MC200 further assist the truck driver by scanning paperwork and supporting audio, video and PDF files so drivers can stay up-to-date with Transport America announcements. All of this, according to Mr. Benusa, keeps truck drivers involved and connected while out on the road.
Another great IT solution for TA drivers is eServices – available on the MC200, mobile devices and laptops. eServices allows the truck driver to view pay history, messages, available loads and gives them the ability to access their scorecard. Scorecards are essential for drivers; they show performance based on key metrics, helping drivers constantly improve, even before their periodic reviews.
An additional IT solution that rolled out this year is a system to track trailers. Spending too much time tracking down trailers was among the top complaints from truck drivers. So, Transport America invested in an IT solution that can follow a trailer – the system knows when it’s moving, stationary, loaded and more. It’s updated on a regular basis and reduces time wasted locating containers.
These IT solutions all feed into Transport America’s custom-developed transportation management system (TMS). Fleet leaders utilize this system to analyze their drivers’ data and to view scorecards. This helps them know who the top-performing truck drivers are and shows them which drivers may need some coaching.
So, what does the future look like for technology and the truck driver? Mr. Benusa expects the movement toward the use of personal mobile devices to continue along with an increase in the use of apps in the industry. There are still questions when it comes to managing all of this information, but one thing Transport America and Mr. Benusa stress is that their main goal is to provide tools to help truck drivers succeed. And in 2014, these tools for success are based in technology.