Why are truck drivers crucial to the success of the logistics industry?
Almost every business that involves the movement of material goods requires logistics to efficiently deliver the products. According to a study conducted by United World Transportation in 2019, trucks carried 11.84 billion tons of freight, about 72.5% of all freight transported in a year. Therefore, truck drivers are crucial to the smooth operation of moving goods not just in terms of driving but also planning routes, meeting expenses, and handling risk efficiently. However, there are a number of challenges faced by truck drivers that affect the productivity and results in additional expenses.
What are the problems faced by commercial truck drivers?
Truck drivers travel for many miles or even for days together on rugged roads and unpredictable weather conditions which take a toll on their well-being and eventually affect the delivery of goods. Moreover, they are prone to distractions while driving which leads to theft or accidents and vehicle maintenance is a huge task that has to be tracked on a regular basis to prevent major repair or replacement costs.
Most importantly, unifying all fleet-related expenses is one of the major problems faced by truck drivers that needs to be addressed, without which they will be required to carry a huge amount of cash and might also need different payment methods for varied expenses like fuel, parking, tolls, repairs, food, lodging and more while traveling. However, the challenges faced by truck drivers can be overcome with technological solutions.
Understanding the 3 biggest challenges in the trucking industry
- Expense: 32% of fleets consider fuel to be the greatest expense (Source: Teletrac Navman). Managing expenses while on the road is a major challenge for truck drivers. They are required to pay for fuel, tolls, repairs, parking, food and lodging all of which involve different payment methods and multiple receipts. Sometimes, drivers become subject to robbery and on the other hand, they also pay for commodities from their own pockets in case of insufficient cash and it may or may not be reimbursed.
- Maintenance: According to a study, companies spend almost $860 every year on vehicle maintenance (Source: G2 Tech Marketplace). Trucks require regular maintenance because of traveling for miles and loading heavy capacity that curbs certain functions in the long run and results in wear and tear expenses. If trucks are not properly maintained it might also lead to a need for complete replacement as they become obsolete.
- Safety: The safety of truck drivers and the fleet is a matter of concern while on the road due to unpredictable weather conditions or rugged roads. However, most accidents occur due to distractions while driving. Some truck drivers travel for long hours during the night or travel for days together without proper rest leading to untoward incidents.
How technology is helping commercial truck drivers overcome the challenges:
- Expense Management: Telematics software can be used to control idling, over-speeding or other causes that lead to increased fuel consumption. 55% of fleets reported reduced fuel costs after using telematics software (Source: Teletrac Navman). Moreover, Fintech companies operating in the logistics sector are now providing fuel cards that can be used to purchase fuel with cashless transactions at discounted prices and fleet cards can be used to overcome problems faced by truck drivers in terms of payments by unifying all fleet-related expenses.
- Predictive Maintenance: The expense can be reduced with frequent assessment. Integrating fleet management software can enhance data analytics and help to predict the need for maintenance.
- Risk Mitigation: GPS technology can be used to optimise routes so that drivers can avoid rugged roads and telematics or fleet tracking software helps to monitor driver behaviour and send alerts to avoid distractions. 42% reported considerably fewer safety incidents since using fleet tracking software to monitor driver behavior (Source: Teletrac Navman).
Let’s Wrap Up!
Truck drivers are crucial to the smooth transit of goods and operating fleets have their own set of trucking problems including multiple expenses, poor maintenance and safety issues. However, these challenges in the trucking industry can be overcome by the integration of technology in the form of fuel or fleet cards, predictive maintenance with data analytics, telematics technology, fleet tracking and management software.
Axlerate is a unified platform for Logistics management, payments and services. Our solutions help to simplify tolls, fuel purchases, fleet expenses, loans, insurance, escrow, payments, truck booking, fleet management and the buying and selling of logistics products and services.