Technological Skills Every New Trucker Needs
The transportation industry isn’t traditionally considered tech-heavy, but innovation is becoming increasingly important to the trade’s productivity. Whether it’s in-cab technology or supplemental mobile device apps, technology has become a part of every aspect of the trucking world. Therefore, new drivers need to enter their jobs with key basic technological skills. Take your resume to the next level by mastering these essential abilities.
In Cab E-Logs
Electronic logs are the new standard in trucking. Before the digital age, truckers kept track of their driving times and other daily activities with complex paper logs. Now, electronic tracking systems automatically obtain and categorize all this information, relieving truckers of the arduous task of paper logging.
E-logs are installed in the dashboard of a truck and record information like the location of a vehicle, the distance driven each day, idle time, average speed, and MPG. They provide wonderful insight for fleets to improve efficiency and productivity based on this information. At the beginning of each day, you enter your employee number, perform a preliminary inspection of the vehicle, and hit the drive button. When you take a break, fill up, or make a delivery stop, simply alert the system with the press of a button. Gone are the days of endless sheets of log paper.
Research and Troubleshooting
One wouldn’t immediately think of research as a necessary skill for a trucking career, but today’s inventions demand it. Most modern cabs are equipped with state of the art technology. From fax machines to printers to global positioning and e-logs, electronic devices are omnipresent in the industry. It’s important to know how to fix a device when something goes wrong. A broken GPS can cut down time on the road if you don’t know how to fix it yourself.
This is where the research component comes in. Google and YouTube can offer answers to almost any problem you can imagine, including troubleshooting faulty cab devices. The trick is learning how to find answers. Usually, entering the model number and manufacturer of the device, along with the nature of the issue, will return the results you need.
Mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets, are invaluable to a contemporary trucker. There’s plenty of handy apps that will make life on the road easier. Among fitness and health monitoring apps, mobile document scanners, navigation apps specifically designed for truckers, and messenger apps, your mobile device is the key to becoming an efficient hauler. Apps like Truck Stops list locations and other information about nearby stations.
Other apps, like Around Me, show you the nearest fuel, entertainment, and grocery stores, as well as anything else you may need. Perhaps the most useful app is the BigRoad Log Book. This tool organizes driver log information and status changes. It calculates drive times based on hours of service and manages logs, inspections, and other documents. Essentially, it keeps all your spreadsheets and data in one easy-to-use app. Overall, mastery of your mobile device is important to staying organized, efficient, and even healthy.
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