Trucking and Technology
We love technology! Who doesn’t? It has helped shape the way we live our lives from day-to-day. It has created endless progress and possibilities and is utilized by almost everyone daily. We’re always looking for the newest trucking industry technology and we haven’t been disappointed with what we’ve found. We think our focus on keeping up with the latest advancements is an important part of our success in serving the trucking community and beyond. We have implemented so many advancements in the past several years (both industry specific and more universal) that there are too many to mention. We’ll just touch on a few of our favorites here.
It’s not as if we recently jumped into the industry at the height of the information age. We’ve been in business since 1977 and have evolved through many different stages. Additionally, we’ve had an important management shift between generations that has brought with it a fresh look at the industry and an up-to-date perspective on the importance of modern technology. This has allowed us to keep up, and ultimately, survive and excel at serving our community.
A Brief Overview
Let’s take a look at where the trucking industry first started, what we’ve personally seen and where we think it’s headed. Before the automobile was invented, commodity was transported on horse-drawn vehicles and trains. The first trucks came about during the 1930’s and then during the 1960’s and 1970’s gained national attention. Today trucks of all sorts are everywhere, whether you like it or not. If you’re buying it, it is almost certainly came in on a truck.
Limiting Environmental Effects
The automobile industry has made countless engineering advancements to minimize environmental effects. The Clean Air Act, first introduced in 1955, has seen some major amendments over the past 60 years and has significantly impacted the industry. Most recently, California law began requiring all trucks and trucking companies to have 90% of their fleet converted to be clean air compliance by the end of 2013 and 100% by the end of 2014. We’re proud to say our entire fleet is completely compliant with the new requirements of the Clean Air Act.
Who remembers Thomas Guides? Yep, we used them…A LOT! Of course, Global Positioning Systems have been an important replacement of the Thomas Guide in the industry and we are especially thankful for them. Citizen Brand (CB) radios, popular in the 1970’s, were replaced by hand-held Nextel radios, which are now being replaced by smart phones. It’s been truly incredible to watch an application for your smart phone replace all of the equipment once required for such communication.
Our founder and President, Chris Newjahr, reminisces on a time when he was hand writing all correspondences for Best Yet Express. We’ve kept some of our first hand-written Bill of Ladings and Delivery Receipts as a reminder of how far we’ve come. Next came the carbon copy, once considered a huge advancement, saving time and effort. Today, hand written documents of any kind, including entire log books, have been replaced by the digital era. Customers can sign for shipments directly onto a computer screen that instantly transfers the information to a server, providing real-time information and eliminating much of the need for any paper exchange.
Then, we thought it was pretty cool converting to a Disk Operating Systems (DOS computer systems) using a dBase operating system and DOT Matrix printers replaced typewriters (can’t you hear the screaming pages printing now?). Specifically, we bought and implemented a transportation management system called PCS that we use for dispatch, accounting and fleet management. It has allowed us streamline operations and general management. A promising new comer to the industry is a company called Cargomatic that uses an application for your smart phone to connect local shippers with carrier companies who have extra space on their trucks through the click of a few buttons. These are just a few of our favorites!
The Future of Trucking
Where is technology in the industry heading? Have you heard of self-driving trucks? The idea of driver-less vehicles is not new. While the technology is getting close, many believe that we are not ready to share the road with driver-less vehicles and for this reason analysts predict that the first generation of driver-less vehicles will be commercial trucks instead of family sedans. Mercedes-Benz has already shown a version of this radical vehicle, the Future Truck 2025. Whenever the technology may lead, we will (as always!) do our best to stay current with all the latest technological advances and innovations.
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