Wheels of Justice
The technology “go-to” guy
As I sat in Charlotte, NC and watched a panel of trucking safety experts, including Dean Newell of Maverick Transportation, I understood why they had been picked to discuss the future of technology in trucking. They knew what they were talking about, because they believe technology will be a major safety factor for trucking, now and in the future.
I later approached Dean and asked him a few questions for this article I thought you’d be interested in.
You were on the technology panel, so you obviously use innovative technology in your company. What can you tell us about why you spend the time and money for it?
We use Computerized Employee Orientation (CEO) to allow each new employee to learn our policies and procedures, benefit sand how payroll works. We want them to know everything about our company and everything we expect from them in return. We want every person to have the same opportunity, the same information, and in fact, the same everything.
What new technology are the vendors offering right now?
Answer: Among the more interesting is the new camera technology; it shows what is going on both in front of and behind the truck. Another is real-time reporting from the truck to the back office, becoming more proactive instead of reactive.
Question: How do you decide what technology to purchase and install on your trucks and with your drivers?
We test it, get drivers input, figure out the return on investment, and we ask the question “Is it the right thing to do?” I always go one-step further, and ask myself “Would it have made me a better driver?” Most important, does it work? If not, forget about it.
If you could wave a magic wand and have a new safety technology, what would it be?
Crash Mitigation would be my suggestion, without a doubt. I mean an active system versus a passive system that would be false alarm-proof. Another would be voice command in the cab for just about everything. That would help the driver by keeping his eyes on the road at all times.
How did you become the go-to guy when it comes to technology in trucking?
Probably because we are not afraid to “get out of the box.” We’re not afraid to share our experience, good and bad, with other companies. The ultimate goal is to make our roads safer for everyone. When we share, everyone has the opportunity to get better.
Jim C. Klepper is president of Interstate Trucker Ltd., an organization that provides legal defense protection to commercial drivers. Jim is a lawyer who focuses on transportation law and the trucking industry in particular. He works to answer your legal questions about trucking, and he holds his Commercial Drivers License.