If you want to get ahead in the trucking game, you have to know the ins and outs of the industry. As an owner-operator, you especially need to keep your head in the game with the news of hot topics in trucking. That way, you can always be creating a strategy for your business.
Of course, there’s no shortage of hot topics out there. Here’s just a few to keep you up to date when it comes to your field.
Truck Driver Parking
Owner-operators might already be aware that semi-truck parking is difficult. Truckers are often struggling to find a place to park and rest along their route. Not only that, there is a lack of truck parking in most areas and parking lots. However, with an increasing demand for freight and semi-trucks in general (another hot topic), there are more trucks than ever on the road.
The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration released a study also sponsored by the Office of Freight Management and Operations. The study detailed how that due to the lack of parking, more drivers are likely to drive fatigued. This is extremely dangerous and often leads to fatalities. Many are also forced to park illegally.
The report stated that more parking availability information should be made available for drivers. Technology is being made more readily available that will alert them to open spaces. Still, the problem persists: there simply aren’t a lot of parking spots for truckers out there.
Traffic is also heavy on the mind of anyone who owns a semi-truck, and especially owner-operators. Cities like Chicago, Cincinnati, Atlanta, and Los Angeles are all particularly affected by traffic bottlenecks.
This creates a loss in productivity of over two billion dollars. The United States needs to focus on correcting these issues to streamline trucking efficiency.
To help the traffic, sometimes it’s not a possibility. There are simply too many drivers on the road at a given time in heavily-trafficked areas. Some solutions, however, include increased communication, alternate routes, control ramp metering, toll roads, HOV lanes, and drastic infrastructure changes.
Sitting down for long periods of time is a silent killer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that one of the most concerning health issues facing semi-truck drivers is being overweight or obese. Cigarette smoking is also a hot button issue, and these two factors combined are dangerous for OTR truck drivers. This puts them at an increased risk for high cholesterol, strained backs, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and more. It’s being encouraged that truck drivers take breaks and participate in small bursts of exercise.
Owner-operators might not have to think about who’s going to be driving their semi-trucks in the future, because it could be machines. However, technology is still moderately far off from being complete. For now, there are a few logistics and kinks with the technology that must be worked out first before they become fully operational.
Technology in General
The trucking game is changing as technology rapidly makes advances. ELDs have been a huge topic lately, as people transition from manual logging to having their drive time logged for them. Along with ELDs, people are talking about automation, roll-stability systems, power inverters, anti-collision radars, speed limiters, and others.
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