The trucking industry is going through many technological revolutions right now; one of the most important ones is in the telematics field. If you are unaware of telematics being an influential force for commercial trucking, there is a very good chance that you use telematics in your business today. Elaborating further on the usage of telematics can prove to be a competitive advantage in the industry.
What is Telematics?
Vehicles are no longer simply machines used to travel from one point to another; they now are integrated with computer systems. In the trucking industry, telematics is any communication your truck does with the outside world. Examples of this include:
- GPS information.
- Wi-fi installed in the cabin.
- Live webcam recording.
- Cellular phone integration.
- Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs).
- Driver habit tracking.
- Component tracking.
Benefits of Telematics
There are numerous benefits to using telematics in your fleet.
Long gone are the days of having to keep track of miles driven in each state before sending payment to the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA), GPS and ELDs can now track the distance in each area for you. The same logic applies to tracking Hours of Service: now the pen and paper are used only when the truck’s ELD is in need of repair.
In some cases, truck drivers do not have much of a choice in avoiding telematics. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has recently made it a requirement for all non-exempt trucks to carry and use an ELD. Having this system in place will allow the FMCSA to better notice when people are violating their Hours-of-Service regulations, which was recently reformed to offer more flexibility.
Hard braking, sharp turning, and other risky maneuvers may save a truck driver’s life from a collision, but the fact a trucker resorted to such maneuvers implies they were not paying as much attention to the road as they should have. Using telematics to track driver habits can let you know which drivers are at a higher risk for an accident, allowing you to know which drivers need more attention and can prevent accidents before they occur.
More sophisticated technology suites can allow fleet managers and telematic operators to know about natural wear and tear on a vehicle, and when an inspection may be due. An example includes sensing tire tread to know when it is time to rotate or replace some of the eighteen tires, without going through a time-consuming inspection of each individual tire.
Another example of efficiency is fuel consumption. Many factors impact how far a truck can travel on a gallon of diesel fuel, and electronic monitoring can help discover methods to get that number as high as possible.
In times of an accident, having cameras and sensors for your truck send critical information to headquarters can vindicate the driver and company of wrongdoing. Truckers are in the business to drive, not to litigate court.
Driving over 400 miles a day can be tiresome. Having a truck able to connect to either wi-fi or satellite radio can allow the driver to access home radio stations, podcasts, and with wi-fi even more complex entertainment such as movies and games when not driving.
How can you implement new hardware and software to improve the quality of life for both you and your fleet? Here are some pointer examples of upgrading your technology.
Because these are now officially mandated by the FMCSA, there is a very good chance that every truck in your fleet, whether one or one hundred, all have an ELD in them. If not, you may be subject to fines! Here is a list of various ELDs on the market: some charge upfront fees, and others charge from month-to-month.
Be careful when researching the cameras you get for your truck, one size does not fit all. Here are some features to consider:
- Number of cameras.
- Video quality.
- Night vision.
- Light/audio alerts
- Waterproof rating.
We at TopMark Funding have compiled a list of what we believe to be the best dash cameras on the market.
Having a navigation system on the phone is helpful, but there is no comparison to having a dedicated system mounted to the dash for easy viewing at any time. Some Global Positioning Systems come with bells and whistles, such as reading text messages from your smartphone out loud, to help make the trip that much easier.
Check out our list of our favorite flavors of GPS.
Full Automation Driving
Will self-driving semi-trucks ever become the new normal? Almost certainly, but probably not by the end of the decade. Having a truck journey on a relatively straight highway such as Interstate 5 is currently doable, but having it exit a highway and travel to its actual destination is another story altogether. Human drivers are also another obstacle impeding the self-driving revolution. Read more on the obstacles stopping this high-demand telematic technology here.
Two Birds, One Stone
Some technological purchases will fulfill multiple forms of telematics at once. For example, there are ELDs that also work as GPS navigation, or camera systems with built-in wi-fi. Purchasing one of these systems can mean fewer headaches when installing everything to make a truck a 21st-century machine. Do some research and see what you can find.
Telematics is a vital part of effective trucking in the modern age. If you are reading this article, there is already a very high chance that you already use some telematics in your truck that has already made some aspect of the trucking experience easier. Why not make the career as painless as possible, for you and your fleet?
Beyond financing for trucks and trailers, we at TopMark Funding also finance various forms of business equipment. If you need new cameras for your fleet, we can get you the funding you need quickly, and without harming your credit score as we search to find you the best deal possible. Read below to learn more information.
CORONAVIRUS [COVID-19] UPDATES AND ARTICLES
- Trucker’s Guide to When Every State is Reopening
- FMSCA Extends Hours of Service Relief Declaration
- How Truck Drivers Can Keep Their Cabs Clean During COVID-19
- International Roadcheck Delayed Over COVID-19 Fears
- Pennsylvania Reopens (Some) Rest Stops
- Truck Dealers Seek “Essential Status”
- Navistar And Paccar Halt Production
- Mack And Volvo Suspend Truck Production
- Fmcsa Expands Its COVID-19 Response
ABOUT TOPMARK FUNDING
TopMark Funding is a top-rated semi-truck financing and equipment financing company located in Roseville, CA. We specialize in commercial trucking and heavy equipment. Our mission is to become your long-term financial partner by helping you grow your trucking business and fleet.
We’re not here for the short-term, we’re on the long-haul with you!
We have financing options for semi-trucks, commercial trucks, trailers, small businesses, and commercial fleets. We have great rates, low down payments, and flexible monthly payments regardless of credit history.
Learn more about: Semi-Truck Financing
Fill out the contact form or give us a call at (866) 627-6644. One of our truck financing specialists will contact you as soon as possible to go over your truck lease needs and learn more about you and your business financing goals.