The trucking industry is changing and changing fast. What are you doing to keep up with it? I was getting ready for a presentation the other day doing some research into what drivers will have to do in the future. As I was watching videos and reading material I began to think to myself that the position of being a truck driver will change dramatically in the near future. How will that affect those learning about those positions today?
In the past the industry used trucking as a dumping ground. If you couldn’t do anything else and hated school then trucking was normally where you ended up. The independence and manual labour of the position was a good fit for those that didn’t get excited over the education route.
When CSA (Comprehensive Safety Analysis) came into affect it changed the type of driver companies were looking for. No longer did they need to someone to just get the job done, but needed them to do it without violations. The driver focus has now changed to where carriers are now looking for safe, legal drivers that are willing to learn and be customer service oriented.
That brings us to the future. When I look at the new technology coming into the industry to help combat the driver shortage I see the role of the driver changing again. Will we even be driving? Just take a visit to your favourite video channel and you will see a number of videos on driverless trucks. In fact I believe every manufacturer is working on the same technology. Whether it was Freightliner, Peterbilt, Volvo, or Mercedes they all had similar videos for their trucks. All videos featured the truck driver doing other things other than truck driving. I also noticed that many of the trucks will become even more aerodynamic than they are now making the job of inspections even harder or very different from the inspections done today. In the future we may have some type of x-ray system a truck drives through showing all areas that need attention.
Whatever it is in the future the role of the truck driver is changing dramatically and driving ability may not be at the forefront. I see the driver’s role in the future focused on customer service, computers, and security. That human instinct and radical thinking is what keeps the human race one step ahead of computers. Being able to think outside of the box for different situations is what will be needed in the future. Look at any movie set in the future and you will notice many of the transportation vehicles don’t even have wheels. That’s where we are going and those that keep up with technology and have an eye for the future will be employable for the future. So in repeating the question I asked at the beginning of this article, what are you doing to keep up for the future?
About the Author
Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is an author of the books Driven to Drive and Running By The Mile, consultant, podcast host, and speaker. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has certified member schools in the truck training vocation ensuring quality entry level drivers enter the transportation industry. To learn more about the TTSAO or to find a certified school in your area visit www.ttsao.com