Thursday, 4 November 2010

Technology and the Trucking Industry

 Commercial trucks, big rigs, tractor-trailers, semis - however referred by name are a big necessity on the highway. It is the most common way wholesale goods are shipped cross state as well as cross country. However, their sheer size among the crowds of smaller commuter vehicles makes them very formidable and often quite dangerous on the roads.

Perhaps the best way to ensure safety is through driver education - both for drives of trucks and those sharing the freeways, highways, and streets. Operators of trucks do need special licensing, and must also keep driving time under guidelines. These drivers spend hours upon hours on the road, and their skills are well developed - but driver distractions and fatigue seem to be common causes of truck accidents where drivers were held responsible. For those sharing the road, drivers must remember to give trucks plenty of room, and try to pass on the left side instead of right side. Another common problem occurs when car or motorcycles attempt to pass between trucks and the curbside when the large trucks are making turns (the truck often need to swing wide in order to avoid having the rear wheels clip the corner curbs or lamposts).

One way the tucking industry has changed - the use of technology. A few examples:
  • GPS systems for routing and tracking
  • "Black boxes" for recording events
  • Electronic speed governors
  • Active braking
  • Traction control
Hopefully, advancement will continue in technology - but the best way to prevent accidents will always be common sense and proper planning. Proper maintenance, knowledge of the roads, respect of the weather and driving conditions and driver rest can be implemented instantaneously.

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