The trucking industry has faced a driver shortage for many years now.  In a world where every industry seems to be evolving, the stagnant  nature of trucking is hurting the employment pool.

While trucking was a popular profession for two previous generations,  millennials have drastically different career expectations. Almost all  millennials were raised using technology and connected devices to be  more organized and productive. They want to work for a company that  understands how they work.

Rather than selling millennials on the current state of trucking  careers, it’s time to sell transportation on wholesale changes that  increase operational efficiency and financial return. Here are a few  ways to make the industry more efficient and technology friendly.

Preventive maintenance with IoT sensors. Trucks can be finicky,  throwing error messages or fault codes that drivers and fleet operators  often don’t understand. Using sensors that collect live data from engine  performance and give fleet operators insights into the problem and the  solution can prevent driver downtime and save precious hours of pay  drivers lose waiting for repairs.

Sensors can also help mitigate transportation issues as a result of  weather, and monitor sensitive cargo. Understanding the path a shipment  takes can help drivers feel confident about unforeseen situations that  could delay or change their daily schedule, and therefore their  compensation.

Warehouse automation. While autonomous vehicles have become all the  rage in logistics conversations, driving is still a cognitive career  that machines haven’t mastered. However, sorting goods in a warehouse  with more efficiency and accuracy than humans is something that is  automation-friendly. Logistics companies with large regional fleets  could move warehouse workers to the road, and automate some of the tasks  that those workers were doing in warehouses in order to address driver  shortages.

Inventory management control can also be automated. Barcode scanners,  labeling automation, and object recognition not only prevent errors but  also reclaim valuable working hours.

Electronic safety records. Electronic logging for truck safety checks  and repairs can be incredibly helpful. If stopped by a Driver and  Vehicle Standards Agency official, having electronic logs of vehicle  safety inspections reduces the administrative burden on truck drivers  and increases their time spent on the road.

Combined with IoT sensors that can merge real-time performance data  with historical maintenance records, electronic logs can also help fleet  managers train drivers to be better prepared to anticipate and handle  truck performance issues. Positioning and implementing automated logs as  a benefit versus an electronic babysitter are keys to recruiting  younger drivers who already use technology to be more efficient in their  day-to-day lives.

As the industry looks to recruit drivers in years to come,  understanding how the newest generation uses technology and innovating  legacy systems will be key to success.

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