Remember the old days, a c.b. in the truck, a pillow for the jump seat, and pair of sunglasses and you were ready to drive on down the road. Those were the early days when sleepers weren’t even common and trucking was a hard job to handle. As trucks got better equipment to go with them got better giving us luxurious sleepers, satellite television and more. I remember watching television on my little 10 inch portable television at the truck stop. I think I got one channel and if you were in a place like southern Kentucky the big news was how big the deer was that the local hunter caught, a traffic report was out of the question. Things have changed since those days and there have been great developments in order to keep drivers efficient and on time. If you ask some they will tell you that the best thing to do is go out and buy the latest gizmo and you will be all set. That may be true in some cases, but if you are not ready to use that type of technology then it is just a waste of money. Technology is great if you use it and a waste if you don’t, so don’t buy what you don’t need. So how do you choose technology that will be helpful to you among all of the ads and hype about the latest products? Through the use of a pen and paper and a little brainstorming on how you would use it.
The first thing is to figure out is what you need or what would improve the way you’re doing things now. Make sure you take a look at your costs in the way you have things working. For example when I was on the road full time my big thing was to call home every night from where ever I was to talk with my family. Back then there were no cell phones in trucks so I purchased an 800 number for my home phone so I could call without the expense of a large phone bill. Today there are much better options such as Skype and so on that are absolutely free. So write down things you like to do personally such as movies, your accounting, staying in touch with family, tracking your business and trips, games etc. Now write down things that can help you do your job better, such as a phone that can double as an EOBR for your logbook, or GPS for trip planning. Look for ways to do the things you do now even easier. Once you have all of that in hand take a look at what is available to you cost wise, and what the company may be supplying to you. The goal is to get as much out of one machine as possible so you don’t have to take along too many items. With all of the applications out there these days you should be able to find something user friendly for yourself. Before buying take a look at what is coming out over the horizon for example Apple usually puts out updated products around late summer and Christmas so you may want to wait if you are close to those times and get the latest software. The point is to improve your efficiency and the best way to do that is to streamline your own process by using technology that is efficient. Leave the bells and whistles out if you don’t need them.
About the Author
Bruce Outridge is a business and leadership consultant for the transportation industry. More information and articles can be found on his website at www.outridge.ca . For more information on Fleet Tax Services please visit www.fleettaxservices.com