Helping Drivers Be Successful with Your Technology

In our latest episode of McLeod Insights, we sat down with two members of the McLeod Software team, Kem Wallace and Devon Zacharias, to discuss how to help drivers be successful with your technology.

We talked about strategies for adopting technology, how to help companies and drivers adopt technology more readily, and the best ways in which drivers can apply that technology. Let’s dive right in. 

Criteria for Adopting Technology

When it comes to adopting new technology for drivers, transportation companies have several factors to consider. The primary considerations are whether the technology will help or hinder drivers in their work. Additionally, companies should consider the time involved in adopting new technology requirements and procedures.

It’s important to make sure that any new technology provides simplicity and utility to the driver’s daily activities. Drivers’ lack of downtime is a major factor in choosing new technology. They need to be able to learn it and begin using it as quickly as possible. 

Helping Drivers Adopt Technology More Readily

In order to help drivers more readily adopt new technology, it’s important that trucking companies provide the proper training up front. This goes not only for the drivers who will be using the tools, but also for the management team who will be helping to implement them.

Training widely encourages everyone to adopt the new tools and discourages pushback by either side. It also allows management to point out the benefits of the applications and gives leaders the chance to demonstrate the potential return on investment (ROI) to drivers. For drivers to feel comfortable with a new tool, they need to understand exactly how it’s going to be worth their time and energy investment. The goal is for the new tools to become seamlessly integrated into the driver’s daily life.

These days, there are more Gen X and Millennial drivers entering the transportation industry. These generations are more likely to readily adopt new technology tools than many individuals of older generations. To many older drivers, new technology is a hindrance to their work.

“Drivers are really suffering from the app overload, so anything a company can do to help drivers with this issue by applying a standard would be a big benefit.”

Kem Wallace

How Drivers Can Best Use Technology

Drivers can utilize a number of different mobile applications to make their work easier than ever before. Apps can take the guesswork out of simple things, like finding parking and truck stops. They can also help drivers vet the transportation companies they’re interested in working for.

Transportation apps provide real-time information that helps drivers make better decisions in their workday and overall trip. Some of the best apps drivers can use include:

  • Social media apps help drivers stay in touch with family and friends while away from home
  • Parking locators let drivers know whether parking is available at their next planned stop
  • Truckstop locators give drivers location information on the nearest truck stops, in addition to allowing them to reserve a shower and order food before they arrive
  • Weather trackers to help drivers stay on top of the weather along their route
  • Traffic reporting tools that report issues on the route, including construction and traffic jams, and can inform drivers whether to adjust route or fuel up ahead of time

Some technology gives drivers detailed insights into exactly where they’re taking a delivery, beyond simple GPS coordinates and a street address. Other technology allows them to communicate directly with payroll for more convenient billing and reimbursement. They can also look at mobile comm messages, review, and reply to them.

Beyond real-time, work-centric apps, drivers can also use technology to vet the companies they want to drive for. The ability to check a company’s CSA score is critical for drivers who are concerned with aligning with high-integrity companies with excellent track records – especially since a driver’s scores now follows them from one company to the next. If a company’s policies or track record could potentially affect a driver’s score, technology insights can help them to avoid aligning with the wrong organization.

Questions to Ask Before Adopting New Technology

It’s essential for companies to guard against app overload. Helping drivers self-limit to one or two apps will help streamline their technology use and keep daily work as simple as possible. Choosing an enterprise system can help to streamline these disparate pieces of technology and limit the number of apps drivers have to navigate on a daily basis.

When it comes to adopting transportation technology, the bottom line is ROI. Here are the questions transportation companies and drivers should be asking about the new technology they adopt:

  • Does this tool boost productivity?
  • Does it help make the driver more comfortable?
  • Does it lead to a return for the company?

Ultimately, technology that helps your drivers to be successful will help your company be successful, too. McLeod Software offers enterprise software that can help your transportation company increase efficiency while reducing costs. Learn more here.

To listen to the full podcast episode featuring Kem and Devon, click here.