The trucking industry is part of the backbone of economies around the globe. Moving large quantities of goods and raw materials provides for convenience and makes possible large stationary manufacturing facilities. Truck drivers pulling everything from hopper bottom jobs to large industrial equipment keep the wheels of commerce turning.
Technological developments of the 21st century have found their way into the engines, cabs and dispatching facilities that support trucking as an industry. The evolution of these technological tools opens up a future that may include dramatic changes in the methods and capabilities of over the road transportation. Fascinating implementations of innovative equipment, in tandem with internet-enabled functionality, create opportunities never before contemplated for trucks, trailers and drivers.
Among the advancing technological tools, 3 are particularly impactful on the techniques and methods utilized in moving materials on interstate highways and farm to market roads. Communications, engines, and automation each demonstrate some of the dramatic advancements made as the industry continues to roll on.
Communications Innovations in Trucking
Citizen’s band radios are a classic example of the communications history of truckers and the machines they pilot. Huge leaps in the innovations and evolution of information technologies now collect and transmit immense amounts of detailed data about trucks and the loads they carry. While CB radios still adorn the dashboards of big rigs, they now share space with computer screens and keyboards plugged into internet communications networks. Cell phones are another example of how rapidly innovation has come to communications in the transportation industry.
Engine Innovations in Trucking
Early combustion technologies applied in large freight hauling applications cranked out horsepower that was instrumental in moving many key items in industrial development. Experiencing embargos that limited crude oil availability during the 1970s drove research and investments into engine efficiency improvements. Innovations such as turbochargers and advanced engineering produced significant fuel efficiency gains. Now, cutting-edge electric motors are being tested as a new prime mover to further drive down the cost of operating trucks.
Automation Innovations in Trucking
Moving and manipulating high volumes of huge heavy loads are inherent to the trucking industry. Massive, partially automated cranes now load and unload ships packed with iconic sea containers daily. An even more impressive example of automation in trucking is seen in the application of database-driven load management and logistics. Increasing logistical efficiencies are achieved in dispatching functions supported by computer and internet-enabled tools.
Targeting and driving down costs to improve profitability in trucking transportation is being accomplished with technological expertise and innovation. . puzzle pieces by robotic mechanisms. boxes that are pulled behind trucks every day.