The life of a trucker has changed immensely over the past few years. Technology, corporate greed, and supply chain chaos have all left their mark on the long-haul trucking industry. As a trucker myself, I wanted to know exactly how these changes have impacted my peers. I decided to embark on a journey to see first hand how the industry has evolved.
Firstly, there’s the technology side of things. There’s been a huge uptake in satellite tracking systems and GPS navigation on freight rigs. This has given dispatchers more visibility over a trucker’s location, as well as more control over routing decisions. This is a double-edged sword; while it increases safety, it also leads to drivers being overworked, as the companies want to maximize their fleet’s efficiency.
Secondly, corporate greed has had a huge impact on truckers. An increase in consolidation has led to a few major companies controlling much of the industry. This means many truckers have less negotiating power and are often forced to drive long hours for next to nothing. This means less sleep for truckers and more potential for dangerous driving.
Lastly, there is the chaos of the ever-evolving supply chains. The last few years have seen an increase in not just international shipments, but also e-commerce packages being shipped. Truckers are dealing with ever growing demand, on top of already tight timelines. This causes an increase in stress and anxiety among the drivers, as they try to cope with these new pressures.
My journey has shown me that life on the road for truckers has changed drastically since I started driving. The ever-increasing demands of the industry are taking their toll on drivers, as they try to manage the technological, economic and logistical problems posed by the industry. For truckers, it’s become a balancing act between increasing efficiency and protecting their health, and unfortunately, it’s often the later that gives way first.