What technology has changed trucking the most?

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“Most recently, the biggest innovation has been onboard messaging services. I could not even fathom how many dollars we have saved over the long run in terms of time, miles, etc. They have helped immensely.”
Jerry Radtke, dispatcher
R. Conley Inc., Elma, N.Y.

“The electronic engine. You can regulate them so easily. They have saved us a lot of money in fuel costs. We can govern the trucks for slower speeds and for progressive shifting. You can program the engines to stay under 1700 or 1800 rpm, not just a top speed.”
Randy Bergman, president
Bergman Trucking Inc., Ithaca, Neb.

“I would say the Internet. The whole world is accessible on your computer. I don’t know if it is helpful for big companies to find loads, but it is very helpful for small companies and owner-operators.”
Steve Huff, president
William B. Huff Inc., Spanish Fork, Utah

“I would say dispatch software. It has really helped us communicate more effectively throughout the whole organization. Tying in two to three different dispatchers or two to three terminals into the software allows everyone in the company to be on the same page. We made a commitment with TMW Software, and they have helped us to grow and become more organized. The dispatch software enables you to combine with PC Miler to help drivers find locations. It also ties in with the satellites. Drivers put into the satellite system when they arrived at a consignee, arrived at their second stop, etc. They punch it in on the satellite, and it automatically updates the dispatch software. This cuts down on the amount of phone calls from drivers. That’s been the key. As far as outside business is concerned, the Internet has been the key. We run a sales brokerage, and the Internet has helped my brokers find more trucks in more areas in the country, from the West to East coast and vice-versa. It’s nice to be able to pull up different websites to find loads back home.”
Aaron Keller, sales manager, Keller Logistics
Thomas E. Keller Trucking Inc., Defiance, Ohio

“Basically, what has kept us in business are the electronic engines. The drivers coming into the market today would not be able to function in old equipment. There is a shortage of knowledgeable drivers.”
Jim Andrus, president
Andrus Transportation Services,
St. George, Utah

“Electronic engines. You have to be more advanced in terms of shop equipment, but electronic engines are more drivable, more powerful and more efficient.”
Keith Gilespie, director of marketing.
Clark Cartage Co. Inc., Green Bay, Wis.

“We don’t take full advantage of the technology that is out there, but the technology that has changed trucking the most from our standpoint is the cell phone. In the distribution side of our business there are a number of other technologies, but purely on the trucking side, cell phones have made a huge improvement in speaking and keeping in touch with drivers and saving time spent out of route, improving customer service and the bottom line.”
Mac Hardaway, director of logistics & warehouse
American Paper & Twine, Nashville, Tenn.

“The Internet because it cuts across so many different features of software. It interfaces with other technologies and features that make so many things possible, but mostly it has made communications more affordable and doable.”
Jim Jennings, president
Four Star Transport, Indianapolis

“From our standpoint – and I don’t know if this has changed trucking – but trucking has embraced computers in general. Twenty years ago, there wasn’t a firm out there that had a computer. Now we have computers everywhere – in the office, in the trucks and in the engines. We have come to embrace them, but I don’t know if that has changed trucking. It’s made it more efficient, but that’s the extent of it – to keep track of the details better.”
James McKinney, president
Davis Transport Inc., Missoula, Mont.