Overdrive Extra

Todd Dills

MADSEN: With more value-added services on trucks, driver value declines

| June 23, 2012

If you missed this post to Phil Madsen’s Learning Something New Every Day blog, from earlier in the month, give it a gander soon as you can. It’s a must-read for the quality of analysis it gives to the expediting owner-operator’s first experience with software that can, with an operator’s permission, track his cell phone in lieu of utilizing an expensive on-board load tracker.

Madsen — rightly, in this case, we think — refused to cooperate, but that’s not the end of it. Here’s the somewhat forbidding conclusion:

Name any truck or truck-communications technology today  – from air-conditioning to cell phones to lane departure systems to the internet. For many of them you can describe how they are reducing operating margins for owner-operators, increasing the costs of operating a truck, and reducing the need for and value of professional owner-operators.

Truck driving is a job such that the smarter a truck becomes (technology), the less skilled, responsible and compensated a driver has to be.

Now go check out how he gets there.

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  • Paul Kotowski

    Good Points. But at the end of the day, it is the driver that gets the load to its destination, not the gps or qualcom.
    This is a fact too often over looked.
    As a shipper, I don’t need the drivers phone,etc. If I have to baby sit him, I need another driver, not another electronic device. I do want the driver to have my number though. If he has a problem with the delivery/pick up time, I need to know. If companies think that they can use these devices to lower pay and get the same results, they are in for a surprise; If you plant potatoes, you are going to get potatoes.