Technology Now!

Technology is not on its way into the trucking industry; it’s already here. If you’re not taking advantage of all technology has to offer a trucker, you’re in for a surprising treat. This sponsored information section takes a look at a few areas in which technological advances can make your mobile life and business easier, more comfortable and even more profitable.

On the Internet
The convenience of online financial information and interactions is no longer a novelty in the trucking industry. From a laptop in you cab, you can handle everything from financing your truck and equipment to transferring your lease. By running your business from the road, time off-road is off-duty.

If you are shopping for a truck, CitiCapital, formerly The Associates, offers online financing 24 hours a day. Financing has never been so easy. And with a large staff devoted to trucking, CitiCapital provides values that other companies can’t.

“Our online service offers drivers the ability to arrange financing before they shop,” says Peter Piccolo, vice president of e-commerce for CitiCapital. “With our website, TruckAssociates.com, they can apply online quickly and easily.”

If you’re not in the market for a new truck, you might want to take advantage of Leasetrading.com’s online and offline service for transferring commercial vehicle and equipment leases. According to Senior Vice President and Co-founder Jeff Schmidt, the operation is the first and only full-service independent marketplace of its type.

Schmidt says the firm uses proprietary technology to manage all aspects of the lease-transfer process, such as initially listing assets, exchanging negotiation and contact information with credit institutions, and completing final logistics and asset delivery.

“The ability to transfer a lease can mean the difference between bankruptcy and viability for a business or individual,” he explains, “and the difference between a performing and nonperforming asset for a leasing company.”

Once you’re on the road you can use pFreight.com’s comprehensive driver package, which offers everything from fuel cards to online small-business management services. “The best thing about pFreight’s model for the customer is how little it costs to take advantage of this technology,” says Kim Fricke, vice president of sales and marketing for pFreight. “Because a big investment is not required, many new customers already have what they need to start.”

On the road
Technology can’t make your hauls shorter, but it can take the bite out of the longer stretches of waiting. You can bring the modern comforts of home, such as satellite television and high-speed Internet services, with you on the road.

Pana-Pacific provides the latest technology in appliances and other peripheral equipment. From flat screen telelvisions and the latest in DVD audio to refrigerators, Pana-Pacific has everything you need to bring the comforts of your home on the road.

“The target customer for our products are drivers who spend a lot more time in their trucks,” says Colin Kemlo, product specialist for Pana-Pacific. “Drivers who spend most of their week in their trucks appreciate the little extras that make life on the road a little easier.”

Communications companies are leading the way with innovative technology for a mobile life. Mobile satellite systems are offering truckers the ability to keep the luxury of television in their cabs in a more practical and convenient form.

“SMS now offers two different mobile entertainment solutions designed specifically for professional drivers,” says Mark Newsom, chief marketing officer for SMS. “Beginning in June, SMS will offer a complete satellite TV system that can be mounted on your truck window.”

KVH Industries has found a way to give constant satellite feed straight to drivers’ televisions while they are driving down the road.

“KVH Industries is working to give mobile customers the same digital satellite television and high speed Internet access they enjoy in their homes,” says Jim Dodez, vice president of marketing for KVH Industries Inc. “Our products connect truckers and other mobile customers to the Internet and great audio and video entertainment, while they are driving down the highway.”

Qwest Communications International is a broadband Internet communications company that provides TruckerBucks prepaid phone cards to the trucking industry. Qwest already retails calling services to consumers in more than 780 truck plazas.

“Our customers look to us for reliable prepaid products,” says Mark Welton, vice president of stored value services for Qwest. “In addition to providing exceptional service, Qwest has longevity and a track record in the prepaid phone card industry.”

Just because you’re on the road, you don’t have to be bored or out of touch. Innovative companies are finding ways to bring the technology to you in your truck so you can stay in touch with your family, run your business better and enjoy the trucking lifestyle more.

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