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A good truck driver does much more than just transporting goods

Fri | 3 Dec 2021 |

A good truck driver does much more than just transporting goods

The task of a professional truck driver is no longer limited to just transporting goods from A to B. Nowadays, drivers and their vehicles are the public face of the shipper, because the moment of delivery is often the only time there is any personal interaction between the supplier and the customer.

Truck drivers should therefore always have good road manners, plus they should be allowed enough time to deliver the goods courteously. This means that it’s crucial to provide correct and up-to-date information – not only to the driver, but also to everyone else involved in the delivery process… including the recipient! After all, customers no longer accept indicative delivery times of ‘sometime between 12:00 and 16:00 h’ or an endless stream of trucks driving through residential streets where children are playing.

The only way to avoid this is to enable everyone in the transport and logistics chain to receive and view the same information at the same time. The Simacan platform makes this possible, and additionally the Simacan smart algorithms make life easier for drivers by providing extra support.

Driver as well as battery manager?

Moreover, as electric trucks become more commonplace, truck drivers will soon face an additional issue, namely monitoring the remaining charge in their vehicle’s battery. Needless to say, it will be important for drivers to know whether the battery still has enough power to complete the remaining stops on schedule and also to return to the distribution centre (DC) afterwards. A driver’s accelerating behaviour actually accounts for just 30% of the drain on the battery. Other factors affecting the power consumption include traffic congestion, weather conditions, the weight of the vehicle and the kinds of manoeuvres the vehicle is required to make. But will drivers ultimately be the ones who need to keep track of whether the remaining charge is enough to complete all the stops on their route? Or will this become the responsibility of the transport planner, as a kind of ‘battery manager’ for the drivers?

It will probably end up as a combination of the two because, for reasons of cost as well as scheduling, companies will want to minimize battery recharging during the trip. Therefore, both the driver and the transport planner will require help with this. That help certainly entails providing insight into how much power is likely to be required for the remainder of the trip, but it will also be important to know how much charge will be left when the vehicle returns to the DC. After all, the vehicles will need to be recharged ready for their next trips, so transport planners will want to anticipate any potential problems as the basis for taking action to avoid disruption.

Of course, it’s only possible to obtain these insights if all parties are actually willing to share the relevant data with one another – preferably in a standardized manner. At Simacan, we are well aware of that challenge and are continuously working to address it!

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