Technology has turned the world of trucking upside-down over the last 20 years.  It has given us a lot of benefits, such as dispatch software for trucking.  However, not all of the recent high-tech innovations have been as welcome.  One that’s extremely controversial is GPS tracking.

How GPS Tracking Devices Work

Flying over your head right now are hundreds of spaceships.  They’re in orbit around the earth and control what we see and hear.  Chances are good that they know where you’re at right now.  Before you get too upset, we should hasten to add that without them, many of the daily conveniences we enjoy, such as TV, Internet, etc., would not be possible.  They’re satellites, and they bathe the earth in signals every moment of the day.  They also make possible what’s known as the Global Positioning System (GPS).

In recent years, scientists have linked these satellites to devices like cell phones and GPS trackers.  If you have an iPhone or similar device, then you’ve probably already used this capability to find directions when you’re in a strange city or to locate another person.

The system works both ways, though.  Not only can you find what you’re looking for with a GPS, but also others can find you.  Trucking companies have taken advantage of this technology in the last few years, fitting their fleets with dispatch software for trucking that let them know where their vehicles are at all times.  Ask managers why they did this, and they’ll tell you about the advantages GPS tracking offers, including the following:

  • GPS helps drivers find their way along unfamiliar routes, saving them time and helping them complete runs faster.  That in turn lets them drive more, which in turn increases their paychecks.
  • GPS keeps drivers safe.  For example, sometimes, unfortunate things happen on the road.  A trucker might have a health emergency or break down in a remote area.  GPS alerts the company when one of its vehicles is in trouble, so that help can be dispatched right away.
  • GPS helps to lower insurance costs on fleet vehicles, raising the company’s bottom line and, ultimately, its driver’s pay.

Of course, not everyone thinks fitting trucks with GPS trackers is such a wonderful idea.  Among the complaints commonly heard from professional drivers are the following:

  • Installing GPS devices is the same as the company saying it doesn’t trust its employees.  This lowers morale and only adds to the average trucker’s stress load, which is already high enough, given tight schedules and the still-uncertain state of the economy.
  • GPS is supposed to make trucking safer, but in many cases it has had the opposite effect.  For example, in New York State, GPS systems have directed truckers to take routes with low bridges, causing serious wrecks.  Some companies use GPS to force truckers to take the shortest route to their destination, even when that route is unsafe for big rigs.


Having Said That….

As we mentioned before, we’re not taking either side in this debate.  We’re just laying the facts out so that you can decide for yourself where you stand.  One thing’s for sure, though:  TruckingOffice is the best trucking software you can buy, period.  To prove it, we’ll let you try it free for 30 days, without asking for a credit card or checking account number.  So go ahead and give it a test drive.  You’ll soon agree with us.

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