There are 1.7 million truck drivers in the country. But more are needed!
From retail and ecommerce deliveries, to garbage collection, to even manoeuvring difficult terrains like underground mines, almost every aspect of civilized life requires powerful big-rigs to come to the rescue.
The Trucking Talent Gap
Unfortunately, trucking has developed an image that is turning away the next generation of workers and value driven Millennials from a career in this crucial field.
The list of complaints is long, and for-hire truckers have it rough. They must contend with issues like unavoidable traffic, long hours on the road with few rest areas, and less time at home with their families.
This has led to a talent gap in the trucking sector, with many jobs going unfilled. While many firms have been offering sign-on bonuses and other incentives to drive hiring efforts, the number of applicants is still falling short.
Autonomous Technology to the Rescue
To fill the gap, self-driving technology is being explored for trucking fleets. While autonomous passenger cars have been getting a lot of attention, autonomous trucks have already been hitting the road to research their capabilities. Embark, Amazon, Daimler and the automotive stalwarts are all toeing the same line.
Currently, the self-driving technology is being tested alongside human drivers to ensure safety. Autonomous trucking will in most cases identify obstacles that dozing eyes miss, provide long haul relief to exhausted drivers and improve the quality of their lives. It is in no way ready to completely replace human drivers.
Most prototypes that have seen road action come heavily equipped with sensors and cameras that can masterfully handle darkness, glare, fog and natural hurdles. Added benefits of running on electricity and constant relay of performance feedback for fuel optimization are also in the works.
All in all, companies are eager to invest in trucking and return the sector to its former strength. This time with the help of technology.
Pentaflex has been the supplier of choice for customers who require complex, heavy gauge deep drawn components and sub-assemblies for their big-rigs and trucks. We believe that the disruption on the horizon is one that will positively impact trucking and the many industries served by this sector.