As Fred loaded a large backhoe onto the flatbed trailer, he made sure everything was secured. Fred was very familiar with heavy haul trucking but today he felt uneasy and rightfully so. When the truck was loaded, and pulled away, there was no one to wave to, as it drove itself out of the lot and onto the road. This might seem like science fiction but in truth, it is becoming science fact.
Not long ago a truck delivered a load of beer to a customer in Colorado Springs. This is normally a routine run, but this truck had no human operator and it came from 120 miles away in Fort Collins. This marks the start of autonomous trucking.
Why is Driverless Trucking Here to Stay?
There are just too many benefits to this technology. Sure, it will eliminate many excellent paying truck driver jobs, but here is why it is inevitable:
The Benefits of “No Drivers”
Imagine a heavy haul trucking or typical shipping carrier with no truck drivers to pay. This is sure to lighten the payroll considerably as many truck drivers receive high wages. Plus, there is no need to pay workman compensation insurance and vacation pay. Here are some additional benefits:
- No drug testing needed – high tech self driving equipment does not take drugs
- No sleep impaired drivers – self driving trucks have no need to sleep.
- No driver error accidents – this could eliminate hundreds or maybe even thousands of serious and fatal traffic accidents each year.
Lower Shipping Costs
Why is it cheaper to ship with driverless trucks? Here are some considerations:
- Eliminate driver wages and expenses
- 24 hour a day trucking – human drivers can only log 10 hours a day (legally) and this is not a concern for automated heavy haul trucking.
- Ready or not, driverless trucking is coming!