We were all reminded of how vital trucking has been during the past few years. However, that doesn’t stop trucking from making changes and improvements. Truck driving will make several changes over the next few years. We break down what some of those changes might be.
Shifting Driver Jobs
A significant change that has slowly been affecting the trucking industry is the shift from Over the Road (OTR) to more regional jobs. OTR has been the primary way for goods to be transported in the trucking industry for decades due to manufacturing specialization. Yet with each region of the US moving away from specialization and towards a more well-rounded approach, the need for OTR jobs has decreased. This will continue to happen as these “Megaregions” continue to grow.
Increases in Trucking Efficiency
The trucking industry learned the hard way that it must become more efficient. There have been new regulations for training in the ELDT Mandate that has helped make training uniform. Other changes coming are higher focuses on the logistics and planning for drivers. Providing drivers with more data when planning routes can help improve their driving efficiency. Combine this with better load management from the carriers’ drivers are starting to see better fuel efficiency, more time driving, and better pay.
This wouldn’t be a blog about the future of trucking without addressing autonomous trucks. There are two crucial things to preface before talking about self-driving trucks. 1. They are coming. 2. They are not going to replace truck drivers completely. Now with that out of the way, Autonomous trucks are still going to be years away as currently, the technology is only 90% effective. Another factor holding these trucks back is the infrastructure. Self-driving trucks will need infrastructure built just for those trucks. These trucks will also be more of an addition to the trucking industry than a job killer. Self-driving trucks will handle OTR jobs in the future but will not be able to take the jobs that require a more agile driver. Human drivers will meet an autonomous truck to help finish the load. Based on the data in writing, the shift towards autonomous trucks isn’t bound to happen until the 2040s. This number comes from how long it takes the trucks to become road-ready, the infrastructure, and carriers starting to buy the vehicles.
All of these changes will make trucking a better place to work, and you can get your foot in the door today by contacting us.
United States Truck Driving School is keeping up with all the changes in trucking and providing our students with the most up-to-date training.