We’ve seen all the headlines and rumors. Google is listening in. Hackers can steal your identity. Microchips might be installed in our brain. The world is changing rapidly with technology and risks we don’t fully understand. Add the teasing hints of self-driving vehicles and suddenly a truckers’ livelihood is on the line. If you are one of these truckers, and you are feeling vulnerable, you are not alone.
Veteran drivers have watched the world go from analog to digital with incredible speed, all while they simply do their best to stay safe on the road and log their miles. They are loyal, have a strong work ethic, and are consistently reliable. Somehow, they still find themselves pushed aside, given less than desirable jobs, and ignored. To top it all off, they are forced to use various forms of technology that they are unfamiliar with.
The adaptation to technology was forced on many without much respect for the learning curve. With the influx of young and tech savvy drivers, the golden generation of truck drivers find themselves in a very difficult position.
There’s a fear that comes with admitting a struggle to adapt. There is already a disconnect between drivers out in the field and the administrative staff. Drivers have to deal with the stereotype of being unrefined, unreliable, and as a result become easily dismissed.
An employer that hears his or her staff can’t figure out the technology platform is likely to give preference to someone who doesn’t need additional training, hand-holding, or guidance. This leaves drivers unwilling to openly say that they can’t figure out why the app won’t update or they can’t understand what permissions they need to allow. Frankly, it isn’t their job to know how to troubleshoot an app. They are there to drive a truck. Right?
This attitude and fear leads drivers to stay silent and simply ignore the things they can’t figure out, disrupting the flow of reliable job data and logistical pattern in place by the organization. It also forces other staff to compensate for what they perceive as “stubbornness” or “insubordination” by the drivers, further expanding the rift between drivers out in the field and administrative staff.
We Support Our Drivers
The AggDirect client services division is managed by Randy Charlamagne. Mr. Charlamagne overseas all of the independent truckers assigned to AggDirect projects.
“The Covid-19 Pandemic has created a unique challenge,” he said, “It’s forcing truckers to adapt to technology while relying on us to keep our world moving.”
Q: How have your drivers been handling it?
A: Pretty good. The app makes it easy to keep things safe for our guys, especially now that we can get digital signatures. We don’t have to handle dirty tickets anymore.
Q: Have all the drivers taken to the AggDirect app pretty easily?
A: Well, when we sign up a trucking company, we have this whole onboarding process where we help them register their drivers, trucks, and give them full training on how to use the app. And we have videos in our portals to give them refreshers.
The app itself is designed to be intuitive. It’s simple, straightforward, and easy to adapt into a driver’s routine.
We’ve had the AggDirect app for about three years now, and it’s constantly evolving and getting better. Among the independent truckers, there are only a handful of drivers who are resisting the new tech. Usually the older guys or some of the folks who don’t speak English well.
A: Often times it’s just impatience. They get intimidated by how much they think they need to know, and as soon as something goes wrong, they’ll just quit the whole thing and try their best to do the job without the technology. Unfortunately, that ends up hurting them, because they lose access to the information, like route changes or projects being postponed. They can even miss out on opportunities to earn more money.
Q: So what happens when you work with an independent trucker who’s struggling with new technology?
A: I usually bring them aside when I see the driver on-site, and help them update the app or fix whatever is causing the problem. I show them how to fix it and let them know they don’t have to be so afraid of it. They just need to read what’s on the screen and follow the instructions. It’s all fear of the unknown.
However, if I can’t get a hold of the subcontractor, the AggDirect Client Care Team typically resolves the problem.
Q: If there was one thing you could convince all the drivers who are struggling with the tech, what would it be?
A: I’m just like them. We all are. The only difference is that some of us are willing to be a little less afraid to click around the screen and see what happens. We can be patient and read the alerts and follow the instructions. If I can’t get it right, I’m not afraid to call and ask for help. It doesn’t make anyone less valuable if they aren’t tech savvy. Their value is primarily in how safe and efficient these drivers are! The technology is here to make life easier for everyone. Most importantly, them.
Ultimately, this is an excellent message to all drivers. One should never fear asking for support, regardless of age, language barriers, or other perceived limitations. Your questions may highlight an opportunity for the technology to improve itself, or add clarity to a process affecting everyone else. Your insight as a user is extremely valuable to Aggdirect. Furthermore, if you ever have a question about our technology, our entire team is here to support you as quickly as possible to get you back on track.
In fact, let us walk you through our technology so you can see for yourself how simple and intuitive it is. Request a Demo by clicking here and we will give you the AggDirect partner experience.