Telematics, Unintended Consequences 101

    Here is another addition in the long list of unintended consequences of Telematics. Drivers are now bidding routes with the crappy, old vehicles The Most Desired Vehicle in the Fleetbecause they are not equipped with the Telematics transmitters. Any vehicle on the ADA list has not been retrofitted with the Telematics equipment, so the drivers are wanting routes to stay out of “Gods” eye.
     The P-32 is on the short list to be smashed, but the company has been slow to replace them. The company has had a problem finding a direct replacement vehicle the size of a P-32, and therefore has chosen to fix them rather than replace them.
     Of course the idea that the drivers will remain “out of sight” is ridiculous. The sooner a driver gets under Telematics, and trains themselves in the function of the system, the sooner the driver will be at peace with the “Brown World”.
     The days of the “Lord and Master” are here. The dispatch functions are being systematically centralized. Soon the only function of the management people will be “bed check”. In other words, management’s function will be simply to make sure the drivers show up, and deal with the day to day issues of the drivers. One or two sups. can certainly handle those issues in a 60 driver center. That goal is why we are seeing the layoff of management in the current economic times. The overhead of so much management just isn’t needed any longer.
     The driver simply cannot be “replaced” by technology yet!  The driver can be controlled, and managed by technology. Management, on the other hand, can be replaced by technology.
     Over the years I have watched the technological changes, from pen and paper, to the Diad, PAS, and now Telematics. With each change the driver’s fear of company reprisal has increased. Yet the value of a good, solid, day to day driver has quintupled within the company. Until robotics, or virtual delivery can be achieved, that value will continue to rise.
      Keep those ideas in the back of your mind as you go through the day. Listen to your fellow drivers, and do not let the company “fear mongers” scare you. They need you more everyday.
                 By the way, have you put in your management letter yet?
                                                             That’s the quickest way to promote yourself out of a job.

                                   You’re not “just a truckdriver” anymore!
            The Teamsters are more important in your life today, than ever before. Get involved, or get fired.