Drivers getting more business-savvy

Map maker Rand McNally used to think that computer-use statistics of commercial truck drivers were too high. However, after crunching data gained from a recent survey, Rand McNally said those figures might actually be too low.

LA QUINTA, CA – Map maker Rand McNally used to think that computer-use statistics of commercial truck drivers were too high. However, after crunching data gained from a recent survey, Rand McNally said those figures might actually be too low.

"We're beginning to see that drivers are realizing that computers can be a money-saving technology for them, especially for owner-operators," Amy Krouse, director of marketing for Rand McNally's transportation data division, told Fleet Owner during the American Moving & Storage Assn.'s annual convention.

Krouse said the company was also surprised in its survey by the kinds of software systems that most interested drivers.

"We thought they'd be more interested in overlaying weather information, fuel taxes, and other road-related data onto our RouteTools route planning software," she said. "Instead, most said they needed more basic business software packages, such as record keeping systems for their expenses that they can attach to their routes, so they could avoid constantly re-typing information."

Krouse added that as a result of that information, her division is looking to bring in more software from the consumer side of Rand McNally to meet these needs.

"We're finding that owner-operators really are a family business, to the extent that our survey found a large increase in the number of husband-and-wife teams out on the road," she said. "So now our focus is to develop software packages to address those family business needs."

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