You can’t avoid new technology

With so much technology available for trucks today — NACFE has identified 85 technologies that improve fuel economy — it can be hard to decide which make the most sense for you.

A panel that I attended at the recent Technology & Maintenance Council Fall Meeting in Orlando, focused on The Challenges and Pitfalls of Implementing New Technology had a lot of really great suggestions for fleets about making smart technology decisions.

One key point the panelist made was the fact that you need to look at technology as a way to solve a problem. Just because something is cool, doesn’t mean it’s right for you. Once you have defined the problem your next step is to determine what results you expect from the technology you invest in. That will help you narrow down your options and make a better selection.

When considering a new technology, seek input from the people in your fleet who will actually be using the technology. Not only can they provide you with insights into the nature of the problem, but also getting buy-in from them in the beginning on a solution will make implementation go much more smoothly.

I would also suggest that you look to unbiased third parties that can help you separate the fact from the fiction about a given technology. We have done that when it comes to fuel efficiency technologies through our Confidence Reports, but there are other places to look for information on other types of technologies.

To ensure successful implementation and adoption of a new technology, have a roll out plan in place, and communicate that plan clearly throughout the entire organization. Panel member Deryk Powell, president and COO of Velociti, said, “The faster and more efficient the adoption of new technology is, the more effective it will be.”

If you’re not in a position to adopt new technology today, don’t opt out of staying up to date on new developments. You want to make sure you have the latest information so when the time is right you can be ready to adopt the appropriate technology for your operation.

Peter Savage, director of fleet service for Clarke Power and a panel member, cautioned audience members that adopting technology is not going to be optional given all the changes in the industry and in consumer buying habits.

When it comes to adding technology to your vehicles make sure you know what problem you want solved, seek input from unbiased sources as well as those affected by the technology, and then plan for an orderly implementation.

The right technology coupled with successful implementation will get you the results you want whether that is improved fuel economy, increased safety or something else.

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