Photo: Iron Heart via Dreamstime
Dreamstime L Truck Tech Iron Heart Via Dreamstime

Fleets can’t afford to sit on the sidelines

Sept. 24, 2020
Technology is changing at a rapid pace and can seem overwhelming for many fleets. Unfortunately, commercial fleets don't have the luxury of sitting on the sidelines to wait to see how new technologies play out in the market.

Adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, collision mitigation, optimized idle, roll stability, ELDs, telematics, active braking, LIDAR. The list of new technology available for trucks in the past several years is staggering.

Trying to decide which technology makes sense for your fleet can seem like a daunting task especially with manufacturers of these technologies investing millions in marketing their products to you.

In a previous blog, I talked about how an investment in technology is really an investment in your drivers. And while that certainly is true, it is not the only reason you need to have a process in place that allows you to systematically evaluate new technology as it comes into the market. As we all know the tech advancements often focus on improving efficiency or making the vehicles and your drivers safer.

And while not every technology is right for your operation, you won't know that until you research and evaluate them based on your fleet’s unique operating conditions and how you think those conditions may change in the short- and long-term.

Technology is changing at a rapid pace and it can often seem overwhelming when trying to choose the best path forward. Unfortunately, you don't have the luxury of sitting on the sidelines to wait to see how each of these technologies plays out in the market.

The reality is that, while you do not need to be on the bleeding edge of technology, you can’t afford to be a tech laggard, or you will lose your competitive advantage. Investing in new technology is a must, and safety and efficiency should be the key decision drivers.

The good news is that you do not have to go it alone when it comes to vetting technology. Talk to you OEM and to your lender. They all can give you insights into the new technology you are considering. The OEMs and lenders will be able to able to draw on the experience of a wide variety of fleets who invested in a technology early and should be able to provide you with factual information on how it is performing in the real world.

Depending on the technology under consideration, your lender may even be able to tell you whether it adds value at resale. Don't forget to talk to other fleets to learn from them about the pros and cons of any new technology they have spec’d on their vehicles.

When it comes to technology, he who hesitates is lost. With the right assistance and knowledge, you can make decisions that will improve the efficiency of your fleet and decrease your total cost of operation.

Patrick Gaskins, senior vice president of Corcentric Fleet Solutions, oversees both sales and operations for Corcentric’s fleet offerings. Over the past 10 years, Gaskins has grown the fleet services area of Corcentric’s business by implementing a best-in-class asset management database and a data-driven approach to providing Corcentric clients with visibility into all areas of their fleet spend. He joined Corcentric in 2010, bringing over 30 years of experience as a financial services professional in the transportation industry. Gaskins leads a team of industry experts who work with a supply base of over 160 manufacturers to help the country’s largest fleets manage all aspects of their fleet operations and fleet related spend. Gakins earned his BBA in Finance from the University of Miami, FL, and his CTP certification from the National Private Truck Council.

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